Where Most Go Wrong
Where I think most bands go wrong with social media is that they post like they are talking to a mob and not to an individual. It is like sitting down to a one-on-one conversation and the other person starts speaking through a bullhorn. You might have thousands of followers but your post is being read by one person at a time. - Cris
A Gradual Ascent
Aim for quality with your content and let the stats fall where they may.
Many people become obsessed with the numbers. They look for agencies and consultants who can deliver great numbers every time, no matter how they get them. That mentality is what led people to invest in Enron and with Bernie Madoff.
Play the long game. Create content that will earn you fans for the long haul. It will probably be a gradual ascent, but it will be more solid.
Content marketing is not about the stats, the likes you get from one post after a couple of hours. It's about persistence. It's about being a long term investor in your own band or business.
Be In It For The Long Haul
The online world is littered with the dead pages of people who thought social media was a sprint.
Sam Shriver: Leadership And Change
Sam Shriver, Senior Vice President at The Center for Leadership Studies: Anytime you take a look at leadership, the only time it comes into play is when it's under this umbrella of change. Leadership is a mechanism that allows change to happen.
If you're talking about keeping things the way they are, that's more of a management thing. We know where we're going, we know what it looks like. My job is to make sure that you execute according to plan.
Warren Bennis said managers are the kind of people that say, "Are we doing things right?" Leaders are the kind of people that are saying, "Are we doing the right things?"
We're going somewhere. We're on this expedition, this journey. Not only have we never been there before, nobody has. We don't know, exactly, what it's going to look like, but come follow me anyway.
Focus On Your Current Followers
Every business is busy creating posts to attract new followers. And that's fine. But most of them are not creating any posts to better connect with the followers they already have. This is the space I work in, helping businesses better connect to their current followers. I think if someone is taking the time to follow you, you should offer them a little more, some posts of substance that give them a little more insight into your work, what you've learned, etc.
So many businesses work so hard to attract new followers. But when they do get you as a follower, they kind of ignore you. You are given the option of either buying something or just sitting in the corner and watching them work to get more followers. Their attention is devoted to the people who don't appreciate them rather than to the people who do.
Even when it seems like they are doing something special for their followers, there is a catch. "We have a special behind-the-scenes video for you! And we will show it to you if you first spam people with this message and get us up to X number of followers!"
Instead most of your posts should have the vibe of "We appreciate you giving us your attention. Here is something we thought you might find interesting."
The Rigged Game Of Social Media Stats
The more research I do into the stats provided by the various social media platforms, the more I think it is better to just ignore those numbers. I still think social media is a good way of putting your thoughts, ideas, and work out into the world. But judging its success based on the data the platforms give you is kind of a suckers game, not too different from playing Three Card Monte with a street hustler.
Like the street hustler, the people who set up the social media sites control the game. They decide if you win or lose, how much you win or lose, etc. And like any good hustler, they make it seem like you can win with skill and luck. They give the illusion of chance and a level playing field. It is the story they sell.
And they will let you have some small wins. After all, they want you to keep playing. They don't want you to walk away disgusted. So they give you some wins. Again, though, it is at their discretion.
Some argue that there are formulas for success, that you can win big. Inevitably these formulas involve posting many times throughout the day (which is really just spamming) and appealing to the lowest common denominator. Suddenly you are posting material you would never put on your own website. And you are not really connecting with your followers. You are just trying to make the algorithm happy.
At that point you are just an unwitting accomplice. You are the guy at the card table who is in on the scheme but pretends to be a random bystander that gets lucky. You are there to help create the illusion of legitimacy and keep the crowd gathered around.
Again, there are opportunities within this to make some connections, to get the word out about what you do (somewhat). But you are going to need to come up with your own way of measuring the success of these endeavors. The platform stats don't really tell you anything.
Take the "reach" stat that most offer. Theoretically these are the total number of people who saw your post. First, there is no way of knowing for sure. Second, did these people really see your post or did it just move past their screen for an instant? Facebook counts a video view if it appeared in someone's feed for just 3 seconds with the sound off. By that standard a roadside billboard gets more attention than your average video.
I also keep running into people who admit that they don't click on things. They read posts and watch videos, but even when they like what they see, they don't like, or comment, or share the post. Why? Because they don't have to.
So one of these people could like your post. It might even be what makes her decide to buy your album, widget, whatever. But the social media stats measure this interaction as a failure.
My suggestion is to still participate in social media, but make sure to also maintain your website and blog, a property you control. And the next time the social media platform tries to lure you into playing the "improve your stats" game, just smile and walk away from that hustler.
Facebook Killed My Lists
Facebook killed my lists. I used to have lists on Facebook that neatly organized the pages I followed. I had one for music, one for news, etc. When I clicked on one, it would bring up the posts of just the pages on that list. It would display them in reverse chronological order and no posts would be omitted. As an additional plus, no sponsored posts showed up when I did this.
This functionality was part of Facebook. It did not take a special hack to create this.
Yesterday they all disappeared. Now I am once again at the mercy of the Newsfeed. Yes, I can select "See first" in the follow settings for the pages. I can also turn on notifications so that I am alerted whenever one of these pages puts up a new post. But doing that for every page I follow would make things kind of a mess.
It is disappointing because I am probably going to miss out on some interesting posts, posts I would have seen with my lists.
It is also a reminder that no social media platform belongs to the people who use it. Make sure you maintain a website and blog. You need an online property your followers can count on.
(Hire me to develop your online content. email@example.com)
Social media stats are nice to look at. On rare occasions they are helpful. But if you are basing your worth on those numbers, you should find a good therapist as soon as possible.
There are a number of intelligent, creative people doing interesting work. But when these people get on social media many of them revert back to high school. Suddenly they are just copying the "cool" kids (some of whom are actual kids) in a desperate attempt to be popular.
"I know it doesn't say anything about the technology we are developing, but I was told memes with unicorns are hot right now."
I don't think that is how you find your genuine fans. I think that is how you show the world that, after all these years, you are still trying to be the prom queen.