[Editors Note: This article was written by Suzanne Paulinski.]
One of the biggest hurdles musicians face is finding the time and the right strategy to grow their following online. Bots and useless spamming tools may get your numbers up, but they’ll fail to bring you fans who will want to invest in your career. The best way to grow your reach is to show love to the fans you already have.
The best way to foster those relationships and turn followers into super fans is by engaging with them.
If you can get people to stop scrolling, read your post, and take time to respond, you’ve got their attention and you’re now starting to gain their trust. As my good friend, Steve Palfreyman (Music Launch Hub) would say, our gold currency in this day in age is people’s attention.
Most musicians know this, yet fail to figure out what works to get their audience taking action to like, comment, and share.
If social media engagement has always eluded you, try implementing one of the three tips below to get the spark some action on your newsfeeds and build relationships that turn quiet followers into fans – after all, they’re the ones who will do your word-of-mouth marketing for you.
1. Ask Questions/Take a Poll
Think about what happens when you meet a new person in real life.
That initial conversation always involves questions ranging from occupations to plans for the weekend. Getting to know your followers online, and inviting them to get to know you, isn’t that different.
Whether it’s about choosing the best graphic for your new t-shirts or simply asking your followers to tell you the last movie they saw, questions are a great way to get comments posted and conversations started.
In addition, they can also tell you a lot about your followers – what they like, how they spend their time, and what they want to see more of from you. When you are in doubt of what to do next in your career, don’t discount the value that can come from simply asking your fans what they think.
You don’t always have to take their advice, but asking them what they think shows you respect them enough to consider how they feel.
2. Have a Clear CTA
A CTA, or call-to-action, is a statement that tells someone exactly what you’d like them to do next. All too often artists post about a new event or offer but fail to tell their followers exactly what to do next.
This is especially crucial when using the tip above to ask a question – without a clear CTA that says, “Tell me in the comments below,” or, “Tell me what you think below,” too many scrollers may answer the question in their head and keep it moving.
Always remember people are most likely reading your post or email on their phone, on the move, and with little time to focus on what you’re saying. When they stop on your post to give you their attention, your CTA helps focus that attention so that they take one more step to comment on or share what you’ve posted.
If you’ve shared an event post, remind them to RSVP and get super clear on how they can do that. For example, “RSVP by clicking the link and choosing “Going” so I know I can count on seeing you there!”
With all the distractions that exist in a person’s day-to-day, simple tasks sometimes need to be spelled out, enabling them to move seamlessly onto the next step. Anything that you can do to maintain their focus and take the guesswork out of the process will help you engage your followers more easily.
3. Engage with Them First
Lead by example.
It doesn’t take much to show you care and that you’re interested in building a connection online. When others feel you’ve taken an interest in them they’re likely to return the favor.
You know you have gifts to be shared with your audience, but sometimes you have to acknowledge their gifts and open them up to the idea of spending time to get to know you. Once you do that, if they’re your ideal fan, they’ll want more.
So seek out those inactive followers and comment on their posts. If they post a photo from vacation, ask them where it was taken. If they post a photo of their pet, say what you love most about animals and ask them how long they’ve had that pet. If they are celebrating a win, share that win on your timeline and congratulate them.
Never forget the old adage – treat others they way you would like them to treat you.
Implementing these tips will increase your connection with your followers and humanize the small 60×60 thumbnail photo of you that shows up on their newsfeed.