Social Media Websites - pay to play?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by 40Hz, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    It's become a truism in the music world that in order to be successful today, you need to work the social sites such as Facebook to get your name and music out there.

    The two top arguments for doing it are that: (a) it boosts you fan's engagement, and (b) it costs nothing to do it. It's free promotion.

    All well and dandy. Except the second argument isn't really true if you want it to be effective. And the first argument won't apply unless the second one gets some rethinking.

    Over on Medium, Sam Ock has an article called What the Social Media Platforms Don't Want You to Know. It's a short read that talks about how the reality of social media platforms is that your fans need to do a lot more than just read and like your posts for you to get the visibility you're hoping to get out of it. Because if they don't, you're going to have to pay - pay as in real spending money - to "boost" yourself (i.e. pay to play) in order to keep your content accessible to all your followers.

    From the article:

    It's something to be aware of that Facebook and similar sites don't go out of their way to let you know about. Boosting is presented by them as a means of "enhancing" your visibility on their platform - when in reality, it's more like it's unlocking it.

    Sam has more on it, plus what you need to get your followers to do in order to get around the 'engagement algorithm' that decides who gets a free ride, and who has to pay.

    Read the full article here.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
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  2. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I always thought 'boosting' was slang for stealing from another...

    ... oh, I get it now...
  3. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I've never assumed it was free. Advertising cost money.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    This isn't brand new. A buddy has been telling me how it works for a while now. He is trying to "make it" so that kind of thing is in his world. He has read lots of articles online and has determined there is a point of diminishing returns. So he'll do a $50 or $75 "boost" for some important shows. But he said that much more than that would be a waste because of who gets to see the post and how long it stays at the top of their feed.

    I don't Facebook so this is all second-hand information. I have no idea what I'm talking about.
    Wisebass and Spidey2112 like this.
  5. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    The thing is that outfits like Facebook go to great lengths to create the illusion that they are just a community of like-minded folks hanging out together, but what they really are is carefully crafted vehicles for the delivery of advertising, with any ancillary benefits to users being purely secondary and of low priority.

    Personally, I prefer to take my advertising and manipulation straight, without the extra dose of hypocrisy.

    I feel sorry for those of you who have to deal with this nonsense in order to pursue your careers and I am thankful I don't.
  6. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    You know, I'm not a big fan of social media for these reasons. The displacement of your post by others posts in the feed makes it so that only a few people actually see the post.

    I always do the social media marketing, and it does net attendees at events, but I find its more effective to invite people to participate in my events. Get a choir to come and sing, a high school jazz band to do a tune, a music teacher to invite all their students for a piano recital right before my band plays at the family friendly restaurant.

    I also get the bar owners to produce postcards that I hand out at places where people who like my style of music go. In fact, I'll even book gigs the week after a jazz festival or other big jazz event so I can sell the effectiveness of my marketing plan with the bar owner. If you give someone a printed piece of paper, you know they saw it. Now, it's more work, but at least you know people saw it -- unlike social media.

    The other thing to remember is that most successful marketing plans generate attendance from a whole variety of sources. Unless you have a wildly huge number of followers, a few posts alone on one page isn't going to cut it. It has to go through a whole variety of different channels to reach the interested people.

    I know some of these ideas are for farmers markets and other events, not bar gigs, but you get the idea.
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  7. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Nope. It isn't. Just not widely enough realized . It's one thing "to know" about something, and quite another thing to genuinely know something.

    That's about where I am too. If "consenting adults" wish to indulge and engage in hypocrisy, that's fine by me.

    I personally would rather have it given to me straight, and then let me deal (or not) with the reality of the situation rather than sugarcoat a half-truth so it's easier to swallow.
    ThePresident777 and Wisebass like this.
  8. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    All well and good.

    But the point of the post wasn't about whether somebody assumed social media promotion was free or not.

    The point of the post was to point people to an article that explains how the major social media sites work with regards to the amount of "free" access they grant your content. And more importantly, some steps you can take to maximize the amount of your follower's access these sites will give you before you need to pay for them to grant you more.

    I posted this primarily as a pointer to a "why and how-to" article that may prove beneficial (or at least educational) for TBers doing social media promotions. Specifically how the engagement algorithms determine the amount of free content access your account is given and what your followers need to do on their part for you to reach as many people as possible at minimal cost to you.

    And although I do have strong and mostly negative opinions about FB and its kin, they're not really relevant here. Because nobody holds a gun to your head to open an account on a social media website. If it works for you, by all means go for it. My GF has a FB account and finds it both enjoyable and useful. And for her, it is. So that's cool by me. :thumbsup:
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  9. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Now that you mention it, there may be a problem with my FB account...

    ... the problem being, I don't have one.
  10. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    I couldn't have said it better myself. See: MySpace and AOL forums as two examples of social media that didn't do advertising as well as Facebook. All the research I've done seems to indicate that email list curation and use is the best way to promote. YMMV
  11. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi Spidey :rage:

    ......does that mean I can not send you a bill for all that likes I gave you?

    daaaaang I waisted my time!!!! :laugh::laugh::laugh:


    Spidey2112 likes this.
  12. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    40, to show my support for Sam Ock's story, I clapped and all of a sudden, the lights went out...

    ... felt kind of strange applauding someone with the last name, 'Ock'...

    40Hz likes this.
  13. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    You can send me the bill, but I'm going to be frank with you...

    ... as for the rest of the members, I will remain unknown...
    Wisebass likes this.
  14. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Me either. Maybe we should start a social media site for non-social media site users?

    Ah! The sweet, sweet smell of glacial irony in the Autumn air! Already my soul feels invigorated. :laugh:
  15. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    We need to write a book, together... you write, and I'll read... (i.e. I like you're writing style!)
  16. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    The article is interesting, though... I'm sure there is a benefit for others (not necessarily the creators, nor their work) with all the increased social interactivity, and think of all the cookies being consumed, outside Girl Scout season... how will they turn a profit, now?
  17. klejst

    klejst Guest

    Oct 5, 2010
    In my personal experience with this kind of stuff, 99.9% of the time...never pay to play!
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Be grateful that's all that happened. I just thought about clapping and suddenly I found myself in this strange limbo dimension with this huge guy telling me to get lost!


    Lucky for me this surfer dude wearing an old school flight suit and threshing a silver plank cruised by right about then, grabbed me and hauled my sorry butt straight out of there.

    Next thing I knew, I was sitting in a truck stop in Jersey with a nice hot cuppa and a piece of pie in front of me. And absolutely no clue how I got there.

    Hadda call my sister for a ride home…

    But I finished my pie first.

    (Gotta keep your priorities straight, right?) ;):thumbsup:
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  19. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Me too. And it's not even a problem for me. :D
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  20. BassUrges


    Mar 14, 2016
    I have attempted to market and sell non-music stuff using social media, and my experience was that about 3% of my followers would see an un-boosted post.

    I believe I once made one sale that way.