Did you know that it costs more money to acquire a new customer (or fan in your case) then it does to retain one you already have? In fact, acquiring a new customer is about five times more expensive than keeping an existing one.
Because of this fact, it is not the best use of your time or money to chase after new fans when you have a robust fan base already built. It’s easy to get caught up in the mindset of always wanting more new fans, but neglecting the fans you already have is a costly mistake. This is why social media engagement is so important for musicians.
If you’re in the music business for the long haul, you have to keep your fans loyal and engaged the best you can throughout your entire career. Always aim to deepen your connections and relationships with fans, and don’t assume they will always stick around once they follow you on Instagram or Facebook.
Here are 9 quick tips to help musicians retain your current fans and keep them engaged on social media:
1. Be Consistent
If you don’t hear it from me, you’ll hear it everywhere else. Consistency is key when trying to keep a fan base engaged. There are just so many artists and musicians out there competing for fans’ attention that you can easily be forgotten if you don’t make the consistent effort to reach out to them. This doesn’t mean you have to post on social media every day, still post with the mindset of quality over quantity, but don’t go silent for months. If you do have a social media lapse, be sure to at least keep your fans updated with what’s going on so they aren’t left wondering and forget you.
2. Share Your Mission
If you are passionate about a certain nonprofit organization or making your community a better place, share your values and mission with your fans. They will be more likely to identify with you, and maybe cut you a little slack for any perceived slights – such as higher costs for tickets to your show or music downloads.
When you stand for something bigger than the music, people who share the same goals or vision will feel a deeper connection to your brand. It’s okay to remind your fans now and again that you are trying to make a positive difference. This is just another avenue for them to relate to you.
3. Respond to Comments
You can’t respond to every fan comment, but interacting with fans online and in person creates a special connection and shows that you aren’t just a voice coming to them through their speakers. This helps to humanize your you and keeps them engaged because feel like they are actually communicating to a person.
4. Show Appreciation
Offer a token of appreciation – even if it’s just a thank you email – to your current fans who have helped spread good words about your music. Maybe take time at your next gig (or even on social media) to name fans who have reposted your social media comments the most or purchased the most songs in the last month. Engaged fans help increase your exposure by word of mouth, which is how a majority of people learn about new artists.
5. Ask Questions and Feedback
Think of fun questions related to your music to ask your fans to answer them on your webpage or social media accounts. It can also be a useful feedback tool to see what your fans want or like so you can better serve them. Not only do they feel like they are included and appreciated, but it also helps you to make better business decisions.
Here are some samples of conversation starters:
- Who do you want me to collaborate with next?
- How did you hear about me or my music?
- What’s your favorite song of mine?
- What’s your favorite album?
- What color shirts should I print up with this new design?
6. Agree to Disagree
When a fan posts a comment that you don’t agree with, respect their opinion and ensure your response is neutral instead of defensive or argumentative. Who knows, you may win them over. If they get upset or offended by something you have said, done, or posted, ignore them. Chances are they are not true fans you want to keep so don’t put any energy into it. This helps to filter out fans you shouldn’t be engaging with anyways.
7. Host Contests and Giveaways
Holding contests and giveaways is a great way to reward fan loyalty and keep them engaged. Putting together a contest or giveaway can be tricky and requires a bit of work. However, if done right, you can potentially attract new fans. Just remember you need to:
- Establish the rules
- Choose the best platform to host
- Pay or create a system to collect entries
- Offer a relevant and attractive prize
You can read more on hosting a contest or giveaway in my blog on building an email list.
8. Balance Self-Promotion
One of the best ways NOT to engage fans is to annoy them with constant self-promotional messages to buy. If all your posting is links to buy tickets to your show or places to buy your music, chances are you’ve lost your fan’s attention and in some cases, respect. Doing this just shows that you only care about the money and not the fan relationship. It’s okay to self-promote as long as it is balanced with other cool or interesting content.
Since a lot fans like to see a different side of an artist outside of music, try sharing parts of your personal life. It opens up new ways for fans to relate to you. In turn, it helps to build new emotional connections that deepen the fan relationship. For me, I love to see my favorite artists share pictures of their family and other things they are passionate about.
9. See What’s Trending
A good way to get your fan’s attention is to post about what is currently trending on the internet. Of course, you want it to be relevant to your brand or music in some way. Don’t just talk about any popular topic without it having some connection to your brand or fans. Avoid controversial topics like politics, religion, race, or social issues if it is not relevant to your brand.
For example, the So Gone Freestyle Challenge was just recently a trending hashtag where people would rap or sing for about a minute to Monica’s 2003 hit song So Gone. Not only did regular fans and local artists participate, but big names like Snoop Dog, Chance the Rapper, Kevin Hart and NBA star Damien Lillard joined in as well. This would be a relevant topic your fans might enjoy watching if you participated, and it makes sense to post since it is music related.
How do you see what the internet audience is currently discussing? Each social media channel, like Facebook and Twitter, has a way of showing what is trending. Several search engines do as well: