Been pouring time on social media and who would’ve thought it’d be worthwhile? Not me no more than a few weeks back.
Part of the reason The Unknown Artist Hour was put together was to address some of the issues I’d learned plagued bands. I didn’t like that particular feeling, it didn’t sit in my gut very well while working at a radio station. I don’t like the term starving artist in the least, it feels like a short way of saying: “Your creativity isn’t valued. Here! Out of pity have a cup of noodles…” So I got curious and I stuck my hand in to find what I now realize are pain points for bands and artists in general.
1: Your content doesn’t have to be worthwhile (good marketers can market anything). This contributes to the feeling of hypocrisy of the whole thing, if your content is good, it should just fly off the imaginary shelves…right?
2: The above isn’t an excuse to make worse content, it just means get help marketing. This (me included) typically flies over people’s heads, when this clicks your second reaction will probably be *#% I’ve wasted a lot of time.
And that’s about where a month back this hit me very…very hard. After a particular person helping out, told me to follow advice I’ve at least heard once before on the internet. Obviously speaking as a techy person, all the stuff I read online comes with an enormous amount of salt. So to hear that the secret to the internet was to follow and subscribe to people on any form of social media, just to get their attention, felt like being parched and eating a salty pretzel, it was bland and didn’t leave a pleasant taste in my mouth.
In other words, never use any form of internet ads, just follow interesting people to advertize yourself. Say hello, pick their brains maybe, the main point is to let them know you exist. I’ve read this kind of thing over and over and it just sounded weird, why should I (person with content or opinions of value) go out of my way to find people to get interested in my content?
The first time I’d read this type of thing was in a blog about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Which is a method to get more traffic by landing yourself higher in search results on Google and the like. If you’re running a website and you haven’t heard about this…I no longer care that much because as I just learned…SEO is not how you should start. SEO is the sort of kick in the pants to whatever content you may have later on that you’re providing to the world. I’m almost considering kicking SEO out of my own vocabulary because in a way it’s not as effective, it actually (oddly enough) takes more effort and at the end if you’ve only just started (or have never seen a traffic bump before only to realize it’s spam) you’ll only feel defeated and crushed by that thing called the internet and the fact SEO isn’t helping.
To get back to the posed question: the answer is this: the main point is to let people know you exist, but the key part ties into another saying you’ve probably heard, it’s about who you know. Now personally I may not know all the people who’ve found me, but I do know one thing about the people who have followed back. That’s that statistically speaking, they are more likely to be interested in what I’m doing. Another key point, follow real people, or try your best to attract real people, spam ruins everything…even as food $%* spam. Buying followers or bots prevents organic growth, it’s like a person buying a tree, poisoning it, then going to up to people…”Look how well this tree has grown!” Short story, your tree is probably going to die, and if any of the people happens to know botany, they’ll know you’ve abused your tree (and they and whoever they decided to tell will never trust you ever).
So lesson: Social media is awesome because it’s as social as you are on social media and you want people as social as socially possible because those people have a tendency to be socially relevant. You only get back out of social media what you put in. So if you’ve been burning a hole in your pocket buying ads, you can stop now, you now have the secret to the internet, there’s a lot of social hubs to help you out.