Let’s set the scene. The crew has the stage dressed, the band takes the stage, and they begin to play music. Boy do they give it their all. Beautiful chords and laser lights fill the air. They give the performance of a lifetime.

Now let’s review a couple of possible scenarios about the audience and you tell me who you would like your band to play for.

  1. An empty room
  2. A large, enthusiastic crowd
  3. A group of lifeless people you paid to be there

The empty room:
Playing to an empty room is simply a part of growing your band. In the beginning, you set the amp up and play in the garage. You sing into your hairbrush in the mirror. Slowly, however, you graduate to family and friends. The next thing you know you are covering someone else’s song and sharing it on YouTube.

It’s true that it would be terrible for the room to remain empty, but an empty room is just an opportunity.

The large crowd:
What would be better than playing to a group of enthusiastic fans? The guys and gals going crazy shouting your name fills your heart with pride. The audience begins to sing along with you. The best part of this scenario is that both band and audience get something great out of the concert.

Paid listeners:
The room is full of people. As the band begins to play, the band notices that there are no feet tapping and no hands clapping. The group sings their heart out, but is anyone actually listening? The audience looks dead. The band has no energy to feed off of and the concert is met with defeat.

In the current world of social media, you can buy followers. You can get the numbers to look great. At first glance a new potential follower says, “Wow, this person is really popular!”

Then, however, you start to read their posts. No likes? No retweets? No shares? With 11K followers surely someone in this “loyal” fan base enjoyed reading this, right?

Unfortunately no one is listening.

When you have an online presence with a targeted, engaged audience, and when your posts are relevant and interesting, people respond. Once you have established a connection with your audience, trust me, they engage.

Don’t settle for soulless numbers so that you look good. Once someone takes a closer look, they won’t be all that impressed. Consider your engagement rate more than your number of followers.