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How To Build A Fanbase On Social Media (For Music Artists)

By Matthew Vultaggio

March 22, 2022

If you are trying to figure out how you can build a fanbase on social media that actually supports you and your art, I’ve researched this thoroughly and made this article to help you out.

The best way to build a fanbase on social media that wants to support you and your art is to consistently release new content by combining a recurring content strategy with a content calendar.

Freely giving away valuable content on a consistent basis is truly the key to building individual fan-to-artist relationships and is what can build momentum in your career to the point that you have a real and supportive fanbase.

The more you commit to showing up, the more chances you have to catch the attention of new fans as well as deepen your connection with the fans you already have.

To learn more about how you can build a fanbase on social media with a recurring content strategy and content calendar, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂

How To Build A Fanbase On Social Media With “Recurring Content”

A recurring content strategy is simply a defined structure of different content types that you release on a regular schedule.

This might look like posting performance videos on Mondays, unreleased songs on Wednesday, and promotional content for new releases on Fridays.

A content calendar simply takes the content you have mapped out with your recurring content strategy and plots out when each piece of content should go live (and where) on an actual calendar so that you actually follow your plan.

The main difference between a recurring content strategy and a content calendar is that the strategy is more high level (ie: types of things you will post) and the content calendar is more specific (ie: exactly what you will post and when).

To create a recurring content strategy you will want to follow these steps:

  1. Clearly define your ultimate goal as an artist or creative
  2. Look at the content you are already creating
  3. Brainstorm content types or themes that you want to test
  4. Look at which content types give you the best bang for your buck
  5. Create your content and put it onto a calendar

Let’s take a look at these steps in closer detail:

1. Clearly define your ultimate goal as an artist or creative

By clearly defining your ultimate goal first, you’ll be able to look at creating content that not only entertains an audience but also helps you inch closer to whatever your ultimate goal is.

If your goal is to play live then performance videos can help you practice your songs and get better at your instrument.

If your goal is to play live then live jams will let anyone that sees your content know that you play live so that they might book you in the future.

2. Look at the content you are already creating

Then, when you are deciding what type of content you want to create, you should take a moment to look at how you already spend your time creating music (and other interesting things) each and every day.

As a creative person you are probably already doing a lot so you may not need to go overboard or overthink your content ideas because you can focus on simply documenting instead of creating.

3. Brainstorm content types or themes that you want to test

Once you have clearly defined your ultimate creative goals and have reviewed your current creation process, all you need to do is brainstorm a list of different types of content you might want to publish.

4. Look at which content types give you the best bang for your buck

Then refine your list with content types that you actually want to pursue based on what interests you, what won’t burn you out when creating, and what you think your audience will enjoy.

5. Create your content and put it onto a calendar

Once you have an idea of what different types of content you want to make, you can simply map out when these content types will go live (and where) on a calendar.

Remember that you will be able to tweak your strategy as you carry it out based on how your audience reacts to your content and how much you enjoy creating different types of content.

The Mechanics Of Building A Fanbase

There are some basic building blocks of building a fanbase that apply regardless of whether you are using social media, digital ads, or any other platform/medium.

Any effort to find an audience or grow fanbase is ultimately made up of 3 parts:

  1. The audience you want to target (aka ‘listeners’)
  2. Your offer to that audience (aka ‘trust’)
  3. The action you want that audience to take (aka ‘loyalty’)

This process is visualized below in something I’ve decided to call “The Loyalty Triangle”:

Here’s how it works:

You can find potential LISTENERS from places like Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

You build TRUST with those listeners based on what you show them (ie: your music, your social media content, your ads, your music links, etc).

And only once you have established at least some bare minimum of trust will you get LOYALTY in the form of streams, merch sales and ticket sales.

Put in another way…

If you don’t know where to find listeners, you can’t show them your music and if they aren’t impressed with your music and content, they will never trust you enough to become a fan.

You can pick and choose with where you want to find listeners, how you want to build trust, and what outcome you want to achieve in the form of loyalty.

However…

This cycle of finding a listener and then giving them value and building trust is ultimately repeated several times until a real artist-to-fan relationship is built.

In the world of marketing, it is said that it takes 6 to 8 “touch points” to convert someone into a purchasing customer.

The same can be applied to building a fanbase in that it can take 6 to 8 touch points (in the form of your music, your social media content, ads, etc) to turn someone from a passing listener into an actual fan.

The Main Pitfall Of Building A Fanbase On Social Media

The problem with most social media platforms is that they consistently limit organic reach over time in an effort to make it’s content creators pay for ads to reach their followers.

A study done by Ignite Media has discovered that Instagram’s organic reach is around 9.4%:

Organic Reach Across Social Media in 2021
Original source: https://www.ignitesocialmedia.com/social-media-strategy/social-media-organic-reach-2021-who-actually-sees-your-content/

This means that 9.4% of your Instagram followers are likely to ever see any of the Instagram posts that you spent so dang long putting together and posting.

