Today’s session on bands and Facebook usage is all about sharing links. I will using Beach House, Silversun Pickups, Animal Kingdom, and Cage the Elephant as my puppets. These bands, as usual, range in popularity. Beach House is often tagged as “dream pop,” Silversun Pickups is purely alternative rock, Animal Kingdom is indie pop, while Cage the Elephant is indie rock/punk. Four very different sounds, fan-bases, and approaches on Facebook.
My goal here is to find up what, why, and how bands are sharing links. How often? Are these links liked or disregarded? Do I believe they are worth sharing? Let’s dive right in.
Beach House is a female and male duo from Baltimore, Maryland. They currently sit at 366,219 likes. Their most recent album is “Bloom,” which was released last May. It debuted at number seven on the Billboard Top 200. They have shared seven links dating back to last November, which is on par with most bands in this genre I have discovered. Their most popular shared links were both of music videos. One was of their new single, “Wishes,” (seen below) which brought 3,940 likes and the other was “Wild” that took home 1,864 likes. Three other shared links went directly to their website. Two of the three posts dealt with new tour dates, including a trip to Japan and Korea. The announcement of their first trip to the Bonnaroo Music Festival brought in 860 likes. It’s too early to see any correlations, but links to videos and tour dates are used most often here, and videos are liked the most.
Silversun Pickups, of Los Angeles, has become increasingly well-known over the last six-plus years since their debut full-length album, “Carnavas.” They have been liked 508,576 times. Their latest effort, “Neck of the Woods,” was released last May. The album peaked at number six on the Billboard Top 200. They use Facebook to share links A LOT. They have shared 10 links this month alone. These links, however, did not generate a lot of comments or likes. The most liked link gained 611 likes, which was a live Youtube video of their song “Mean Spirits.” The nine other links failed to top more than 283 likes respectively. It would appear that these shared links are quite ineffective. Three links to short Vine videos failed to get conversation going and combined only for 276 likes. Festival announcements, updated tour news and dates, and an MTV contest plug all come up short in comparison to other bands I have researched and documented. Clearly we are seeing that over-usage of shared links can be accomplished, especially when they fail to have a meaning (Vine video shorts for instance). Fans do like live performances, so the link to the video brought in some attention, which goes along with what Beach House did.
Animal Kingdom, of London, has only 19,673 likes to their name. They are hot off the heals of the release of their second album, “The Looking Away,” and do post regularly. That does not translate into shared links, however, as they have posted only five since last October. They don’t get a lot of likes, but posts usually reach 50-plus likes and often times over 100. Their shared links combined for 220 likes, an average of 44 and a high of 56. Nothing spectacular, but not absolutely terrible considering their miniscule fan-base. Their Youtube video of a live, acoustic performance of “Skipping Disc” brought in 56 likes, while another live acoustic video caught 44 eyes. The sample size might be a little small, but all the links are liked by a reasonable amount of people and therefore somewhat effective. Let’s move on.
Cage the Elephant, from Kentucky, is sitting at 1,036,026 likes. They post often, pretty much everyday, as they are developing a new album that is expected to be released later this year. They like to share links. They have shared eight this month. That is a lot, but that isn’t the problem here. The problem is that all eight links are to Youtube videos. Worse yet, five of the videos are from OTHER BANDS. That’s right, they have shared five videos links to these bands: The Orwells, Plastic Visions (three), and Bad Cop. Not good. Cage the Elephant should be promoting Cage the Elephant, not other projects. The three most-liked videos of the bunch are from CAGE THE ELEPHANT, probably because people who like the band want to hear their material, not some other yahoos. Two of their videos toppled 1,000 likes, and who knows how many views. So why aren’t they promoting themselves more? One thing they are doing is making Youtube a whole lot of money. These shared links are purposeless and shouldn’t have a home on Facebook. Twitter? Maybe, but not Facebook. People want band news, not news about someone else (unless applicable).
I think we have learned a little more about Facebook and the value of shared links. They can be a blessing and a curse. You don’t want to overuse links, nor do you want to waste the precious time of your fans with meaningless videos. Use videos wisely and effectively. Random links to your website won’t strengthen your fan-base or get people to come back to your page. Fans liked music videos and live performances best. It wasn’t even close. We saw examples of link overload and sparse link usage, both were somewhat effective in their own rights. That being said, Beach House’s link frequency and content trumped the other three bands. Quality will always outdo quantity. Likes = views (on Facebook). Views lead to better comprehension. That is the key. Cage the Elephant and Silversun Pickups both have a larger following and more shared links, but neither came even close to Beach House’s like count. Point taken.