Today, we have a guest post from Andrew Charlton, owner of Gold Shore Records, that speaks to three ways to help grow your fan base via social media.   (Sure, there are 100’s of ways, but I couldn’t possibly ask Andrew to write about all of them in one guest post.  So he’ll touch on three.)  Take it away, Andrew:

What is a musician without any fans? Who will buy your albums? Who will attend your gigs? As a musician it is imperative that you are always thinking of how to extend your reach and with social media there are now platforms to share your music with a larger audience than you could ever dream of…

Social Media is most certainly not a fad, and if all your fans are there, it would seem a pretty good idea for you to be there too. You cannot expect to just create a Facebook or Twitter account and instantly have masses of people following you.  You have to interact, be personal, and lure them into your fan page. In this article I’ll share with you three ways you can effectively drive more fans to your social media networks through creating a good first impression, connecting with people who share similar interests, and using video marketing to build hype and personally engage with your fans.

1. Create an Enticing Facebook Landing Page

If Facebook were a country it would be the 4th largest in the World, so you have a free opportunity to share your music on a global scale. People who land on your page want to know about you immediately (the world of social media is an impatient one) so to increase your conversion rate from visitors to fans you should make the first page a visitor lands on as compelling as you can. Thankfully ReverbNation have created an app to make this process a whole lot easier:

Reverb Nation’s Band Profile Tool

ReverbNation just recently upgraded its popular Facebook app, and have integrated some interesting new features to help grow your fan base. The free app incorporates a brand new feature called ‘Fan Boosters’ where you can activate features including ‘require like to access media content,’ ‘require share to for music download’ and require email sign up for music downloads,’ each addressing today’s key social networking goals; getting fans to share, like and subscribe to your content.

This app is also very easy to set up and has a simplistic interface that is easy on the eye. It shows visitors all your releases, upcoming gigs, biography, videos, photos and press quotes, all to give a great first impression to your visitors, compelling them to ‘like’ or ‘share’ your fan page to increase your followers.

2. Connect With People Who Share Similar Interests in Music

Often you will find artists new to social networking following all of their friends or sendingeverybody invites to follow their fan page.  One must ask, are they really interested in your music? Rather than adding everyone you know, you want to be connecting and engaging with people who have a genuine interest in your music. Twilert is free web app that enables you to receive email updates containing tweets mentioning any keyword you choose. This is an invaluable tool to help you connect with people who share the same musical interests as yourself, and if you follow them they will most likely give you a follow in return.


3. Use Live Video Streaming to Personally Engage with your Fans and Build Hype

A lot of big artists are now using live video streams to connect more personally with their fans. By using live video streams it allows your fans to ask questions and share feedback on your music and can be used further as a marketing tool to build hype prior to a release, or even to broadcast a live performance that could possibly attract thousands of users within the live streaming website. To reach the largest audience you can, you should consider becoming a dedicated user of all the top live video streaming sites:

  • Ustream.tv – ‘Ustream is the leading live interactive broadcast platform. Anyone with an internet connection and a camera can start engaging with their family, friends or fans anytime, anywhere.’
  • Qik – ‘Qik, the leading mobile video sharing service, lets you record and share the experience with your friends, family and your favorite social networks’
  • Justin.tv – ‘Justin.tv is the easiest way to create live video and show anyone in the world what’s happening right now. Using only a laptop, you can share your event, class, party or thoughts, live, to anyone in over 250 countries while they chat in real-time with you and with other viewers.
  • Vokle – ‘With the Vokle platform you can hold your own live video streaming event in real time right on your own website without directing your watchers and participants to a different website’

Explore each of these three ways in which to expand your fan base using social media comprehensively, and you will see an increase in the amount of relevant followers on each of your social networks, but the size of this increase will be determined by how hard you are willing to work. Go for it!

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Andrew Charlton owns Gold Shore Records, an independent record label, and FL Studio Tutorial Resource that covers basics, internal & external plug-in reviews, effects, mixing & mastering and general advice and tips for artists of all abilities.