A growing number of artists are putting “super fans” at the centre of their social media strategy by providing exclusive content through their own app. Kevin Brown, CEO of app-creation company GigRev, explains how this approach can help singers monetise their online following.
When it comes to social media many people think bigger is better. The bigger the number of followers, likes and subscribers, the better for business. Brown thinks this idea is old hat. Numbers alone aren’t enough. What matters is turning followers and subscribers into paying customers. How? By increasing your focus on the “supers”, the hardcore fans who buy your music and merch and come to your gigs. But be warned: it’s not for everyone. This approach only works for artists who are active on social media and have an established following.
If you fit the bill, then read on to find out about this powerful social media strategy.
What is GigRev?
GigRev creates apps for bands and musicians. You can create your own private digital fan club and share videos and photos, broadcast live, and sell tickets and manage gigs. The premise is that instead of sharing all your content on all your social media channels, you share just enough on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to entice people to download your app. To assist with this, GigRev has a viral sharing feature so when a video goes up on your app, a 30 second taster clip is shared on your other social media platforms, driving fans to the app where they can watch the rest. Fans who download your app can be free members or, for a monthly fee, premium/inner circle members and enjoy more benefits and exclusive content and deals.
Isn’t it easier to make use of free social media channels and advertise?
With more than two billion users worldwide Facebook is obviously doing something right. But Brown has a few beefs with it. “You can work really hard and build up a large number of ‘likes’, but you don’t own that data, the social media company does. You have to pay to reach your own fans. Besides what does it even mean if you have accumulated lots of Facebook ‘likes’? No one ever ‘unlikes’ a page. Someone could have ‘liked’ your page years ago when you’re music and sound was completely different. They’re not going to buy your albums or come to your shows. But there’s no incentive for Facebook to cleanse that list. With GigRev you own your fan data and your content.”
What kind of social media following do you need to make an app worthwhile?
It works best if you have 15,000 plus Facebook likes. As a general rule, expect about 15 per cent of your Facebook following to download the app. About 10 per cent can be turned into premium subscribers. There are exceptions, however. Heavy rockers Pearl Harts have some seriously loyal fans. They have 5,000 Facebook likes, and about 2,200 app downloads.
Who’s already follow this kind of social media strategy?
It’s a relatively new platform but some artists have already jumped on the bandwagon. Glasgow-based Americana band Ashton Lane (17,000 Facebook likes) launched its own app last year. Within a week, more than 1,000 people had downloaded the app and 300 had signed up as premium members paying £4.99 a month giving the band an additional revenue stream of around £1,500 a month. But it’s not money for nothing. Ashton Lane dedicate a significant amount of time and energy to generating regular, quality content. Another GigRev client, Public Service Broadcasting (75,000 Facebook likes), has 2,000 paid for subscribers.
How much does GigRev cost?
There’s a monthly fee and GigRev takes a revenue split – but they work on a case by case basis so we can’t tell you how much exactly. If you think it could work for you visit their website and download their app.