May 25, 2013

Why Artists Need To Engage With Their Audience on Social Media

Word of mouth via social media has become an integral part of being an artist today. Engaging with audiences through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other social media platforms is an important part of the business in order to generate interest, excitement and record sales. Exposure through social media can help an artist find their audience and grow their fan base, as well keep his or her work front-of-mind.
Connect with fans
Social media is a great way to connect directly with fans. Increasingly, fans expect to develop a dialogue or relationship of sorts with the artist, regardless of what level you are at in your career. Social media outlets are a great way to make fans feel like they’re an active part of a music career. By engaging with them, you also help keep them aware of you—don’t stop interacting when you don’t have anything to promote or you might find a dwindling fan base once you are ready to release a new record. The better the relationship and communication, the more likely these fans will attend your shows and buy your singles and records.

Find your audience
Not only are Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube a great way to connect with existing fans, but it can also be a way to increase your fan base through online word-of-mouth, through sharing and liking capabilities. Let the fans you’ve developed a relationship with through social media help you promote your music and shows.
Another way you can find potential future fans is through other artists’ and bands’ feeds and pages. Engaging in conversation with fans of similar musicians is a great way to grow your audience. Reach out to music bloggers who have written about similar bands and start a conversation with them.

Artists who have used social media successfully
While success on social media is difficult to measure, a few artists have amassed and mobilized large fan bases on various outlets. 

OK Go catapulted themselves into worldwide name recognition with a cleverly done video posted on YouTube that went viral. Across the social network universe, #littlemonsters are a many-headed entity that mobilizes quickly and voraciously in support of and in defense of Lady Gaga. Ingrid Michaelson has grown her fan base through consistent marketing through her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Artists who have failed at social media
Despite how important social media is to an artist, there is such a thing as being too available via social media. It is possible to be too promotional or share too much information. You could end up alienating fans or potential fans with one too many humblebrag updates or the hundredth entreaty to buy your latest single. A fine line exists between making fans feel like they’re part of your career and smothering them with too much information.

There are, in fact, celebrities who demolish that line and abuse social media with grandstanding, fighting and other bad behavior—which does little to win them fans or help their reputation.

For example, Courtney Love’s meltdowns are well-documented on Twitter. Lily Allen and Katy Perry are only two of many sparring artists who have taken to Twitter—or in this case, Facebook—to openly fight with each other. And there’s Chris Brown, who has had to quit Twitter over the backlash over his insensitive tweets. 

In an era where online music sharing is easy and popular, an artist should utilize social media outlets as a tool to increase awareness and market themselves. By engaging with your audiences, you will increase your fan base and make sure you stay current and top of mind.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and online marketing professional in Southern California who specializes in social media marketing. She also writes for David Anderson Pianos. As a blogger herself, she uses a variety of different social media platforms to effectively communicate with her readers.

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