Artists get all the benefit and all the cost of social networks. I’m still not sure if social media is a win or a loss overall for us.
Before we had these platforms, musicians and other artists needed to connect with people in real-time. We created relationships if we wanted our art to be heard or seen (or both).
Now, on social networks, we still create relationships. But let’s face it, these online connections are quite different. We have to put out a lot of effort and discernment to find people (or companies) that will listen. And if we’re willing to take the time, these can become a kind of supportive community.
But what I want to write about today is some of ridiculous interactions we have to deal with along the way. The most obvious is the robot. Over time, there have been so many “bot” systems and accounts that sometimes fool us into thinking they might be real people. I suspect anyone who has been around the social networks for any length of time has run into a few. And for many of us, the moment we realize that we’ve been tricked by one of these “fakes” can be very embarrassing.
But that’s just the tip of the social media iceberg. There are more everyday interactions on these networks that are just plain silly, too. Here are a few of my pet peeves.
Is This Social?
First, there’s the “I didn’t know there was a link” interaction. Whether we’re sharing a blog post, a new artwork, or a video, so many people will look at the share and miss the link. After all, we use social networks to get people to drop by our little part of the interwebs. If folks stay only for the social platform, they are much less likely to connect with our art.
Some of these people are prepared to interact with us. But they never click a link, never see our art, and never listen to our music. They might respond to the headline as if it was the whole story. They may “like” 20 of our shares without interacting in any other way. Or they may say what a beautiful photo we used to get their attention. They just won’t click the link.
Second, there’s the “let me tell you about me” person. These are the folk who are trying to sell something or they may even be another artist. Our post or comment reminds them to start giving us the sales pitch. They are personable enough to raise it like a conversation, but it’s with a clear goal in mind.
We Asked For It
“Let me tell you about me” is better than the spammers, at least. Spam on social networks comes in the form of someone going into their sales schtick without ever saying “hello”.
But finally, there’s the social media time suck. I’ve written about it previously, so I’ll just say: beware. The best thing I’ve come up with is to set strict time limits. And yes, this means you and I need to set a timer. When it goes off, we’re done.