And what network do they spend their time on? You guessed it! Facebook claims an 85% share while MySpace comes in a way distant second with only 5%, and Twitter only 1%.
So if most time was spent on social networks, what else captures our attention? Online games account for 10% of time spent, while email came in at 8%. Watching video is now a full 4% of all time spent online, which amounts to an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes a month.
As an artist, you may look at those numbers and be tempted to concentrate entirely on social networking for building and communicating with your audience, but that would be short-sighted.
If you read this blog a lot you know that I've always advocated that you capture as many of your friends and fans from your social networks to your mailing list. The mailing list is still your most powerful means of engagement with your fanbase and tribe. Not only is there a personal aspect to receiving an email that fans love, but you also have the advantage of deep metrics not available from many social networks that can be useful in any marketing or promotional campaign.
Remember that a well-formed online strategy features many different and equally important parts.
- Your website is your hub of information and engagement via new content and point of sale.
- Your social networks are your means of frequent but rather impersonal fan engagement.
- Your email list is your means for infrequent but personal engagement. It's your direct marketing tool that can be used for sales (a soft sell hopefully), general information and marketing.
Yes, we're spending more and more time these days social networking, but you still need the other pieces too for a successful online strategy. Don't overlook them.
Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.