With that number in mind, that means if you have about 10,000 followers on Instagram that means you can expect about 950 of them to see your post.

And just because they see your post does not mean that they will interact with your post whatsoever.

In fact, average engagement rates on Instagram can range from 2% to 6%.

This means that with 10,000 Instagram followers you can expect 950 followers to see your post and then only 57 to engage with it in some way.

What you need to really be aware of is the fact that Instagram is truly Facebook’s 2nd product, with the Facebook app naturally being their first.

When Facebook first started, they were generous with organic reach but looking at the chart shows that organic reach for Facebook posts is now down to around 2.2%.

Facebook is generous with the organic reach of its apps only at first to encourage creators to create content and for users to engage with that content.

Facebook minimizes free organic reach over time in an effort to encourage content creators to pay for reach using their advertising platform.

What this means is that the 2.2% organic reach of Facebook posts is quite literally a peek into the future of what the organic reach of Instagram posts has in store for you.

This pattern applies to not just Facebook but any social media platform that has ambitions of profiting through ads (ie: TikTok, Snapchat, etc).

Although it sucks that the trend is that you have to pay for your content to reach people, it is also true that:

Facebook Ads are extremely powerful and can be used to reach people that are likely to enjoy your art far beyond your current followers count.

Why Facebook Ads Are Great For Building A Fanbase

Facebook provides in-depth targeting options, flexible budgeting, and has an algorithm that can optimize itself to get the most results possible for the lowest cost possible.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of Facebook ads in more detail:

  1. There are in-depth targeting options for a very wide variety of interests in addition to basic demographics – interests range from brands to genres to artists to products and beyond
  2. You can “scale” the ads and control your budget – the more you spend the more results you get but you can still spend as little as $1 per day if you want (in comparison you can only post on social media so many times in 1 day before people get upset)
  3. Facebook’s learning algorithm can optimize all by itself to get you the most results possible for the lowest cost possible
  4. You can place people that engage with you into “Custom Audiences” and “retarget” them which means showing them your ads at a lower cost than it took to reach them in the first place
  5. You can leverage the Facebook algorithm to create “Lookalike Audiences” which are 1+ million people that are similar to your fans inside of those Custom Audiences

All this means that:

  • You have the power to send highly targeted listeners over to your Spotify profile
  • Leverage Facebook’s tools and algorithms to find you more of those fans for less
  • Increase your chances of tripping the Spotify algorithm to find you even more of your fans for free

This neatly leads us to the strategy you should be following…

How To Build A Fanbase On Spotify With Ads

The mechanics of building a fanbase can really be applied to anything, including building a fanbase on Spotify.

You can find LISTENERS on Facebook and Instagram that listen to similar artists and genres to your music by using Facebook Ads.

You can then build TRUST by offering them your music by presenting a video ad with audio preview that sends them to a music link.

This trust that you establish through your music, ad and link can then lead to LOYALTY in the form of streams, follows, and saves on Spotfy.

Here is a visual representation of what this looks like:

To learn more about how you can build this out yourself, check out my free Facebook Ads for musicians course. 🙂

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Here is a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist.

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission.

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

Music Distribution

To get your music on Spotify on all the other streaming services, I use DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a low annual price.

If you want to learn more about DistroKid and music distribution, check out the in-depth DistroKid review that I’ve put together.

Or, if you want to get started with DistroKid right now, you can save on your first year with the DistroKid discount.

Facebook Ads For Spotify Success

Although Facebook Ads can be a real pain to get working properly, there is no denying that they are incredible for growing Spotify streams and getting your music in front of real fans.

This is why I’ve put together a completely free course that you can check out called Facebook Ads For Musicians’ Spotify Streams. 🙂

Music Publishing Royalties Collection

For collecting all of the publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties owed to me whenever my music gets streamed or played, my go-to is Songtrust.

Songtrust is a publishing administration company which means that in addition to collecting all of those royalties for me, they do it on a global level.

To learn if Songtrust is right for you, I’d recommend checking out this article on Songtrust vs BMI.

And if you want to get started with Songtrust right now, I’d recommend learning about the Songtrust discount code so that you can get the best price. 🙂

Website & Smart Links

I’m personally not a big fan of the link-in-bio and smart links for music pages like ToneDen and Hyppeddit.

Instead, I prefer having a full-blown WordPress website that allows me to have a full website in addition to unlimited music links.

For getting started with this, I really like Bluehost because it is the cheapest and a theme called Thrive Themes because it is the most flexible and easiest to use.

I’ve actually created a free Smart Links Course that you can take to learn how to get set up and start getting more streams with custom smart links (I’ve even included the templates I am using!).

Want more tools and resources for your music career?

If you’d like to see even more of my favorite marketing tools and resources for musicians and music artists, I’ve created an even larger list on this page: Best Marketing Tools & Resources For Musicians (& Music Artists).

P.S. There are even some free tools and resources included on that page as well! 🙂

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