So if we take all 118 active tribute bands total page likes, from the topmost of 28,605, to the bottommost of 27, and average them, we end up with 1827. That means that the average fan reach per post is somewhere between 37 and 117. There are a lot of other factors that Facebook takes into consideration, though, and that number can go up or down arbitrarily, completely at Facebook’s discretion.
So what’s a band to do? The obvious place to start is by increasing page likes, however, don’t be tempted to sacrifice quality for quantity. Ideally, every like on your page would be a fan, someone who is likely to come out and see a show, buy your merch, etc. Realistically, you’ll have both types. So definitely take the like from your sister’s mechanic’s aunt who only listens to trance, but also concentrate on getting quality likes as well.
Great places to get quality likes are at shows (always ask your audience to follow you on Facebook), and in Facebook events.Keep in mind that if you’re following good practice, the venue has created an event and added you, and any other bands on the bill, as co-hosts. This lets you market to not only your fans, but the venue’s fans, and the other bands fans. Most bands completely miss this opportunity.
The other, and most important, action you can take to increase your fan following is to start a mailing list so that you have a way to directly communicate with your fans. If Facebook went down the day before a show, would you have any way to reach your fans? This isn’t as far-fetched as you might think – over the summer, Facebook had widespread outages, and as recently as last week, was experiencing intermittent posting issues. Have a way to contact your fans – all of them, not just what an arbitrary algorithm allows! It doesn’t even have to cost anything, at least initially. Mailchimp has a free plan for up to 2,000 contacts. (Houston Tribute Bands uses a paid plan on Mailchimp.)
Once you have your mailing list set up, use it to communicate with your fans regularly – at least once a month. Let them know about upcoming shows, contests you’re running, and even new gear (but tell them why they’ll care, such as it improves the authenticity of the show.) Also, be sure to let us know so we can sign up!