Liner Notes January 6, 2014 – A Story from Nashville and Facebook

 

Our recent trip to Nashville turned up an interesting story about following artists on Facebook.

From the video:

House Concerts eGuide

 

 

Beyoncé Proves Facebook Fans are Meaningless

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.

GASP

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…

 

The Third Step To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing

What’s the biggest crowd you’ve ever played for? 30 people? 500 people? 10,000 people? Have you ever played for more people than that? You rock!

What does it feel like to stand on stage and connect with that many people? I bet it makes you feel alive. The adrenalin is flowing and your heart is pounding.

While you’re on stage you can say anything to the audience and get instant feedback. You can tell them how much the song you wrote means to you – and why. You can tell them about your new release coming out soon. You can even tell them to buy your new t-shirts. But what happens when the show is over?

Don’t you wish you could take tonight’s crowd home with you? And the crowd tomorrow night? And the night after that? If you could you would soon amass a crowd of tens of thousands of people! And you could talk with them anytime you wanted. Instead of asking 100 people at a time to buy your album you could ask 53,752 people. That would be awesome!

That’s why the Third Step To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing is…

 

Turn On Images To See Fun Stuff!BUILD A FAN DATABASE

A database, or list as I like to call it, is the great equalizer. If you’re marketing your music on a limited budget – and who isn’t? – then a fan list gives you the power to reach fans far more effectively than any newspaper ad or radio spot ever could.

When you’re an independent artist you need to be conscious of every penny you spend. You need to make every dollar work for you. And having a list is one of the most cost effective ways of reaching your fans. And one of the best lists you can have is a list of your fans’ email addresses.

But, Jennine, email is so old school! Everybody’s on Facebook now.

And Twitter.

And Instagram.

And..and..and

And there is the problem with social media. In today’s world we’re flooded with options for sending and receiving messages.

FanHere are some of the options available for you to communicate with fans…

Facebook – Do you look at EVERY Facebook post? I know I don’t. Did you know Facebook doesn’t even show your posts to all of your fans? Facebook only shows your posts to about 16% of your fans! If you want your post to show up in every fan’s news feed you have to pay! And even if it showed up in their stream most people do not use Facebook on a daily basis.


Twitter – I currently “follow” 768 people on Twitter. Wow! Even with my semi-reasonable number of follows my stream is completely overwhelming. If I wanted to look at each tweet it would take HOURS out of my day. Even your most devoted fans aren’t going to spend that kind of time on you.

MySpace – What? Is anybody on MySpace anymore? I know there’s a lot of hype since JT bought into the company, but I’m not sure it’s going anywhere soon. But my real point is MySpace used to be the King of social media. If you had relied on MySpace to be your primary communication system then you were in real trouble when everyone went away.

Phone Call – Your fans would probably answer the phone if you called them. You might need to leave a message, but I’m sure they would call you back. But you just don’t have the hours in your life to call each fan individually to tell them about the show you’re playing this week. You need a system that’s one (you) to many (your fans).

Snail Mail – Who doesn’t LOVE getting real mail? By real I mean something that’s not a bill. smileyIf you have the budget, snail mail is an awesome way to reach people. But most musicians I know don’t have the marketing budget to mail a letter, or even a postcard, to all of their fans. Not only is postage constantly increasing but there’s also the cost of printing and paper.

That brings me back around to email. Email combines some of the best features from all of the other messaging systems.

Here are the biggest benefits to email:

  • It’s cheap – Most mass emailing services only cost about $20/month. If you’re on an even tighter budget there are free options like MailChimp or even Outlook (though I wouldn’t recommend using your own system).
  • People open email – If someone gives you their email address there’s a good chance they’re interested in hearing what you have to say. I know I don’t give out my email to just anybody! At the very least, every one of your email messages will be scanned. Most people look at every FROM and SUBJECT line.
  • People check email – Statistically speaking most people check there email daily. The same can’t be said for Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site.
  • People have email accounts – Not everyone is on Facebook. Even less people are on Twitter. By only having a Facebook page you’re missing out on a large part of the population.
  • You control the list – If for some reason your email service went out of business you could take your list of names to another service and never miss a beat. Not the same for Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. If Facebook goes away, you’re done.
  • One complaint won’t shut down your account – Did you know Facebook can shut down your account? Ouch! It happens every day. Accounts are shut down many times for reasons not under the user’s control. Someone can file a complaint about you and then YOU must do the defending. Not a good place to be. With email if one person complains about you then they are removed from your list but the remaining fans will still get your messages.

These are just some of the reasons Neil & I think building an email database is the best thing you can do for your music career.

Email is essential to building a grass-roots movement around your music. It’s really the cornerstone of the new music marketing economy.


 

Get movingTAKE ACTION

If you don’t have an email list already, spend some time today looking at the different email service options. Here is a review Neil wrote about some email services to help you get started.

Tomorrow I’ll share with you some things you can do with your fans once you have an email database.

Until then,

Peace, Love, Happiness, Always

~ Jennine

JFK