How To Engage With Your Fans
Fan engagement is arguably one of the the most important things that you can take advantage of in order to market your band’s brand. Beyond that, it is important to stay engaged once a relationship has been formed. Social media is a wonderful tool that breaks down barriers and opens up communication channels all over the world, but don’t narrow your focus on a computer screen. There are other great ways that you can engage with fans, here are a few ideas to get you started!
1. The Merch Table
We have all seen it, and at some point we have all loved it. The merch table is like the watering hole of the venue. It’s a great place to gather before and after a band’s set. In the chaos that ensues in between bands taking down and setting up equipment it can be hard for new fans to find the lead singer or drummer to tell them how much they enjoyed the music. Even if you don’t actually have merch set-up - which you are doing a disservice to your brand by not having - make sure a few members of the band are posted up in the designated merch area. Even if you’re just talking with other members of the band, it’s important to be visible and more importantly accessible. Have a few freebies on hand like stickers or buttons that you can hand out to people that walk up to say “great set!”. They get some fun swag, and it helps them to remember the band name - which is a win-win in my book.
2. Open-Mic Night
Open-mic nights often have a connotation of being a mixed-bag of musicians. There are first-timers and veterans in the same room all taking advantage of the opportunity to play. While some musicians might not see the value in these grassroots events, typically they have a nice draw built in because the event times are earlier and the atmosphere is a little more laid-back. Show up and do a few unplugged numbers of your music. This has the advantage of exposure in a circle you might not have reached before, which in turn, opens up new opportunities for engagement. Maybe somebody will approach you after your set. This is a great time to direct them to your band’s Facebook page - which should hopefully have some gigs posted where they can come see the full line-up!
We couldn’t go a full list talking about engagement and completely skip over social media. However, we all know that Facebook and Twitter are the King and Queen of the social networking world, but Instagram is making a run at the throne. You can bore people to tears by just posting the same old picture of your band every day - but you can also use it to engage with fans and more importantly other bands in the area. First of all, you should be going to as many local shows as you can to network and show face.
Remember, you can’t really expect anybody to come to your EP release show if you never support anybody else. Once you’re there, you almost need to submit to the mentality of “pics or it didn’t happen.” Take a picture and tag the band that’s playing. This shows them that you’re supportive, and helps to direct some of your fans their way - which strengthens the local scene. In turn, they’ll be more likely to post about your upcoming show or tag you in a post (which then starts the cycle over in your favor). It’s a great way to network and build a fan base while helping others discover some cool local talent. Don’t forget to use the appropriate hashtags and include your band as well as the one playing - which will increase chances of people finding you if they search for the other.
Those are just a few tips to get you started, but remember, the important thing is to have a mix of social media and in-person networking for a more complete blanket of engagement. For more ideas or any comments that you have follow me on Twitter: @p_corsi.
Green Light Go: Building your fan base is important! Don’t forget to engage with people before and after events.
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