Why And How You Can Find And Reward Your Devoted Fans

WWord of mouth. Nothing beats word of mouth. The power of the elusive marketing strategy is immensely effective and one that social media sites like Twitter or Facebook find sustenance in. So this week I’m going to offer an extremely simple proposal for those bands that were looking to improve their band-fan relationship (because it’s ultimately the fans that are propelling the band’s superstardom). Find out who your most devoted and new fans and reward them for their dedication with offhand and unannounced perks – which can only really be achieved by observing social media mentions.

Think of this from a devoted fan’s perspective. They’ve purchased your album, peruse your Twitter and Facebook pages on a daily basis and gathers his or her friends to watch you on tour. What musicians should realize is that most fans form a personal and emotional connection to the music that they listen to so their relationship to your music typically goes further than a mere listen here and there. To be rewarded for their help with your success is the tipping point in solidifying a relationship with your fans. Add to that, you’re almost guaranteed for some extra non-commercial press on that individual’s personal Twitter and Facebook account, likely announcing their excitement to an additional several hundred or a thousand friends.

Image credit: picfor.me

Speeding up your search

Understandably, you don’t have that much time. You’re touring from gig to gig and 80% of the time you’re riding unglamorously in a cramped van with your equipment clamoring in the trunk, despite having been meticulously arranged to fit into the back. But on your downtime, I can guarantee that you’re surfing the interweb. You’re checking out blog mentions and looking up critic reviews of your album. Once in a while, you’re turning your attention to your fans to monitor your social. But it only takes a few minutes to write on your biggest fan’s wall post or on your twitter account, “hey ___ thanks for being our biggest fan. We’re shipping you a signed t-shirt with love :)

So what can you use to help you find your biggest fans?

  • Openbook searches (only) Facebook profiles for keywords that you’ve queried within Facebook statuses. If you have a band name with all too common words, this is where life becomes difficult. But really, the biggest supporter of your band will typically be found on your Facebook page so using a site like Openbook isn’t all that necessary.
  • Social Mention scours the web for social mentions throughout the web to compile a comprehensive list of mentions about your query (which in this case would be your band name), taken from Google, Twitter, StumbledUpon, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Add to that, this search engine offers you an analysis of the query based on its “social strength,” “sentiment” (the ratio of people have said potentially positive, neutral or negative things about you), “passion” and “reach,” and even lists the top users and sources associated with your search query.

Of course, the aforementioned could also be used to check out blog mentions and critic reviews, but it’s your band and image. You can decide for yourself how you’ll utilize these resources.

Francis Bea is a New Yorker turned Chicago co-founder of Musefy.com (in development) and writes Musefy’s blog Musebox.