A recent study featured on Mashable.com suggests that Facebook likes are more valuable than Twitter follows. Let’s talk about this as it applies to performers.
I find these conversations fascinating because with so much attention being given to the importance of Social Media, it fails to address the true disconnect: Quantity of followers vs Quality of followers.
People clicking ‘like’ or ‘follow’ is a passive activity. With the flick of a finger, you get some attention, and it’s no more of a commitment than someone saying they like you on the street. Social media sets the stage for you to capitalize on this interaction by further engaging these ‘likes’ with your story, and inviting them to support your efforts. But you have to be able to deliver on whatever those efforts are, and that requires having some tools at your disposal a lot more credible than whatever your obvious talent is. Whether you’re a magician with a great show or a band with some decent songs, no amount of Facebook-ing will make people buy tickets. The missing element? Your story.
Somewhere along the line, Social Media became the dribble instead of the dunk. In other words, building a narrative that people will respond to is much more compelling and lucrative long term than attracting (or sometimes purchasing) likes or followers on any number of social media platforms. When it comes to converting ‘likes’ to ’sales’, there is no conclusive evidence to prove that one directly translates to another – unless you’re already famous. Unknown and trying to make it? Got thousands of fans? Don’t quit your day job. We want a story that allows us to identify with you regardless of your fan count. This builds a currency more tangible than money: fans that are more than passive, and who will support you beyond the internet.
Michael Margolis, Dean of Story University and an industry leading game-changer in the online storytelling movement, said it best: Character trumps credentials.
Whether we realize it or not, we’re looking online for a piece of ourselves, not unlike watching a movie or listening to music. There is something about an exciting brand or an experience that stirs our souls, that says ‘me too’. Once we find that ‘me too’, we want to support it. Gary Vaynerchuk. Tim Ferris. These are just a few guys who do it well.
Complaining, hoping for an agent, or blaming the economy is the easy way out. The sooner we take responsibility for our stories, and build them into something people will care about, the sooner we will stand out. Like most things worth having, it takes risk, time, facing our fear and a fair amount of mistakes.
If you’re interested in learning more, come check me out as Michael Margolis and I facilitate this panel during SXSW in Austin. Looking forward to meeting you! If you can’t make it, shoot me a message and let me know how I can help.
It’s all you.
Kahlil (at) gigsmacked (dot) com