I am going to go ahead and talk about something that makes me extremely uncomfortable and that is numbers. In the last month or so, most artists I know have been struggling with reach and engagement on their content because, for some reason, no matter how hard they worked on their content, they couldn’t get their posts to perform well. I have been dealing with the same thing, as well. Talking about it may seem like a cry for help; let’s be real, that is exactly what this is, but we artists have good reason to be angry about this decrease in reach.
Most of us know about how this works, already, but I want to talk about this today because it hurts to see artists putting in a ton of time and effort into whatever they create and then have it be snubbed by everybody who follows them on their platforms. This is what I know about how engagement and reach works:
Most posts on social media platforms only show up on feeds on the basis of engagement. The more you interact with a person’s content, the more you leave comments, the more you share/ retweet their content, the more you start seeing them on your feed. By interacting and sharing, you are also making sure that the artist’s work is seen by a bigger audience. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But that’s where people forget that their interactions can actually make a huge difference to the artist.
Now, as much as I wish for other people to understand this and actually interact with their friends who are artists, I also know that no matter how many times this point is made, it will keep on being ignored. Unfortunately for all the artists out there, this means a startling decrease in how their work is received on social media platforms. So many talented artists often remain ignored and undiscovered because of the ever changing algorithm. Somebody once told me to work harder instead of blaming the algorithm, but the truth remains that unless people are willing to interact with artists and share their art, this won’t work.
Whether we do it on purpose or not, the numbers do end up affecting us. For the last four months, I’ve been keeping a track of the number of views my blog gets every single month and I’ve seen it grow from around 4k monthly views to almost 5.5k monthly views. It has been a very gradual growth. I’m still taking baby steps to make sure that this blog grows further. But I’m being honest with you here when I tell you that seeing the number of views grow 2 months in a row is what gave me the motivation I needed to try harder and keep aiming for a new number at the end of every month.
For a lot of artists, these numbers show how far they’ve come. It’s very conflicting, when you think about it. Lately, I keep seeing all my artist friends try to talk about the changes in algorithm and how engagement can increase their chances of actually having their art out there on a much larger scale, but I don’t think it gets through to a lot of people either.
It’s not wrong to expect your friends to support your art and engage with it. It costs nothing to help your artist friends gain the reach and engagement that their work deserves. I hope everyone reading this keeps in mind that the concept of numbers, no matter how fake it seems, still matters. Interact with your artist friends and share their work. You have no idea how much every single interaction means to them. Every like, every reply, every share/ retweet means a lot more than you think it does.
TL;DR: Be nicer to the artists around you.
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