How Do You Get From Fan To Loyalist?

By Vik Singh

Spotify can tell the active listeners from the passive ones.

How do you get your fans to become super fans? Then, how do you get them to become loyalists? And how do you get all these participants to create new playlists with your music, add or contribute to existing ones, save songs, and share them?

What can you do to cause a net bias toward action?

Tell a compelling story. Have a cast of characters. Develop them. Put them in compromising situations. Show successes. Show failures.

Take a fan along for the ride and they’ll become a super fan. Authentically reward them and they’ll become loyalists.

Loyalists will do your heavy lifting for you. But you have to keep the stream flowing. And the best way to do that is to release recordings and supplement them with story-based content.

If you don’t have anything to say, simply document what’s going on.

I saw Grizzly Bear posted some Instagram Stories last week. They were beyond banal — even a little self deprecating. But the un-produced, unplanned, uninspired posts were interesting. I like Grizzly Bear and I want to know what they’re up to when I’m waiting for my poke bowl.

Was it compelling? Probably not. Actually, I’m certain it was not. But the idea is to build off that. Above all, it was authentic. And authenticity is a precursor to compelling storytelling.

Always be thinking: how can I leverage the data that Spotify gives me? And if your ratio of active listeners to passive ones is low, focus on building a content ecosystem that surrounds your music and invites authentic interaction. That’s the challenge.

Vik is the founder of Alternate Thursdays, a Los Angeles creative shop that provides expertise in content and branding for artists, labels, startups and brands. He can be reached at vik@alternatethursdays.com.