How much do you really own your audience?
Most producers will say that they 100% have control of their audience. They will always be there, right? Absolutely not. If your largest following is on social media, you may end up owning nothing.
The Ego Trap of Social Media
Building social media for social media’s sake is a poor tactic. Driving up Facebook likes or Instagram followers without a clear goal for that audience is simply ego play. Not all growth is good. Without a proper conversion funnel and plan to make new fans take action, growing a profile is worthless.
Instead of focusing wide, go deep. Take the few followers that you have and really create relationships with them. Figure out how to get them to listen to your songs, or buy your clothes (like this). Develop your core fans, then replicate that process as you scale. Gaining an incredibly large audience and then not knowing what to do with is foolish. Be smart.
Building a House on The Sand
My mother used to sing a little church song to me when I was young. In the song, two men built houses. One was wise, and built his house on a rock. One was foolish, and built his house on the sand. When the storm rolled in, the rain washed away the house on the sand, while the house on the rock remained.
While originally a religious metaphor, this little rhyme is apt to describe the follies of social media. Facebook pages, SoundCloud accounts, and Instagram profiles can disappear overnight. We’ve seen stories where producers lose their SoundCloud profiles to copy right strikes. Brands lose their Facebook pages from posting edgy content. Many profiles meet this fate, losing the hard work and thousands or hundreds of thousands or millions of people gathered around.
When you focus on building your primary platform on a social network, you build your house on the sand. When the storm gets rough, the sand can wash out on you. Facebook can change its organic reach, removing your clout. Twitter can institute a new algorithm. Instagram could place limits on posting. In each of these scenarios, you lose, especially if you’re dependent on these platforms for revenue. Its far safer to use these social networks to build a platform where you determine the rules.
Keeping the Ball in Your Court
What to do instead? Create your own platforms via websites and email lists. Drive traffic from social media to your site. Capture email addresses of website visitors or harvest them in other ways. Email may be outdated and unhip, but it is a direct line of communication that cannot be taken away from you.
Don’t rely on these single-points of failures by just pumping up your social media.