Facebook just proved why you need a direct connection with your fans

The recent all-day outage of Facebook, Instagram. Messenger and Whatsapp should serve as a reminder of why every creator needs a direct and unfiltered communications channel with their fans.

Imagine that the day that Facebook and Instagram went down was the same day that you were releasing new music, announcing a tour, or pushing an on sale.

Clearly, those artists that communicate with fans via multiple alternative channels not controlled by Facebook including TikTok, Snapchat, and Bandsintown had an advantage.

But while being spread across multiple platforms is safer, it also means that your audience is fractured and that you – the artist or label – do not own or truly control any of them.

The only real alternative to over-reliance on Facebook is to put email and/or SMS at the center of your fan collection strategy.

Only then are you really in control.

Remember MySpace?

Social media serves an important role in enabling ongoing engagement with fans at scale. But which platforms your fans are using changes with time.

Facebook’s recent public problems – including whistleblower testimony before Congress proving that the social media giant puts profits over user health and safety – along with yesterday’s massive outage could be a significant blow to its popularity.

Facebook’s troubles offer a true teaching moment.

Dust off your email list and get to work.

Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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1 Comment

  1. Yet another instance of the value of owning vs. renting fans, only thing is however – I doubt artists, managers, labels, marketing teams, etc. will learn from this.

    It’s much easier to just “wait” for things to get fixed, so people will just go along with FB. Building a one-to-one, or even one-to-few marketing model requires – not more – but a different kind of effort that today’s market has been so conditioned out of lately.

    It’s much simpler to follow the heard and continue one-to-many. Not to say some artists aren’t doing it, because they are. One day, we’ll have our MySpace moment.

    I’m counting on it.

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