The most shared Art of a Manager post to date is Artist Texting is the New Craze.

Our community understands the power the artists and brands we represent have ceded to social media companies.

It was and remains our duty to build relationships with fans on the platforms these companies provide.

However, as social media companies evolve their algorithms to decide whether or not our content shows up in fans’ feeds or not, it’s up to us to adjust our strategy accordingly.

We know they are cutting our audience and prioritizing paid media, but what are the steps we and our artists are taking to do something about it?

This bullet in a newsletter from Jason Feifer, the Editor in Chief at Entrepreneur Magazine, reminded me of the need to act immediately –

Own your future — don’t rent it

As a guy in media, I was haunted by this tale of what happened to a once-booming content site called LittleThings. The quick of it: “LittleThings, which started as a pet supplies e-commerce site, became a poster child for astonishing audience growth, topping 50 million uniques in three years by sharing inspirational stories on Facebook.” Its founder once explained the success this way: “As long as you constantly pivot within the Facebook ecosystem, you’ll be fine.”

Then Facebook changed its algorithm in a way that LittleThings couldn’t adjust to. Here’s what happened to its traffic:

Shortly after that: Death.

Digiday summarized the story this way: “Live by the algorithm, die by the algorithm”. True enough. But let’s go larger, and say this: “Live by someone else’s terms, die by someone else’s terms.” If we don’t own our relationships — to our customers, our audience, our fans, our partners — we’re simply renting it from someone else. And that leaves us exposed.

This isn’t news in the media world; everyone in my industry is freaking out about how much control we’ve ceded to platforms. But I hope entrepreneurs in other industries are thinking about this too. Do you have a direct line to your customers? Are you making sure those relationships are maintained and ever-growing? Can you do more to stay in touch? LittleThings is a warning to everyone: Own it, or lose it.

Today, stop for a minute and think about what you and your artists are doing to own the relationship with the fan.

What are you doing to create or grow the channel you control to communicate with fans as opposed to relying on social media companies to expose your posts?

History tells us these companies will continue to bottleneck your audience, and none of us want to be LittleThings.

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