Ambient fans. You know the one’s were talking about even if you’ve never heard the term before. “They are your social media friends who are aware of you via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. but don’t actively communicate with you and may not have ever even heard your music.” Yet…
By Ariel Hyatt of CyberPR
Every Artist Has Three Communities – they are separate from one another.
The problem is most artists have only one strategy for marketing and promoting to three totally separate groups.
This is part 3 and it focuses on your Ambient Fans. There are the ones who are in your orbit but they don’t know you really at all. They key is to create reasons for them to know you and to do this you need to have systems and you also need to make the time to convert them.
I spoke to an artist just a few days ago who took time to really observe her Instagram followers and she did something pretty cool – she connected with people she resonated with who lived in her area- she asked them simply if she could sign them up to her email list – she asked 20 people and 10 said yes! They were ambient fans and now they are definitely engaged fans – Cool right?
Recap: Your 3 Communities Are:
Community #1: Your Super Fans
These are fans who are primarily Your Live Audience. You know them by name. If you play out live, they attend your shows regularly and buy many things you offer (not just music). If you have a street team they are on it and they evangelize strongly on your behalf. They are the first responders when you post on your socials and they are following you on multiple channels.
Community #2: Engaged Fans
These fans are your Active Online Audience. They are newsletter subscribers, blog readers, video watchers, RSS subscribers, active Social Media engagers who frequently comment & engage with you on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Community #3: Ambient Fans
These fans are your Passive Online Audience and they are your social media friends who are aware of you via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. but don’t actively communicate with you and may not have ever even heard your music (yet).
The key to converting Community 3 to Community 2 is sharing relevant information mixed in with the simple and seemly mundane.
I was giving a guest lecture at NYU a few weeks ago and my dear friend and colleague the professor said: “I hate all these people who just update stupid things like “COFFEE” – I mean who cares?” I started smirking because I have created the coffee tweet on many occasions…
“ I tweet about my coffee all of the time,” I pointed out to Judy. She paused, “Yes but you also tweet interesting articles and blog posts about the music business, updates on cool places to eat, shop, and visit as well as I get to pretend I’m with you when you travel the world.”
Ahhh… Granted, she is already in my Community 1. Therefore I am relevant to her…. My coffee tweets don’t bother her in the least but I bet if I never shared other things she found relevant she would not pay attention to me at all.
So, you may be asking: What constitutes relevant? If it is relevant to you its’ probably relevant to your 3 communities.
How to Engage Community #3 Ambient Fans
Understand Who You Are Talking To
This is the key to getting the ambient into the engaged and super fan categories. Every single effective company does market research to identify their ideal customers and you should do the same to identify your ideal fan. Once you do this – bringing them closer to you will be much easier.
So, Who Are Your Fans?
- Are they male or female? What percentage of the group is male, and what percentage is female?
- Are they singles or couples, and what percentage of each?
- How old are they? Give a general 10-year age range. Don’t you dare say “18-65”!
- What kinds of careers do they have? Are they professionals? Still in college/university? Freelancers? Stay-at-home parents?
- On average, how much money do they make per year?
I have developed The Ultimate Fan ID Exercise to help you get laser-focused on who this fan is so all of your content can be catered to her / him/ they.
On socials, You first must follow all people who follow you back. It’s the polite thing to do because it says I am equally as interested in you as you are in me!
Artist Question/ Objection: Do I HAVE to follow these people? I Don’t care about them.
My answer: YES.
If you don’t care about potential fans and getting into a relationship with you then they should not care about you.
Artist Question/ Objection: But I can’t manage to look at thousands of updates I will miss the ones I care about…
My answer: I understand. But in this world of two-way communication that is now here to stay forever, this is the new paradigm.
Have a Cohesive Narrative
Artists still don’t have a clue how to develop a true brand and they still make bad mistakes on social media. Don’t be them. Tune up your social media and commit to managing your brand and your narrativelike a boss.
Filter with Tweetdeck
With Tweetdeck you filter your streams by keywords and keep up to date with crucial conversations and things that interest you.
And when you see something that interests you ENGAGE – comment on it, snap a photo and share it personally with just one potential fan, “favorite” something or retweet a funny or relevant tweet.
There, you have filtered out the noise and you are bringing Community 3 closer to being in your Communities 2, and 1.
Make The Time to Grow Your List
Add family, friends, and acquaintances. We all have huge inboxes stuffed with email from people we know. Are they already on your email list? If not, email each of them and ask, “Is it okay for me to add you to my newsletter list?”
This process will take time, but according to Bain & Company, it costs six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. So, consider those in your inbox “existing” and get to work strengthening your relationship with them. It will be well worth it.
TIP: Never, ever add someone without getting permission first, even if it’s a friend because that’s considered SPAM. Legally, you must ask for the opt-in. So by adding the link directly to your newsletter service you are making sure you are compliant!
Track Potential Subscribers
Create a separate folder in your email inbox for potential newsletter signups and name it, “Potential Newsletter Subscribers.” Throughout the week, when you get an email from someone who you think would make a nice addition to the list, simply move them into that specific box. Once a month, before you send out your newsletter, schedule an hour to sit down and invite those new people to subscribe.
Don’t forget your sales email addresses. People who have already purchased a product or service from you are more likely to buy from you again. Go through your sales records and email every single person who has bought from you with a personal note inviting them to subscribe to your newsletter if they are not already on it.
Schedule a set time each month for list building. Once a month, sit down and actively add the people you have met or corresponded with to your email list. You will be amazed at how many people you come into contact with whom you never add to your list simply because it slipped your mind.
TIP: There may be a pile of business cards sitting around or unanswered requests on LinkedIn to add as well!
Use Canned Responses
If you are a Gmail user install Canned Responses and make this a template:
(Start with something personal that connects you to this person here)
Would it be okay if I added you to my monthly newsletter list? (next explain the WIIFM – What’s In It For Me – to your potential reader- so they feel compelled to sign up!)
Please let me know if it’s okay with you.
And I would love to share my (add a description of your fabulous incentive) with you as well (sentence about why it is beneficial or something great someone has said about it)
(Add opt-in link here [Set a link up through your newsletter provider])
I will never give your email address to anyone else, and you can opt out of my list at any time.
Final takeaway: Engagement with all 3 communities is crucial and each will take a different strategy but keep in mind: Studies show, (if you’re talking from a sales perspective), that it’s 10 times easier to keep a customer than it is to make a brand new one.
So, consider all 3 communities as separate pools of customers. You must dive in and play in each pool in order to get a game of Marco polo happening.
As you go reward each community by bringing them to center stage. Give them rewards and videos. Engage them in IM chats. or slide into their DMs and Hold contests for them and acknowledge them openly in front of your followers and fans.
I promise they will reward you deeply for your effort.
Ariel Hyatt is the founder of Cyber PR; a Brooklyn-based social media PR firm. Her Cyber PR campaigns, books & seminars help connect artists with new media makers and coach them to create authentic relationships with fans.