Most people these days seem to be involved with social media in one form or another, me included. I am now, however having second, third, or fourth thoughts about it. Is social media overrated? In my case a resounding yes! And, I am considering pulling the plug.
What Brought Me to this Crossroad?
Back in 2009, I had the opportunity to record at an exceptional studio, Dark Horse Recording in Nashville. My record producer at the time, Jim Cartwright from Fame & Fortune Entertainment, suggested that I join virtually every social media platform for marketing purposes. That’s where it all began.
Under his advisement, I connected with Facebook, Twitter, and yes even MySpace. Recently, I have included Pinterest and LinkedIn. In addition to these sites, I have accounts with iTunes and YouTube as creative outlets. In retrospect, I am beginning to wonder what exactly is the point?
I now have two pages on Twitter, one for music and one for writing. Between the two equates to approximately 2,000 followers. The object of this medium is to gain as many followers as possible: It’s all about the numbers. The secret is to follow numerous people who will in turn follow you back. There are even entities that for a small fee will guarantee to dramatically increase your count.
I tried one of these services once with my music page. I was told that my followers would be people who had an interest in my music. They did accomplish half of what they promised. Within a week, I had 5,000 people sitting around their computers just waiting for what I had to say. The only problem, once I began reviewing my increasingly large fan base, I noticed on their pages, a high percentage of them didn’t even speak English. After several attempts, I finally got the company to turn off their “electronic bots” and leave me alone. It took me weeks of going through every individual follower and deleting them. What was the point in people looking at my foreign language, as if they were going to read what I had to say anyway.
I sort of understand why famous people may be “stalked” so to speak. Evidently there are many who care what kind of coffee they like or shoes they’ve picked out for the day. Me, on the other hand, is anything that I have to say going to affect someone’s life in any way? No, on the contrary, my followers are going to advertise what they have to sell, and I am going to advertise mine, and nobody is buying anything.
Still, I continue to have this blog site automatically post on Twitter whenever I write a new article. In review of the site stats, I would venture to say that you could count on one hand the amount of my 2000 followers that have read a single word that I have written.
I’m waiting for someone to tell me the point. Presently, I can see none, none worth inspiring me to continue the connection.
I do see a value in Facebook as a way to connect with family and friends. It’s nice to be able to share photos and what you’ve been up to when in my case, your family is miles away. But then, let’s talk about “Page Likes.”
I have thus far created two pages in addition to my timeline. One, “The Teacher’s World” for writing and literature, and “Mitch Vaughn Music” as a creative platform for the sharing of original music. Between the two, I have approximately 2900 “Likes.”
My question is, what do those “Likes” truly mean? Are they supporters of these creative endeavors? Maybe in spirit, but not in actuality. Yet, everyone who creates a page, obviously including myself, spreads the word to everyone they know and even run advertisements in order to gain more of these hypothetical supporters.
On my regular Facebook Timeline, I have approximately 400 friends, a lightweight in comparison to a multitude of others. Yet, I find that figure to be funny. Not really being a tremendous “socialite,” I don’t think I’ve truly acquired that amount of “friends” over the course of my entire lifetime. People, friends of friends of friends would send me requests and I would oblige.
I have always classified people as friends, acquaintances, and associates, those whom you work with etc. A large number of my friends on Facebook do not fall into any of those categories. So, again I pose the question, what is the point.
I won’t speak on behalf of MySpace, as probably anyone who reads this article would have no association: It is that obsolete. Meanwhile, LinkedIn may be effective for networking in the business sphere, and Pinterest, well, the jury is still out.
I have recently joined Pinterest and have been pinning various items of interest, like scrapbooking as a hobby. I am kind of having fun at it, but am unsure whether it truly carries any value for me personally.
Bottom line, in using Twitter and Facebook as advertising mediums in order to increase awareness of the products that I create, I would have to say has not been worth the effort in creating the pages. If I had a Nickel for every time a follower or “liker” has either read one of my articles, downloaded one of my songs from iTunes, or viewed one of my YouTube videos, I would have enough money to buy a “Big Mac” and a coke.
I would like to clarify that it is not about the money. There is no financial reward from the articles that I write, and the minuscule amount of profit retained from a music download is inconsequential. If it weren’t for the “day job,” I would be the consummate starving artist, in it for the creative expression. The sites of which I have referred to are like performing your best song live on a Tuesday night with three drunks in the audience, and yes…I have been there before. 🙂
I would love to hear a success story, but I truly doubt that there are many out there.