How the F*** do I get more followers?!

A lesson for musicians and artists alike on building a targeted fan following

Follow the leader

Without a doubt, the most common question I get asked as a Social Media Consultant is, ‘How do I get more followers?!’. A fair question to be sure, but what I always tell those who are asking, is why do you want more followers?

I know what you’re thinking, dumb question. You’d think somebody who does this for a living would understand that a large following is the key to making it in the music biz. But if I am being honest here, there is a lot more to it than the numbers let on.

The question you have to ask yourself, is what exactly does more followers mean for me? What is the ROI? I get the idea that you want to reach as many people as possible, but just like with a business, it is better to reach your target market instead of just anyone.

So let’s change the question from “How do I get more followers?” to, “How do I get more of the right followers?”.

Where to Post

Now that we have that settled, it’s time to get to work. You want more followers to reach your audience, show potential labels you have a following, and prove that you are more than some kid in his parents’ basement trying to make it.

First and foremost, you need to post on the platforms where your followers live. Do some research. How old are your fans generally speaking? Where do your fans go to find new music? If your fans aren’t on Twitter, then you shouldn’t waste your time posting there. Focus on the places your followers live and go to for music.

If you are just starting out, this may be hard, but look at your competition (aka other artists in your genre who are a few steps ahead of you). What platforms are they posting on the most and getting the best responses?

Also, use Google. You can literally type in “most popular social media platforms by age”. Here, I even did it for you…http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2015/04/9-major-social-networks-age/

Use the internet to do some research and find out where your target lives. And if you are reading this right now thinking, “Well, everyone is my target market because I make music for everyone” consider this a virtual slap in the face because you are really really really wrong.

Content

Once you have nailed down your “target market”, it’s time to talk about content. Don’t use social media to simply push your music. Yes, that is a big part of it and social is a hugely useful tool for doing that, but be more than a billboard. Post content that shows who you are beyond the music.

Give fans the bonus features. This way you truly connect on more than a musical level, which builds trust and loyalty.

Behind the scenes tour pics, backstage life, working in the studio, fooling around when you aren’t on tour. Music, like business, comes down to branding in 2016.

Plan Ahead

Take time to think of what makes you different, aside from the music, and use it to your advantage. I know this sounds both tedious and annoying, but taking time to figure out what makes you different will save you down the line.

Most importantly when starting out, be patient. These things take time and if you keep at it, it will all work out eventually.