[I write for DottedMusic.com every Wednesday on music technology, marketing, and lifestyle. The following is an article that I've written for Dotted Music, which I will republish on Musebox on a 5-7 day delay.]
Most bands maintain a social media account, but the profile is a billboard for their own accomplishments and updates for those fans that are tuning in… It’s always a benefit to both your band and your fans to give back to the very collective who are the very reason for your existence and success. Here are five ways found from around on the socialweb to bring a smile to your fans’ faces.
Fan of the Day
Social media is not just about creating a profile. The returning readers are the most important individuals in your pocket of fans, the ones who are most likely to tell their friends or re-Tweet your messages. If you have raving fans who are following your every social media footprint among the statistics that you’re consistently making an effort to increase, individually recognizing them is a compliment by both peers with shared interests, and of course by the band itself.
Aziatix discovered the popularity of this social media strategy and consistently feature a fan as the “Aziaddict of the Day” on their Facebook page. You can add a twist to this further, but asking your fans to re-Tweet or repost a specified message, and the individual with the most influence would be featured as the “Fan of the Week.”
Giving away a CD is a common strategy that musicians with leftover EPs or LPs can afford to utilize. This is a simple strategy that is just as easily implementable whether you’re asking for re-Tweets, reposts, or clever reposts in return.
Eric Alper pursued a rather successful contest asking for re-Tweets by Sunday midnight for a chance to win a 2-CD giveaway. But remember, you will likely have at least a handful of international fans. You should be willing to shell out the extra money for international shipping.
The future of social media lies in the integration of the virtual social network with that of those IRL (in real life). For example, start ups like Meetup.com and Skillshare.com enable individuals to organize meet ups wherein people from niche virtual communities can meet face to face, sans webcam. But in a more short term and exciting music related endeavor, Donald Glover (yes he stars in Community, but he’s a talented rapper) and crew hid #IAMDONALD stickers in the city of his next gig. The task was to find the sticker, take a photograph of it, and Tweet the photo to @DonaldGlover (using yfrog.com). In return, the first person to photograph the sticker would win passes to his show.
By publicizing this mini contest on Twitter, Glover was able to keep his fans at the edge of their seats as he Tweeted hints in real time, while responding to the Tweets of struggling contestants.
You help me, I give you freebies
Can’t afford a street team? Why not ask your fans to lend you a hand. Of course, if they’re your fans and willing to brave the streets in the name of your band, they wouldn’t want anything but band freebies, which I am sure you have plenty of lying around your apartment. Add to that, you’re getting your fans into the physical promotion process, which thereby will encourage them to spread the word among their peers.
She Wants Revenge realized this opportunity and consequently established a way to promote themselves through the help of others. What are the benefits? Your fans will know the best places around their own town to post flyers and stickers, that you likely will not be aware of.
Ask me anything, and you shall get an answer
Curiosity is a characteristic that drives productivity. More importantly, in social media, you’re seen as an expert, whether you talk about creating music or you’re discussing your own life. Q&A sessions are an effective way to have your fans interact with you, but more importantly, it’s a strategy to give back to your fans. Questions that you may encounter could range from generic questions about your influences and interests to technical questions about your gear or instruments.
!llmind of Smokey Robotic uses Formspring instead of Twitter for his Q&A platform to answer his fan’s pressing questions.
Let us know in the comments below if you’ve used a social media strategy that you have found to be successful.