There are a lot of rumors out there on how to pursue this mysterious thing we all know as ‘engagement.’ It’s funny actually. Everyone seems to have a different theory and yet there are so few people with a reasonable understanding of what getting engagement actually entails. In some ways, the hunt for engagement is sort of the white wale of modern-day internet marketing. This is especially prevalent in music where different things work for different population groups and demographics that different bands might be targeting. So I wanted to go over some general rules for strategies that will help you grow the engagement. Remember that the key to engagement is making social media feel like a one to one experience rather than the one to many experience it is. This means we need to make the end-user feel important, ask them questions, let them feel like they are part of an ongoing narrative and most importantly give them a call to action.
4. Making The End User Feel Important
This is the biggest key. If you want an engaged fan base you need to have an empowered fan base. To have an empowered fan base you need to make them feel like you care about them, and you should care about them after all – they are the ones who fund you. The way to make the fan feel important is by answering all their comments and replying to their messages. If people see that you are going to engage with them then they are going to comment. Try to make your engagement as meaningful as possible. I know it’s hard, but you gotta be replying with more than just a few emojis here and there. You need to give people a reason to come back.
3. Asking Your Fans Questions
It’s important to remember that at the end of the day most people just want an excuse to talk about themselves, even famous people, even people who are really respected in their particular community. Think about it – don’t you like it when people ask about YOUR band and other projects? So why not do the same thing with your fans? This can be super easy too. You don’t need to overthink it. You can even ask something as small as ‘What bands have you seen this week that you liked?’ It lets people feel loved. It makes them feel like they were a part of something larger. What more could you want?
2. Letting Fans Join The Ongoing Narrative
Now – I always talk about creating a narrative for your bands – this is crucial. However – it can take a variety of forms. The easiest, of course, is to document and not create. This means that you are just taking photos and posting about the day-to-day happenings of your band and growing around that. It means that people have something to follow along with. You can then ask questions and engage with your fans based on what is going on with your band. I had a band, Bootblacks, recently run a set of hilarious Instagram stories about their synth player eating a giant marshmallow fluff man on a drive. They posted on their story asking fans to message their support. It led to people who had never previously engaged with the band talking to them and strengthening their connection with the band.
1. Creating A Call To Action
This has been like crack for my Instagram engagement. With every big post I do now,I put a call to action. It’s usually in my Bacon’s Bits videos now that every single video ends with me asking people to comment based on something I say in the video. From that, I then post the question in the caption of the video. What this means is that new people are constantly commenting on my posts and entering my network. It gets people feeling involved. A call to action doesn’t have to just be a question either. It can be asking people to share a meme, a photo of themselves or to even go out and do something. You need to play with all the different options, but there is huge potential.
So go out, use these strategies, engage with your fans and tell me how it works for ya!
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Matt Bacon is a consultant, A&R man, and journalist specializing in the world of heavy metal. Having worked with everyone from Glam Rock icon Phil Collen of Def Leppard, to post Black Metal titans Alcest, by way of legendary thrashers Exhorder as well as labels including Prophecy Productions and Ripple Music, he has dedicated his life to helping young bands develop. Having started his own blog at the age of 14 he views his career in artist development as ‘a hobby that got out of hand’. In 2015 he formed Dropout Media in order to better support the artists he loves. We sit here now, years later with countless tours booked, records released and deals signed, and loving every minute of it.
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