[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Rich Nardo.]
You did it! It took months of hard work to plan your tour and, despite the inevitable bumps along the road, it was most definitely a worthwhile experience.
If things went according to plan, you probably made new friends and fans over the course of the tour. Now that you’re home, you’re noticing a bump in your social following and you have new people asking when you’re coming back to their town.
Now you can begin working on the next step in your journey towards building a sustainable fan base away from your hometown – figuring out how to maintain this following when it might be a little while before you can come play live for them again.
1. Mine Social Media, Keep the Conversation Going
As social media continues to create opportunities to interact directly with fans, it is important to be proactive on each of your channels to make sure you’re aggregating every potential listener.
After all, you don’t want to run the risk of falling out of your new followers’ memory in between visits to their city.
Search the geo-tag for the venues you played at, as well as, the hashtag for your band’s name. Once you’ve found all the photos and videos that people have taken from your show, follow those people and thank them with a tweet, comment or DM for coming out and ask them to follow you back so they can keep up with your new music and return visits.
2. Make The Most of Your Mailing List
These days, the concept of a mailing list may seem antiquated and, to an extent, it is. Everyone with an inbox gets bombarded with offers and unsolicited invites each and every day – most of which are promptly deleted without even a glance.
Still, despite the high chance that most of your mailing list messages are going to be deleted, it is worthwhile to get everyone’s emails at your show for a couple of reasons.
First, some people, particularly those that really loved the show, will open each mailing list message you send – excited to hear your new music or get an update on how your career is progressing.
Second, you can geo-target your mailing list for show updates. This is a great way to ‘digitally flyer’ before your next visit to a city and get the fans you won over with your exceptional live show back out to see you the next time you’re in their market.
3. Are They Subscribing?
One thing you’ll realize about the first three points, including this one, is the importance of aggregating the people who liked your band live so that you can convert them to active members of your fan base.
One great way to do so without having to ask people for their contact information is through subscribing to your band where they consume music directly. For listening tendencies, this means encouraging them to subscribe on Spotify, YouTube, Apple, Amazon or whatever their favorite streaming site is. If they want to just know when they can see you live again, ask them to subscribe to your tour dates on BandsinTown or Songkick – whichever platform you use to post your shows.
4. Give them a “Call To Action”
One secret to marketing that should be applied across the board is that a “call to action” is generally going to be one of your most effective marketing tools. If you can incentivize your new fans to spread the word to their friends than you’ve initiated a word-of-mouth marketing channel that will be more valuable than anything you can do personally.
A recommendation from a friend is the most effective method of getting new people to give your music a chance, so give your new fans a reason to spread the word.
In this scenario, it could be a push to get more people from their town to follow you on socials in order to get you back there sooner, or promising a free piece of merch or guest list spot in return for getting more people to follow you on socials.
5. Get Back Out There!
The best way to keep fans engaged is to go back and see them regularly. In past articles I’ve spoke about the importance of building regionally before trying to tour in markets farther away from your home. This is one of the main reasons for that point.
If you can start getting back to the markets that are a reasonable drive away on a regular basis, you’ll start to see your network of bands and promoters, as well as your fan base grow in those cities. Once that happens and you can rely on those markets to make you some decent money on the road, it becomes feasible to start tacking on additional dates in new markets. From there, that national tour you’ve always dreamed of is just a few short steps away!
Rich Nardo is a freelance writer and editor, and is the VP of Public Relations and Creative at NGAGE.