An unspoken modern addiction
Hi! It’s Charluxx.
I conducted a social media experiment over the last few weeks. The results are not encouraging. But they are very revealing.
I come from a marketing background in the sense that I’ve work in that field for quite a few years. So I believe I have a good understanding of what it implies and the underlying mechanics at work.
In November, the editor-in-chief of the Journal Le Tour (a bilingual regional quarterly that has a readership of approximately 10,000 in print plus their website and social media outlets) suggested we do a Charluxx interview for the winter edition.
I decided to compose, record and offer a free song. First, for the readers, but I would expand the reach in a second stage on social medias.
The reason behind this was thus: I have been fairly active in the last year on social medias promoting my music and therefore my “brand.” A few weekly blogs (that I’m struggling to support for lack of time) and social commentary posts that are in line with my message. A lot of people close to me (colleges and friends) and some family members have expressed interest in my music. They wanted to know more and hear more. Or so they said. Months of work on a groovy website, a launch on social media. The reaction: crickets... complete utter and deafening silence from my friends and family. I’ve launched four singles and five instrumental versions. Songs sale: two. Literally two. We are talking about 1$ for a song here. Spotify on the other hand has at least 75,000 streams. So I thought, hmmm if 1$ is too much to ask for, I’ll offer a free song and see what happens!
So, on November 25th 2019, the paper comes out. November 26th, I posted a link to the interview on social medias. I reposted it on December 16th 2019. I—very conservatively—figured that probably 10% of the paper’s audience would read the article, so that puts it at around more or less 1,500 people. I then extrapolated that 10% of those would grab the free song, so around 150 downloads. On my social medias and website I have a few thousand followers, so add a few more right? Wrong. Three downloads, count them: three. That includes friends, acquaintances, and more importantly, family.
For the sake of clarity: it is not that people did not like the song (I’m okay with that, my music might not be everyone’s cup of tea, tastes are such) no, they did not even listen to the song. My website keeps track.
And so, on to phase two: advertising. I had a 10$ voucher from Facebook. The cool thing about Facebook ads is that they also appear on Instagram therefore you get twice the reach (puzzlingly, the opposite is not true.) I created a cute and colourful advert with an obvious copyright infringement (I used the Road Runner©) that reads “Free <redacted>Bird Seeds</redacted> Song.” The ad went live on December 29th 2019. I stopped it today on January 3rd 2020.So far, it has reached 28,500 people on Facebook with 7000 “post engagement” (whatever that means) 530 “likes” and apparently 135 “clicks” (a number my website does not corroborate, at all: the page has had 42 visits from December 26th to January 3rd.) On Instagram, a further 6350 “likes.” Song downloads?: Zero. Not. A. Single. Download.
What does it all mean?
Well, I’ve been studying social medias ebbs and flows for the past few years. It has lead me to somewhat an alarming conclusion. This study confirms it rather drastically.
Social medias have shortened people’s already minuscule attention span. I’m not talking about kids here. I’m talking about everyone, whatever your age may be. Actually, YOU are the exception as you are reading this. You are engaged. And for that I thank you.
I’ll grant you, we are over solicited. But the problem therein does not lie No. We crave more, constantly looking for and needing the next “shiny.” We see something of interest? We click “like” then we move to the next item on the list. We do this for hours. We rarely leave comments, if at all. We barely share anymore. Why stop? The temptation to go on is too strong, the addiction too great.
It is an addiction: what’s next? What else? We want, we NEED more. Until no more... to be continued tomorrow, or in a few hours.
We do not engage any longer. Not for friends, nor for family. The second we see it, it’s already gone. Old news.
Viewed in this context, how do you capture people’s attention?
They’re the new breed of “celebrities.” Social media “gurus” who do one thing, be it play video games, show you how to apply makeup, cook, create playlists, promote a specific brand of alcohol, etc. It’s the new marketing goldmine. One of the last remaining ones. Corporations get behind these people, sponsor them, give them free products, edge them on, their audiences are in the millions and their posts are viewed by billions.
Welcome to the new reality. Magazines are a dying breed, newspaper are becoming extinct, television is hemorrhaging viewers to paid services, radio as well... radio?
Reaching out and touching people, connecting with them, is becoming so very difficult.
The first step to any type of recovery from an addiction is realizing there is a problem. Then, limiting your input and prioritizing quality over quantity.
Connect more and support freely. We all need it.
Surf responsibly, comment often, take your time, follow links that your friends and family share to reach you and engage with you. Dialog. And please SHARE.
Be wise my friends, stay groovy... and comment below, I have yet to receive as single comment! Ever.
Peace and Love,
The illustration contains elements taken from Vecteezy