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[blog] The Importance And Danger of Superfans to Artists

Published February 22nd 2016

Many fans consider themselves to be superfans, but where one fan only plays the music or watch videos in admiration, other fans get pretty active with their love for their favorite artists. They scour the web for pictures, outtakes, leaked demos, fan forums, Facebook groups and they share, share, share their love.

If done well, they are building up quite a following themselves and they gain popularity among all the fans who consider themselves superfans too.

Superfans and Music Marketing

All fans are important to artists, but these pro-active superfans, as well as music bloggers and pro-active music fans are of even more importance, as many music marketing moguls will tell you.

Why?

When it comes to trying to break through as an artist nowadays, there’s a lot of focus on the use of social media. Within social media, but also across the board when you are trying to push your online presence, you’re usually being told to find the biggest influencers.

Influencers

Superfans

The relationship between superfans and artists

Influencers are the type of fan or blogger, who have a huge influence on a large group of people. An influencer could be anyone from a Twitter user who has a huge following, to a blogger with a large amount of site visitors or large engagement.

The point is to find the person who can mobilize an audience for you. Back in the day, artists would do this too, by way of creating street teams. Fans would get extra benefits, if they helped promoting the artists on the street. This could mean they helped handing out flyers, let people listen to the music etc.

Nowadays, the music business has come up with an official name for the people, who can do this online. Guess what they are called?! Yes! Superfans.

Superfans

For upcoming artists it’s important to know that any fan can be turned into a superfan. One of the ways to create them is by interacting with your audience after performances and of course, on social media. The whole point is to make a fan an ambassador for you, who’s willing to do a little extra for you, like for instance sharing your social media posts.

It’s not that hard to understand fans. They are fascinated by “the life”, “the business” and you. So a little bit of attention or a glimpse of the behind the scene-life can go a long way.

Remember, that back in the pre-internet days, the gap between fan and artists was huge. The chances of you engaging with your favorite artist were like, well, none. You were one of the lucky few, if you had met your favorite artist or received a letter. Now, you tweet or Instagram, and anything can happen.

Currently, it’s like all the layers of people that have protected “stars” have disappeared, but people feel like it’s still there. And yes, even I still consider it to be something special when I see the artist I wrote about like my post on social media or they let me know they liked my article or blog.

The Human Side

Artists have already become aware that people want to see more of their lives. Most artists are already sharing more than behind the scenes looks. Even private holiday pictures are shared, just think of Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue or Rihanna. Though for artists at that level, even parts of their holidays are sponsored, so in the end it’s all business.

Within music marketing for the unknown, it’s now actually encouraged to make the gap between star and artist as small as possible by doing this. You have to show your human side, which is a far stretch from the day when musicians used to be presented us as extraordinary human gods, who would make the tabloids if they were pictured buying toilet paper at the supermarket.

Distance Fades

While all this most certainly helps a music career along the way, there´s also a danger when the distance fades. Obviously, there’s a danger of a fan taking it too far, in an unwanted way.

But some celebrities have also gotten themselves into some trouble interacting with fans. Public disagreements for instance. That could alienate other fans, who may side with the fan instead of the artist.

There have also been stories about rappers and sportsmen, who have hit on women online, using Instagram. Their hook up stories came out, or relationship trouble got posted online, but even angry dads have reached out to the press to hurt the artist’s reputation, because the girl being hit on was under aged. Guess that’s why celebs had PR people dealing with this. 😉

And on the other hand, there are also stories of artists who fell in love with their superfans.

Will The Fascination of a Superfan End Now?

Today, artists are no longer unreachable, mysterious dreams. They are people and showing it.

But suppose, we’d fast forward a little bit and all artists have been engaging like friends for years, like it’s nothing special anymore. Will fame, as we know it, still exist? Will it still hold the same magic? Will it still fascinate us? Would you still brag if they are your next door neighbor if anyone can reach out to them to talk to?

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