Catching and maintaining a fanbase is necessary for an artist’s public development. Whether you’re doing it to be appreciated or for money (or both), developing a personal connection with an audience can nurture your career.
Here are a few tips on how to reach new fans and support your day ones by thinking like one.
Imagine how you feel when your favorite artist responds to your comment or when you actually find someone cool via a random tip on your feed. People generally prefer to be educated or empowered than advertised to.
The social aspect of social media can be more fulfilling when we don’t treat it solely as a void to shout into. Aimlessly posting can generally leave you feeling frustrated while your work is ignored by a platform’s algorithm.
Luckily, I ran into this Instagram post by The Futur, a creative business platform, that gives us a tip on how to circumvent the algorithm’s finicky nature.
Hidden under the clickbait-y headline was a brilliant truth about Instagram and social media as a whole—the algorithms for these platforms pay attention to genuine engagement.
You could merely turn on post notifications for accounts and leave generic comments, but that alone will not attract people to your page. The key is to be insightful and genuine. Your thoughts are ultimately what will bring people to your platform because people are looking for that sense of cultural social or intellectual connectivity.
Find the platform you are comfortable with interacting on and practice being conversational.
Build Yourself Within Communities
Let’s expand on the last point and our scope of being social. A fan recognizes that they are part of a fanbase, a part of a cultural whole. Community is a major component in art and a vehicle for self discovery. In fact, according to Spotify’s Culture Next trend report, “70% of American Zs and millennials said it’s much easier to feel connected to a community today thanks to digital platforms.”
What this means for you is that joining communities creates both a digital touchpoint for your work while also building a substantial relationship with people who can support you. Usually, artists and content creators help create communities where their fans can interact. Here, we are suggesting that you intentionally place yourself into the position to be vulnerable and connect with people. People are more willing to engage with people they are familiar or have history with.
Design Experiences For and With Your Fans
Going even further with these ideas, you are essentially managing relationships at a larger scale through your art and online interactions.
Digital touch points are now more important than ever and you can give your fans a break from the wildness in the world. The key is to first understand your audience and their relationship with your voice.
First, ask your fans what they enjoy about your work. Back that up with the analytics to determine what kind of posts they enjoy and when they enjoy them.
Then create digital moments for fans to gather and engage with you and each other. For example, let’s say you’re a comedian who loves making dance tracks. Your audience probably used your work to escape the tension in the world. You could TikTok or IG’s Reels to make skits that use your sounds (songs). Then you could share or interact with fans who make memes with your sound.
Alternatively, you might be an activist who enjoys tutorials and raising awareness about an issue. Use IGTV to post a making-of video for a track while also discussing a topic you’re passionate about. Then stream a listening party to chill and discuss your inspirations with your listeners.
In either case, adding that layer of interactivity with your music creates a dimension for understanding your work even more.
Fans would be using your art to engage with the world. In the end, part of your job as an artist is to promote your work. To your benefit, art can connect you with other people on a level corporations dream of achieving. In a world filled with so much tumult and confusion, most people want to feel safe and connected to something meaningful. Treat that with care.