“This is the way I want to die. Torn apart by angry fans who want me to play a different song.”
― Regina Spektor
If there’s one sure way to win at social media, it’s to have fans that love interacting with you. They’re not only your fans: they’re your promoters, critics, and haters. Artists sometimes feel it’s a dirty concept, but your fans are your consumers; and social media is trying very hard to facilitate this relationship.
Unfortunately, this can amount to selling, telling and yelling content out across popular platforms; but we have found social media fan communities respond best to sharing. Jumpwire Media has had some major results in using these communities to drive video views, regardless of budget or production capacity. These same methods can be applied to drive more listens, signups, and downloads for just about any brand.
Yes, you’ll need to start with some sort of critical mass. If you don’t already have a decent audience of 1200 or more, you may need to rally more troops. Facebook’s ad tools are useful and from their ~1.5 billion monthly active users, you can target fans at a micro level to see how many potential fans are out there. A small ad buy can help get your community off the ground, and if properly targeted have yielded rates as low as $0.17/like. Even better, you’ll see an organic lift in your reach that can continue well beyond the ad spend.
Source. Quote by Pat Flynn.
The catch is getting the right kind of fans. Most brands target too generally, meaning the users are only generally interested in the content. The more specifically you can drill down into fan behaviour, the more engagement (and organic lift) you will get from the user. Facebook is particularly good at letting you target users around demographics, interests and consumption behaviours, so you can attract your social media superfans.
Then it comes down to sharing great content. It doesn’t have to be yours; in fact, on Facebook the algorithm favours sharing vs. posting. Which means you don’t have to produce original content for your community, you simply have to find things you know they will love. Using the insights and high frequency posting, anyone can identify the type of content that resonates best within their fan community.
So, what does this mean for engagement and media consumption? Jumpwire Media used a niche fan community of about 500,000 to test this out.
With no investment, no promotion, and using pre-existing (old) content, we affected a 69% increase in viewership on Hulu, year over year. During the brand’s busiest video consumption period, they saw over 100% increase year over year. We were even able to show an uptick in direct sales over iTunes, and will be continuing the experiment in other forms of monetization moving forward (merchandising, sponsorship and OTT options).
Some of our top posts were received thousands of interactions via comments and shares; which we nurtured by going back and liking every (non-abusive) comment. This boosted our organic reach and produced on average 7-10% organic fan growth week-over-week. Now after almost 1 year, the community has doubled in size to 1 million (awesomely rabid and ravenous) fans. And all without having to acquire or produce new content.
It all comes down to how you build your social media community. The key is finding the right users: real people, hyper fans, and people you know consume digital media online. So long as you keep sharing content that your community loves to interact with, you can build a very stable source of promotion and consumption into your social media.
“Heroes don’t have friends, they have fans.”
― Amit Kalantri
Corina is a senior social media producer at Jumpwire Media with over 10 years in digital content production & social media marketing. Besides driving community engagement for major radio, media & entertainment brands, she’s also a huge anime fan and leads Facebook strategy for Manga Entertainment.