The first part in the series looked at the page basics and the iLike Music Tab application for promoting your band on Facebook. You can read it here. This post looks at a new viral distribiution app called Freeload.
Freeload is a new Facebook Application that launched in December. To add it to your Facebook page will cost you five cents under $100 to purchase, but there’s a couple of features that might make that initial outlay well worth it.
Firstly the purpose of the app is to distribute a piece of content – audio, video, artwork or even a software download. Whenever a user downloads the content their email address is collected and added to an exportable CSV file. In other words you get a point of contact for someone who downloaded your content, very useful for follow up marketing, especially if this person is a fan of your music
The app will also push notifications to a users wall when a fan downloads the content. This might grab the interest of some of their friends to also download the track. Such a feature can help the download go viral, it won’t make it go viral, but it has enough features that might encourage click throughs and some extra downloads from friends of fans. See the ‘download now’ link on the notification below, it could be fairly persuasive don’t you think?
However, one of the best features for the app is the download delivery. You can make the download available right away, set a future date to make it available, or only make it available after a certain amount of fans have clicked the unlock feature. So you could decide to release artwork after 50 fans have ‘unlocked’ it, a single after 200, a video after another 200 and so on. When fans click the ‘unlock’ feature a message is posted to their wall. Again this might get a few more downloads. With this feature I think it’s all about finding the right balance between the value of the free content to the band and the value of the incentive for the fans. With the right balance, where there’s a perceived value to the content, and the fans recognise the number of unlocks as being achievable, then they may just help promote your page in order to reach the required fan numbers and their hands on the free content. In other words if they want the music, and there is a realistic target of fans needed to unlock the content they may promote your download for you.
You could ask them to promote your page directly by tagging your page in a status update. I’d choose this well ahead of ‘suggest to friends’ as thats a fairly useless feature IMO. But don’t turn the status update into some promotion or contest, that’s forbidden under Facebook guidelines and could get your page shut down.
Off The Shelf V Bespoke App’s
Overall it seems like a decent enough application. For those without any HTML/FBML knowledge this is a cost efficient way of distributing content. When forking out for these kind of Facebook services – off the shelf applications such as this are a fraction of the cost it would take to have a developer build a bespoke application. While Freeloader may not do everything you want, or look exactly how you want it, $100 is small change when compared with $3K or more you might have to pay for a developer to build it how you want it. Unless of course you have 3K to spare, why would you spend it on a Freeload imitation?
It has some nice marketing features that could help push the fan growth of a page. Giving away random free stuff can work for and against a page. If a biscuit manufacturer gives away free samples people will ‘like’ the page for the free samples, some may stay fans, some may leave. But for bands this is slightly different. You may not like the taste of the biscuits and leave, but with music no two tracks are ever going to be the same so you might hang around for more free music – unless you totally detest the songs. Which, lets face it no matter what kind of band you are, or how good you are, not everybody will like your music.