Social media is one of, if not the most powerful tools in the hands of musicians today. It provides an instant connection to your fans, a platform for speaking your mind, and of course an easy way to share your music. But let's be honest – as much as we could talk about ourselves and our passion projects 24/7 (we're all a little narcissistic, aren't we?), we don't want to bore our fans. So, like any good relationship, it requires a little give and take and an understanding of the people you're trying to connect with.
Think about how you, as a fan, want to interact with the bands you love. Sure, you like to know when they're dropping new music, but you also want to know about the people behind the instruments. Their passions, their beliefs, their likes and dislikes – you want to connect with them. So why not offer the same opportunity to your fans? Next time you're stuck, try some of these go-to topics, and watch as your fan engagement begins to grow.
1. Your day
Sometimes it really is the simple things we connect with the most. I can't tell you how many times I've posted something I considered an important issue, only to find no one seems to care. Then, I post a photo of a really good grilled cheese sandwich I ate, and suddenly, I'm the most popular person on social media. World issues are important, but sometimes posting about things that are too heavy or too niche can hurt you. Something like a really good latte you had or a movie your band just saw while on tour is something that we can all relate to. The more we can relate, the more we will engage.
2. Opinions on the industry
While it's true that posting too many opinions on heavy topics like politics or religion may turn fans away, the current state of the music industry is always a hot topic, and one you can be sure your fans are interested in. While it may seem a little scary to take a definite stance on an issue for fear of alienating fans, some of the best advice I've ever received is that if you're not offending someone, you're doing something wrong. This isn't to say you should be starting fights and alienating everyone you care about. But if you're so passive that you're never ruffling a few feathers, then odds are you're also not inspiring any passionate reactions on the other end. Don't be afraid to take a stance. You might be surprised how much conversation you create with your fans.
3. Interesting articles
My PR company, Muddy Paw PR, as well as my music blog, Infectious Magazine, posts a fair share of content from our artists. We also, however, make sure we're posting articles from other sources as well. We don't pretend to have all the answers, so it's important to share articles, photos, and opinions from other sources that our readers might still get a kick out of. Everything from upcoming festivals to a cool new music gadget in Germany might make its way onto our Facebook wall or Twitter feed. Sharing articles gives your fans something to appreciate outside your music, and helps build that feeling of shared interests.
4. Pop culture
Similar to the above, pop culture is a great way to engage with fans. It's a guilty pleasure for most of us, and a surefire way to stir up some passionate debate. So, by keeping up with and posting about the latest music industry faux pas, you're bound to find connections with fans.
5. Ask questions
Last, but certainly not least, the best way to engage with fans is to talk to them. Ask them questions, get their opinions, and engage with them by appealing directly to them. This can be through polls or by just including questions after the articles you post, but don't be afraid to post status updates or send messages after someone follows you that are solely for the purpose of getting to know them – no hidden agenda. You might be amazed at just how much your fans have in common with you.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the owner of Muddy Paw Public Relations. Muddy Paw specializes in working with up-and-coming artists on personalized campaigns designed to bring their careers to the next level. To date, they’ve secured placements on sites such as AbsolutePunk, Substream, Property Of Zack, PureVolume, and many more.