As promised via Twitter, here’s our second collaborative column with Joe Coad II of TheArtistGuides.com. So, what do you do after you get on a website or a playlist and want to continue to expand your views and the like? You’ll, more often than not, want to look towards social media as a resource to expand and retain your fan base. This is where Joe’s advice comes in and, truth be told, it’s advice that should be every artist’s repertoire of information. Hell, if I had some of this advice when I first started SpeedontheBeat.com, it’s possible that my glo-up would’ve been even quicker. But, social media is not a fix-all, as Joe explains. Check out his tips out below.
Last month’s column discussed four tips on how to properly send an email to receive blog placement. This is a topic I’ve discussed extensively, and one I believe Speed cares about greatly as he deals with submissions daily. I even had a client placed on Speed’s site from utilizing these steps last month!
I wanted to discuss social media in more detail and why it’s important for you to be engaging with your audience on these platforms. We now live in a world where you’re just a few taps of the phone away from sending a message to anyone who’s online. If they have a social media account, you can find them. One vital term to remember about social media is the SOCIAL part of it. Time and time again I see brands, businesses, and artists who only promote their own product. If you go to their timeline you’ll see nothing but talk about themselves. You’re probably wondering, “why would you talk about anything else but yourself”? Connecting with your fanbase is one of the most important things you’ll do as an artist. Think about it like this: when your favorite artist releases a project or song, you feel apart of that moment. You feel like they owe you something for supporting them. While this is true, they should be grateful, major artists don’t have to rely on one person supporting them. Once you hit a certain level, you gain core fans and they will support even if you don’t speak to them.
As an indie artist or brand, this isn’t an option. You have to engage with your fans. You may only have a few people who share or like your content. These are the fans you need to work your hardest to impress. I’m not saying record songs and let them give you feedback on what to fix; what I mean is you should be going out of your way to talk with them if they send you a message instead of ignoring it. Below I’ve outlined three tips on how you can better engage with your fans through social media:
Live streaming has become a behemoth for indie artists and brands looking to get some free marketing on social media. Facebook gives you better organic reach when you’re using live video. The idea I had for The Artist Guides was born through several Periscope chats where I was giving advice from my experiences as a writer and marketer. The simplest way to engage with your fans through a live stream is a Q&A session or giving them a sneak peek of something you’ve been working on. I highly recommend promoting these about 24 hours in advance so your fans know to set a reminder to tune in when you go live. Platforms with live streaming include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
This idea is great if you have an upcoming project or merchandise coming out. It will also make your fans feel apart of the release for your project and they’ll remember it forever. A photo/video contest is fairly easy. You have fans snap pictures of themselves with your merchandise or film themselves singing one of your songs. Use a specific hashtag and for your campaign and have them upload it to your social platform of choice. If your budget allows for it, you can select a random winner to receive a prize or possibly send them an early release of your project. I’ve personally used a photo contest during my radio days (an Ed Sheeran contest) and the results were astounding.
Following Your Core Fans
Ok, this one seems easy. The point of social media is to follow the people and brands you find entertaining and informative. This is why your fans follow you. They find what you do either entertaining or informative. Remember that person who’s been listening to your song non-stop for 24 hours? Show them some love and follow them. The fan who just bought one of your shirts and can’t wait to come see you perform? Follow them back. Again, it seems simple but it’s a forgotten tool for many. Many of us take our followers for granted. Who would support you if all of your followers just vanished? This is why it’s important to show love with your core fanbase.
These are rules I’ve started following for myself over the last 18 months and it has helped grow The Artist Guides Twitter account to almost 2,400 followers. I would love to hear how these tips helped you better engage with your audience. Feel free to reach out to me on either of the Twitter accounts tagged below.
Joe Coad II is the creator of The Artist Guides, an artist and brand education platform. During the day he’s helping artists and brands achieve success through social media marketing. You can find him on social media: @JoeCoadTwo and @TheArtistGuides.