THE FANS For the fan viewpoint, we gathered insights from students at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. Stephen Brewer (SB) is a musician who has been in several bands. Supreeya Phuasakul (SP) is a digital media intern for Fearless Records.
Do You Always Check an Act’s Social Media?
SB: Absolutely. If I like an act enough I’ll check their web presence. I usually go to Facebook and YouTube to see what’s going on.
What Do You Like to See There?
SP: I look for their music, upcoming shows and activities. I also read their posts to see what they’re like and how they interact with fans.
Are You Swayed by Numbers?
SB: I am. Big numbers make them look more established and give you a sense that they know what they’re doing.
SP: I’m not. Just because they have a small following doesn’t mean their music isn’t great. I’ve liked plenty of bands with small followings.
SB: Well, I wouldn’t like a band less because of low numbers. But, if they wanted to hire me and didn’t have a strong social media presence––that’d be a different story.
Which Activity Do You Prefer?
SB: I like discussions. People like artists who talk to their fans. It is called “social” networks after all. I also like pictures, videos and fan albums.
SP: I also like it when artists get involved with their fans. I think it’s important.
What Gets You to Respond?
SB: I’ll instantly respond to contests that ask questions or want my opinion. I especially like to win things that are signed by the artist, that I know are exclusive and couldn’t get anywhere else.
SP: Me too... My favorite prizes are concert tickets, meet and greet passes, signed posters, CDs or just band merch.
Which Activity Most Annoys You?
SB: I hate it when an artist is constantly selling something or just ranting. I also don’t like seeing the exact same thing, word for word, on a daily basis. I know social media is used to promote, but anyone who is professional surely knows the “80-20” rule.
SP: I agree. I don’t like multiple posts everywhere and retweeting and promotions that are really just self-promotion. But what I hate most are artists that buy Likes. I’m not fooled. If there’s no engagement, it’s suspicious.
Which Approach Works Best?
SP: Anything that gets fans involved, especially if incentives and rewards are part of it.