Beyoncé Proves Facebook Fans are Meaningless

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beyonce-albumWith the recent release by Beyoncé I started thinking about why she isn’t selling MORE copies of her album. In the first few days she sold about 850,000 downloads. But if you looked at her social media following you might assume she would sell more. After all, she has almost 54 million Facebook fans!!

With each mega-star release we hear the media and music business moguls talk about the stats. Singles sold –  albums sold – by country –  by language – and so on. But the one stat I never hear any of them quote is Facebook Fans. Why?

Facebook Fans are irrelevant

That’s because the number of Facebook fans just doesn’t matter.


In the indie world everyone is enamored with social media stats. I hear it all the time.

“I have 4,379 Facebook fans.”

“I have 2,981 Twitter followers.”

“I just picked up 29 new Instagram followers.”

But you’ll never hear Beyoncé brag about her 54 million Facebook fans. Because Facebook fans don’t buy albums. Sure SOME Facebook fans buy albums, but for the most part Facebook fans aren’t fans. Using the term ‘fan’ with Facebook is very misleading. They should really be called Facebook Curiosity Seekers.

Clicking LIKE takes no effort. It doesn’t mean I’m invested in what you’re doing or that I even LIKE what you’re doing. It simply means I’m curious. And if it doesn’t cost me anything, sure, tell me what you’re up to once in a while.

At least if someone gives you an email address it took some effort on their part. It took a small amount of trust. Facebook is far too anonymous.

Facebook Fans by the numbers

To prove my point I decided to geek out a bit and do some math. I charted the first week album sales for popular artists in 2013 as a percentage of their Facebook Fans.

Here’s what I found….


Facebook Fans vs First Week Record Sales

1st Week Album Sales as a Percentage of Facebook Fans (click to enlarge)


If major label artists can’t even rally half of a percent of their supposed fans then what good is Facebook? It’s not like they asked their fans to buy a luxury car or a new couch. It’s a $10 download. Why are their sales so pathetic?

An Indie Artist with 1200 Facebook fans posting a similar percentage of sales in their first week would see sales of about 14 albums! Personally, I would be crushed. Most indie artists I know are getting numbers closer to 20 or 30%.

So what’s your point?

Don’t get hung up on Facebook stats, because in the end it just doesn’t matter.

Clive Davis would laugh in your face if you went on about how many Facebook fans you acquired.

What matters is the relationships you build and the sales you make. So have a plan to turn your Facebook ‘fans’ into real fans.  Something big name acts with 79 million fans can’t do.

How can you start a conversation with your Facebook fans to build a relationship?

Better yet, how can you transition fans away from Facebook and onto your email list before Facebook crashes, burns and lands right next to MySpace?

Facebook is a great place to find new fans but you can’t leave them there. You need to do something to solidify the relationship.

  • Regularly offer incentives for Facebook fans to sign up for your email list
  • Start conversations/ask questions
  • Share more than just “buy my stuff”
  • Be a real person by sharing other parts of your life than music
What else have you done to turn your Facebook fans into real fans? Please leave a comment below…


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Great article. I kinda realised your points earlier on in the game but it was awesome to get a reminder and to see your metrics based on the stars. Looking forward to more articles :-)

The Legendary Frank
The Legendary Frank

Excellent article. I always love metrics and your one about Facebook fans/album sales was delicious! I used to do ratios on Myspace pages and the ratios spoke volumes about the numbers game. Did a few blogs on that as well. BTW love your site, very clean, not busy and easy to read.


Thanks, Lisa.


Thanks for the kind words about our site, Frank! I have a love affair with numbers. You're right, numbers can tell you sooo much about anything and everything!

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