Elements Of A Fan Page
There are some universal things that nearly all of your social media profiles will include, and then some that are platform specific. We’re going to go over the most common profile elements in this lesson, but in the next module, you’ll have a breakdown for each platform covered in this training and what elements the profile’s are made up of.
There will likely be a celebrity exception to every “rule” that I outline. It’s important to remember that unless you are Beyonce or Taylor Swift, you really have no benefit in copying their strategies. When you’re just getting started or actively building your audience from the ground up you don’t want to confuse them with gimmicky social media strategies. Above all, you want to make it easy for your growing fan base to connect with you.
Let’s do a quick refresher from the last lesson on what purpose your social media serves. Your profile is an introduction to incoming fans and an education avenue for fans to get to know you better. So keep that at the forefront of your mind as you go through these items.
Rules of Thumb
- Make it EASY for people to find you! Be upfront and clear with your name, descriptions, and images in a way that correctly represents your brand.
Don’t make it difficult for people to find you or make it hard for them to know if they’ve found the right person. (i.e. If you're a musician using social media to further your music career, make that clear!)
- Make your music the centerpiece of your social media and make sure your profile elements reflect it!
That’s not to say it has to be all music all the time, in fact, it’s better to have diversity in your content. But you still want to make sure it’s very clear that you’re a musician who is focused on your music.
- When you’re starting out with your social media (under 10k or so followers) being aloof or overly mysterious isn’t a great strategy. Your brand can absolutely imbue mystery, but that’s different than making it hard for people to understand what you’re about or what your music sounds like.
For this reason, I would strongly recommend that you have music readily available on all of your social media profiles that don’t require people to leave the platform or scroll way into your feed to hear what you sound like. Because - let’s be honest - most of them won’t.
A pinned post, story highlights, anything to let people quickly assess whether or not your music is a good fit for them, will help you attract fans and repel non-fans.
- A rule of thumb for me is that for every 5 or so posts, I need to have at least one musical post. So on Instagram, this means that there will always be at least one music post in the first two rows of my grid.
People barely have to scroll before they can hear what I sound like and know if my music is something they could get into. Sometimes it’s a little cover, sometimes it’s a band practice, sometimes it’s official audio–in any case, they don’t have to search very far or go off platform to hear what I sound like if they’re visiting my page for the first time.
Your Profile Picture
Every single platform you have a profile on will include a profile picture. It’s very important that your picture is the same across all platforms. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to identify you and to find you on any social media that they’re wanting to follow you on.
Another recommendation is to not change your profile picture too often. That doesn’t mean don’t change it at all. Having a picture that is branded with a recent release or album cycle or season makes complete sense, but avoid changing your profile picture out of boredom. When you do change it, make sure that you change it across all of your social media accounts. And this includes your distribution channels! If someone finds your song on Spotify and then decides to look you up on TikTok, having the same profile picture will make it very easy for them to confirm that they’ve found the right account.
*Included in this training is a handy spreadsheet checklist to help you keep your branding consistent across all your profiles
Your Profile Banner
Some sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube allow you to have a banner image at the top of your profile in addition to your profile picture. This can be much more flexible, as it's not the identifying image used for your profile. So you have more runway to change this up when you want. This is a great place to show off your most recent offer or whatever you’re working on at the moment. Consider it your own free billboard that people will always look at when they land on your page and use it as such! Although, like your profile picture, it should still be consistent across all your social media profiles.
NOTE: Every single platform is going to require a different size for your banner image. Even then, on some platforms, there will be multiple versions for desktop vs mobile vs TV.
You’ll likely need to make completely different versions for each platform if your banner image will include text. You’ll need to optimize it for each platform, so keep this in mind.
My recommendation to do this easily is to use Canva.com. They have preset templates for many social media banners, and I’ve also included the dimensions of each platform banner in the Social Media Brand Consistency Checklist that comes with this training.
Your "Handle" (Username)
On all platforms you have a handle, which is where your account is located on the website.
