Most people when they go to buy a car look for something with an automatic transmission. That’s understandable. It’s one of the great innovations many of us have come to take for granted that makes driving just that much easier to deal with.
Navigating the intricate world of Internet marketing and social media is far more challenging than driving, so when an innovative tool comes along that promises to make our digital lives easier and more productive we are apt to want to adopt it, especially if it’s free.
One such tool that has drawn a lot of accolades and users is the type known as the social media communications publisher (a.k.a. “social media dashboard”), offered by numerous relatively new outfits like Hootsuite, Seesmic and Threadsy. These Web or desktop based applications automatically post your blogs, tweets etc. (and in some cases other file types like images, music and videos) to the various social media sites you have a presence on, helping you manage one very important aspect of your social media campaign more efficiently. Sound good? You bet. Unfortunately, the reality may not match the expectation.
Besides the very real concern that, in their rush to get their apps to market, some of these services may fall short on functionality and/or reliability (even their paid version(s), let alone the bare-essentials free option), there is now some disheartening news that’s come out of a recent U.S. study suggesting another reason why such tools may not be quite the blessing they are made out to be. The study, by EdgeRank Checker, shows that posting to a social media site by means of such third-party tools is not nearly as effective in gaining fan engagement as posting directly (i.e., manually) or using an app that is proprietary to the particular site.
Why might this be? There could be a number of reasons.
One is that social media sites want people to use their particular site’s “official” apps, i.e. those controlled by them. So, they could lower the “weighting” of postings facilitated by third-party tools, resulting in less fan engagement and interaction. Another is that relying on an app’s pre-set scheduling can negatively impact the usefulness of posts that are time-sensitive. As well, a spray gun approach to posting doesn’t allow tweaking or personalizing of the post for each particular site–what’s ideal for Facebook may not be optimal for LinkedIn, and so on. In addition, having the exact same item in numerous places on the Web may cause Google to flag it and lower its search engine ranking. These are just some of the possibilities.
This brings me to the point that I really wanted to drive home with this blog, and that is this: it’s far better to reach fewer people with real effect than many without much of any. Building a fan base should be about building relationships, not about sacrificing effectiveness for the sake of expediency. True loyal fans who support you over the long-haul are among your most valuable assets. Treat them that way and they’ll be like money in the bank. Besides, driving a manual transmission can be a lot more fun.
To learn a lot more about truly effective online marketing for music artists go to my Artist Special Resources page at grahamway.ca/blog/artist-special-resources.