7 Ways to Increase Fan Engagement

Without fans, famous singers, athletes, and creators wouldn’t exist. Keeping fans engaged is difficult when there is so much competition for their attention. But there are actions you can take to boost engagement and help them remain in your fanbase.

Review these seven steps when you’re wondering how to increase fan engagement:

Increase Fan Engagement

1. Create Fan Communities

Community-building is crucial for fan engagement—on average, people spend almost 2.5 hours daily on community-focused social media platforms.

You likely have a favorite platform to which you dedicate the most time, but it’s important to commit time to multiple social media avenues to meet your fans where they spend their time.

Each platform's ecosystem attracts different people, reflected in its active monthly users (AMUs):

Unlike these social media platforms, SMS allows for immediate interaction with fans, fostering a sense of exclusivity and community-building. This communication ability connects your fans to you, keeping them more engaged.

2. Be Responsive

To keep fans engaged, you must interact with them. When they leave comments, share content, and take other actions, make sure to respond to them. You can thank them for their support, compliment them on their work, or even ask questions.

This is where SMS marketing channels really shine, because not only are you able to engage fans, but you can make them feel like you’re connecting with them one-on-one. It elevates the relationship from fan and creator to something closer to friendship.

You can use texting fans to tell them when new content is coming—just like a friend would do when they’re excited by something like Miley Cyrus did with Flowers using Subtext. Using SMS marketing, she sent multiple messages to fans letting them know about shows, when her new single was going to drop, and when merch was available.

3. Foster Authentic Connections

Authenticity is crucial for connecting with fans. If interactions are only goal-based, fans will eventually figure it out and may hesitate to trust you. Creating a genuine connection with fans can be as simple as personalizing messages to fans by including first names. Doing this fosters a closer connection compared to using a template.

If you want to create an even closer relationship, take advantage of SMS marketing channels. As mentioned above, texting acts as a one-on-one form of communication compared to social media platforms and emails. It’s inherently more intimate and, therefore, feels more authentic.  

You can also create an authentic relationship with fans by listening to their feedback and making changes. You can’t please everyone, but it's worth considering if there seems to be a problem that impacts a large part of your fanbase.

1 Minute Talk Show (1MTS) used Subtext to do exactly this. They wanted a way to connect with their audience (the superfans, more specifically) in a personal way. They also wanted to get to know their fans and get feedback.

Using Subtext, they interacted with their super fans—with a 37% engagement rate on the highest performing text—and the feedback super fans provided inspired the creation of a new series, “Behind the Curtain,” because fans wanted to know more about their process.

4. Create Shareable Content

Staying on fans’ minds is crucial in maintaining engagement, so you need to create interesting and shareable content regularly. Incorporate photos, videos, polls, and other tools to grab fans’ attention.

Don’t forget to ask your fans for input on what kind of content interests them the most. Using SMS marketing, you can provide fans with two-way communication and receive instant feedback about what content is interesting (and what can be left behind). This will improve your content curation rapidly compared to looking at comments.

You should also take advantage of user-generated content. Not only does sharing that type of content improve fan engagement within your community, but it also gives you a break from creating content. User-generated content also supports efforts to grow your fan community because people who haven’t heard of you will see your fans gushing about you on their own profiles.

This is what Maggie Rogers did. Working with Subtext, she created a phone tree where fans can choose their own adventures. Not only did such a unique event generate a lot of buzz and free promotion, but Rogers reacted to fans' voicemails—creating even more content.

5. Leverage Interactive Elements

Fans want to interact with you, not just cheer from the sidelines. With the availability of remote interactive techniques such as live streams and text lines, there’s no reason not to interact with them.

And the good news is that these efforts don’t have to be high production—fans will be happy to chat with you in real time. You could host Q&A or Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions or just spend time chatting with them. The effort aims to interact with fans naturally and encourage them to participate.

6. Offer Exclusive Access

Everyone likes feeling special, and fans are no different. Creating exclusive events, clubs, and contests will enhance your relationship with your followers. Consider offering special meet-and-greets, behind-the-scenes content not available anywhere else, and exclusive merchandise.

Nessa Barrett used Subtext’s phone tree feature to allow her fans an exclusive listen to her unreleased single from her new album.

To gain access to these exclusive events, you can request feedback through polls, surveys, or by calling a specific number like Barrett. By talking to your most dedicated fans, you can ensure you’re giving them what they want to boost engagement rates.

7. Host Fan Events

It’s also important to remember that some fans may be unable to participate in exclusive events because of financial or time constraints, so general fan events are just as important as exclusive ones. Depending on the size of your fan base, you can host physical meet-ups so fans can befriend one another or host online events, like contests or live streams for larger communities.

How to Increase Fan Engagement: Human Connection

Human Connection

What do all the ideas above have in common? They’re built on human connection. While people may love someone’s voice or athletic prowess, they become fans because they love the creator and their personality.

Why do you think sports fans are dedicated to a single player and wear their uniform to every game? Why do they have such passionate (even negative!) feelings about the opposing team?

Dedicated fan engagement occurs because they feel a human connection with the person who entertains them. Think about one of the most powerful fandoms in the world: Swifties. Do you think their ferocious dedication to Taylor Swift is purely for her music?

No—it’s because they feel connected to her.

Stay in Constant Communication with Fans

Constant Communication

Emotional connection is the foundation of every dedicated fanbase, and to create that relationship, you need to engage with fans. Make communication easy with Subtext. Our texting service lets you intimately engage with fans while retaining your privacy.

We also offer the option to create a custom voicemail line that fans can call to hear your voice. Explore how we’ve helped other entertainers with their SMS marketing needs by browsing our case studies.

Find out how easy it is to connect with your fans and book a demo with Subtext!

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