In an age when social proof is taken seriously at all levels of the game, with Likes and Follows serving as a proxy for caring and support, it's important that musicians market themsevlves with "metrics that really matter." This topic was part of a larger discussion at DJ TechTools regarding the best way to respond to "social fiefdoms" such as Facebook that were built with the help of musicians but increasingly get in the way of interacting with fans.
"Facebook and the Feudal Lords of Social Fiefdom" is a great collaborative post by DJ Tech Tools founder Ean Golden and their social manager Dan White.
The coauthors advocate taking an approach to social media that stops focusing on the hottest or must-have platform to emphasizing the spaces and actions that lead to closer relationships with fans that truly care about your music. One aspect of shifting one's focus involves a change from bulk numbers of Likes and Follows to more meaningful metrics.
Sell Yourself With Metrics
So what does it mean to "sell yourself with metrics that really matter?"
Who you sell yourself to with metrics makes a difference. Labels, managers and anyone else who might conceivably enter into a business agreement with a musician or band in which both must prosper off the band's success will definitely be looking at your visible social metrics.
Keep in mind that a promoter for local venues would be more interested in regional data than website engagement while someone evaluating your potential for a larger audience might have the opposite needs.
The media also cares about such things. Even when the popularity of an act is not the focus of a post, I'll still find myself checking them out and validating them in part through signs of social media support.
So selling yourself will include not only finding meaningful metrics but making sure they're communicated to industry professionals. Since the idea is to move beyond things like follower counts you may not find suitable widgets for display but you can certainly create infographics of your own to include on your site and in your press materials.
Finding Meaningful Metrics
Simple follower counts and positive clicks not only can be faked but also represent the most minimal expression of response to a musician possible. Other metrics give a much stronger sense of connections between musicians and fans which are better indicators of current support and future potential such as:
"Likes to Engagement Ratio"
"Showcase how active your fan base is with the 'Talking About This' metric and the Engagement analytics in your page’s backend [on Facebook]."
"Google Analytics on Your Home Page
"Showcase that you have people going out of their way and away from the convenience of social media to seek you and your content out. It’s a stronger indicator that they’ve displayed interest and their potential desire to spend money with you."
"SoundCloud Plays Coming From a City"
"Heavy music plays in a concentrated region is a strong indication that those listeners might 1) already be fans, and 2) will want to experience that live."
"YouTube Playback Locations"
"Put your songs up in any way possible, even if you don’t have a fancy music video, and start gaining plays that can be tracked."
Note that different platforms provide different kinds of data. Tailoring the metrics you collect and communicate to industry professionals might require a bit of patching together but the through line should always be finding ways to show your connection to your fans however that needs to be crafted.
For other insights, see "Facebook and the Feudal Lords of Social Fiefdom: Bad For Artists?"
- Finding The One Key Metric That Matters For Your Career As A Musician
- It Takes More Than Metrics To Understand A Musician's Audience
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is currently relaunching All World Dance. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.