Face Book Pagenomics and Cosplay
The other day I was on Face Book and I read a post by a friend talking about FB Page “likes” and how people manage to get so many so quick. The conversation turned into people talking about how to promote a FB page, the option to advertise and or do promotions/giveaways that would help share your page.
Some of the responses to that ideas included “I wouldn’t want to “buy” likes” and “what good is it to bring people to your page who didn’t find you on their own. They don’t really care what you are doing, they have only clicked “like” to get a free prize or get entered into the giveaway, but they aren’t true followers”. “People who have found me on their own, are following me because they truly like what I am doing and those are REAL “likes”.
This conversation got me to thinking… I created my first website on Geocities, which during that time I knew nothing about creating web pages. In all honestly, I really still don’t. My second web page I created was via a hosting service and was created through Front Page. During that time I did a fair amount of research on promoting websites, which by now is pretty old information, so I won’t bore you with the process.
*Before I continue, please NOTE that I am not an expert on this. While I have done some research, some of what I am going to write could be wrong and is largely my opinion, so please keep that in mind.
MOST people create a web page because they want it to be seen. I am not talking about the ones aimed at just the family members, but in our hobby (cosplay, prop making, etc..) we create a web page with the intent of it being seen. There is no real other purpose when you think about it.
If you think of a web page in terms of the way a business would, they promote their page to bring in traffic to develop potential new customers. This could be done by running ads, contest, mailers, word of mouth and so on. Your website that features your personal craft is really no different. While you may not actually be selling anything, you are YOUR brand/product and having more traffic to your website only helps to do the thing you created the site for in the first place; to showcase your product.
In this day and age of Social Media, we may still have web pages, but for many, they have been replaced by a Face Book page, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, or something else. No matter what it is, the end goal is still the same, which is, you want people to follow your work and see your product. So taking that into account, why would you not promote it in the same way you might promote a web site or a business? Even if it IS just a “like”, there may actually be some more to it than that.
When it comes to the various social media, people boast their Twitter and FB followers as if it is a badge of honor. Although many in the Industry do ask “What does that actually translate to?” and I think to a certain extent, it’s still being determined.
But when you look at a web site, they are often measured by how many total visitors the site has. What is usually a more important number is the repeat visitors and the unique daily visitors. This gives you a perspective of the amount of traffic that the site is generating and traditionally, the more visitors the better. But having a lot of visitors in itself doesn’t make a site successful. What is most important is the visitor that spens time on the website browsing it and the also repeat visitor. This visitor is the most valuable because there is a better chance that they are actually paying attention to your content and thus will be more likely to click on an add or follow a recommendation for A,B or C.
So that brings us back to one of the responses I mentioned above about your FB Page followers; “People who have found me on their own, are following me because they truly like what I am doing and those are REAL “likes”.
Those people are referred to as “Engaged Followers” in the article here. But they don’t ONLY come by way of somebody seeing your work somewhere and choosing to follow you. The article talks about how you can convert a “random follower” into an “engaged follower”. After all, when a company advertises, they are looking for new customers. A new customer wasn’t someone who knew about their product before, and if they did, they weren’t already using it. Often a company will run an add reaching 10,000 people only to get 5 new customers. But if those customers are happy, then they will tell people and word of mouth is one of the many ways that you can generate new business. Actually, many would say it’s the best way.
So while there may not be hard data on what high “likes” on a FB Page, or tons of Twitter followers will translate into, one this is true: If you are NOT promoting page, you are probably doing yourself a disservice. Don’t think of it as pandering for “likes”, but think of it as promoting your brand, which in this case is YOU.
While having tons of followers probably won’t make you rich, famous or super popular outside of the convention world, what it CAN do is open up other doors within the convention scene. Having high visibility can get you invited to conventions, work with blogging websites, interviews, etc… It’s a lot easier to submit a resume to be a host for something when you have a built in fan base. It’s not the only factor, but it can’t hurt.
* Some people may not see a need to promote themselves, that they only created a page to keep their personal profile private. But think about this… if you don’t tell people about it, people are still going to try to use your private profile. I mean they probably will anyway, but if they don’t know about your page, they will for sure.
I will make a note to say that there are many who associate “likes” and or “followers” with popularity, and the two may indeed go hand in hand. Like any business, you have to keep an eye on what the other guy is doing and that is really only natural. But ultimately, it’s MORE about what YOU are doing that matters in the end. Focus on being the best at what you do and promote accordingly. This is especially true for our community.
Unlike the real business world, we are for the most part not competing (we may be in our heads). There is plenty of content and followers to go around. A follower on one page, can just as easily be your follower too without taking business away from the other page. It’s kinda like music, we can all be fans of multiple bands which doesn’t really take away from one or the other. There will always be fan favorites, but you don’t really have much control over that.
While it’s understood that there will always be competition for customers with a similar product, Cosplay isn’t really one of them IMO.