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How to Build a Fanbase Using Psychology in 2024

April 20th 2024
Home > Blog > How to Build a Fanbase Using Psychology in 2024
How To Build A Fanbase Using Psychology

Psychology plays a huge role in building a loyal fanbase, regardless of your niche. With the increase of technology and social media, idols can bridge the gap that once existed between themselves and their fans, allowing celebrities and brands from all niches to connect with their followers on a deeper, more personal level.

There are many ways to connect with and grow your fanbase, from organizing live events to interacting on social media. Here are some proven psychological strategies for developing a loyal fanbase that will remain with you throughout your career.

1. Understand The Psychology of Attraction and Loyalty

You cannot grow a fanbase without first attracting the right fans. The following steps are essential to curating loyal and dependable fans who will engage with your content and inspire others to do the same.

Mastering Charisma

Charisma is essential for attracting people to your brand. This specific quality is highlighted in the way an individual communicates with others, and it’s as much about how you make other people feel as it is about how you’re perceived. According to Psychology Today, a charismatic person will make someone else feel valued. Leaders often adopt specific traits associated with charisma, including confidence, optimism, and, most importantly, passion. 

The good thing about charisma is that it’s easy to master. To come across as charismatic, you must have a passion for the topic you’re speaking about, whether your niche is music, acting, baking, or anything else. Genuine passion is perceived as authentic and real, capturing the attention of people who may be interested in your brand and turning them into loyal fans.

How to build a fanbase with Psychology.

Highlighting Common Goals and Values

People connect more easily with those who are similar to them, which is why common goals and shared values are essential to the psychology of building a fanbase. Many studies have confirmed the importance of shared values and goals within relationships – whether that’s romantic, platonic, or even business. 

To attract a fanbase who shares your values, let them know what you’re passionate about. For example, if you believe in inclusivity and diversity within the arts, use your platform to voice your opinions, as this will attract those who feel similarly. Many celebrities speak about topics close to their hearts. For example, Emma Watson is not just an actress – she is also a Women Goodwill Ambassador who advocates for gender quality.

By making your beliefs and values known, you’ll attract fans who value both your work and you as a person, creating a stronger and long-lasting bond.

Creating an Emotional Connection

Research suggests that being vulnerable with others will help create an emotional connection and form a deeper bond. Arthur Aron, a professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, performed a study highlighting the nuisances of creating an emotional connection with strangers. This study involved the strangers pairing off and asking each other a series of questions. One set of questions was shallow, whereas the other included more personal questions to probe deeper answers. The results were clear: those who were given the second set of questions formed deeper bonds and even became good friends in some cases.

Thus, the importance of vulnerability cannot be overstated when creating an emotional connection with your fanbase.

2. Build Trust with Transparency

Building trust with transparency is a sure way to curate a loyal fanbase. Many hugely successful actors and musicians have been praised for showing their true personalities in interviews, such as Harrison Ford, Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, and Lewis Capaldi. These celebrities are also known for having cult-like fan followings who continue to support all their projects. Furthermore, because this candidness is so refreshing, it’s not unsurprising that they garner more fans through interviews, meaning they are actively building their fanbase, even in between projects.

To build trust and maintain transparency with fans, open up about your feelings, opinions, and struggles, whether those are trials you overcame in your journey or the struggles you may be facing today. For example, Lewis Capaldi has been honest about balancing anxiety and a tourettes diagnosis with making music. In return, he has received an outpouring of love and support, solidifying his fanbase. Furthermore, those who did not listen to his music before would feel inclined to do so now simply because they relate to the issues he’s been vocal about.

If you are consistently transparent with your followers, you will establish trust and build a loyal fanbase that will support you as you build your career.

A group of people with their electronic devices, depicting an online community.

3. Create a Sense of Community

Psychological research shows that the need to belong is fundamental to our well-being, helping us navigate stress and other behavioral issues, so creating a sense of community can help you build a fanbase.

One way to create a community amongst your fans is to use social media. By setting up a Facebook page, Instagram, TikTok, or any other social media platform, you give fans a space to interact and communicate with each other, forming friendships that will strengthen their bond with themselves and the one they have with you. 

Many celebrities have nicknames for their fans, such as “Little Monsters” for Lady Gaga and “Swifties” for Taylor Swift. Beyonce’s own fanbase is called the “Beehive.” This is a proven way to make your fans feel included and valued.

4. Establish Shared Values

Shared values are essential for building a loyal fanbase. Fans who share the same belief system as you, whether it’s your politics or way of living, are more likely to stick around.

Use social media to highlight your values. Sharing articles, videos, and information or getting involved with events that mirror your beliefs will show existing fans your values and inspire and attract new fans. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé, and Dave Grohl have all been known to give back by collaborating with fundraisers to raise money for causes they believe in. But this isn’t exclusive to high-profile personalities; Gillette is known for teaming up with Movember, the men’s mental health charity, and Target has publically supported UNICEF to make a difference. These shared values might mean the difference between a follower choosing to support you over another brand, and effectively building your fanbase.

5. Grow Your Fanbase With Taylor Swift-Loyalty

Since Taylor Swift released her debut album in 2006, she has grown a devoted fanbase known as “Swifties.” A Morning Consult Survey found that more than half of the adult population in the US would consider themselves Taylor Swift fans – that’s a staggering 258.3 million. For her Era’s tour alone, Swift sold 4.35 million tickets. 

Through her music and fan engagement, Taylor Swift has cultivated a parasocial relationship with her fanbase. Here’s how she did it and how you can do it, too.

Strategy 1: Immersive Storytelling 

Taylor Swift doesn’t just release music videos. She is known for creating mini-movies that bring her songs to life, helping people connect with them on a deeper level. Her short film “All Too Well,” created for the re-release of her Red album currently stands at 97 million views.

Whether you’re a musician or you’re involved in another niche, create a storytelling video that will inspire an emotional response in your fanbase – whether that’s highlighting your origin story, your journey, or anything else important for your brand.

Strategy 2: Interactive Challenges and Contests 

Taylor Swift is well-known for leaving “Easter eggs” on her social media and in her videos that fans can pick up on. She’s even dropped hidden messages in her album booklets to help fans work out song meanings. But that’s not all – she gives hints about upcoming albums, song releases, and more when she’s on tour, prompting her fans to take to social media and discuss what her hints might mean. This is ultimately what keeps her fanbase alive.

This is something you can adopt with your own fans. Create social media challenges about upcoming projects that followers can engage in. Not only will this nurture your existing community, but it will also get your fans excited for the future of your career and bring others on board, thus, helping to build your following.

Strategy 3: Personalization and Customization

Taylor Swift creates songs that speak to fans personally. She wrote “Long Live” to specifically highlight the special relationship she has with her fans, showing them how much they mean to her and creating a lasting bond.

You can take this one step further by using smart tools to personalize messages. Many music artists use Spotify Wrapped to send special messages to their most loyal fans, thanking them for all their support.

Strategy 4: User-Generated Content Campaigns 

In the early days of her career, Swift was active on Tumblr, where she would interact with fans’ posts. This would encourage them to post more often with the intention of Swift noticing and engaging with them. Furthermore, she used casual language to engage with her fans, which made her seem more authentic and real. In return, fans would write essays on her music, post their thoughts on her songs, create fan art, and so much more.

You can adopt the same strategy to create user-generated content by sharing fanart, replying to comments and posts, and encouraging creativity within your fanbase.

Strategy 5: Emotional Connection through Live Interactions 

As mentioned above, Swift is known for interacting with her fans in real-time through social media. She has even replied to Instagram stories and engaged her fans in short conversations to tell them how grateful she is for their support.

It’s easy to connect with fans through live interactions, whether via meet and greets, live Q&As, or even simply responding to them on Instagram. Reply to fan comments, watch their tagged Instagram stories, and share upcoming content. This will show your fans a more authentic version of yourself and help them connect with you on a deeper level. 

Strategy 6: Value-Driven Content 

Sharing value-driven content with your fanbase will inspire them and garner loyalty. Many celebrities and brands use this strategy. For example, many famous writers such as Stephen King and Shonda Rimes have offered writing classes to share invaluable knowledge. If Taylor Swift offered a songwriting class, tickets would sell out in seconds.

To adopt this strategy, teach in person, design an online course, or even share tips and tricks on your social media – whether that’s how to break into the industry, insight about your niche, or anything else you believe your audience would find valuable. 

Strategy 7: Exclusive and Insider Access 

Swift rewards her biggest fans with exclusive “secret sessions.” Before an album release, she often brings a small number of fans to her home so they can hear her songs first. These intimate acoustic sessions allow her to meet and give back to long-serving fans. They don’t just make fans feel special – these moments are entirely unscripted. Fans feel as if they’re hanging out with a friend and glimpsing the real Swift.

