I have an artist friend who was thrilled when she hit 10,000 followers on TikTok. The problem was that it didn’t seem to translate into more visibility or plays for her music. When she asked my opinion I told her that it was simple – your social followers are not necessarily your fans.
This is especially true on social media where in an effort to consistently create content, an artist begins to stray from the basic strategy of concentrating on their music. Sure it’s okay to be more personal occasionally, but it’s also easy to stray from the original intent and begin to gain followers for the wrong reason. They may care about your political opinion, but not even be familiar with your music or care about it. It defeats the purpose of having followers.
TikTok is the hottest platform on the planet right now and rightfully so. Its advantage is that it’s the easiest platform to gain followers thanks to its For You Page. The problem is that it’s too easy for consumers to passively engage without actively following anyone, and as a result, it’s the hardest platform to translate any awareness that you gain into a true fanbase.
Followers vs. Fans
But let’s look at a follower a little more closely. A follower is someone who is attracted to something about you, and is always watching what you do as a result. He or she may not even like you though, and may get more joy in criticizing and trolling you than anything else.
A fan is someone that supports most everything you do – sort of a blind follower. Fan is short for fanatics, and they love your music, what it stands for, or how it makes them feel. Maybe they can relate to you because of what you’ve gone through or what they want to go through. Regardless of the reason, if you’re an artist, it’s the music that’s attracted them.
Can They Be Turned Into Fans?
So how do you turn those social followers into fans? There’s no guarantee that you can, unless they’re there for the music to begin with. That’s why it’s best to concentrate on posting about your music regardless of the number of followers you’re gaining. At least they’re following you for the right reason.
If your music is what you care about most, then focus on it in your posts. The occasional personal post makes you more human and is encouraged, but don’t take the attention off of the thing that’s most important.