Often the best social media content is created from the perspective of one person writing to a friend. Or it is a snippet of a conversation between two people.
So many people do social media like they are yelling through a megaphone. They shout at the masses. And it's annoying.
Because for most, social media is consumed alone or at least in a moment when you block out the world around you to focus on one message, one voice. Imagine being in a room with just one other person and suddenly that guy starts screaming everything he says. “I'M THINKING OF EATING SOUP!”
Most likely your first reaction would be to hit him with something heavy.
You don't want to be yelled at. You don't want to be treated like you are just a very small part of a very large crowd. No one does.
Social media at its best is a way to connect with people. You might be sending the message out to many, but any connection is happening on an individual level. So don't yell. Talk to someone.
This is one band's numbers on Facebook. I took this screen shot today (August 28, 2015). Two million followers, but only 3,000 people engaged.
The huge disparity between the total number of followers and the number of “people talking about this” is more than can be explained by the Facebook algorithm controlling what people see and don't see. The Facebook algorithm can be cruel, but this goes beyond its influence.
For instance, here are the numbers for a band I work with. I also took this screen shot today. I have not spent money boosting the band's posts. Ninety-four thousand followers and over 6,000 people engaged.
People fixate too much on the total number of followers. It is too easy to artificially inflate that number though. You can spend money on ads or even on services that boost that number with fake accounts. Most likely that is what the first band did. So suddenly you have many more followers. However, they are not actual followers. These followers will never:
> Download an album
> Buy a concert ticket
> Buy band merchandise
> Share a post with their friends
> Tell people about your new song
What is sad is that some venue owners get tricked into booking bands based solely on their number of followers and then wonder why they can't sell any tickets. What is more sad is that the band that artificially inflated its numbers starts to believe the illusion themselves ... and also wonders why they can't sell any tickets.
What story are you telling? Social media is a chance to tell your story. If you are a band, it is not just about show announcements, downloads, and the occasional hashtag. From the big picture perspective, it is a chance to tell people what you are about, how you are different, and why they might be interested in you and your music.
And if you don't want to bare your soul, if you prefer being mysterious, that's fine. There is a story there as well.
This was an actual post by a band. I like the enthusiasm in the text. I like that they posted about the show. Many bands mistakenly expect fans to check their tour calendar. How I think the post could have been better:
> Although they mention the venue, they did not tag the venue or put a link to where people can buy tickets to the show.
> They could have chosen a better photo. The ideal is to have a really cool live shot. Good back ups include a posed photo of the band, a shot of a guitar, drum kit, etc. To me this photo does not suggest “fun concert”. To me it says “nap on the beach”.
Many bands think of social media as just a numbers game. They post anything and everything just to fill up the space. But if you suggested that they did the same thing with their albums, they would think you were insane. To me, that's part of the problem.
I realize that Facebook, Twitter, etc. make it seem like you are rewarded for spamming your followers. But you have to think beyond the algorithms. Your name is attached to each of those posts. And while not all of them will be fantastic, it looks bad when people can tell you are not really trying or don't think much of your audience.
I have unfollowed a number of artists who have nothing to say and decide to demonstrate that 17 times a day. If your posts are crap, cranking out more of them won't help things. I don't go to restaurants thinking, “Well, the food is disgusting, but at least the portions are huge.”
Shoot for doing one post a day that is quality. If you can expand to two or three posts a day and keep the quality, great. If the only way you can post multiple times in 24 hours is by giving up on quality, then don't.
Congratulations to clients Huey Lewis & The News. On this day in 1985 "The Power of Love" reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Why you should not post a YouTube link on your public Facebook page ...
I have yet to meet a band that wants to be known as the Kardashians of the music industry. So why do so many start acting like the Kardashians when they get on social media?
In real life they reject the idea of writing formulaic pop songs. Instead they work to create music that is interesting, intelligent, energetic, etc. Then they get online and throw all of that away. They post pictures of their lunch, videos that even a used car salesman would be ashamed of, and statements that, if they said them out loud in conversation, would lead to dry heaves. To quote from the movie “Singles”, “Desperation: It's the world's worst cologne.”
If you are going to sell out online, then you might as well sell out all the way. Chase whatever is trendy in music this hour, write boring songs, appear on one of those TV game shows. Although, be aware, there is still a lot of competition down that road. There are already thousands of people desperately trying to sell out in the name of music fame, but they can't find anyone to buy.
Or ... and this might sound crazy … be the same band online that you are offline.
I want to help musicians market themselves like artists. Unfortunately many bands market themselves like companies selling cat litter. "Buy a concert ticket today and get a free bag of Toilet Kitty! You'll have a fun night out and Mr. Whiskers will have a nice place to pee!"