“My band doesn’t need a website, I have a Facebook page!!!”
…OK, back to reality
In today’s digital age, many bands feel that simply having an active Facebook page is enough to efficiently engage and grow their fanbase. There are plenty of reasons why this may be true.
I know that personally I have been at a show and wanted to know a little more about a band I was watching. I searched them on Facebook and further proceeded to “like” them, allowing me to keep up with any new music or tour updates. This is a familiar process to anyone who enjoys discovering new music to listen to. While this procedure may have served well for most music fans, it’s comes as no surprise that the Facebook algorithm has pretty much throttled non-promoted content in users’ news feeds to a screeching halt.
In short, promoting your band only on social media is only going to get you so far, and this is why it is so vital for any band that takes themselves seriously to invest in a website for their fanbase to interact with. Here are some of the benefits of having a distinct website for your band.
1. More interactivity with your fanbase
Having a standalone website allows for your fans to interact with your band on a deeper level. Instead of just liking and commenting on your posts on a platform experience that is largely the same for everyone across the board (and has likely become very mundane for most people), fans visiting your website are offered a unique experience that a social media page cannot offer.
You have 100% control of the content offered on your website, and as a result will be able to offer a more memorable experience for visitors. In addition to that, you can more effectively convey your image and brand through a completely customizable website, whether it be custom coded or created with a content management system such as Wordpress.
2. You can sell your merchandise and keep more profits
The ease of creating a merchandise shop through digital distributors such as Shopify and Big Cartel is the reason why most bands decide to sell through third parties. The downside to this is that you are subject to a fee paid on each sale you make. If your band is moving a lot of merch, this can become a very large amount of money missed out on.
Sites like Big Cartel limit the number of products you can sell. In order to sell more than 5 products, you must pay. With a custom built shop, you set the price, and you decide how much or little you want to sell. You’re able to accept payments, and do more with the money saved that would otherwise be lost to fees.
3. Fans will take you more seriously
Anyone can create a social media page and spew out content. Facebook is littered with band pages that have faded to obscurity in the span of weeks. This does nothing to set you apart from other bands doing the same thing. It’s just too easy and any band that is invested in their future success must do more than just create a social media page.
Having a website that can be included on tour fliers and things of the like gives fans something memorable and easy to refer back to after they have left your show. As opposed to having to remember a Facebook URL, navigating to your website is as easy remembering yourbandname.com (or any variation of your band name, as per available domain names permit).
4. SEO will do far more for your band than any social media platform promotion will be able to achieve
Search engine optimization (SEO) in short is the process of “boosting” your website in internet search engine results, and is a process far underrated in use for bands looking to increase their internet following. SEO allows you to specify certain keywords and strategically place them throughout your sites text content and HTML markup. When searched by new potential fans on sites like Google, your site will place higher among relevant search results.
For example, if you feel that fans of math rock will enjoy your music, you can “optimize” pages on your site to appear in search results that include the terms “math rock”. The goal for your site is to be within the first results that are returned by searches of relevant terms, so if your band appears within the first page, you’re doing well.
SEO can be achieved on social media and sites like Bandcamp, but you will see far more results from the optimization of a site that you have complete control over.
The potential return of SEO for your band site is far beyond the scope of this article, but rest assured that optimizing your site for search engines is well worth your time and should be considered in the marketing of your website.
5. Social media platforms don’t last forever
Maybe you’re old enough to remember what having a “top 8” meant, or the days when marking up HTML for your profile page was a process that involved copying and pasting the code from a theme website. If you’re not, you still likely are familiar with Myspace and how quickly it vanished from everyday use. Regardless of how long the platforms you frequent now have been around, the truth is they will all eventually become obsolete, and so will your fan base if you don’t take the steps to maintain an online presence outside of those platforms.
Whether you like it or not, we’ve already began to see the ushering out of Facebook, as it’s algorithm quite literally kills the visibility of pages’ posts, prioritizing posts of your friends and family and, of course, paid advertisements. Having a website solidifies your web presence, and when Zuckerberg decides to hit the kill switch your fans will still have a hub to check for updates about new music etc.
You are selling yourself short as a musician by not having a standalone website work for you around the clock. Think of it as a guaranteed street team member – one that never sleeps, and one that is promoting your brand 24/7 behind the scenes!
Having a website built doesn’t have to be a monumental cost, especially when split amongst band members. I am happy to offer web development services for your band. If you’re interested, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email for a quote. I can’t wait to hear from you! Let’s take your band’s online presence to the next level together.