Do you really know your fans online? Do you actually know your online fans?

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Hey guys, I will start by apologizing for not having an article last week. It was a long weekend and like most of you, my mind was auto-tuned to chillaxing and I totally forgot. My apologies. I’m now back, back to business.

We have spoken a lot about social media and I have always emphasized four platforms because those are the ones that actually matter in our Ugandan setting; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Many artistes now spend quite a lot of time building their socials but almost all forget one important thing; knowing their fans.

In the general marketing space, the KYC (Know Your Client) Form is the most important tool without which your marketing efforts are very likely to go to waste. In the arts space, fans want to be seen as individuals. The bigger your fan base grows, the more difficult it is to track. You may actually be sending your fans away by putting across the wrong message to the right people! It happens a lot.

So, as an artiste, YOU MUST KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER (read fan.) Don’t get me wrong and start stalking them, no. What I mean is that you should start building an actual fan base database. One that you can directly communicate to when you have an upcoming event or anything like that. Good enough now is that Facebook now has a Lead Generation form that you can use.

Below are 5 things that I personally think you should know about your fans.

1. Know what they have bought.

It is really important that you to know when a fan gives you money. Keep details like dates. It doesn’t make sense advertising apparel (t-shirts, hoodies, caps…) to people who have already bought them. If the question is who is most likely to buy a new apparel design, the answer is those who bought a previous one!

So, understand who bought what, when, what did they buy and how they paid for it. Keep track of this history and talk to your fans like individuals. Also, a personal ‘Thank You’ can change a fan’s life.

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There are currently a number of Social Media platforms.

2. Know their most used social platform

If say your apparels are mostly being bought on Facebook, it doesn’t make sense investing more on Twitter Ads. The assumption is that your Twitter followers are not interested in what you’re selling. Think out loud and design a product for them. A branded key holder, pen or even cup can do wonders for a Twitter audience.

3. Know their interests

Is your fan a casual fan who may simply wants updates or are they a ‘Top Fan’ who will jump onto every post and live stream you do? Keep track so as not to spam the wrong person. Send the ‘Deep Scoop’ to the Top Fans and the ‘Big News’ to everyone.

4. Know their geo-locations

Again, don’t get me wrong and unleash private investigators on your fans! That would be insane! What I mean here is this. I have seen many Facebook/Instagram ads of artistes creating awareness for a concert in Kabale to people staying in Kampala!

If you did not get your fan’s geo-location at sign up level, at least target your Social Media ADs for the right locations. Why would an artiste based in Kamuli advertise to Mbarara residents?

5. Know their name

When building your fan base database, identity is paramount. It takes me back to the KYC Form in the third paragraph; YOU MUST KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER.

Put an identity to your fans.

When you send a personalized email or SMS, the fan will believe he/she is talking directly to you. It creates a sense of gratitude to the fan so, personalize your communication.

As I sign out, truth is artistes don’t track fan behavior. All they do is throw a blanket message and think everyone is happy they have shared something yet in reality, they are turning off countless fans. Stop treating fans like a crowd without a face and start seeing them as a collection of individuals.

Kindly tag your audiences, segment your Social Media Audience, and make your fans feel like you see them, know them and APPRECIATE them. I’m out until next Friday as we build this industry brick by brick.

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Don Andrea

Don Andrea is a journalist and data analyst with a passion for music and entertainment. "Opinions are mine, comments are yours." - Don Andrea.

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