The TLP Network

Sharing the Hate, Spreading the Pain: On “Friends”

by on Jul.19, 2007, under Articles, Sharing the Hate

Some weeks ago I had the privilege of seeing the bill of a band that had over 250,000 ‘friends’ through one of those online systems.

Thank you venue websites for posting your line-ups in advance (I rely heavily on venues to keep me informed since bands typically do not).

Relevant statistics:

  • 250,000+ Friends
  • 3,000,000+ Profile View
  • 5,000,000+ Plays
  • 9 total paid Audience Members on a Wednesday Night

After a casual chat with the band about getting a media kit, they told me to contact them through the online friend system. I am still waiting for them to ‘read’ my message, let alone answer it.

Maybe it was an off night.
Maybe 250,000 people were busy.
Maybe with 5,000,000 Plays, everyone on the planet already owns their CD.
Maybe handing someone with press credentials a demo is too much trouble.
Maybe the message in their inbox, which says, “TLP Media Inquiry,” for a title is not worth opening.

What went wrong?

The line up for the most part was from the West Coast of the United States, and the regionally local anchor was the band with 250,000 friends. The venue itself was pushing the event for Thursday night by handing out free tickets. There were no visible flyers/posters for this Wednesday night event in the venue for the weeks leading up to it.

Imagine walking into a Walmart or Target and throwing about 25 show flyers up in the air in the diaper isle. Now imagine going to a grocery store in the next state over and promoting that same show in the bread isle. Is that smart promotion? Who is going to show up to your show? Stop sending out random bulletins, and start directly inviting people to shows.

Now imagine walking out of your front door to check the mail, and you end up throwing away a wedding invitation because you have too many random letters asking you to sign up for credit cards. How do you explain that to your friend of 10 years?

Those actions are what you are doing when you friend whore using these systems. You will unintentionally ignore those who are trying to focus on your band. You will also ignore all of your local fans. More importantly, you waste more time trying to figure out who is ‘local’ on your friend list rather than promoting and putting up flyers in the venue you are playing at.

News Flash: You need to promote at the place you are playing. There are NO exceptions.

Touring bands should send that venue flyers and wall posters in advance announcing the fact you are from out of town, and not just coming out of the garage. I encourage you to list your tour schedule on the wall poster to hammer that fact home. If you do not believe me, then look at the last national tour shirt you bought. Shirts are walking flyers, but that is a different topic.

The most effective advertising is done at the venue you will play at through large wall flyers in the window, and mini-flyers handed to people. Even if 99 out of 100 people throw your mini-flyer away you will still get at least 1 person to show up. That percentage is better than 100% of the people ignoring your online posting, because you added people in Oregon for your Baltimore based band through a nifty bot.

If you are from out of town, you should force the locals on the bill to do your local pushing for you. If they refuse to promote your show at the venue, do not be surprised when I am the only person at your show if the venue recommends the event to me to begin with.

Who is the unsigned act with so many friends? I really cannot say. I do not want to embarrass them further. I will say though, that if you live in Florida, you probably already know, and received their auto-responses from time to time.

In their defense, I promise you this: I will actively try to find them again to see them on their turf during the week. I will again casually ask them for a media kit and a three-song demo.

If they hand me a demo and their show has an audience of more than 50 paid, I will play the song on the air. If their show has more than 100 people paid to see them, I will dedicate an interview to them. If you know whom I am talking about, and PERSONALLY know this band, send them my way. I look forward to having to print a retraction.

By personally, you have at least two of the band members and not the front person in your phone, call them on a regular basis, and eat lunch/dinner with them occasionally. I will check the reference.

P.S. If you receive a message in your inbox from me that says TLP Radio Media Inquiry, you have caught my attention for about two weeks. It is up to you to show initiative and take advantage of that fact. After two weeks, I forget you exist. Too many bands out there want and deserve our help for me to chase the ones that do not.

3 comments for this entry:
  1. Dan

    Are the 250,000+ friends real or of the Tila Tequila kind?Eh,nevermind,you make some very good points and once again,they are of the common sense nature.

  2. Leo Cain

    I just call it like I see it. Wonder if this will be band #3 to complain about me behind my back to the bars I hang out in?

  3. Dan

    What!?You gotta be shitting me!Let me see,a list of things they could complain about:
    1.free exposure in a market that has pretty much no limitations,which provides:
    A.free publicity
    B.free marketing
    C.possibly future gigs and in a much wider demographic

    2.You were probably the only one in the audience that seemed even slightly interested in their music

    you must put an end to these atrocities,lord knows your probably doing much more for their band then they possibly ever could!

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