As a musician, your success is only one part music and lyrics. Much of how far you get in the entertainment industry depends on how you interact with the people who enjoy your music. How many times have you seen a once popular musician become unpopular due to how they treated a fan or even a fellow musician? If you don’t want to travel the same road, it is important to know how to interact with your fans.
Share Real Content
Just like your music is only one part of what makes you successful, it’s also only one part of what makes you a human being. Your fans want to know about your life and while you aren’t likely going to divulge every tiny detail, you should divulge some so people feel like they are getting to know you.
Snapchat is a great place to share funny “stories” of yourself, and Instagram is the perfect place for uploading photos of interesting things you’ve done throughout the day or over a weekend. Even a simple favorite quote of yours can go a long way on Facebook. Each post should be relatable and have your fans feeling as if you are down to earth and humble.
Ask Questions and Communicate With Some of the Responders
Have you ever gotten excited because someone you admired responded to your tweet or answered your comment on Facebook? That’s how your fans feel about you. Ask questions and be engaging from time to time. You probably won’t have time to answer every person who comments, but by answering a couple every day, it shows you do engage, and it gets more people talking in hopes of one day receiving their own response from you.
Don’t Feed Into Negativity
Every entertainer will have an experience with an unhappy fan or an internet troll as some point in their career. If you can, ignore the comments completely. If you absolutely must respond, try doing so in a friendly or witty manner. Never be rude or threatening, though. Not only will it possible fan the flames for the original commenter, but it could make some of your other fans view you in a new and not so favorable light.
Provide Opportunities for Engagement in Person
This is especially helpful if you are an up-and-coming musician who doesn’t yet have a very large fan network. If you’ve just put out an independent album or otherwise created content, ask fans who purchased it to bring a copy to your favorite local hangout. Stick around for a bit and sign copies or talk to your fans. When you become a big name in lights, those people will have the awesome memory of having met you before you were a megastar.
Have a Fan of the Week
Several big names in the entertainment industry use this tactic on their own social media pages and it has proven to raise engagement levels and even bring in new fans. Ask your followers to send you pictures of themselves, fan art, stories about their lives, or anything else that you may find interesting. Once per week, choose your favorite and make a post naming your fan of the week. He or she will appreciate the recognition, and new fans will be more likely to submit their own content in the future.
Offer Exclusive Content
People like to get cool things that nobody else will have their hands on. Offer fans the chance to attend smaller, more intimate shows or to receive one-of-a-kind music downloads or merchandise if they follow a specific account of yours. You can announce this in advance or simply let people know you’ll be playing a specific location in just a few hours.
The Importance of Interacting With Your Fans
Musicians have had a lot of gimmicks over the years to keep their privacy. Some cover their faces with their hair, some wear masks, and some simply refuse to give out their real name or age. Despite their need for privacy, they still find ways to interact, so it is entirely possible to maintain a personal life while being a great inspiration to people.
By interacting with your fans, you keep yourself relevant within the industry, get them talking to their friends and family members about you, which could bring in more fans, and create relationships with super fans. Super fans are those people who will buy nearly everything you release throughout your entire career, whether it’s a limited edition band shirt or a two-hour album of you playing the kazoo. Those fans love you as a person as well as a musician, which is important for your career.
Steve Wynn is a great example of a musician who interacts with fans. He takes song requests, sometimes responds to comments, and even does intimate shows for his fan base. Take a look at your own favorite musicians and consider what makes them feel approachable to you.
Of course, growing a loyal fan base does not happen overnight. It takes time, diligence, and regular release of not only new social media content, but also new music. Don’t be discouraged if your music doesn’t blow up overnight. If you keep working toward your dreams, your day may be just around the corner.