Online 1: wanna buy some likes?

Photo Fran van der Hoeven
Photo Fran van der Hoeven

nederlandse_vlag

Thirty-five years ago we came up with the name The Dutch. Damn good name, right? To the purpose and easy to remember. But quite a challenge if you try to promote your music online.

First the good news. When I google “The Dutch”, our Facebook page appears on the first page! Okay, the first three search results are for a golf course (!) that dared to steal our name, but underneath those, we proudly appear. In fact, google “the dutch band” and the first six results are about The Dutch: Facebook, Wikipedia, music encyclopedia, This Is Welfare on youtube, and Paradiso.

The Google algorithms are inscrutable and it could very well be that the search results depend, among others, on the user. That they are heavily influenced by my own profile. I think it works like this: fans of The Dutch do not often look up “The Cats” (at least, I hope so). On average, many fans of the Cats live in Volendam. So if you happen to live in Volendam, or you find yourself near a cell tower in Volendam, Google thinks that there is a high probability that you like The Cats but not The Dutch. Then, if you google “the dutch band”, you’ll probably get The Cats. Or the 3J’s.

Even so, even in my own search results for “the dutch band”, our own website www.thedutchband.com is nowhere in sight. I do find www.dutchband.com on page 2: “wristbands and tokens specialist in the Netherlands and Belgium. Also for small volumes of, for example, textile straps”.

Other bands such as The Dutch Swing College Band and The Dutch Eagles are pretty successful in their online marketing efforts: numerous search results to their sites appear. There is even a cozy Scottish band called Dutch, who praise themselves on Facebook (Dutch.theBand) as “a rock band, based in Falkirk and Bo’ness, Scotland, formed in 1977 and still going!”. Cheers mate!

But still no sign of www.thedutchband.com. The 2700 visitors in 7832 visits to our website are peanuts to Google, I’m sorry for you. But mainly for ourselves of course, because how do we get more attention from online media? (providers of SEO courses please line up).

It is no secret the music industry changed dramatically in the last decades. The number of clicks on your website, the number of likes on Facebook, the number of followers on Twitter, your popularity is an open book. Record labels, music publishers, disc jockeys, they all look first how much attention you get on the internet. 376 likes on Facebook will not get you very far.

When you open a Twitter account you start with 0 followers, how pitiful is that. Of course there is a chicken and egg effect going on here. How about cheating? Buying 100,000 “likes” at a grubby little online office in Thailand? That would be nice: The Dutch suddenly becoming a major online player thanks to 100,000 fans who all live in the same apartment building in Bangkok and listen to the name Shinawatra.

What I also become increasingly aware of, is that there is a huge difference between quantity and quality in the online world. What do all those clicks and likes really mean? There are only 24 hours in a day, and you and I must make a choice from an overwhelming amount of incentives through newspapers, TV, internet, mail, social media, iPod and so on. In order to absorb as much as possible we let apps and portals do the selecting for us, we read “diagonally”, listen to sound bites and … postpone. Everything has to be shorter and faster. So how do I get my followers to read a 627 word blog? Hello, are you still there?

 

November 25, 2015


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2 Replies to “Online 1: wanna buy some likes?”

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