Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Don't Depend On Social Media

Music 3.0 2nd edition image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
The second edition of Music 3.0: A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age will be out in a few weeks so I thought that this would be a great time for a quick preview. The completely updated version has 5 more chapters, some new interviews and is about 40 percent larger than the last one, so there's a lot of new up-to-date info available. Here's a brief excerpt from a brand new chapter on Social Media Management called "Don't Depend On Social Media." In the coming weeks, I'll post more excerpts.

"It's too easy for today's artist who only dabbles in social networking to get complacent and comfortable with the abilities of a single social network, but that can spell disaster for maintaining your fan base if you're not careful. As those artists who formerly depended upon MySpace now know, what's hot today can become ice cold tomorrow. But other negative scenarios also exist that can be far worse than the network falling out of favor.
Scenario #1 - Let's say that you've cultivated a huge following on Facebook. What would happen if Facebook was purchased by Google, who decides that all it wants is the underlying technology of the network, and shuts the rest down? If you didn't capture the email addresses of all your followers, you'd lose them to the nothingness of cyberspace. Don't laugh - it could happen.
Scenario #2 - What would happen if Facebook (I'm picking on them because they're the big dog on the social block) changes its terms of service, and now charges you $.25 for every fan past 100? If you’ve built an audience of 80,000 fans, it's going to cost you $20 grand to continue. Wheat if they decided to limit everyone's fan connections to 100? Both are unlikely, but something similar could happen, where suddenly you were unable to access that large fan base that you've worked so hard to develop.
That's why it's imperative that you harvest as many email addresses as you can for your own mailing list so you can keep your social communication under your control. If you rely on an external network, sooner or later you're going to get burnt. It's the nature of the Internet to constantly change, and it's too early to get a feel for the life span of even of the largest sites and networks. So play it safe - develop that mailing list."

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