You’ve probably noticed by now that we recently added Facebook Like buttons to Bandcamp-powered pages, just beneath the album art. For some (particularly the many who requested it), the reasons for adding Like may be self-evident. However, if you’re wondering why in tarrrrnation the whippersnappers slapped that newfangled gewgaw on yer internet pages, or even if you just want to learn a little more about about what Like does and why it’s a great thing for artists (regardless of your own feelings about Facebook), then read on.
A few months back, Facebook bumped search out of its reigning spot as the #1 source of traffic to Bandcamp. Put another way, the number of fans coming to your pages by clicking links on Facebook surpassed the combined referral traffic of Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. This didn’t happen because search traffic has weakened, but rather because Facebook has simply grown faster (Twitter, by the way, is a distant third – for all that tweeting and retweeting, Facebook sends six times more fans your way). It wasn’t until Facebook hit this milestone that we decided to set aside our near-pathological aversion to placing anything even remotely branded on Bandcamp pages and instead embrace the logical next step, which is of course to pour gasoline on the mother.
That’s why we added Like. Before it showed up, Facebook traffic coming into Bandcamp could primarily be attributed to the tens of thousands of times each month that people clicked Share -> Facebook on Bandcamp pages, or made a purchase and then clicked Share to Facebook in the download dialog. But Like is even more powerful: it’s already being clicked 4 times as much as our other Facebook sharing options, and even more interestingly, without cannibalizing the existing usage of those options (which continues to grow).
So what does clicking Like actually do? The short version is that it exposes your music to a wider audience and helps build your fanbase. Specifically, when a fan clicks Like:
- A post appears in the fan’s Facebook News Feed informing all their friends that they like your album or track, along with a link back to it. If the fan includes a comment when they click Like, then a Bandcamp embedded player also appears in the fan’s post.
- Your music is added to the fan’s list of Likes on Facebook, again with a direct link.
- Your music becomes a part of Facebook’s search.
Note that you don’t have to personally use or care about Facebook at all to still benefit from Like. But if, conflabbit, the durn thing still offends, you can easily turn it off via your Profile page: