Social media as marketing tool is the topic on the lips of editors, publishers, writers and artists. And marketing executives and owners of Facebook stock. It’s been trumpeted time-and-time again the past few years that you need massive outreach into social media to gain readers. To get attention. To build awareness. This New York Times article examines the long term possibilities of social media marketing.
But at this point in time Social Media seems to work more as an amplifier of whatever has already caught on. Social media is not cause and effect. And as it’s stuck under our noses all the time because of smart phones and tablets and computers and robots…it’s a persuasive amplification.
But I think there is a growing throng of people who have created an industry telling everyone that they need to be involved in social media. I think it’s becoming a victim of circular logic. Everyone knows how important it is to have a presence on Facebook because everyone on Facebook says it is. In the long run is it wise for Pepsi to hand-over their customers to a URL featuring “Facebook/Pepsi”? And who knows what company will own Facebook one day. Coca-cola?
Commercial artists and illustrators face the same rapidly changing world as every other profession. The beliefe that having an active Twitter feed will allow you to better connect with fans or readers or buyers is at its core logical. But is it more important than actually doing good work. Then again, who knows what exactly ‘good work’ really is.
The media landscape offers various ways to get word out about yourself or your product. You could buy TV ads…that would be great wouldn’t it…Here’s one for my Illustration Shack just off Route 42, near the Pillow Mart:
“Come on down to Mark’s Illustration Shack! We’re Illustration-crazy this month. You make a reasonable offer, I won’t refuse it! Want a sketch for two hundred bucks? I can do better… How about THREE sketches for two hundred bucks! Stop by Mark’s Illustration Shack and we’ll make you an illustration deal too-good to pass-up! And no need to worry about eraseing fees. I don’t charge them!”
You could get radio spots to advertise your book. Can you get on a TV talk show? How about newspaper reviews? Hard to get these days. Even local ones. Here in Oregon not a single paper ran a review of my graphic novel but the New York Times did. That makes a lot of sense…
So how do you get word out? How do you SELL anything anymore? We are buffeted with entertainment options. Books? Who even buys books anymore? So how do you market and sell a self published book? Even a book published by one of the big 5 doesn’t mean it will sell more than 300 copies. How do you sell a web comic? Or a collection of short stories? Or prints of your work? The truth is it was never easy to make a living from doing any of these things. Thousands more fail than succeed. So why do we think having a Facebook page will help? What will help?
The answer is – no one really knows. It’s another example of my favorite saying, “No one knows anything.”
I’ll be back in a day or two with the rest of this…