#111) Autopsy of an unfollow #3: Cover Band Central

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The challenge that social media platforms present to businesses is providing enough content to stay visible without over-saturating. The victim of my latest unfollow, the Facebook page “Cover Band Central” is guilty of the latter.

Indeed, it’s a tough balance and finding that happy medium can be like finding the exact right spot on the shower handle. Unlike the subject of my previous two unfollows, Sci-Babe and The Sound, Cover Band Central usually stays on point with their posts (no puppies or Founding Fathers quotes here) while managing a variety of subject matters: articles from other music business outlets; humorous memes, inspirational quotes and more. The problem: most of it’s just not that great.

As of the moment of my unfollowing, the five most recent posts on the page were:

1) “Top Ten Reasons Why Your Cover Band Is Not Successful” (article from Spinditty) (I take such lists, especially those titled up-style, with a grain of salt; where does someone who’s supposedly gigging enough to justify telling me that I’m not doing more shows find the time to write such an article?)

2) A picture from Musicians Unite reading, “I simply love playing people’s favorite songs for them. I’m playing music and it feels great. That’s what it’s all about.” (Yes, it’s inspirational and peppy, but my mortgage broker doesn’t accept inspiration or pep as forms of payment. Additionally, as someone who’s often been saddened by seeing people talk over music that speaks deeply to me and absolutely lose it over music that I find rather superficial, I have trouble relating to this mentality.)

3) A picture of an enthusiastic conductor (Gustavo Dudamel?) conducting a symphony with the caption, “Most orchestras are just 1800s cover bands.” (Cute and witty but forgettable. I should note though that one of the user comments is on the mark: “I am sick and tired of people crying about cover bands….If they spent the time and effort that they spend on crying and hating them on their own material they would be farther along.” Well said, Jim Crise.)

4) An article by Steve Witschel for Musicians Unite: “What Is So Wrong With Playing Covers?” (Steve, if you love playing covers so much, why not just play them instead of writing about how much you love playing them?)

5) A picture with a Carlos Santana quote: “When you play from your heart, all of a sudden there’s no gravity. You don’t feel the weight of the world, that’s why people love it. Insurmountable problems disappear and instead of problems you get possibilities.” (Sure, everyone loves a good aphorism, but it’s easy to dole them out when you’re as successful and famous as Santana. A quote from him or any other legend about their early struggles and how they didn’t give up would be more interesting to me.)

Cover Band Central’s tepid oeuvre of shared content is a result of the page’s lack of a clear mission. As the self-described “#1 Page on Facebook for cover bands and musicians” they are “Designed to educate, motivate, entertain, and inspire.” I have found virtually none of the posts to be educational. When it comes to motivating and inspiring, more “show, don’t tell” would help the site and yes, I did pick up a few entertaining memes before the page ran its course, but most of them are available elsewhere online (if you’re reading this, ten bucks says one of your non musician friends has sent you “He told me he’s a musician, but he’s a ___ player” thinking they’re the first one to do it).

I have no ill will toward CBC and leave them with the suggestion of encouraging more user interaction, thus increasing the variety of perspectives and content while still staying true to the page’s expressed mission.

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7 Comments to “#111) Autopsy of an unfollow #3: Cover Band Central”

  1. Hey there! I stumbled upon this review of my Page and would like to offer some comments about your critique. First off…thanks for the critique! It’s not often that I get feedback from people, especially someone who took the time to provide some objective analysis.

    A little about me that will answer a couple of your questions above:

    I’m currently a full-time musician playing about 300 gigs a year…give or take, and I’ve been in the music business for over 30 years. I have no wife, girlfriend, or children – just a dog – so i have plenty of time to write.

    I came up with the idea for Cover Band Central a little over two years ago because I wanted a place where musicians could convene. I run this Page by myself. After experimenting with different post frequencies, I settled on a regular ten a day, with a specific format regarding types of posts. It’s been tweaked some, but that’s how currently run it. I’ll also supplement those posts if I find something interesting, or late at night when I’m surfing.

    While I appreciate your review, taking just 5 posts to judge the whole seems a bit unfair. i assure you that if you take the time to scroll through even just a full couple of days worth of posts, you’ll find things that are educational, along with posts that fit the other criteria that I’ve outlined in my subtitle.

    Perhaps it’s difficult to grok the mission of CBC from daily Facebook posts, but I do, in fact, have a clear plan that thus far is working.

    I’ll take your suggestions to heart because I know I can always learn something from other intelligent people. I really would like more interaction from the community, and I’ve tried several methods that have mostly fallen flat. If you have any ideas, I’m all ears.

    I’d also like to invite you to come back at some point. I think you’ll like some things that I have planned.

    Best,
    Steve

    • Well…color me embarrassed..seeing as this blog gets a whopping 2 views per day on average I’m not used to people actually READING it, much less the actual authors of content that I describe. Thus I sometimes tend to be a little loose of tongue. (I also didn’t know that the Steve Witschel who wrote the article that I made a smart ass comment about is also the admin of the CBC facebook page.) Thank you for your response, and I’m glad you find my smart-assness helpful at least in some ways. If there is any statements about CBC that you feel are unfair would like me to remove from this post please let me know. Thank you for all of your work on the page and for the professional musician community. And keep up the good work gigging … believe me, you’re playing more than my sorry ass!

  2. You gave your honest opinion, so there’s no need to remove anything. I do wonder, though, if you did read the articles that you commented on, or did you just judge by the headline? There’s actually some good info in those articles. Cover Band Central is a labor of love for me. I don’t make any money (yet) from all of my hard work. My primary motivation is to elevate the integrity of cover musicians in the music world at large. There are so many incredibly talented musicians that never get beyond playing their local pub – in many cases because they don’t know what to do. There are also many musicians that need direction and a solid resource. With all of my years of experience and an unwavering drive, I’m happy to toot my own horn and demonstrate how much I can help musicians, while also keeping things light and entertaining. I’m curious…where do you live…and what is your name? πŸ™‚

  3. David Lockeretz of Long Beach, CA (originally Boston) at your service. πŸ™‚ And yes I have read quite a few of the articles on CBC in depth. That the majority of them haven’t resonated with me is likely less to do with the quality of the article than perhaps “user error” (me being a cranky old bastard who’s kind of burned out on the music business.) Also it should be mentioned that for something to not resonate with me is usually to its credit…last I checked Coldplay is doing pretty well for themselves. Maybe you really don’t need to change anything with CBC – if it’s helpful to the majority of those who read it and if you get fulfillment out of running the page then that’s what counts. You can’t please everyone after all…”You can be the biggest, juciest, ripest peach and you’ll still find someone who hates peaches.”

  4. Lol…indeed. Thanks David. I’ll always need to change things at CBC and keep it fresh, so again, thanks for the feedback. I’m currently designing the website, and since I’m not much of a designer it’s taking me some time to get it right. Once the website launches I hope you’ll check it out. It will demonstrate more of my vision, and I believe it will be a valuable resource for all cover musicians.

    • Sounds good, looking forward to checking it out. Incidentally I’m not sure how familiar you are with the WordPress platform but I’ve found it to be very helpful. You can register a domain name for $18/year (upgrades such as audio and video aren’t that expensive either). I’m no designer either but I’ve found it to be user friendly and I’ve also built/helped build a few band websites with this platform.

  5. Thanks David. I already have the domain and I am using Word press to design the site. There are a number of elements that I want to include, so it’s just a matter of getting the proper functionality that I’m going for. Also, between gigging and running the CBC Page, I only have so many hours in the day. But it’ll get done. πŸ™‚

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