I remember how incredulous I was when my numbers outdid establishment guitarists on Facebook. Obviously this made me extremely excited and I saw it as a very strong card to have on my hand. I was proving my potential in terms of commercial appeal. My Q&As were more well attended than establishment musicians who were taking over major instrument brand’s Facebook pages and when I was given a shot at visibility among the major players my numbers were way better than theirs.
I took screenshot after screenshot and sent these to the brands that I endorsed to prove my appeal with “the public“ and felt that nothing could go wrong. This was not based on delusion or wishful thinking but from seeing my actual reach and the reactions from people both online and in the real-world. This made me incredibly excited!
Just posting a picture for fun like the one below received a good response on my page.
I was certainly on to something since people loved what I was doing! And if people love what you are doing then that must surely result in show-biz insiders dying to work with you and your endorsement deals improving, right?
Even in 2017 when I was largely absent due to bad health my like count was pretty good, it even was at the start of 2018, but then all of a sudden something happened to my Facebook.
My reach just vanished, followers complained that they did not see my updates anymore, people had no idea that I was releasing a new album, and my Facebook started suffering a slow death.
The fact that we were able to pull off a successful pre-order campaign and had to print up a new batch of CDs before Christmas, sending out these to no less than 19 different countries around the globe can certainly be seen as a bit of a masterstroke with no major press outlet mentioning the album launch and with Facebook (which used to be my number one site) dead and gone.
It certainly looked like digital sabotage to me as it seemed a bit telling that my reach went south when I announced that I was back to work recording my 3rd album. My reach starting going down for the count way before I shared anything from my new release and while my Facebook reach became increasingly horrendous leading up to my album launch I experienced all sorts of strange things online: When Someone Is Messing Around With Your Social Media….
This is how it looks like when Facebook screws you over…
Frustrated I attended a webinar at the end of last year about Facebook to see if I could catch some valuable information. What I gathered from the whole thing was that you can reach maximum 2% of the people who have liked your page. If you look at this screenshot from late 2018 you can also see that not all comments will be visible anymore on your pictures. Facebook simply filters out compliments and positive feedback so that the interaction seem less than what it is.
Of course this could in part explain why Facebook wasn’t working for me anymore, but I also realised when seeing Facebook’s actual advertising costs that this was the end of Facebook.
Independent artists and small business owners will not be able to pay the sort of fees that Facebook are demanding and if you are interested in reaching young people then Facebook is a dead-end anyway since teenagers have no interest in the site at all.
You start sensing a social media site’s death when there are too many “ghost accounts“ with the latest update being from 2-3 years ago. You can also spot it when people start posting less frequently.
They’ve simply found a new place to hang out.
Which is something that I detected a good while back on Twitter when going through real human profiles. I felt like I was digitally walking through a ghost-town. Media people and establishment characters still tend to it, but in terms of “the people“ I’ve been under the impression for a while that Twitter’s best days are behind them and I think the same can be said of Facebook.
I hope that new sites will spring up bringing back the organic reach that evened out the playing field between corporate and independent. Only when opportunity is enabled can you have true freedom and diversity instead of a stagnant monopoly which is what is currently happening to the major social media sites.
Users leave sites usually after the youngest players have already abandoned the ship, the pain for independent artists is that they have to build up a presence once again hoping that old fans will remember to follow and that new fans can be easily reached.