Artist Fan Page “Likes” Effective But Has Less Impact. Read Why…
A couple of weeks ago, I asked myself; “How did those celebrities in the 90s got so popular and had huge fan-base without the use of social media platforms?” I tried to remember how some of those Celebrities became my favourites and where I first heard about them; but I seem not to find answers to that. Its true that the success of an artist depends on his/her fan-base; and that is the only thing that makes someone a “SUCCESSFUL” artist. Whiles I still cant find answers to how artists in the 80s and 90s had lots of LOYAL fans, I can confidently say those fans tends to be very effective and has a lot of impact on the artist’s career.
Till date, those artists still got loyal fans who will BUY their albums and attend their concerts no matter what. Likes of Daddy Lumba, Nana Akyeampong, Amakye Dede amongst others, are few examples of such artists. Fast forward to 2007, 2008, 2009 when social media became a very important tool artists use to be able to interact with their fans one on one, it has sort of become the primary platform to announce new releases and concert dates. Facebook was founded in 2004, but took some years for us to recognize it as an efficient tool to gain fans and share contents with them. Now, almost every artist is obliged to have a fan-page or at least a profile on most social networks to be able to synchronize with the new age.
When you take a look at most of those pages that belongs to our artists, you see very encouraging “Likes” on them, likewise their Twitter accounts, Google+, etc… I however got curious and decided to take a critical look at some of these popular pages and scrolled through one of the Fanpages belonging to one of the most recognized artists in Ghana. (Name withheld for personal reasons) and I realised something which gave me a different perception of how Fans respond to things posted on those pages. There has been countless occasions whereby I see artists being acknowledged by the number of Facebook “Likes” they have on their pages and number of people following them on Twitter… An artist is likely to get a bigger deal when there are these huge numbers displayed on these social accounts. That shows how these numbers can influence a lot of things.
What I experienced when I stuck my nose into people’s Fanpage, made me feel we are living a virtual world as far as social media is concerned. An artist writes something on His/her page, and the comments are most times not relevant to what the post is about. The good news is, these people are real people and not ghosts or “bots”… But my question is; are they really engaging with these posts or they only end up decorating the posts with “likes”? Obviously, these posts get less impact because only a fraction actually pay attention to what is posted. I have also noticed some people are only addicted to the “Like” button more than engaging with what is being posted especially when its a URL link.
I decided to make further investigations, and that was to see if people who “like” a post actually click on the post or link to see its contents… Let me give you a practical example… If a YouTube video is posted on any of those pages, you see over 4000 to 5000 likes and yet the views are only 1000 to 2000 and that is even possible if the artist got other means of promo. (Blogs and Websites)… They tweet something and out of thousands of followers, they get less than a hundred re-tweets and sometimes 100 to 500 on a very lucky day. With all this, can an artist boldly say he can depend only on Fans to get the impact he needs? I guess not…
I wont deny there are few artists here in Ghana who are gaining some good amount of impact from their fans; but there are only a handful of them… To me, a page for a website or a blog is likely to see less impacts because what they put out has diverse interests and may not always be appealing to the mass. But with an artist, I think its very important and almost a “MUST” for them to be able to get an effective and engaging fans who will not only click the “LIKE” button, but will interact with anything on the page.
These things however is not the fault of these artists, but are just some of the negative sides of Social Media practises in modern days. There is nothing anyone can do about it; and that is why you cant depend on social media for a lifetime success. Lets learn the ways of the old pioneers and become an ICONIC household names… What I just wrote does not apply to EVERY artist though. A couple of them are actually enjoying the loyalty of their fans… Artists like…. (Well no names) you can do your personal research as well and prove me wrong if you think otherwise. Thanks for your time and you can hit me with your questions at @MisterAborga on twitter. Or @LoudSoundGH
By Alfred Brain Aborga (Loud Sound Ghana)