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by Silke Hartung

How To Play Facebook’s Algorithm For Your Benefit

by Silke Hartung

How To Play Facebook’s Algorithm For Your Benefit

In the interest of better promoting your music, let’s learn how to trick the mighty algorithm together today! The screenshot below is taken straight from NZMusician.co.nz‘s backend on the day of writing to show you something important. It’s a truncated version of our web stats of the last few days, and one thing very clearly stands out – see the last pillar to the right and how high it is in relation to the others? 

algorithm

This is because of a Christchurch band called The Late Starters who listened to our advice on how to share their article on Facebook to kickstart the algorithm into showing it to as many people as possible. You see it’s you, the artist, who can make this difference.

If you want feature articles written about you to have maximum impact and be seen by as many people as possible here is how you go about it in early 2021. Disclaimer: Things change, so this article might very well need an update someday.

One thing upfront: Don’t share articles about you via Stories.

What should I do instead for maximum oomph?

  1. When the article is published on Facebook, you share it from the point it originates (the original post on the NZM Facebook in this case) into your own feed; your artist page AND personal one. Use the Share Menu of the article on the original post.
  2. Ask your network, your band members and whānau to also share the article via the place it originates from. You’ll find that most people are more than happy to lend you a hand there, and I’ve heard of small informal collectives of bands helping each other out like that. (Remember to make sure they know about 1. above.)
  3. Ask people you know nicely to comment on the original article, which takes them but a second only.
  4. Respond to those comments as your artist page with more than 3-4 words, eg. thanking them, starting a conversation on something relevant.

This gets the ball rolling, and other people will be drawn in, the algorithms/powers that be, will think, ‘Hey, people are into this, let’s show it to more people, ones who don’t know you yet.’ And with that the article about you will be promoted to those elusive potential new fans.

As an artist, you win, and as a publisher, NZM achieves what we set out to, which is getting your music in front of as many new eyes and ears as we can, getting the article impressions as reward. It’s genuinely nice (and, as shown above, noticeable!) if someone shows that effort and appreciation for us, after we have spent our own valuable time working on your article, publishing it, promoting it via our own socials pages and ensuring it’s properly search-engine-optimised.

Knowing and doing this is part of your job as a musician in 2021. No manager, label or publicist can do this job for you the way you can – they don’t connect so directly with ‘your’ people. As a publisher and outlet for new NZ music, we (like any other online publisher) will notice and remember your efforts.

And another thing. If you’ve received any funding for this release, say from the likes of NZ On Air, for instance, then they will also be very aware that you have made this small effort to promote the music they’ve funded… and there’s always your next new single to be thinking about.