The objective of social media is no longer getting the most ‘likes,’ but to create the most engagement. Social networks have adjusted their algorithms since it became so easy to ‘buy’ likes. Thus, users with more engagement become more visible. But what does ‘engagement’ really mean?
Engagement is basically any conversation you can create with your followers, whether it is publicly on your comments section or through direct messages. As musicians, we need engaging fans because social media has become a world by itself, and having great social media metrics alone does not guarantee success for an artist.
After years of testing social media activity and real-life fan activity, we have come to realize that having a lot of followers or likes does not mean anything if it doesn’t convert to real-life action. Real-life action is anything that fans can do for you, from buying your merchandise to buying your CD/vinyl/digital album or paying to come to your shows/livestreams.
Social media is useful when you can convert your followers into real fans. And a great way to start converting your followers into real fans is by creating conversations on social media. In this post, we will provide three ways that you can create more conversations with your fans. By using these three strategies, you will take a step in the right direction in terms of having real conversations with your current and potential fans.
1. Tell your story in your posts
A great way to get started is to show your followers who you are as a person. What do you care about? What is your story? Why do you make music? What excites you when you make music? Tell fans stories about how you started music, or tell them about the story behind the song.
People are using social media to connect with the world and to find people who think and feel in a similar way to them. If you can habitually transmit your personal stories and allow your fans to know who you are as a person, you will start seeing some connection. People will start commenting on your posts. This is one of the most valuable commodities on social media now. Utilize this aspect of social media to find people like you, and to converse with your followers.
The second aspect of this is, tell us what you care about. Is there a social movement or an issue that you champion? How are you going to make music to make someone else’s life better? Answering these questions will get your story ideas flowing.
2. Respond to direct messages
As you tell your stories, you will form new connections with fans. These new-formed connections can take place in the form of comments under your posts, or as direct messages. If you have a lot of followers, this might mean a lot of direct messages. Answer them! Direct messages are a great way of starting conversations with people. Think of it as meeting your fans after the show and talking to them. Respond to people’s messages and get to know them. If you want to have a million fans, you need to talk to a million people in the end.
3. Ask fans questions and get their opinion
Your social media page might get boring if all you do is push content and show people how great your music is and how awesome you are. The real key is to create conversation, and the best way to start a conversation is by asking a question to your followers. You can ask them about anything!
What you can try is to make a post about an activity you’re doing on that particular day, such as reading. At the end of the post, you can ask what your fans are reading on that day. Or you can ask them about what their favorite type of coffee is. Or what’s a great album they discovered lately. These are simple questions, and often not related to music. However, these questions show that you want to start a conversation and have an exchange, which is a great first step to start engaging with your followers.
These three ideas will get you started with creating more conversations with your fans. It’s hard to know which questions people will respond to more and which ones less. This is something you can only learn with trial and error. I encourage you to create as many questions as possible and try to have as many conversations as possible.
Social media provides a great opportunity to talk to as many people as possible and to convert as many followers as your fans. Remember that getting fans is an organic process and your fans will be people who will connect to you both with your music and your personality. So have fun and have some great conversations!