In the past, musicians and bands joining Facebook had to determine if their needs were met best by creating a Profile, a Group, or a Page to promote and share their musical pursuits. It wasn’t always an easy decision. Each choice had different features and limitations. In fact, Facebook Pages did not even exist until fairly recently, and they acquired their current attributes a bit at a time. So many artists became established presences on Facebook using what eventually turned out to be less ideal formats.
Initially, Pages were called Fan Pages. This was changed to Like Pages, perhaps because some people have different ideas of what it means to be a fan. Basically, Liking a musician or band means you dig their music enough to express approval by clicking the Like button, and are interested in their latest news (performances, recordings, tours, etc.). It is a way to express support and good will, and to keep in touch with artists.
It is clear now that for most musicians and bands, a Page is the most appropriate and effective choice for promoting your work and building your popularity. And Facebook terms state that Profiles are intended for individuals, and Groups are intended for smaller numbers of people, can be kept exclusive and secret, and have more limited functions.
Individual musicians and band members who have a Page can also have personal Profiles (a Profile is the first thing you get when you join Facebook), and can create Groups for various functions as well.
Some Page advantages
* If you have Twitter, MySpace and ReverbNation accounts, your Facebook Page can be linked to them, so anything posted on your Facebook Page is repeated on those networks as well.
* Facebook Likes and MySpace Fans are merged on ReverbNation, adding to your total of fans there. Some of these conveniences may also work with other social networking platforms.
* Profiles are only allowed up to 5000 Friends. You can have unlimited Likes on your Page.
* You can now become your Page with a click, and Like other Pages, and view updates from those Pages and from your Likers and make posts and comments, and return back to being yourself with a click.
Some Page drawbacks
* You are not informed via email who has Liked you, and individuals can Like you without your prior approval (unless you go through a procedure to block them).
* Your Likers are listed randomly, so it is not as easy to search for your individual Likers as it is to search for individual Friends on a Profile page.
* You cannot make Lists of selected Likers to interact with, the way you can with your Friends on your Profile.
* You cannot send a single message to the Inbox of all your Likers, as you can to all your Friends from your Profile page and all members of a Group. However, the Events app probably covers the same purpose in many cases.
All of this may change, since Facebook continues to develop in various ways.
Making the most of Facebook
So if you are just about to start with Facebook, I recommend creating a Profile for your personal friends and family, and a Page for your music and fans. Some people are likely to be members of both.
If you are a musician with an existing Facebook Profile, I recommend creating a Page for your music and/or your band as well. Then, if you have fans as Friends on your Profile, ask them to Like your Page. This can take a while to catch on, but it is worth it in the long run.
Profiles can become Pages
If you already have a Profile that is being used for your music, and it has grown into something you are attached to, there is a way to transform the Profile into a Page (see link below).
The good news is all the Friends on your Profile will automatically become Likes on your Page, and your Profile picture will stay in place.
The bad news is that everything else that has occurred on your Profile – all text, all posts, all photos (except the profile photo), all comments, all apps, all links, all videos…. will be gone. All of that will have to be started from scratch. However, you can download all your Profile’s information in a zip file (see link below).
In my case…
I have many more people on my Profile than I do on my Page. My Profile has been around longer, and I’ve given it more attention, mixing my music information with my many other interests and personal exchanges. I have been waiting to really promote my Like page until we’ve completed the CD we have been working on for longer than I want to mention here (sigh… I am kind of like the mechanics who work all the time on other people’s cars, while several of his/her own wait interminably, parked on the lawn).
I decided Not to change my Profile to a Page. With as many people as I have there, I think it is more respectful of their right to choose if I just invite them to Like my Page, instead.
But, if you have a Profile that was made for a band instead of an individual (so you must change it or you might lose it), or if you have realized that a Page is better suited to what your Profile has been used for, and especially if you just started the Profile and only have a few friends on it, you may want to transform your Profile to a Page.
I gave it a try
So I decided to try out the new method to transform a Profile to a Like page, with the profile belonging to the feline matriarch of our domain, Capoeira Scissorteeth. It had come to my attention that Capoeira’s Profile was not strictly within Facebook’s rules, and this meant that there was some risk it could be deleted. So changing it was a good choice.
I followed the directions, and it worked out well. Downloading Capoeira’s Profile information probably took about an hour. After completing the transformation, there was a delay (maybe a couple of hours) before the updated link to her Page worked correctly, and a slight delay before all the Likes appeared.
I had also created a Group for our Island Fever band, before the advantages of a Page were established. Now, our Island Fever band has a Page, too, and members of the Group have been very slowly trickling over there.
At this time, Facebook does not have a procedure for transforming a Group to a Page. I hope they will in the future. Or even better, they could provide the option to merge a Group into a Page, changing all group members into Likes.
I hope this has been helpful. Happy networking!
Facebook: Convert Your Profile To A Page
Facebook: Download Your Profile Information
If you would like to listen to or purchase music by Sabira Woolley, here is her Music Shop.