When you are an emerging musician, it can be tricky to build an audience and know exactly who your fans are. How do you find people who will resonate with what you are creating? The answer is… there is no one answer!
Identify your audience
There’s no point making wild guesses about who your fans are. You could be completely off the mark. Luckily, with social media analytics being what they are today, you don’t have to make an educated guess about who your fans are, the analytics already have that information ready and waiting for you!
It is true that you need over 100 followers to start gleaning data on who is following you. This is a very achievable first step and once you get there, you can start building based on your audience demographics.
Every single social media platform has built-in analytics that tracks several things about your audience.
These things include:
- where your audience is located
- how old they are
- what language they speak
- when they are most active
- their gender
- Which posts they engaged with the most
- Which posts got the most reach
This information is freely available to you. All you have to do is have a business account and you will get access to this critical information.
Now that you know who your fans are and what they prefer, gear your content towards their interests to further build your audience.
Use the information you have about your current audiences to build more similar audiences. Give them what they have already shown you they want!
Test and trial content.
Each month, trial new content and then check back on the analytics to see what performed the best. Lean into content that is doing well and create more in a similar vein. Make sure you are doing the basic things to appease and optimize the algorithm.
These things include:
- Post regularly and consistently
- Use appropriate copy for particular platforms – (Relevant hashtags for Instagram, no hashtags for Facebook)
- Really think about the copy you are using and if it is encouraging people to stop and read
- Eye-catching assets
- Don’t just stick to one asset format, rotate between them all (carousel, image, video)
- Geo tagging
- Tagging any collaborators with the correct handles
Social media is meant to be just that, SOCIAL. Make sure you are interacting with anyone who is commenting or engaging. You can’t expect others to stay in touch with you if you aren’t reciprocating!
Never pay for bots to build your audience.
Why? The way these bots work is they go onto other accounts as you and like, comment, engage and follow to encourage that account to do the same back. When that account does follow you back, the bot then unfollows them so your following count stays low whilst your follower count gets higher. This looks good from the outset, but you can always tell when a bot has been at work because organic engagement numbers do not at all correlate with the number of followers you end up with. In short, you paid for a single number to go up but this number will not have the same impact it normally would if you built it organically.
This is a waste of your money and never truly reflects an authentic audience.
Often, bots won’t pick accounts that are super relevant to you or your interests. This means that eventually you are left with a bunch of accounts that are not interested in your content and are likely to eventually unfollow you. It also skews your data and analytics on the back end. You may notice more random audience members in different countries that don’t relate to you or age groups that are not in line with the style of music you perform.
BUT, you can still pay for followers in a careful and calculated way. Facebook Ads Manager has a campaign objective that is aimed specifically at obtaining more follows and likes. Ads Manager allows you to granularly target the audience that will receive this ad from you. Thus, allowing you much more control than if you were to just pay for a bot. These audiences can be lookalikes of your current audiences. A lookalike audience can have different levels of similarity, but you can select that they are similar by 1% meaning they are as similar as possible without being the same person!
This is a safe and strategic way to build an audience and find your fans on top of a consistent social strategy.
Build your audience by making friends at live shows!
Whether you are supporting or headlining, aim to connect.
Every time you play, you should hang around and talk to the people who came to see you. These are your literal fans in the flesh! Don’t waste a moment and try to get to know them. This will give you even more insight into what your audience looks like and presents as in real life. It is the perfect chance to connect with them on a deeper level and thank them for showing up to support you.
If you are supporting another band or you are the headliner, always be kind and friendly to the other band. Generally, support acts and headliners tend to choose similar genres in order to create flow during the night. This means that the other band’s audience may also be potential fans of your band. Always tag and share a gig if you are supporting, not just to show literal support, but to get in front of the eyes of their audiences. Ideally, you will get some cross-over the more you perform with different bands and your audience will compound and become larger.
Want more in-depth information? Read How to build an exemplary online presence.