Having secret sessions of your own or giving your most devoted fans an exclusive glimpse into your upcoming projects will not only reward your fanbase but also inspire casual fans to engage more with your content because they may receive the same special treatment.

6. How to Build a Fanbase on Social Media

Building a fanbase is all about loyalty. Clinical psychologist and professor at Yeshiva University in New York City, Sabrina Romanoff, believes that showing appreciation, being supportive, keeping promises, and being honest are all essential for inspiring loyalty in others.

Social media bridges the gap between celebrities or brands and their fanbase, offering them a real-time way to adopt the tips above and connect from all over the world. Fans can now access their favorite celebrities directly, which simply wasn’t possible before the internet. Here’s how to harness social media for your own brand and inspire loyalty.

How to build a fanbase with Psychology

TikTok: Tap into Trends and Authenticity

TikTok is a fantastic way to attract new fans. It’s easy to go viral by using trending sounds to your advantage, getting fresh eyes on your content. If you decide to partake in a trend, ensure to put a twist on the content, as fans love seeing the real and authentic you.

TikTok’s bite-sized video format is a good way to tell quick stories. Many artists, writers, and actors use it to give their fans a glimpse into their world. You can duet or stitch other users’ content, offering the perfect opportunity to react to posts and connect directly. This places you right at the heart of your community, bridging the gap between yourself and your fans.

Instagram: A Visual Diary of Your Journey

Like TikTok, use Instagram to connect with followers in real time. When reels go viral, they get your content seen by others who might relate to you and your product. You can also use Instagram Stories and Highlights to post behind-the-scenes content and quick updates or encourage your fanbase to ask questions. Many actors or musicians might host Q&As when promoting a new project, as it gives them a way to build hype.

Like TikTok, Instagram now has a feature where you can reply to other fans’ comments with a video, removing the barrier of text entirely, which can sometimes feel too distanced. The more you close that distance between yourself and your fans, the easier it becomes to build a fanbase.

YouTube: Go Beyond the Music Video

YouTube’s video format lets you connect with your followers through vlogs, Q&As, and tutorials, helping you show off different sides of your personality or brand. Use the community tab to post polls, behind-the-scenes photos, or quick updates.

Furthermore, YouTube offers live streaming where you can interact with fans in real-time, letting you host Q&As, create a hangout session, or even perform a mini-concert – something that was popular during the pandemic.

Facebook: Foster a Community

Facebook groups provide opportunities to join groups related to your niche, where you can share content and interact with other fans. Furthermore, setting up a Facebook group for your own brand will allow you to contribute updates and interact with followers on a more personal level. Many big artists or brands use Facebook groups to give important updates.

Community Building With Teach

Teach.io is a fantastic way to build a loyal fanbase. With Teach, everything you need to grow your community is in one place, which means you don’t have to hop from app to app. Connect with followers by creating video tutorials, Q&As, or anything else that suits your brand. Share updates and important information with followers like you would a Facebook group. Encourage members of your community to interact with each other, strengthening their own bonds and the ones they have with you. 

Get started and grow your fanbase with Teach.io.

X: Engage in Real-Time Conversations

Formally known as Twitter, X is a great way to engage your fans in conversation. You can reply to them directly, use your own hashtags, and share your thoughts on what’s happening in the world. X provides the opportunity to show off your values, as mentioned earlier, which will help you build a loyal audience. Furthermore, many big brands will create their own hashtags to hype up new releases and product drops.

Create threads to share your insight on a particular topic. Share your brand’s journey, highlighting struggles you might have gone through to get to where you are today. X also offers polls that you can use to collect fan feedback, helping you curate content to your audience’s tastes.

7. Consistency in Brand and Message

Being consistent in your branding will get your message across more powerfully. Ensure your content aligns with your brand and messaging, whether that’s short posts and TikTok videos created to explain your beliefs and opinions, or posts that show off your products. Being consistent will help you build trust in your fanbase.

How to Grow a Fanbase in 2024

To grow a fanbase in 2024, it’s essential to understand the psychology behind it. Although strategies and content might differ from brand to brand, the principles remain the same: be charismatic, authentic, and open. It’s important to attract fans who align with your values and beliefs, as this will ensure you build trust and long-lasting relationships.

Use social media to engage with your existing fanbase, whether through commenting on their posts, letting them know you value their support, or offering exclusive sneak peeks into upcoming events and projects. It’s important to make your fanbase feel valued and special, as this will inspire them to stick around throughout the rest of your career.

You can start building your fanbase on Teach.io as soon as today by following the above steps.

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