Bands, Marketing

How to build an engaging fanbase online

Are you a musician looking to build an engaging fanbase online? Check out these strategies to help you increase fan engagement in no time.

Plenty of young musicians tend to underestimate the significance of having a dedicated and engaged fanbase. Fans keep artists alive, and give them the ability to keep making music. In fact, fans allow you to break into the music industry in the first place. 

Having an engaging fanbase will increase your brand awareness, not just among your fans but also among music lovers in general. The more you’re discussed in offline and online music circles, the more people will gravitate towards your music.

When you make an effort to interact with your fans, they’ll know you’re listening. And so, they’ll be more likely to interact back with you. This back and forth will create a deeper and more dedicated connection that will make your fans stick around for the long haul. 

Plus of course, a more dedicated fanbase means more ticket sales, greater hype for your new music, and more people at your concerts. And isn’t that every artist’s dream?

You can measure fan engagement by how many interactions you get on social media and other platforms. These can be in the form of likes, comments, replies etc. 

Building a dedicated fanbase online is crucial to keep your music trending. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of foolproof strategies to help you gain fans online. Read on to find out what they are!

1. Get your fans’ attention on Instagram

Instagram is a great place to interact with your fans. Here you have plenty of opportunities to talk to your followers and get them to reply to you. While Instagram doesn’t specify what a good audience engagement rate is, generally 1 to 5 percent is considered to be brilliant. So this is what you should be aiming for. 

Here are a number of Instagram strategies you should consider to engage with your fans. 

Research your audience

It always helps to come from an informed place when you’re building a presence on social media. Try and figure out who your audience comprises of. This is important not just for fan engagement, but also for your career in general. After all, it helps to know who’s listening to your music and why. 

Compile data based on the following factors:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Language
  • Music interests

If you have an Instagram for Business account, you should be able to track these metrics easily. 

Check out the competition

See what other bands and artists are posting on their accounts. Especially if their fanbase is similar to yours. Also do your research on what fans are responding to on their accounts. Here are some questions you should be answering while doing researching your competitors:

  • Which posts receive the most likes and comments?
  • How often do they post on their page?
  • What do they post on their stories?
  • What is their primary mode of interaction – stories, posts, reels?
  • How many followers do they seem to be getting everyday?
  • What does their audience look like?

Be authentic

Fans will not want to engage with posts made by your management or record label. While those posts might get the word out about your music, they won’t get many responses. After all, fans want to talk to their favorite artist, not their favorite artist’s management team. 

This is why it’s important to be authentic in all your uploads. Use first person pronouns e.g. “I’m excited to release my new single.” Use emojis wherever you feel they’re appropriate. Encourage your fans to respond to you by asking them questions. 

Being authentic also means being honest with your fans about struggles. Singer Selena Gomez recently revealed she’s bipolar during an Instagram Live. Through this, she allowed her fans to see a more human side of her. 

Share pictures

Instagram is inherently visual. So the more photos you share, the more engagement you’ll get. Share pictures of your concerts and live shows. Tag your fans. These photos will be more likely to get shared, and they’ll increase your reach.

Also post pictures of any new music you have coming out. Make your own promotional album art by browsing through PosterMyWall’s album cover templates and choosing something that fits your vibe. The more creative you can get, the better. 

Post videos

Videos get 38% more engagement on Instagram than anything else. Post videos of your shows, jam sessions in the studio, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, you name it. Use Instagram Reels to post your videos so that they’re easily shareable on other people’s stories. The goal is to get as personal with your fans as possible. 

This video of Carly Rae Jepsen promoting her new music is a great example of how you can use video to engage with your fans. 

Go live

According to one study, 80% of audiences prefer live videos over blog posts. Live videos allow you to engage with your fans in real time. Answer questions as they come, play music upon request, and let fans into your personal lives by introducing them to family, friends, and pets. 

According to music marketing expert Leonard Patterson, your goal should be to get your fans excited for your next gig. Video, especially live video, allows you to do that because your fans can see in real time what you have to offer e.g. live jam sessions. You also get the chance to deal with any queries and concerns on the spot.

2. Stay active on TikTok

TikTok currently has over 1 billion active users. This means it’s very likely that a big part of your fanbase uses it. TikTok also allows for plenty of engagement opportunities that you can take advantage of. 

Here are some TikTok engagement strategies for you to consider. 

Start a new challenge

Dance challenges on TikTok are all the rage these days. Because so many people end up jumping on the same bandwagon, one song can go from “completely unknown” to “song of the summer” in little over a week. Most TikTok challenges are set to one particular song, which gets circulated until it’s stuck in everyone’s head. 

This is what happened when artist Powfu’s song “Death Bed” became part of a TikTok trend. After it went viral, the song got over 1 billion streams online. All because of TikTok. 

So come up with your own challenge and get it trending. One song is all it takes to become a viral sensation. 

Get to the “For You” page

The “For You” page on TikTok is a personalized newsfeed that showcases all the trendiest videos. If you make it on this page, you’ll get more facetime with your fans, and subsequently a more engaging fanbase.

Here’s what you need to do to make this happen:

  • Post regularly
  • Post high quality videos
  • Hop on to popular TikTok trends
  • Reply to questions and comments under your videos

Duet with fans and other artists

TikTok has a really interesting duet feature that allows you to perform a duet with another account. What better way to engage with your fans than to sing with them?

Simply pick an eager fan with a good voice, and do a fun little duet with them. You can sing a song of your own, or pick another artist’s music. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re able to show to your fans that you’re willing to spend time with them online. 

