Build a fanbase.

March 4, 2009

Building a dynamic, involved and effective presence using social networking is a lot like building a fanbase for a band. Fans are engaged, passionate, loyal, quick to adopt and slow to leave. Isn’t that exactly what every business or organisation needs? I’ve been involved with bands for years and the lessons learned from watching bands grow are equally applicable, now, in how social media tools are implementated.

Have a personality – People buy from people not from entities. Develop a personal voice to your message, give someone a reason to interact. I decided that Knetwit should Tweet in the first person “I just sent 3 users $10”, “I just added notes to Physics 101 at Purdue”. I wanted Knetwit to sound like a fellow student.

Interact – When a user asks a question answer it. When they ask for information, provide it.

Communicate – Let people know what you’re doing, when and why. What makes something cool is normally not it’s cleverness, it’s almost always to do with it’s uniqueness. Don’t concentrate on being cool, concentrate on being you.

Be stable and solid – In messaging, vision, and action. Say the same things over and over again. Rinse and repeat.

Start small – Be the biggest fish in the smallest pond you can find. Then find bigger ponds.

I’m not a huge fan of the music of Creed but the strategy they used to grow their fan base is a good case study. Essentially they picked a number of cities where they had some friends and could get a small crowd. They turned up, played a stunning show even if it was to 5 people. Once all the cities had been covered they went back and started the circuit again. This time they played to 30 people, the next time 100, the next 700 and so on.

They became the big fish in a small pond. Building a fanbase is slow and hard work. Social media tools make it easier but it still requires pounding pavement.

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One Response to “Build a fanbase.”


  1. […] appears to get a part of the socia media landscape, find and support your fans. I wrote about building a fan base a month or so ago and drew parallels with the bands growing their fan base city by city, gig by […]


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