Week one of our final project was extensive, tiring, and successful. I strived for five posts this week and passed. Week one was all about Facebook. I went in without a plan of attack each day, but a few ideas instead. I documented my experiences as my research went along–I did not do the research then report back, I reported as I researched. There is only so much you can do with one topic, like Facebook, but I attempted to hit every aspect of it.
Monday was a kick-start day. I jumped right in with a broad look at Facebook likes, post frequency and content. I gave a little background on the four bands I discussed, and added images taken by yours truly to give an authentic feel to the post. I did not have access to a camera all week, but this was a post that I was able to inject some of my own handy-work. The post can be found here.
The research brought wisdom and a couple of concepts. Here are some of the things I learned:
- The closer bands are to releasing upcoming albums, the more activity on Facebook. Which points to an emphasis on album sales–sales trump everything else.
- When bands are not touring they do not seem to have the time or effort to post images, ideas, or videos. This, I assume, is because they are likely spending time with family and friends before the eventual grind on the road and in the studio.
- Coming in I thought that lesser known artists would use Facebook more frequently and with more purpose, but this was not necessarily the case.
On Wednesday I focused on post likes and comments. I wanted to know what types of posts brought the most attention, and how frequent people interacted with the bands. I found that people liked posts with:
- Large tour announcements with a lot of dates that span across the country
- Interesting images
- New or unreleased material (mostly video).
That post can be found here. I talked about like-to-comment ratios, patterns found on tour dates and specialty images. The four images I chose for the post were all taken from their respective Facebook pages for effect. The images are discussed in the post, so I thought it would be apt to include them. The post also shows the huge difference between well-known bands (The xx) and the smaller ones (Sea Wolf). I also talk about having a larger following automatically helps gain feedback, obviously.
Friday was all about sharing links. I wanted to find out what and why bands are sharing links and which types bring the most feedback. This is a very opinionated post. I gave my thoughts on each band’s link usage. I included four videos within the post because a vast amount of the post dealt with youtube videos–seemed appropriate. Early research proved that links to videos and tour dates are used most often, and videos are liked the most. I also stumbled upon an over-usage of links, and the ineffectiveness of sharing random videos and links to pages. A band, Cage the Elephant, was actually posting videos of other bands at an enormous rate. I found this astonishing. Prime example of very poor use of link sharing. Friday’s post can be found here.
On Saturday I moved onto popular indie artists who are often played on pop radio. I wanted to know if radio time actually led to more likes or just disgruntled fans. I also wanted to get a good grasp on popularity and if Facebook is a good indication of that. That post is here. There were mixed results in the research. One particular band was liked 3.8 million times, and another just 170 thousand times. Big disparity. I learned that a one single can make a band, and it that doesn’t take long. Here were the two main things I learned in my research:
- Popular bands post more often, period. They obviously feel they must feed their fans information, ideas, images, videos, links, and tour dates. It definitely seems to be working.
- Radio air-time leads to more likes, but not as many as you might assume. Grouplove is sitting below 200 thousand, which is kind of amazing. Other vastly popular bands are barely above 400 thousand.
Today I dug a little deeper into popularity, and found more about what “talking about this” means. With this tool we are able to get a good grasp on page/band traffic. The results weren’t overly surprising, sparing a few statistics, but it was good to learn more about the size of fan-bases and Facebook’s features. This post can be found here.
Some days went down easier than others, but overall I think this week was a good jumping off point. As I move into Twitter next I now have a better grasp on what to expect. Overall, I learned more about Facebook, and social media in general, indie bands, popularity, Facebook traffic, and much more. The research went as swimmingly as I could ask, but putting everything into words and context was mildly difficult. Trying to make the material relevant and readable is not as easy as it sounds. I have learned a little about what works and what doesn’t too. Next week should be easier on me mentally and physically as I have a lighter workload.