If there indeed exists a music-marketing bible, this is one of the greatest commandments every artist of this generation should live by: Connect with fans via social media.
In the not so distant past, the means of connection was called ‘fan mail’. Artists would receive letters from their fans sent via snail mail. Fans would then patiently wait for weeks, months, years, or some even willing to wait for eternity to receive a reply in the form of a signed photo, a postcard, or if one gets too lucky, an authentic hand-written letter from their idols.
But now we’re dealing with millenials — kids who chat, text, do selfies, tag, hashtag, update status, check-in, and lol when they find something funny. Now, you, as an artist of this generation should connect with them on a regular basis — regular, meaning, it should come from you naturally just like breathing, if you want to get and maintain Likes, Follows, Shares, RTs, Pins, Re-blogs… Yes, you should learn, live, and breath this #socialspeak in order to make your fans rave about you through word of mouse, and keep that connection going, which in the long run, could possibly spell album/single sales and downloads, sold-out shows, or success in whatever endeavor or objective you have as an artist.
Now get those fingers busy, and start with these
Best And Effective Ways To Connect With Fans Via Social Media:
Be Where your Fans Hang-Out and Meet Them There
Get to know your fans. Check out their demographics –age, gender, interests…Then find the social media platform that is compatible with their profile. If you have teenage fan girls, you’re mostly like to find them tweeting their friends where your gig tonight will be, or they may be posting selfies on Instagram. Or if your fans are office-corporate yuppies, you may find them on LinkedIn, Facebook, or they would most likely be signing-up for newsletters on your website.
Now just be careful of not falling into the trap of spreading yourself too thin by getting into every social media platform on the world wide web. Choose your battles, so to speak. Focus and invest your time and energies on sites that give you the strongest connections and engagement with your fans.
The Pareto Principle or The 80/20 Rule
This classic business and marketing principle still rings true to this day. Yes, now that you are directly and having (or close to) real-time engagement and communication with your fans, it is very tempting –or sometimes for lack of anything to say or post– you just type; “download my latest single”, “watch my gigs”, “my band shirts now on sale”….Without you knowing it, you may sound just like that annoying salesman who constantly knocks on your door or rings on your bell.
The rule of thumb: 80% of your posts or content should be describable by the following adjectives: Funny. Interesting. Useful. Creative. Personal. Intriguing. Shareable. Inspiring. Motivating. Moving. Thought-provoking. Exciting… While the remaining 20% of your posts should cover your sales talk and marketing pushes.
Give Them Something Exclusive
“First Heard.” “First Seen”. “Limited Edition”. Those are music to a fan’s ears. Give your fans something that would make them feel special, something that would make them feel you recognize and appreciate them. But of course, like any other business, you have to also get something out of what you give. Make them sign-up to subscribe to your newsletter or to follow you on Twitter. This is your way of drawing them closer to your social network circle, and they might just take some friends along.
Bring The ‘Live’, Online
Why not give your fans a live concert straight from your garage to the comforts of their own bedrooms? Live streaming platforms like UStream or Google Hangout or Skype can make this possible. Or why not have a live online chat with them via Twitter? Giving them such exciting activities to look forward to and brag about them in school the next day adds that cool factor on your resume.
Say My Name, Say My Name
Wouldn’t you jump up and down if your fave artist calls out your name? Another music-to-my-ears moment! But this generation would rather have it as a screen-shot-worthy moment. Check out those questions fans tweet out to you. Respond to them by using the @reply or retweet something that they’ve tweeted or follow them back. These are guaranteed life changing moments in the eyes of fans.
Dear Diary, Hey, Guess What?!
Believe it or not, fans are very much interested about what you consider as ‘just-another-day-at-work’. Yes, they want to see your selfies, your photo bombers, your #OOTD (outfit of the day)…the list goes on and on. Of course, you have to keep a good balance with things that you want to reveal and those you want to keep private.