So here’s a big one that I see a lot of bands starting to realize as the death knell of Facebook starts to really sound and Instagram begins to take over. The thing is, with a lot of those bands, they slept on Instagram. They didn’t strike while the iron was hot and soon the day of Instagram may be done. It’s still going strong, but this is what Zuckerberg does, he gets people reliant on a platform and then slowly diminishes its power making you pour more and more money into it because your base is already there. It’s not uncommon to see bands with tens of thousands of Facebook fans with only a thousand Instagram followers and you can also find band Instagram accounts for groups that don’t even have Facebook pages but that make the owners of the accounts a ton of money. That’s a really interesting thing to see and which hints at a huge financial possibility and opportunity for growth for a lot of these newer bands. As one set of legends die, another is going to rise up and take its place on a whole new platform.
The reason of course that Facebook is dying and Instagram is beginning to reign supreme is that Instagram still garners a lot of engagement. If you are a band you are day trading in attention. Your entire job is to create buzz. Instagram is the best place to do that. That being said, I think that the strategy some bands have made of completely leaving Facebook behind is not necessarily a good one. Facebook can store more of your info in one place a lot more neatly than Instagram, and while you should have a band website and that’s an important thing to invest in, Facebook is still is a place where everybody is. A lot of older fans use it exclusively too. Furthermore, most people over the age of 25 prefer typing to texting, so they aren’t going to be leaving Facebook Messenger and Facebook groups behind anytime soon.
Why is it though that suddenly bands who get tens of thousands of Facebook fans have so much difficulty getting followers on Instagram? Well it’s two simple factors, the first is that they are not used to the format. This is the big one. A lot of bands seem to think they can just copy/paste their stuff from Facebook and run it on Instagram and vice versa. This is decidedly not the case. In fact it might be the opposite. If your shit isn’t formatted properly then people are going to make fun of you and your page is going to look like it’s some stupid bullshit run by amateurs. Tags don’t carry over, hashtags aren’t really useful on Facebook, and links don’t work on Instagram. That’s just a small portion of the reasons why you’re having trouble. You can run the same shit on both pages, that’s fine, I do that shit all the time with a fair amount of success, but guess what I don’t fucking do. I don’t get lazy and let my shit look bad.
The other interesting thing about Instagram is that it’s actually kind of competitive. As opposed to Facebook where you are encouraged to go out and like everything, to engage with everyone and be a part of every group, Instagram makes a point of showing the whole world your ratio, that is to say your number of followers vs those following you. If your ratio is bad then people don’t take you as seriously. This isn’t important early on, when you should just be following pages to engage with them and then hopefully draw more followers but eventually you need to embrace the fact that, yeah, if you have three thousand people following you but are following five thousand you are going to be taken a lot less seriously than if you have two thousand people following you and are only following a thousand. Don’t underestimate the power of the ratio and how it can impact your day to day optics when marketing on Instagram.
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Here’s the thing, I don’t give a fuck that my Facebook page has nearly 5,000 followers and my Instagram is only just nowabout to hit 2,000. I only care about the kind of engagement I get. At the end of the day, marketing and humans are the same no matter what the platform. What we’re seeing here is the same thing we had in newspapers for years, people want your contact information so they can sell to you and consequently they are doing their best to create content for you that is exciting, meaningful and helpful. If they manage to do that then they are doing their fucking jobs. So stop being a FUCKING whiner and instead buckle down and create something meaningful. I get that it’s hard and I get that it doesn’t always make a ton of sense. I’m still struggling with it and people come to me for advice about Instagram literally every few minutes. Like I said, you are day trading in attention and if you can’t handle that then this industry isn’t for you. I’m sorry.
Don’t think though that you can rest on your laurels with Instagram. That should by no means be your takeaway from this article. The whole point is that eventually Instagram is going to fall apart and a new thing will come to place. It will probably be built by one of the FANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google) but it could also be built by an outsider. I have reason to believe Snapchat is gonna make a big surge again soon for example. Who knows what it could be, but you need to be out there looking for it. You are day trading in attention and if you fuck that up then you are hurting yourself and preventing any chance of the long term success you are gunning for.