Moreover, become a part of the artist community on TikTok by doing duets and mini-collaborations with other musicians and bands. Opening up connections with other artists is a great way to get further exposure and get a chance to open for other artists on tours.

Not only is this a great way to set up and promote bigger collaborations, but it’ll also help you get acquainted with their fans. They might even be tempted to check out your music after hearing you sing with their favorite artist.

Post during peak engagement times

These are the proven best times to post on TikTok:

  • Monday: 10 AM and 10 PM
  • Tuesday: 2 AM and 9 AM
  • Wednesday: 7 AM and 11 PM
  • Thursday: 9 AM and 12 AM
  • Friday: 5 AM, and 3 PM
  • Saturday: 11 AM and 8 PM
  • Sunday: 8 AM and 4 PM

Not only will more people see your content during these times, you’ll also have more people interacting with your content. 

Add CTAs to all your videos

Add a call-to-action button at the end of all videos, so fans can check out your music if they like what they see. This is especially important for any music related videos you post. For instance, sing an acoustic version of one of your songs, and then direct people to a link to get the whole song. 

If you’re just starting out as a band, check out our tips on other ways you can promote your music online. 

3. Take advantage of Twitter

Twitter currently has over 330 million active users. It also allows for a lot more direct engagement with fans because most people on the platform have public accounts. 

Therefore, you can engage with followers directly by replying to their tweets, DMing them, following them back, and so on.

Post funny, relatable content

Because the tweets people like show up on their followers’ timelines, you can easily rack up engagement just through likes on your tweets. So make it worth their while.

Post about funny, mundane things that happened throughout the day. Let people know that you’re just like them. Sometimes, a larger than life persona can be intimidating. You have the chance to break that barrier by letting fans in on your everyday musings. 

This will also make you more relatable to fans, who will be more likely to reply with their own musings.

Take inspiration from musician James Blunt. The singer routinely tweets funny, self-deprecating quips about himself and his career. It boosted his online popularity immensely and allowed fans to interact with his tweets in equally funny ways. 

Use plenty of visuals

According to a study done by Twitter, visuals, especially GIFs, get 55% more engagement on Twitter than other tweets. Use GIFs to announce a new release, build hype for your music, and sell merch. The more visibility you have, the more people will interact with you.

Also use pictures and music posters to build hype and engagement around your shows. PosterMyWall has all kinds of posters, from indie to edm posters, for you to build your Twitter presence. 

Also make sure to post around midday and during mid week to get the most amount of interaction. 

Here are some more foolproof Twitter strategies to help you engage with your fans:

  • Give your fans a group name and a hashtag, and use it consistently
  • Ask fans to share their favorite songs by you
  • Do a Q&A: artist Niall Horan did a Twitter Q&A with his fans who could send him questions using the hashtag “#AskNiall”, which was trending worldwide in less than 24 hours 
  • Share your thoughts on other artists’ music and interact with them to become familiar with their fans 

4. Consider email marketing

Emails allow you to get personal in a way that social media cannot. Mainly, you’re not competing for fans’ attention with other artists. And you can be sure that the content you send them will be viewed. It also helps that about 72% of people prefer to get promotions through emails.

Before we talk about email strategies for building an engaging fanbase, you need to have a comprehensive list of fan emails. These are just some of the ways you can get them:

  • Post CTAs on your website and on social media
  • Offer something in return if you get an email – a free podcast download or an unreleased song (sites like ListBaby allow you to do this easily)
  • Entice people with access to exclusive content if they sign up
  • Do social media giveaways (for free merch etc.) and ask people to sign up to enter
  • Trade email lists with another band

Here are some effective email strategies for you to engage with your fans effectively.

Send exclusive newsletters

Send out a weekly, bi-monthly, or a monthly newsletter to your email list. Include all kinds of exclusive content:

  • Stories and inspirations behind particular songs
  • Secret song meanings
  • Answering fan questions
  • Feedback on fan art
  • Replies to letters from fans 
  • Lessons for aspiring musicians
  • Posters for any upcoming gigs or shows e.g. music festival posters

Start an email fan club

Fan clubs are a great way to engage with your fans in a close knit setting. You can get their opinions on your music, and in return, you can offer them exclusive offers. These offers can be in the form of priority tickets, pre-release bookings, and free merchandise. 

Pearl Jam has an email fan club that offers fans all kinds of perks. It allows them to maintain an aura of exclusivity while creating a cult following that benefits both the band and its fans. 

Send order confirmation emails

Now order confirmation emails may sound boring. But they don’t have to be. Whenever someone buys from you, encourage them to post about their purchase online. Engage with their posts by liking and commenting on them whenever you can. Let them know their support was appreciated.

Add your album cover art to each confirmation email so the fan is reminded to check out more of your music, and purchase that too. This will also increase familiarity with your brand.

And of course, most importantly, add a personalized “thank you” message to each confirmation email. 

Final thoughts

The internet is a great place to find your audience and build a dedicated following. With these email and social media strategies, you will be able to curate a unique and exciting fanbase that you can then market your music to. 

Once you implement these strategies, use PosterMyWall’s album cover maker to make incredible album art to share with your fans. 

Here are some important takeaways to remember: use a lot of visuals, keep an interesting back-and-forth going with your fans online, and remind your fans that they are part of an exclusive club.

If you’re new to designing visuals, promotions, and album covers, try PosterMyWall for an easy and effortless design experience.