6 Engaging Social Networking Practices

How do you bring your fans in closer with social networking?  How do you grow your value, not by increasing numbers, but by having an engaging profile and interesting feed for your fans.

1. Reach Out To Other Artists - This can be other musicians, entertainers, actors, visual artists, photographers.  You are all on the same team and should support each other in a tight knit community.  I also reach out to many venues and festivals who might be interested in my music. This is your way to build an actual network and connect with people you might not normally be in the same room as.

2. Take Your Fans Backstage - Instagram, twitter, and vine are great tools for sharing short intimate moments that can bring your fans backstage with you, right from their own home!  There are some great options like G+ Hangouts, and StageIt.com where you can put on a show from your home and have a specific allotment of spaces available for the show.

3. Ask For Input From Fans - Its nice to ask for a local venue, or if they like your new ideas or endeavours.  Your fans are going to tell you most of what you are going to do next.  If someone suggests a cover or something, always entrain the idea and maybe expand the conversation to your followers.  Some fans will have great ideas, others will kill your creativity with craziness.

4. Be Visual - we all know a photo with your blog is a must,  Make this an idea for each one of your posts on Facebook and twitter.  I know that I am always stopped on my twitter feed by a photo that in turn makes me read the tweet and maybe even click on the link.  Photos for me have had a 30% more engagement rate on Facebook.  Sometimes even more.

5. Don’t Just Ask For Things - You need to offer things.  If its a curation of interesting information, or content that will connect with your fans.  Of course your own tweets and content are important but it should be at least 75% about interesting and engaging content, and the other 25% will be the posts that are known as "shameless sell promotion"

6. Offer Exclusive Content - Your followers are giving you some attention.  Don't give them the farm unless you get their email.  But offer some nice little perks for followers.  Automatic entrance into a draw.  Maybe a live track, or video that they can download if they are following or liking your page.  You can set up "Like-Gates" and "Pay with a tweet" options to help grow your social network and provide some exclusive content.