Social Media Engagement | Best Practices for Building an Army of Loyal Fans

Social media engagement

Studying Music Business at SAE can arm emerging artists and music industry professionals with an array of different skills, including a strong grasp of the latest social media marketing techniques. Check out our programme if you want to learn more about how our course can prepare you for today’s music industry and read our blog on mastering social media below…

Social media engagement is a key way for bands and artists to find a loyal fanbase and share their music.

While there are challenges in competing with other online outlets in today’s busy digital world, social media channels such as TikTok, Instagram or Facebook offer plenty of opportunities too.

If used correctly, they can help establish a social media presence that effectively tells the story of you and your music. If you run a music business, then these platforms can be equally as important in finding customers and clients. For all, using the latest social media marketing techniques can be a brilliant way of developing meaningful relationships with tastemakers, businesses and music fans.

If you’re not sure where to start with putting together a social media marketing strategy to help you as an artist or as a fledgling music business, then read our blog.

Here, we’ll explain the social media basics and offer some essential tips on the best ways to find and build a following with these platforms.

What is Social Media Engagement?

Social media engagement strategies are used by brands, companies, professionals and artists to boost audience growth.

Engagement relates to how social media users interact with social media content. From TikTok to YouTube, there are different forms of engagement – the most common include likes, comments, views and content shares or re-posts.

The more active your profiles, the greater your engagement should be, which can lead to a larger audience entering the world surrounding you, your music and your business.

This is at the foundation of content marketing and establishing a social media engagement strategy for your different social media channels is the best way to enhance this online activity.

Why does Engagement Matter?

If your social media engagement rates are high, then this shows that your content is connecting effectively with your audience.

People spending more time watching or engaging with your social media channels and online content is good for you as an artist or business. By attracting more engagement, you are generating exposure, enhancing fan loyalty and creating more meaningful conversations with your target audience.

To effectively grow engagement, you need to use the social media analytics provided by each platform. By learning what content resonates and what does not, you can plot a way forward to deepen social media connections.

Duncan Lewis, SAE Music Business Tutor at our Liverpool campus, said: “We like to focus on the cliche that followers aren’t necessarily fans. Instead we want to use social media as a conversational tool to move people through to a website and capture their details. It is when conversations are taking place that social media is at its most effective.”

How to Start Planning your Social Media Strategy

Social media engagement

There are certain things to consider before posting online to help you focus on creating an engaged social media community.

From using the right social media profiles to finding the best ways to create content, here’s how to develop an online marketing strategy to keep conversations flowing around you and your music.

Set Yourself Social Media Goals

You need to consider your social media goals before using social media.

Are you looking to promote a gig or new release? Expand your network and connect with like-minded individuals, artists and music industry professionals? Perhaps you want to use these platforms to find a music industry professional to help your business – a label, PR or booking agent.

Other goals could be:

  • Finding new fans or community members
  • Getting feedback on your music
  • Establishing yourself as a thought leader on a certain topic
  • Overhauling how you and your music are perceived.

Define Your Audience

At the beginning, it’s a challenge to engage with an audience when you don’t know who they are.

So invest some time in using the analytics provided by social media platforms to equip yourself with knowledge about your potential fans or customer base. Look around your chosen platform for relevant groups or networks, then review what people are discussing.

You can use social listening tools to discover more about where your audience lives online. Look to other similar businesses or artists for guidance on the kind of tone or language that could resonate. By getting a clearer picture of your audience, you should be able to work out what content to create, when to publish and the social media sites you need to be on to effectively engage with them.

Fundamentally understanding your audience supports your social media marketing strategy, builds your brand credibility, and should lead to cultivating passionate fans.

Explore what Channels Work Best for You

There are a variety of social media channels to choose from and each can work in a different way with different demographics.

For example, LinkedIn is an online space for business professionals. The tone of language here can be more formal and official than other channels such as TikTok where content is video-based and sometimes less serious.

It is worth experimenting with different channels and getting a feel for each alongside investigating where you think your audience is more likely to gather. You also need to be comfortable with the kind of content you need to make – so if you find video content difficult to conceive, then TikTok might not be an appropriate channel for you.

Optimise your Profiles

Make sure every section of your online profiles are completed, then keep them up to date.

This means sourcing a good quality image, having the most relevant or recent links in your bio and take advantage of the different opportunities each platform offers. For example, with Instagram, consider posting stories and reels alongside standard photos.

Always remember to keep updating the link in your bio for Twitter and Instagram, whether this be with links to a gig, event or new release. Nothing is more off-putting on social media than a profile that has been dormant for some time.

How to grow your audience on social media channels

Social media engagement

Using social media engagement strategies are the best ways to grow your audience on these social media pages.

