A Beginner’s Guide To Direct Fan Interaction

Young Man with a Guitar Performing on a Beach Concert
18 Mar 2016

Having an intimate relationship with your fans is important because it shows you are human. The internet has become a powerful tool and weapon. In some cases it is a sword while others it is a shield. Staying grounded lets your fans know that you’re a regular person and don’t take them for granted. Here are some ways to stay in touch with them.

Email Subscriptions 

Newsletters are a great way to stay connected. Email is still a very relevant tool for communication. Imagine collecting email information from people after a live performance. Now you can specifically target them when you have an upcoming show in that area. It is easier to gather emails than to gather social network handles.

The difference between using social media and email is targeting. Facebook is still the highest ranked social network site with Twitter coming in behind it according to statistics from eBiz.

Twitter only allows 140 character posts. Because of the varying locations of followers, the posts can be lost due lack of no relation. For example, if your show is in Louisiana then you want that community to come out. Twitter posts are open for everyone.

Facebook allows targeting with ad purchasing but even so, that can be grueling because a person may still say they are from New York and actually live in California.

Emails give you a chance to share important information such as concert updates, contests, and latest developments on the album and more.

Live Feeds 

It used to be that Skype was the most popular streaming service, followed by Ustream. Now users have Snapchat and Periscope. Live feeds are great because you can interact face to face with people online. So if you’re in the studio working on a record, you could have them provide feedback. Let the fans know who you are.

Music producer 9th Wonder used to do this often. He would offer listening sessions for producers and give feedback live.

Live broadcasts are also great for contests, just like radio. Offer them some form of thank you, whether it is free tickets or a gift. This will then feed other people to want to join next time.

Live Performance

This is by far the most important. Listening to an album and hearing it live are two separate things. A live performance has energy, ups and downs and mistakes because it is a show. Crowd participation is a great way to interact.

Running up and down the stage high fiving people, jumping into the crowd to dance or perform around them, bringing up guests to help you sing a hook are all great examples of participation. Seducing is another form of interaction.

The goal is to make each person feel as if you are only focused on them. Make eye contact with as many people as possible.

One thing that is crucial is talking with people after your set is over, thanking them for their energy, and then interacting with them once off stage. Go take some photos with them for Instagram. Have a drink, but keep it professional.

Social Media 

Tweets, posts and tags are all welcome. Retweet someone’s excitement on your feed or reply back thanking them for their support. Be human. Also remember that consistency is a necessity with all of these attributes. Social networks are current and important.

Phone calls 

Urban artist Mike Jones garnished a lot of attention with his constant sharing of his phone number in 2004-2005. Of course it was probably a secondary phone he used to reach out to fans; it was a smart move nonetheless. Think about having a phone specifically for fans to dial. It does not need to be on at all times. Just find a moment where it is most useful.

As mentioned before consistency is important when doing all of this. You want your fans to feel like they’re your best friend. As you notice with celebrities, people follow what they do. So when they say a new diet is great or sport a new form of clothing, people will follow. Never think you are too big to interact with fans. They can start your career and elevate it for years, but they also have the power to end it.
This article has been republished with permission.
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