Spotify follower: A fan in the making

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With the recent passage of key legislation surrounding music and the tech industry, Spotify has solidified itself as a building block to becoming a successful artist. While Spotify itself isn’t considered a Social Media platform and has limited the ways users can interact, it’s still an essential tool to building a fanbase given that it’s one of the key avenues artists use to share their music with the world. And although there are a few social features, including the activity log which allows users to see who their friends are listening to and following, other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provide a better opportunity for brands to engage with their following more directly.  In any case, the use of these platforms will play a key role in creating an engaged following that help promote your brand. It may seem reasonable to think that power lies in numbers when it comes to your following, but it’s actually the amount of activity that creates the most value. Understanding the difference between an engaged fan and an idle follower will prove helpful in building the right following. There are certain variables that make it easier to decipher who is a follower and who is a fan.

Follower vs Fan

A follower is generally someone who has liked/followed an artist and observes content that they may post about while keeping the engagement to a minimum with the page. A fan is generally someone who has not only followed an artist but also spends time interacting with the artist. They spread the word about your brand to family, friends, and colleagues, thus driving traffic to your page and providing incomparable value against a follower. They do it because they’re familiar with your brand, they like it and more importantly, they trust it. They’ve developed confidence with your brand, line up for your new releases, and choose your brand over others. Measuring the number of followers an artist has is pretty straightforward (just look at the number of people that have liked any of your social media pages).  On the other hand, measuring the number of loyal fans an artist may have is a little more difficult. You can get a rough idea by taking into account the engagement a user may have with your social media pages or the number of referrals users might give. But even then, it can still be a bit of a gray area when quantifying who is a fan and who is a follower. Regardless, driving traffic to your social media platforms is important. In order to turn a follower into a fan, you’ll need to start by providing value to a user. Even though Spotify is still evolving and developing tools for artists, there are a number of actions that can be taken to drive traffic, gain followers, and ultimately build a loyal fan base.

Build a foundation

If you build it, they will come. You need to spend time building a strong basis of content for your followers. You’ll need to create a proper banner, profile picture, curate playlists, update personal information, add a bio, upcoming shows, and external social media links (a feature Spotify more recently rolled out). A strong foundation will show reliability and help attract the right kind of following that eventually become fans.


Converting a follower into a fan relies heavily on gaining trust. Trust is one of most valuable building blocks of any good relationship. You need people to believe you are one of the best at what you do and that by not giving you attention, they are missing out.  It’s much more inviting for a fan to share your brand with their friends when they trust you. Additionally, they are far more responsive if you ask them to spread the word about your brand. Build trust by engaging with followers on your other social media platforms (liking, commenting, messaging, and sharing content). Ultimately you will be able to use this trust to drive traffic to your Spotify account.

Provide value through content

Going along with trust involves providing content that adds value to a user or followers’ personal life. Make it about your followers, not about you. Live webinars are a great way to showcase your skills as an artist and can help create a more personal relationship with your followers.  Showing off your skills creates validity for you as an artist. It shows you know what you are doing. Engaging through a live webinar also makes you more personable and shows followers that you really are a human just like them. And everyone likes free, so don’t be afraid to give away a download, tutorial, workshop, exclusive deal, or advice every once in a while.

Leverage Influencers

Networking has always been, and always will be an integral part of branding. You need to use the relationships you’ve built with other artists to reach into other brands fanbases. Something like cobranding a playlist together is a great opportunity to reach a completely different audience. The cobrand can use their voice to convince their followers that you are a legitimate brand and talented at what you do. Think of it as a job reference or testimonial.

Promote through Spotify

If you haven’t visited it yet, Spotify has a section of their website dedicated to promotion on the platform.  But before you can do any of that, you’ll need to take direct control of your profile, which can be found through the same link above (under the verification heading). Once you have that taken care of, complete your artist profile information. You can also create your own playlists to give followers a look at what influences you, what you might be playing on tour, or showcase new artists that you love. Spotify also allows users to advertise directly with the platform. There are certain requirements that need to be met, but they are continuing to evolve the process to make it easier and affordable for all artists to participate. Additionally, they are working on new opportunities and tools for you to engage with potential followers, current followers, and fans alike. Stay tuned to Spotify for more on this soon.

Followers and fans are both important pieces of the puzzle of building a successful brand. But gaining the likes of either first involves creating a relationship, and there are several social media platforms available to help incubate this relationship. Spotify is home to over 150 million active users, making it the premier platform to showcase your brands musical content, while other social media platforms can provide more value to other facets of your brand.  When you aren’t giving followers a glimpse into the more personal side of your life with platforms like Instagram or Facebook, use them to drive traffic to your Spotify account so they can keep up to date on your most recent activity.  You may not convince everyone. And you may not always be able to retain all of your followers. But just be yourself, be honest, and trust your process. Remember, a large following may look more attractive at first glance, but a small engaged fanbase is far more powerful.