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Fan Interactions

May 30, 2012

Connecting with fans has become something that is key to maintaining a solid fanbase and your popularity. Most musicians confuse connecting with fans as simply being easily found or interacted with, however this is idea is slightly outdated. Due largely to the changes in internet and social media, connecting with fans had become something much more true and personal; where many can become friends or potentially even collaborators.

This shift can be attributed to a lot of things: tabloids, faster communication, social media and even just regular social changes. Whether good or bad, the fact stands that people expect those they follow and adore to be accessible. While some may not be comfortable with this level of notoriety, it is difficult to stand out in someone’s mind if they are constantly building this rapport with other bands and not yours.

The biggest problems most bands have is that they misunderstand that fans now expect to know who the band is on a more personal level. This means that in social media, and not just interviews, it is expected to discuss personal likes rather than just music. These personal things can be everything from food preferences, past experiences, favourite movies or video games. Fans now want to know every little shred that pertains to their idols.

The best example of this shift in expectations can be seen in television with the shows that follow celebrities or other professionals. In the past these shows were largely focused on their business interactions and less so on personal lives. With only shortest of glances it can be seen now that the shows aim much more at personal interaction with friends and families. The shows are also geared towards a more emotional and revealing storyline presenting more detail than a fan could ever want to know. Even things like Wikipedia contain far more personal information in them on people than encyclopedias in the past would. For a smaller emerging band it is likely that fans will still expect personal touches; but will act less fanatical than with those they consider famous. Fans of larger bands want to know everything about their idols these days, from what they did on their birthday to how they got the tiny scar on the back of their hand. Knowing what information a fan may be interested in is difficult to gauge but generally the more fans you gain from outside your local region the more personal they will want you to be.

It is unlikely that this shift will ever reverse itself as it becomes easier to interact with others and communicate information so anyone with reservations will likely eventually have to overcome them. For better or worse society has shifted and as a musician you will have to adapt to the times or work extra hard to maintain your fans.

-Hassan

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