Here are some pieces of advice on the most effective ways to do this…

Encourage and share user-generated content

When a customer leaves a great review or shares a video positively portraying your business, this is a testimony that can carry a lot of influence with a potential client or customer.

Your brand can promote itself as often as it wants but there is power in third-party approval and endorsements coming from your audience.

Find your voice

As you develop your social media engagement strategy, it’s important to develop a unique voice. Consider:

  • What makes you stand out?
  • How are you different from your competitors?
  • Why should people work with you or listen to you?

Developing and maintaining a brand voice that is consistent across all channels and platforms helps you become both recognisable and memorable. This can take the form of language alongside the look and feel of your online presence.

Creating Meaningful Connections

Social media engagement hinges on your ability to create content capable of establishing relationships with your audience. If possible, you want to create deep connections with those who follow you so they constantly engage with you and your music. Consider the best kind of content that can do this and the ways you can offer value.

Engage With Your Community

You need to create social media content if you want to keep your profiles active. But engagement means more than just sharing posts.

Consider the best ways to encourage discussion and conversation. For example, you can post regular questions, hints and tips or calls for advice on particular issues related to your business. When you receive a direct message, then you should also aim to respond promptly too. This is an important element of generating more positive online feedback and discussion.

Share valuable content to start conversations

Creating compelling content for your audience can play a significant role in facilitating social media interactions.

If you are looking to get ahead in the world of music business or publishing, then you can create unique content offering insights and perspectives on the latest trends or developments. This can take the form of long-form articles or posts with links to articles and comments on LinkedIn. By establishing yourself as a thought leader, you are positioning yourself as leading the conversations surrounding current events.

Another strategy can be to create shareable content that people want to repost via their profiles. Whether it’s catchy music videos, behind-the-scenes shots, or engaging stories, shareable content can go a long way in expanding your social media reach.

Offer online incentives

Incentives can be a great way to increase engagement and attract new followers on social media.

Just make sure whatever your offer is relevant to your target audience. For example, you could urge Instagram followers to sign up to your newsletter to get first access to tickets to your forthcoming show. Or run a competition where you offer free music to anyone who likes and shares your latest social media post advertising a gig. By offering your audience more value, you are establishing more of a buzz around you and your business.

Be human

Social media engagement

Replying when you can, admitting when things go wrong, and sharing behind the scenes content can be an effective way to come across as a real person online.

Some artists base their whole online personas on being brutally honest about their experiences.

For example, if you are playing a live gig, you can post about the stresses and challenges of putting one together, from the soundcheck to selling merch. But only adopt this approach if it feels like a good fit for you.

Stay relevant

Social media can also be used to engage with current trends and topics to show off some insight or expertise. Consider the following as inspiration for social media posts:

  • Whatever’s trending in pop culture
  • Big music industry events
  • Relevant news stories

Posting about content demonstrating awareness of what is going on in the wider world or in your sector can show how switched on you are to the latest discussions.

Use analytics to measure the impact of your social media content

Your social media platforms will provide a variety of key metrics to help you build relationships with potential customers, like minded people and those who could become your biggest fans.

Whether you are using TikTok, Spotify or Instagram, explore the information each platform offers and try to use it to inform your social media marketing strategy.

Craft a consistent tone of voice across your social media copy

Consistency is something to remember when you are working across different social channels.

From interactive campaigns to Facebook posts, you need to ensure that the tone of your content alongside how it looks is aligned. This will go a long way to enhance engagement and ensure your online personas are communicating your brand in the most memorable ways possible.

Get playful

Remember that social media can be fun and throwaway, particularly if you’re utilising platforms like TikTok or Instagram.

As long as the content you create reflects who are you as a musician or your brand, then it’s worth experimenting. This can involve utilising emojis in your posts or creating memes riffing on relevant topics.

Use Live Video to create a sense of community with your followers

Artists who utilise tools like Instagram Live, Facebook Livestreams or even live streaming music on Twitch often create a more transparent relationship with fans.

You can get creative and host exclusive, private live streaming sessions or panel events. Perhaps you can just ask your community to ask questions as part of a live stream. This can strengthen the bond between you and your fans or clients.

What is the key to social media engagement?

Ultimately, authenticity, consistency, and value are essential to social media engagement.

Consistently publishing meaningful, relatable content and actively responding to audience comments can go a long way in creating genuine connections. Use this as the foundation for your social media plan.

Study Music Business at SAE

At SAE, our Music Business Degree can help students learn the best ways to utilises the latest social media platforms in advancing their careers.

As we’ve seen above, it’s an essential skill that will take you a long way on your journey within the sector.

Honing this ability alongside discovering more about various areas of the business such as publishing, copyright and more will give you the edge when it comes to forging your own path or looking for music industry opportunities.

Get in touch with our team to find out more.

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