Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Artists and Facebook: Networking Effectively

Set up a profile on one Facebook and let it sit and you’re career is likely to sit as well. However, if stay active your fan base will grow as a result. I guarantee it.  You can do this one of two ways and how you approach it depends on your business style, what you’re looking to get out of your fan-based relationships, and the amount of time you have to devote to it.

With System One, you maintain a small number of loyal contacts whom you give consistent, personal attention to - ala Jerry Maguire. Jerry Maguire was a movie about a sports agent starring Tom Cruise. After getting fired from his agency, and losing his entire roster of clients, Cruise was left with one client. He poured his heart and soul into his one client and it paid off at the end. 

Facebook lends itself best to this type of system where you’re looking to nurture a smaller number of intimate business relationships who respond with loyalty. The time you’ll devote is less, the brainwork required is more, and in the end you’ll be left feeling more connected to those in the internet ether. One loyal and devoted fan can sometimes help you spread the word better and more effectively with their testimony than 50 random fans on a list.

As a result, System One contrasts quite differently with System Two. Whereas System One is all about quality, System Two is all about quantity. My Space definitely has the upper hand in terms of this. Comedian, Dane Cook, established his career with System Two. The number of total fans (or “friends”) he has on My Space totals, according to my most recent view is 2,659,312. When he puts a call to action out to his huge My Space fan base, whether that be as a Bulletin Post or an Event Invite, when at least 3% respond, it’s enough to make a noticeable difference.
In the traditional business world, companies will purchase a list that contains the contact information of their ideal customers. With System Two, it’s simply about getting as many people as you can to sign onto your friend list. Many artists do this with a program such as Friend Blaster, while on Facebook some artists will hire someone else  to help them build their number of friends.

To be honest, you won’t be able to go this route alone on Facebook and see any considerable pay off. Facebook just won’t allow you to make the number of contacts you’d require to make it worthwhile. It takes countless hours to establish even a mediocre-sized friend list and it’s mindless work that will rob you of your creative time.

My recommendation? System One. Get working!

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