Social media is dead. That is what I found during my half way around the world trip a couple of weeks ago. I had 40 meetings in 10 days. It was my version of a walk in the desert. I met people in music management, brands, musician, festival organizers, athletes, sports teams and more. And they all have been waking up to the new reality, the world where their fans have all been stolen. They joined me in the desert. We are all having a spiritual awakening.
It sounds so dramatic, doesn’t it? Social media is dead. Well, two years ago when I said this kind of thing I was accused of being a heretic (admittedly, mostly by those with jobs that focus on social media marketing). If social media is dead, then it means their professional life has no purpose. There is nothing to direct any more. You know it. I know it. And they know it. And the only ones who refuse to accept it are the walking dead themselves, the social media titans – Facebook, Twitter and all of the others. They blew it for us. Sure, they are the ones who will die with all the toys. But the price they paid for their billions has sucked out their souls. Social media managers will rise from the ashes; they’re awake to the future. Who knows when the agencies will wake up. But if you are Talent you can’t let these social networks suck the life out of your fans.
I sound like a broken record. I first noticed what was happening about two years ago. People who liked my little fan page (for my cooking hobby) were not seeing my posts on Facebook. Then last year we start seeing the research: only 8% of fans see posts on FB. Then a couple of months ago, research shows that only 2% see posts. And don’t get me started talking about the fake LIKE farms. It takes a lot of headlines before people wake up to reality. We all love a little denial. In my 40 meetings there was still resistance to the idea that these gargantuan social networks are dead. But there was no resistance to the fact that people can’t reach their fans anymore by using these networks. I heard this in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ibiza and London. No matter where I went the light was coming on. And then a few days ago someone with 10 million fans admitted to me that less than ½% of his fans see his posts on Facebook. Another person told me that the only way her fans would see tweet is if they happened to notice it in the less than 2 seconds it appeared in the feed. Twitter has way too much noise, and way too little direct connection.
So what does that make you, me and everyone else who relies on social media for reaching their fans? The walking wounded. It’s not pretty. It may take a few years for these soul suckers (and fan stealers) to take their last breath but we still have a chance. It’s time for some real love. It’s time to take our power back, our fan base back. It’s time get up close and personal. Whether you’re an athlete or a rock star, you depend on your fans. But now you can’t reach them because you have abdicated your responsibility. What started as handy tools to reach fans – social networks – has now become your proxy. Social networks own your channel. Your fans have become their fans. You need to get them back. And to do this you need to have a way to reach them!
The walking dead have given rise to the walking wounded. But we are not yet dead. We just need a bit of spiritual healing. We need some channeling, an open channel to our fans, a channel unpolluted by 3rd party branding. To open the channel you need to own the channel. Your personal digital fan club can open the channel for you so you can send good vibes to your fans and to receive them right back at you from your fans.
The walking dead are only killed by a direct shot to their brain. The walking wounded only wake up with the direct use of their brain.