The following is adapted from a post by artist Buck 65 after his Facebook Page reached a milestone of 30,000 likes.
Full disclosure: when my Facebook Page was first set up, my managers did it for me. They took care of posting updates about tour dates and sometimes they'd re-post something I had posted on Twitter. Once in a blue moon, I'd pop in when I had something on my mind I couldn't express in 140 characters. I'd check a few messages and then I'd check out. Sometimes days or even weeks would pass without checking in again.
Then, earlier this year, I heard a lecture from a "social media expert." At first, I thought they were full of crap, to be honest. But some of the stuff the guy said intrigued me. I wanted to test some of his ideas to see if they would work. It started on April 22. Earth Day. I made this post:
The post got well over a thousand likes and it was seen by well over 150,000 people. I was blown away.
Every day over the next few weeks, I continued to post photos -- mostly funny/silly stuff. I'd add a caption. Later in the day, I'd go through all the comments and respond to them. There wasn't much to it, but the response continued to be strong and people seemed to appreciate my new level of engagement.
Then, in June, I tried something new. I wondered what would happen if I posted something more personal, rather than just a funny image I had found. I posted this:
It wasn't much of a story, but it was a personal one. It was more meaningful. To be perfectly honest, I didn't expect it to get as much of a response as the photos of cute animals or funny newspaper clippings. But the response was actually very strong -- it got almost 500 likes.
Around this time, I started noticing that there were many people who faithfully commented on every post -- that there was a real community out there. I was moved by that. The comments were all so nice and encouraging. It was all quite good for my ego, frankly. It felt great to be sharing and I wanted to continue to do so. I committed to post a new story every single day. I wasn't sure that people would be willing to spend five minutes reading a story every day, but they have. My fans have stuck with me and they keep coming back. I wasn't sure how long I'd be able to keep it up and to be honest, I'm a bit surprised I've been able to keep it up this long. But the stories just keep coming!
My Page was set up in 2007. When I started posting back in the spring, it had 20,000 likes. Since then, we've added more than 10,000 likes. That's amazing.
The response to the posts has been great, but none of this would have happened without people's engagement. By sharing the stories they've liked, the community helped bring in so many new people. Now, to my amazement, there are people following the Page and reading the stories who knew nothing about my music! I love that.
But I can also say that my recent U.S. tour felt different from any other I've ever done, and I attribute that to this thing we've got going on here on Facebook. In fact, something incredible happened in LA during my show at the El Rey.
Right before I went on stage, the song "Tour de France" by Kraftwerk played in the club. Ten minutes into my set, I mentioned between songs that the song had a personal relevance for me and that I had written about it on Facebook. At the mere mention of Facebook, the room (which was sold out or at least close to it) erupted in a roar. Chills.
Call me crazy, but I think that because my fans and I hang out on my Page every day, there's a connection between us that didn't exist before. And if it did, it wasn't this strong. Things are different now. We've gotten to know each other. We're deeper. It feels good.
Since May, I've written enough stories for two novels on my Facebook Page. I did a word count recently and I couldn't believe it. I've also finished two albums (both coming soon) and I'm getting close to finishing a book. It's meant that I've been writing all day, every day. Most days, I wake up at 8:00, write until midnight and then go to sleep. It's hard work, but the rewards have been amazing. I thank you for them.