An effective way to increase your fanbase is through contests. In fact, contests are one of most common tools artists use to increase their ‘likes’, ‘follows’ or general subscriber numbers. Musicians, actors, visual artists, gym and yoga instructors can use contests in a variety of ways to boost their numbers. Here are some ways where you can effectively have contests on social media:
1) Give referral discounts. The idea is to simply encourage people to invite their friends for the contest and if they do, they can get discounts for your merchandise, tickets or your products.
2) Hashtag photo contests. Instagram is a great tool for using hashtags related to your brand and what would increase your brand visibility would be using a hashtag specific to your brand for the contest. For instance, you can ask the entrants to use #ArtistSlogan to submit their entries to the contest, which will create significant buzz for you.
3) Caption competition. A great way to engage with your fans is digging through your old pictures and posting it. Not only you will have an opportunity to engage your fans on a more sincere level, but also caption contests are really fun!
4) Win a hangout! You can set up a contest for your fans with the grand prize of hanging out with you! You can simply set up a hashtag or @artistname for this contest and have your fans come and hang out with you while you are on tour at a certain city. This could also be a great opportunity for you to solidify your fan base in multiple locations and it would be nice to meet different people from different parts of the world!
5) Make a remix/Draw a picture. Involve your fans in your creative process! You can have your fans remix or write lyrics for a song, or you can ask someone to contribute to your latest design or artwork! That way, not only you can increase your social media activity, but you might even find new collaborators!
6) Make the best of an unfortunate situation. An interesting case was when one of the members of the Nashville band Jeff the Brotherhood had to cancel their tour after one of the members broke his arm. In the aftermath of this unfortunate situation, the band probably had to deal with many venues and frustrated fans, but they found a very cool way to rise over the situation. They created a hashtag on Twitter called #jakebrokehishand where they asked the fans to figure out how Jack actually broke his hand. The hashtag went viral and not only it helped mitigate the situation in favor of the band, but also introduced the band to new wave of fans with great sense of humor.
7) Merchandise design contest. You can have your fans come up with their own designs for tshirts, cup and various merchandise you can use for your brand. There might be very cool designs come up and you can always make use of crowdfunded merchandise content!
Have you ever started a contest on social media before? What was your overall experience like? Feel free to comment below!
Alper Tuzcu is a Berklee College of Music and Denison University alumni, and a Boston based guitarist, songwriter and producer. His debut eclectic album ‘Between 12 Waters’ featuring 8 different vocalists is available on Spotify, and you can follow him on Instagram or Twitter @alpertuzcu, or visit his website http://www.alpertuzcu.com