Yesterday the world was plunged into darkness, the unthinkable happened… Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp went off-line. For a generation of musicians so reliant on social media, it’s interesting to consider what would happen if it never returned?

Fans what fans?

When the world’s largest social media family went down yesterday, the panic for many was real. “What if I’ve lost all of my followers” screamed influencers the world over! For anyone who makes a living off their influence, this outage was the digital equivalent of a fire at the factory! Imagine all those thousands of hours spent creating content and engaging with fans all wiped out with one dodgy DNS setting.

For many musicians, a similar thought would have occurred, but in reality, the impact for the majority would have been far less catastrophic. Why? Because most musicians collect Likes and Followers, not Fans.

Musicians ask yourself…

  1. How many of your followers on Instagram or Facebook do you know by name?
  2. How many of your followers came to your last gig?
  3. How many actually streamed your last release?
  4. How many would find another way to get in touch if Facebook didn’t come back?

Remember, social media was meant to make it easier to communicate with your fans, but for many, it’s just made it easier to create a barrier. On social media, most musicians just talk at their fans rather than talk to them.

Let’s be real, the vast majority of content shared by musicians on Instagram or Facebook is uninspiring ‘me’ content. Is it any wonder why engagement is low and nobody actually listens to your music?

Musicians make social media work for you

Today is a new day, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp are back and we have a chance at redemption. Here are three things you can do to make a difference:

  1. Spend 30mins of your morning direct messaging your last ten followers
  2. Follow your 5 most used hashtags and take 10 minutes a day to engage with other people that use them
  3. Start a mailing list and think of one thing you could create that would give people a reason to join. EG I’ll record a cover version of your choice and dedicate it to one fan a week

These three small actions can make a huge difference on the journey from followers to fans. Next time Facebook goes down, you might just have to worry! In the meantime start talking.

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Words Mark Knight