Ex. @graciphillips or socialmediaplatform.com/graciphillips
Different from your handle, your username is what shows up at the top of your profile (on some platforms, these are the same thing).
In both instances, these should either be your artist name or your band's name. This is really important in making it easy for people to find you.
I would also recommend avoiding special characters or anything that again, would make it difficult for people to locate your profile.
Your Bio/"About Me"
Nearly all social media platforms allow you to have a bio. The length varies from platform to platform, but you’ll likely have at least a sentence or two that will be displayed at the top of your profile under or near your profile picture. This is a great place to park relevant information or offers to your audience. Like, if you have a new album out, your bio is a great place to mention it.
Nothing going on at the moment? Having a brief description of your music, or your elevator pitch, is great for this space as it helps people immediately know what you’re all about. Unfortunately, bio length varies greatly from platform to platform. Ranging from as few as 80 characters on TikTok to up to 1500 on YouTube!
Here, I would recommend taking your long form bio, if you have one, and chunking it down incrementally to fit each platform bio.
Remember, this is an introduction/education piece, so don’t get too in the weeds on platforms where you don’t have a lot of space. The smaller the bio is, the more direct you should be.
Your External Link
Many profiles will also give you a specific slot for a link. In addition to your bio, this is a great place to provide direct links to any relevant offers. If you don’t have anything specific going on, linking to your website is ideal.
What if you have multiple links you want to be available? Maybe you have an ongoing video series, or a podcast, etc. Having a linktree is a great option here. And if you’re able to, making your own linktree page is even better! Using a traditional linktree or link organizer will certainly work fine, but building one in your own website means endless customization and you retain access to all the data from people visiting this page.
Whatever option you choose, make sure your page visitors have the ability to dive deeper into your ecosystem through whatever is in this link space.
Your Page Category
Many social media platforms will allow you to select an overall category for your profile. This one is nice and easy, just choose the category that best describes you! For many taking this training, Musician/Band will make the most sense.
This shows up on your profile, making it easy for people to understand what they can expect from your page.
Another easy one! Plain and simple, this should be where you or your band are based out of.
"Side Hustles" vs. Your Music
While it’s very common for musicians to have multiple side gigs, it’s important to think critically about how they’re represented on social media.
For example: In addition to my full time job here at Indepreneur, I also work for a custom song gifting company, I play weddings and corporate gigs, and I do commissioned vocal work. My personal artistry is certainly not my only musical endeavor. But, if you look at my social media, you wouldn’t know that...
I don’t advertise that I do weddings on my Instagram. I’m not plugging custom song writing on TikTok. I actually don’t even talk about working for Indepreneur!
I don’t want to confuse my audience about why I’m there or why they should be there. On my personal social media, I’m not trying to teach people about music marketing. I’m not trying to get them to hire me to do vocals for them. My goal for being there is to showcase my music and build a fanbase around my music so that I can continue to grow my business. So I don’t want people following me on those accounts for any other reason.
If you have separate musical side hustles (music lessons, event entertainment, piano tuning, etc.) I would encourage you to not mix them with your artistry in the same social media accounts. It can be confusing for fans and can water down your brand.
Now, that’s not to say that you have to hide that stuff completely, or that you can’t talk about it on your artist/band accounts at all, but I would recommend reserving the bulk of that kind of content for a different account that’s dedicated to that side hustle.
An exception for this would obviously be if your personal artistry is NOT the part of your music business that you’re trying to grow. Maybe you’re wanting to grow a music lessons business! In that case, your personal artistry, where you’re showing off your music skills might be the perfect kind of content to support the takeaway you want your audience to have.
In either case, think about the main reason you want people to be attracted to your profiles, the actions you would ultimately want them to take, and make sure the content you post and the way you structure your profiles reflects that.
In this lesson we’ve covered your social media profiles, what elements they entail, and how we should present ourselves. In the next lesson we’ll dive into the data and analytics we can extract from our social media profiles and how to use it to our benefit.