When it comes to communicating with your fans, listening is just as important as talking. Here, we offer some pointers on navigating the two-way street of fan communication, and how it can help you understand your audience.
In case you’re not aware, your core fans crave your communication. The superfans hang on every word, watch every video, and eagerly await any graphic or music track. That said, communication is a two-way street, and the artist must be just as willing to listen to his or her fans, which basically means that you’re taking the pulse of your fanbase, hearing what they’re feeling and thinking.
This can be helpful in determining just what the core fans really like and dislike about you and your music. Maybe there’s a direction that you briefly touched upon on your last record that drove the fanbase wild, or maybe it was one that they hated? You might choose to follow your musical instincts instead of listening to fan feedback, but at least you won’t be surprised by the resulting reaction.
Understanding your fan’s also lifts the mood of the total fanbase since interaction with the most vocal superfan is always appreciated and results in more participation. Showing your appreciation for their participation fosters even greater loyalty and participation and gets them invested emotionally and intellectually.
So how do you take the pulse of your fans? You ask them questions or ask them to help you.
1) Ask them which piece of merch they prefer.
2) Ask them about the best venues in their area, why they like them, and if they’d prefer to see you there.
3) Ask them what song they’d love to hear you cover.
4) Ask them who their favorite artists are (this answer is great for other elements of social marketing as well).
5) Ask them to judge the artwork on your next release, then when they respond, reward them. Give a free T-shirt to the first 10 responses. Send them a secret link to stream a track only available to them. Give a personal shout out to some of the best responses.
The key is to ask any question that makes your fans feel special and great about belonging to your community, and its interest high.