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Social Networks are Completely Overrated

At last year’s a2n-Crowdfunding-Workshop, as part of the Berlin Music Week, I had a small dispute with Simone Janson about the importance of social networks for crowdfunding. What does it mean, especially for musicians, to have 1.000 followers on Twitter, or 2.000 Facebook fans or 5.000 likes on the homepage? Nothing! Okay, almost nothing. Just as little as Market Research Data speaks of marketing quality, exactly as little does the number of fans or followers or likes, say anything about the quality of the musician-fan relationship.

One simply cannot express this relationship in numbers. The ones, who try will miserably fail. Same as those, who try to manipulate these numbers, by using services offered from shifty agencies: “2.000 followers for only 20€” or “10.000 Facebook likes for 50$”. Of course, the temptation to push up your profile a little, is always there. Besides the fact that such a thing is prohibited by the Terms of Use of most social networks, in the end one only fools himself.

You can’t become a fan just by clicking a like button or sending a friend request. I’ll become a fan because of the music, because of the musicians’ personality, because of the feelings or passions that both music and musicians awake in me. Of course I can differentiate between real friends and facebook friends. I mean, the quality is different. Maybe we need to redefine or at least define the term “fan”. A real fan, in the true sense of word, can’t be compared to a facebook friend or a “like” on a website. Only real fans are willing to financially support an artist. It can be by buying his albums, pre financing his music, visiting his concerts or simply through crowdfunding. If however, crowdfunding platforms like Stellaband or Pledgemusic, decide about taking in an artist based on his number of followers or facebook likes, then it’s really not well thought out. An artist on crowdfunding will sustain an ongoing support only from a loyal fan community. To shrink it all down to pure statistics and numbers, may be economically correct, but it brushes aside the real opportunities of crowdfunding.

And this Hypebot article by Eric Eckart proves me right with my point of view.