GUEST BLOG: Why aren’t bands smarter?

The Angry Fijian explores how ‘Facebook marketing’ can be harmful to your brand.


I have been reading some interesting articles from marketing companies and PR types about how promoting on Facebook is actually harmful to your ‘brand’. After my recent exodus, I figured as much, because visits to all our other marketing places (twitter/reverbnation etc) has actually increased, considerably.

Why would this happen? I mean bands’ entire markets are on Facebook, right?

You know what, they probably are. As annoying as it is. But you’re only spamming your shit because you assume it’s either the easiest way or there is no other option.

If you are in a band, look at your friend list right now. Who are the people you are marketing to? If you were me (when I had it) it would be 70% people in other bands, 20% friends, 5% family, and the other 5% are people who I am a fan of myself. Whether I have 100 friends or 1000, the percentages don’t really change. In the band world, the more shows you play, the more bands you play with, the more bands you become acquainted with and so on.

What you essentially get is a situation where bands are just promoting to other bands. It makes no sense whatsoever. Facebook makes it hard for bands to bring people to their pages without constant spamming from individual profiles; and while the 70% of band dudes and their girlfriends might appreciate the daily information barrage on their walls, the leftover 20-30% of your network will just get annoyed at you doing your best for your band – or whatever else it is you’re trying to get out to the world.

Thinking long and hard about this… There are entire scenes of music trapped in the walls of Facebook. Everyone is there, but as soon as you start flogging it, nothing really happens. Sure, scenes are popping up here there and everywhere, but it is becoming too internal: it’s the same people, other band dudes, over and over. You create small community that, as tight as it may be, becomes somewhat closed-off to the public. People might say I’m wrong, but trust me, we are still getting offered shows (actually more than ever), opportunities are still coming, and this is because of our music, not because of how many ‘likes’ we are getting on a status update.

I haven’t cursed yet, but I have to put this point across. How fucking unmetal, shit and fucked is it when bands are begging with their audiences to ‘like’ a status comment. It makes me sick. How about brainstorming ways, accepting the reality that it isn’t working and trying to bring more new people into the shows?

Facebook fans don’t mean fucking shit. It’s about people who go to shows and people who enjoy listening to your music. That is it. Not fucking ‘likes’ or ‘fans’. I mean… seriously – fans! haha. A number on a screen isn’t a fucking fan. A fan is someone like me, for example. I am a fan of Faith No More. I have their albums tattooed on me. I collect shit, listen to them daily. Travel to see them live. That is a fan. Not a fucking number on a shit website. Jesus christ, the newer generations must actually believe that a number is a fan. No, it isn’t.

Think about a good reason why you would harass your non-musician mates with your band shit? I’m glad I have seen the light before it became too late. I would love to see more Australian bands on Twitter, mingling with the press, interstate bands, wider communities, etc.

Twitter is a marketplace, built for advertising. THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE YOU SHOULD BE TALKING TO ON THE TWITTERVERSE. Labels, promoters, members from your favourite bands are going about their days, making shit happen; and the majority of you Aussie bands are just ignoring it. C’mon! Lift your fucking game! People don’t have to follow you because of peer pressure, and you can run a network of people who are 100% interested in whatever you are putting out there – without the begging. People will come and see play if you play good music, but people might not give you a chance if your promotional campaigns are limited to facebook and you come off looking desperate.


4 thoughts on “GUEST BLOG: Why aren’t bands smarter?

  1. I´m fucking with ya all the way on this one!
    Sad fact is that we often stumble around in a vast cyber darkness trying our hardest to get in touch with some new friends or wht hell “Fan”!
    MySpace has become a fanaholic shit list!
    Reverbnation well atleast the music I upload arent coded to shit!
    Facebook well we just got this blue arse, and i´m not a LIKE!

    Going to anger on now!
    And the deals from labels and such are often deals that makes bands a milking cow to bigger acts.
    Some say well thats just the way the biz is, fuck that! I make music mainly for myself and if some bugger across the globe diggs it \m/ to ya!

  2. Looking at the case study for facebook advertising – that seems to work although honestly I think the results would have been greater – interesting none the less.

  3. Feej, you make excellent points. On the flipside, if a band buys Facebook advertising, then the benefits can be absolutely massive. It’s the advertising on Facebook that transcends friend lists.

    I wrote a post about it somewhere here, after I tested the system… Oh yeah. This one: MaF Ads on FB: a case study.

    I’ve argued for years and years that the Myspace/Facebook culture has totally destroyed promoters’ senses of advertising as well. In both cases, advertising is limited to whoever is friends with whom, or whoever looks for or stumbles across a certain page. All of the casual fans that walk past shops on their way to/from work, or shopping, or whatever, never ever see them. Casual fans are far more likely to go to a show if a poster takes their fancy – mainly because they don’t go to shows often. Big fans can get gig fatigue, so suddenly numbers just drop off.

    @MADman, honestly, if you’re after band and label news, you’re so much better off subscribing to label news feeds and band news feeds elsewhere, unless you’re looking for stuff from bands without international standing.

    Both you guys write great shit about fans. I agree. And to be perfectly honest, the so-called Digital Natives in the younger generation appear to know jack-shit about true fandom.

  4. Good point, well made. My most recent annoyance is the new trend of lead singers for up and coming bands to create a further page dedicated to themselves, and then encourage people to like it. This is alongside their band page and personal Facebook page. I know the music world is populated by a fair amount of ego but this kind of shit has to stop.

    There is value in bands having a Facebook page as it allows part-time journo schmucks like me a constant stream of info on releases, tour dates, etc. But I do agree that bands are getting lazy; getting a fanbase is about living in a shitty van and playing 400 shows a year, not spamming people who look like they ‘might be a bit metal’ on Facebook.

Share your thoughts:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.