Sure, many of your earliest fans may be among your family and friends, so you may be fine having one list for both up to a point. What is that point? Before your music or art starts reaching beyond that circle.
- It Looks More Professional. If you’re just starting to reach out with your art, it may seem presumptive to call yourself a musician or artist or writer and have a page set up “JUST” for your artistic output. Need I remind you that if you don’t start taking yourself seriously no one else will? If someone who likes your music tracks down your personal Facebook page, and it’s full of funny cat videos, relatives’ photos, venting about a bad day at work or school, and the like, you’re telling them that your art is just a hobby that’s not all that important, even to you.
- It Helps You Avoid Giving Strangers to Too Much Information
You WANT your fans to feel like they know you. But if you let them into your “friends” group on your personal site, you’ve let them behind the “firewall” so to speak. Now they know when you’re out of town and your house is empty. Every time you “like” a friend or relative’s post, you are telling strangers things they have no business knowing, like when your cousins have a baby, or where your nephews go to school.
- It Helps Your Fans Spread the Word. No, it doesn’t replace a web page – which you also need – but it is a good way to get your message out there in a way that is easy for folks to access and – more important – “like” and “share” to their own Facebook page, which will expose your art to even more people.
- It Forces You to Think About Who You Are as an Artist. Whether you set up your web page or your FB musician/artist page first, the exercise makes you think about how you are presenting yourself and your art to strangers. Graphics are crucial. Whether you use a photo of the Blue Ridge Mountains, NYC skylines, closeups of saxophone keywork, a detail from a paintings, or just a photo of your favorite guitar(s), you’re still providing clues to what you do and making it more likely that folks who like the sort of thing you do will stay long enough to find something that appeals to them.
- It Helps Visitors Easily Access Your Other Resources, especially your web page. If you set it up right, you can make it easy to access videos, YouTube links, etc. Not everyone will follow those links, or even look for them. But it makes them easily available to someone who happens upon your page because a mutual acquaintance “liked” something you posted there.
- It Helps Other Artists Connect With You. Folks who prefer to manage their Facebook presence from their FB Artist/Musician pages will NOT be able to “like” your personal page – that’s a Facebook restriction. But if they like your FB Artist/Musician page from their FB Artist/Musician page, and you like them back, you can see what they’re doing related to your common interests and vice versa. This enables arms’-length peer-to-peer communications with other folks who share your interests.
Conversely, someone who sees you at a show and “friends” you because they want to know the next time you’re playing “out” may have no interest in seeing your aunt’s silly cat photos – the ones you keep sending out to your “friends'” news feeds every time you “like” one. Frankly, that’s a good way to get your posts blocked, which rather defeats the purpose.
One group of young artists without FB musician pages tend to be youngsters who are just starting out and don’t know better. They haven’t thought about the risks of looking hopelessly unprofessional, or – far worse – of cyberstalkers following their every move instead of just their gig and CD release schedules. This has happened, even to “unknowns.”
The other group, and maybe an even bigger group, is folks over 50 who are trying to get back into or stay in the “game,” and who are challenged by the idea of having ONE FB page, much less two or three. One way I support fellow artists I believe in and whom I think my followers would like is by “liking” their FB musician pages. This way, I see their posts in my FB musician page newsfeed, and anything I comment on or “like” gets reflected out to my followers. However I often come across someone with VERY similar interests and music whom I can’t “like” from my FB musician page because they only have a personal page. (And, again, when I’ve broken down and “friended” them from my personal page, I’ve been inundated with photos of their relatives or the like and had to “unfriend” them again anyway.)
Whether you’re a youngster who is giving strangers information they shouldn’t have, or an old-timer shooting yourself in the foot, or somewhere between that, please consider taking the time to set up and start using a FB musician/artist page soon.