Seen and Not Heard

Before we go anywhere, take nine minutes to watch this video on Facebook Fraud.

Did you watch it? Good. Now, let’s get down to business.

Every social media site right now has thousands of people willing to sell you “likes” and listens.  It’s hard not to take a hold of such a seductive opportunity at such low prices, but as Veritasium points out, those people are real… but they’re not actually listening and they certainly are not going to buy your music. Not only that, but those who game the system by selling these “likes” click everything to hide their activities from the social media site’s administrators. The whole mess ends up making paid advertisement a waste of money and even just posting regularly equally a waste. Beyond that, you just look like a douche when you’re finally caught with thousands of fake fans.

2 Million Fans or 10?

So what if you have 2 million fans or 10? Unless they are real and truly engaged, you’re only being seen. You want to be heard. Having 10 fans that really interact with you are worth infinitely more than 2 million who won’t even like a post. And don’t think Twitter or Soundcloud are really any different. If Facebook is being gamed, they are as well.

Habitual Tools Can Hinder Rather Than Assist

Each of these networks has their strengths, but in the end every post you make is just another drop of noise in the ocean. With tools and services like JustGo and Hootsuite, we’re getting really good at crafting new posts and scheduling them for primetime audiences. Unfortunately, it just means we’re getting better at strategically being seen and maybe we’re missing what really sells music. The end result is that when a fan opens his social media, he or she is bombarded by text messages from almost every direction. The fan is surrounded in a torrent of noise and your message is lost.

What’s a Solution?

Part of the reason for this is that we’re not giving the fans something to engage with. Sure they might laugh at a joke or get excited about some upcoming show, but they don’t always commit to it. What we need to do is remove barriers and take advantage of the tools that these social media sites have already built in.

Why for example simply tell people you have a new release out? You could link to the release on Beatport sure, but some sites like Facebook bury those links. If you link directly to a track from the release however, Facebook does something “magical”. They actually embed Beatport’s player. The same thing happens with video if you hadn’t noticed. Beatport’s embedded player is good for Facebook because people can watch video or listen to music without leaving their site. It’s good for you because people can listen and if they like the track buy it right there or share it with friends.

In theory by posting the link to a release on Beatport, you can better leverage your social network by making it easier for fans to discover your music and purchase it as well.  This level of engagement won’t be tracked by Facebook or Twitter, but it is actually infinitely more valuable as you are removing barriers from a purchase. Embedding you mixes from Mixcloud or new sounds from Soundcloud should also help improve your engagement.

Final Thoughts

In the end, People tend to purchase what they like and what they love. If your product isn’t at their fingertips, they aren’t going to take the next step. It doesn’t matter if that’s listening to your latest mix on Mixcloud, buying your latest release or purchasing tickets. Remove as many obstacles as you can between the person you are trying to reach and the action you want them to take. Social media isn’t about being seen. It’s about being heard. Gear your posts toward that because a retweet, like or favorite is useless if your goal is to sell music, tickets or get booked. It’s time to stop looking at the midpoint and to start focusing on the end goal when it comes to social media.