FanBridge: ‘Cause It’s Not Easy Being Popular

by Mike Tuttle

Fan management juggernaut FanBridge has been busy this year. In a world where everyone has fans now, whether you’re a bona fide celebrity, musician or artist – or even a business or corporation – fan management is a buzzword well worth learning. How do you keep up with fans? How do you engage them socially without leaving them hanging on stale Twitter feeds? And how do you convert a great fan base to actual album, book and product sales when the time is right?

FanBridge has been answering all these questions since 2006. They have pioneered methods of not only collecting fans, but engaging them socially on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube. They can help your band keep a usable database of your fan mailing list, including a simple laptop-run signup you can use at shows. They can help you launch email and other campaigns, and help you offer incentives to new fans for signing up.

The latest tool in the FanBridge box is called Social Digest. This service is a classic “see a need and fill it” offering for those with fanbases to keep up with. Or, more accurately, for the overwhelmed fans themselves.

As a band or celebrity moves through the week, tweeting updates, posting to Facebook, etc. many fans are left in the dust. Who can keep up with it all? Social Digest takes your week’s social activities from across several platforms and emails them in a nice bundle to your fanbase.

As the FanBridge folks tell it:

“65% of fans say they regularly miss important info because it gets ‘lost in the feed.’ 78% of fans say they would “love” a weekly email update from their influencers. Give them the best content that they probably missed the first time around in a great-looking and concise email.”

These emailed digests include content that fans can interact with, such as Like, Retweet, Comment, and Share buttons. And the success rate of something built this way is double to triple what a typical email gets.

“Compared to typical email campaigns and social network posts, the engagement rates in the Social Digest are 2-3x larger. For instance, the average open rate of a typical email is about 15%, whereas the average open rate of the Social Digest is 30%. Similarly, the average click through rate in a typical email is 6% and a staggering 18% in the Social Digest.”

The past year has seen lots of this kind of thing from FanBridge. Remember the Timeline rollout from Facebook that had everyone groaning? FanBridge was on top of that, turning all the upset carts into an advantage with tools for their clients.

They released an e-book called “Three Keys to Fan List Success for Musicians.” The free e-book was designed to help clients “improve your fan list skills and grow an email list, get more Facebook Likes, increase your Twitter followers, or get more plays on Soundcloud.”

When Spotify’s Play Button rolled out in April, FanBridge was on top of that, helping clients find ways to use that in their overall strategy.

The FanBridge blog is very well-maintained and useful. There have been discussions of Pinterest for sports teams, and Pinterest for bands. They’ve talked about how to promote your music through YouTube, crowdfunding, and lots more.

FanBridge’s partners really make the service worth looking at. They include Topspin, Soundcloud, Songkick, Moontoast, IndieGoGo, and many more that you can read about here.

When you’re ready to monetize all those great fan relationships you’ve built using the great products, assistance, advice, and tools from FanBridge, their FanFinder Marketing Suite helps you target web ads to fans that would most likely respond to them.

The pricing structures for FanBridge range from a free option for emailing, to a light Facebook user setup, all the way up to professional tools, media hosting, and complete analytics. Pick what is right for you.

If you have a band, film company, business, or anything else that would benefit from keeping track of who likes you, give FanBridge a sniff.

Mike Tuttle is a freelance writer who digs on music, tech, and political topics that twitch his in-laws. Catch him on Google+ and Twitter at @MikeTuttle.