It’s as simple as this: If you’re a modern indie artist, you need to be interacting with your fans online.
Direct interactions with you are one of your main tools for building true engagement among your fans. Your fans want to feel like you’re approachable, and that their opinions are being heard. They want to be able to talk to you, and maybe even get a direct reply.
Plus, of course, social media and fan forums are pretty much free unless you would like to splurge on upgrades. It’s an extremely affordable answer for those of you who want to know how to promote your music.
And you need that support more than ever, in the world of online music. Engagement makes the difference between a purchase and a pirate. It can get people buying tickets, not hearing you in mixes. It encourages those who’ve bought your stuff to buy more.
- Be spontaneous.
Post updates when something interesting happens, even in your personal life. If anything, social media is your opportunity to be the “real you” rather than a stage persona.
- Do a reality check.
You know how practically every day there’s a new story about someone saying something really dumb on Twitter? Don’t be them. Take a moment before you hit “Send,” read what you just wrote, and consider how a fan would react to it. Would they in fact actually care about the awesome falafel you just had?
- Talk back.
Give-and-take are expected in social media, so don’t simply post and then let the masses bicker. Well, George Takei gets away with it sometimes. Otherwise, talk with your fans. Answer their questions. Give a little back.
- Pop up in unofficial forums.
Few things make a fansite pop like a personal appearance. If you’ve got people maintaining forums of their own, register and post from time to time.
- Encourage input.
Do whatever you can to get fans contributing their own material or advice. Pictures, mixes, polls, whatever. The fans who are sending things to you are also the ones telling friends about you.