In today’s episode, I’ll be sharing 4 big reasons why followers don’t matter unless you have super fans. I’ll also share a bit about how you can turn those followers and fans into super fans.
But before we dive in, I need to define the difference between a follower, fan and super fan. Most musicians might think, “Who cares? A fan’s a fan.” But the problem with this logic is that it lacks strategy and marketing efficiency. Let me explain.
Let’s say there’s a new restaurant in town that sells sushi. You have two friends that love food. One of them really loves sushi and will eat it any time anywhere. But your other friend has had it maybe once or twice, and they’re not sure how to feel about it. Still, they’re down for anything. The way you describe the best qualities of the sushi restaurant will be very different between your friends. For your sushi-loving friend, you’ll share things that only contribute to what they already love. For your friend that is on the fence, they need to hear why this experience would be different from their last and how this might change it. They might even need a bit more “sushi education” if you will before really experiencing this new, hot sushi restaurant.
If you’ve caught on, the sushi-loving fan is someone that represents a super fan. A super fan is someone absolutely that loves you and the music you produce. They will buy anything you put out, especially if there’s a limited edition release with merchandise. They’ll attend your concerts, tell their friends about you, and even crowdfund you whenever you needed it.
On the other hand, a fan is someone that has listened to some of your music, will be able to recognize you on the radio and might own a single or CD. They aren’t likely to buy merchandise or go to a live concert. Overall, they enjoy your music, but it’s probably not something they might not rave about like the super fan. They are, however, open.
Finally, there’s the social media follower. First, think of your own Facebook page. There are probably at least three very general categories of friends you have: one, the group of friends you’ll likely see within the month; two, friends you’re fine with connecting purely on social or if they occasionally appear on your feed; and three, the friends you don’t remember adding. For marketing purposes, I consider social media followers as people that “you don’t remember adding.” And what do I mean by that?
When I translate that into marketing, those folks represent people that may have passively followed your music. They thought you were interesting, they’ve heard a song or two, but they don’t keep up with you. Now, a follower can be a super fan or a fan. But generally speaking, followers are usually on-lookers and are only slightly, slightly warmer than a cold audience. In marketing terms, cold audiences are folks that have not yet been introduced to a brand, person or company. They need “warming up” to.
Now that I’ve defined some of these audiences, I’m sure you’re getting sense of why the number of followers and likes won’t matter unless you have super fans. But before I get into it, I need to mention that I’m not saying that social isn’t a place to generate revenue and get fans. It’s actually a crucial place to grow exposure for your music and generate revenue. Tons of influencers and businesses use it. But this is more of a case for why your followers should be more than just passive followers. Instead, you should be cultivating as many of your followers into super fans.
With that being said, let’s dive in.
1.) Passive followers do little to continue growing your fanbase.
Passive followers will neither engage your content, nor share your content. By engage, I mean like or comment. Both activities are crucial to your fan growth on social and in other channels of marketing. Super fans, on the other hand, will likely comment and like as many of your posts as possible. In fact, they look forward to you posting!
2.) Passive followers won’t generate you revenue.
If you’re lucky, you might get some likes from a good chunk of your followers. If you’re REALLY lucky, they might listen to one of your songs. But this is as far is it’ll go for a passive follower. You’ll need to convert this passive follower into a super fan that is excited about the content you produce and what you do. When Taylor Swift removed all her content from social media and started from scratch, she created an online uproar with fans and they suspected a brand new album. This created buzz, and super fans were all over it, desperately anticipating – what they suspected – an imminent pre-sale album launch. You may not be able to have the same affect as T. Swift when it comes to deleting and posting social posts, but I hope this illustrates the difference between a passive follower and super fan paying attention to your social feeds and how it affects their buying behaviors. This leads me to my next point.
3.) Growing your following is about Influence over numbers.
When you’re starting out, you might be tempted to buy followers just to inflate your account a bit. But what this does is just leave you with followers that never engage. Some musicians (and even cheap marketers) will follow a bunch of accounts for a follow back. After that, they’ll unfollow everyone they just followed. This slowly “grows” their following. But marketers have tested it these types of follows, and it does absolutely nothing except give you a higher number in your profile. In fact, with the follow-unfollow tactic – you’re actually damaging your influence, because if they find out you unfollowed them, usually people take notice and they think you’re lame. You want a genuine following that can be influenced by your posts, whether that’s buying a product or even just feeling inspired, encouraged, or motivated.
4.) Passive followers with little engagement lowers your algorithm.
So, let’s say you have a good amount of followers. But then let’s say you post a piece of content on one of your social platforms, and all you get are crickets. While your profile might look good on the outside with a nice following number, deep down when you look at content and engagement you don’t have anything going on. This means followers aren’t interested in what you’re posting, you have no influence over your fans. When this happens, your posts aren’t really shown in fan’s newsfeeds because the algorithm doesn’t favor weakly engaged content.
So, where do you go from here?
The obvious solution is to convert those followers into super fans by regularly engaging with them in the platform. You also have to create content that’s worth engaging. This could be a whole course, but in the meantime I want to leave you with some quick applicable solutions that you can start right away.
First, pay attention to your fans by genuinely responding to them.
You can give them a shout out, like something they said or you can comment back. You might feature a piece of content they shared that your fans might like. Then, cite credit to that fan. This will make the fan feel valued by you and really does turn them from a passive follower to someone that starts paying attention to you because you paid attention to them.
Second, post content that’s engaging.
Content that’s engaging usually includes a call to action. If this is a new term for you, a “call to action” is an instruction that hopefully persuades audiences to a response. A broad example you might see is “Visit Our Website Today” or “Call Now”. For social, some folks will do “double tap if you agree with this” or “tag a friend that you think might enjoy this, too”. Sometimes you can include a question like “What’s your favorite album this year? Let me know in the comments.”
What this does is help your audience participate in the conversation or engage immediately without even thinking about it twice.
These are just two ways to turn your followers into fans on your social channels. If you’d like to dig deeper, I have a freebie for you. It’s 10 ideas to help you turn your fans into super fans. Just go to musicroad.co/15 and download it today.
Thank you as always for listening in and I’ll chat with you next week.