How to improve fan interaction
“Buy my album….stream my new single…. visit my concert…” All too easy to use as posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram if you’re an artist. Tell people where you will be performing or when your new release hits the stores, is part of so-called transactional marketing activities.
But what if you use social media to contact your fans, shouldn’t you start focusing on the ‘social’ part first? Shouldn’t you be focussing on fan engagement first?
Here’s a guide to improve artist-fan relationship.
Why focus on fan interaction?
With so many releases and gigs every week it is hard to make a lasting impression online. Fans get huge amounts of content through socials about new singles, festivals, and shows, your impression needs to stick.
Engage with loyal fans, keep them interested in you and make them stick around.
The importance of social media
Social media platforms allow artists to follow their fans and get in touch on a personal level. Social media is used for promoting and automating communication between artists and fans.
It is often used by music artists to communicate new releases, music videos or share images of shows or opinions. Over the years, since communities started to grow, it became almost impossible to respond to all new fans separately. This, however, is not the best development.
We see it all too often, artists who use social networks to command their fans. ‘Buy my record/stream my record’. Often comments are not answered and most emphasis is placed on pushing products to the target audience. Pushing content through social ads is one thing, but using social media solely to send instead of receive communications is a bad thing.
There are different ways to interact with fans but asking questions back to the fans is a way that works great. Fans just want to know the ins & outs of you, so it is appreciated to let them know you are listening to them!
DMs on social media
Responding to a DM of your fans takes a lot of time but it is a good thing to do. Fans feel ‘listened to’ and understood. Sending mass DMs is also possible on certain social media channels, but it can have a very wide impact and artists need to be aware of that.
Social media: timing
Very simple yet effective: keep in mind to communicate on social media according to the time zone. Especially on tour, if you are in the CET time zone, don’t give out fan shout-outs in the middle of the night. Pick times when you know your fans in that particular country are online.
Yes, be sure to place comments on fans’ social media posts. This is a very good way to show interaction. A musician can impossibly follow up on all further responses, but showing you read posts related to you every once in a while, definitely makes the difference.
Insta questions sticker
Instagram offers so-called Question Stickers which you can include in Stories. It allows followers to ask questions. A great way to get involved with fans on Instagram.
The role of social media in relationship marketing: data analysis
Data analysis in music marketing is crucial: you can analyze the data from your social media accounts and discover what long-term fans talk about, what they share and what messages they send you. If the data you collect is analyzed, you’ll have a bigger chance of exceeding the expectations of your fans.
For example; if reports show that one of your tweets has an enormous engagement rate, try sending direct messages to all followers that showed engagement with that tweet. Let’s take the day after a big gig, run a report and find all the people who commented during the performance.
Traditional ways of selling music have changed over the years, wouldn’t it be about time to change the way we market our brands? Instead of asking people to purchase our product (part of transactional marketing), it’s better to focus on building and maintaining a strong relationship with fans. Building long-term relationships, loyalty and improved insights into your fans are key elements to focus on if you’re an artist.
YouTube Shorts allows users to create short-form videos for up to 60 seconds. As YouTube describes:
“YouTube Shorts is a way for anyone to connect with a new audience using just a smartphone and the Shorts camera in the YouTube app”
Fans can interact with the short-form content of their favourite artist and basically, it is yet another way of offering content to your existing fans. Shorts can also be reposted on TikTok or Reels.
Using Shorts means another tool, keeping your fans interested and possibly discovering new audiences.
The TikTok platform is a huge community of young music consumers. Artists can put their music on TikTok, for example by using Kwettr Distribution. Any music you upload through our platform will be made available on TikTok and can then be used in videos. Fans create content using your music and can make your music go viral.
As an artist, you can create so-called Challenges for your fans, for example asking fans to record a dance to their latest song.
Meet & Greet
An older way of getting in touch with fans is organizing a meet and greet after a show. There are some challenges to this, as made clear by meet-and-greets gone wrong between superstars and their fans.
Justin Bieber (again) made a bad impression on this when he stated that meet & greets left him feeling depressed and emotionally drained. By stating this he obviously disappointed a large part of his fanbase.
Dave Grohl is known for taking his time when he meets fans. James Hatfield of Metallica is another good example of an artist who sets his own boundaries: he likes meeting and talking to fans but refuses pictures with them, as he rather talks to them as people instead of an idol of some sort.
Lessons to be learned here are that artists should remain humble and respectful towards fans, even when it is completely overwhelming. Schedule meet and greets set timeslots and manage expectations.
Dedicate time and attention to building fan relationships, online and in real life.