In this age of myspacebooktubetweeterville, it's very easy for a musician to get lost in the shuffle of the endless hoards of other musicians all vying for the attention of the social networking population. So in order to stand out, you need to connect with your fans. Get them to your social media profiles, but don't just get them to click "like" and expect that they'll be rabid fans from there. You've got to get them to that point by interracting with them on those profiles.
So how do you interract with them on those profiles? If you're just posting "Hey, My band has a show! Come rock with us!!", I (acting as the music fan) am not feeling engaged enough by that to make a mental note of the fact that some band that I've seen live once upon a time has yet another show. This is dangerous, as it creates passive fans who may like your music, but don't have a strong connection with the artist and aren't likely to come see you live more than once a year or buy your CD when it comes out. They'll be aware of you, but they won't be actively involved in supporting you.
So instead, start some conversations. This makes you appear more real, down to earth, and approachable. This builds connections with the music lovers who have "liked" your page, and gives them a reason to come to your page and interact with you. This may cause them to browse your wall to see what other topics you've been discussing, and spend some time on your profile listening to your music! If they are listening to your music, while conversing with you about topics that interest them and getting to know you, they'll be much more passionate about your career and support you feverishly......in theory.
So let's put this into practice. I've started testing these waters with a few of my facebook profiles, and I've seen some interraction amongst those who have "liked" the page. Discussions have been started on the facebook page for Project DIVIDE, Skyline Sound Studios, My Solo Project, and under F.R.O.E. Records, we've advised Jovy to do the same. In just a week, more interraction has taken place on these pages, which leads to the potential that when you announce a show or a new release, someone will actually be paying attention! It's starting small, but it's there. Social media isn't something that can be rushed, it's gotta happen in incriments. Give it time, and stick with it.
It's important to note the difference between talking to your fans and just talking at your fans. Don't just post about your music, but post about how much you hate the new CD from "xxxxxxx", or how much you don't like the playlist on station "xxx.xfm", or ask them about things that are somewhat connected to you, but not directly about you. Be original, and don't make it feel like you're posting random topics just to post random topics. Pick things that actually interest you, but that you feel may also interest your fans. Take a stand on an issue, and don't be afraid to piss off someone. Show them who you are, and be real. The point of social media is to be social, and in return your media can get a strong following!
This is only the tip of the proverbial iceburg, but it's a great way to get the number of people who have "liked" your facebook page to start building a personal connection with you and your band. In the long run, someone is more likely to help support someone they know than someone they don't. Be real, but start interacting now.