This is probably old news to you: social media is a great way to build and grow a fan base. When looking for a platform to promote their music, many artists turn to the various Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
When it comes to social media promotion, it is important to have a strategy and goals in mind. There are many different ways social media can be used for promotion.
The following four are some easy-to-implement tactics that musicians can use to grow their fan base and strengthen the bond with those who love their music.
1. Share Exclusive Content Using Google Hangouts on Air
A good way to turn your fans into super-fans is to give them something unique. Are you about to play a new song during your rehearsal or are you set to record it in the studio? Why not to share the experience with your followers?
All you need is a laptop with a webcam, an Internet connection and a Google Plus account. If you have a Google+ page, you can easily record and broadcast your videos on YouTube and embed them into your website using Hangouts on Air.
Schedule a date, set up your laptop, start recording and share this exclusive behind-the-scenes content with your fans. They’ll love it!
2. Start Your Twitter Chat
Another thing you can do to engage your fan base is to create a Twitter chat. If you are looking for how to host a chat on Twitter, I would recommend checking Madalyn Sklar’s GoGo Chat (look for the hashtag #ggchat) and the Music Marketing Mind Chat (#mmmchat).
Depending on the time you have available, you can decide whether to have your chat once a week, twice a week, every two weeks or once a month. Obviously, the more often the chat, the more the engagement of your followers will grow.
In order to keep track of your chat and see what participants are tweeting, there are tools like TweetChat that can help.
3. Launch a Contest
Another tactic to grow your fan base and turn your fans into super fans, is to launch contests.
Grammy Award-winning pianist Robert Glasper has recently started Tell Robert Why You Stand Alone. For his fans, it’s an opportunity to submit a video and try to get featured in the video of the song I Stand Alone.
Tell Robert Why You Stand Alone is something you could think about, before shooting your next videoclip. If you decide to go ahead and try something similar, make sure to make instructions easy to understand and to follow, just like Glasper has done.
If there’s still some time before your next video will be shot, you can opt for launching a contest in which people can win a prize (e.g. a signed copy of your latest record, merchandise, tickets to your next show).
Photo contests on Instagram or video competitions using Vine are a fun and entertaining way to engage your fan base. To really take this to next level, you could even tell fans that the top three, five or ten videos/pictures will be posted on your site.
In the latest episode of The Jazz Spotlight Podcast, contemporary jazz and smooth jazz star Brian Culbertson and I talked about using Q&As as a tool to grow a fan base.
In the past, Brian has used Ustream to host exclusive Q&As with his fans. He streamed the video live, while he was answering questions people were tweeting him.
This way, his fans got the opportunity to have access to him, ask him questions and watch him answering live.
If you’re already using Hangouts on Air, you could do the same thing and use those instead of Ustream.
These are some different ways you can use social media to promote yourself and grow your fan base. Are there other tactics you use to turn your fans into super fans? Write your comments below.