It’s always exhilarating finding cases like this that validate the lessons we so often, teach, learn, and debate here on MTT. This story in particular, highlights the power of conscientious direct-to-fan (D2F) communication on the part of Fleet Foxes’ front man, Robin Pecknold.
If Grammy awards were given to artists DIY’ing it each year, Pecknold would win the award for “Outstanding Performance In D2F Communication”. Pecknold’s proclivity for treating fans like friends recently went viral when a fan of his enthusiastically wrote the following post on reddit:
Within 24 hours, over 350 comments, 8000 votes, 30,000 pageviews, and 360,000 image views on Imgur brought Pecknold’s appreciative fan’s post to the famous front-page of reddit. The same front-page that has spawned rallies and movements, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, and sent memes to the peaks of viral success, was now shining the spotlight on a concept that too many artists fail to grasp: the importance of treating and talking to your fans like they’re good friends.
For some artists the conscientious communication and befriending process is easier said than done, but for Pecknold it’s second nature. Check out the YouTube comment that started it all to get an idea of the ease and attention to detail that Pecknold exhibits when speaking to his fans.
Aside from the video’s views skyrocketing from 864 views to over 12,000 in 24 hours, we witnessed an outpouring of thumbs-ups and positive reactions to Pecknold’s comment.
To boot, here’s a handful of tweets (click to enlarge) that Pecknold and the same fan have exchanged over the past few months:
You’ll even notice that Pecknold is replying to some of these tweets via the Twitter app on his iPhone, and communicating with fans via AIM. This demonstrates that even while Pecknold is out on the raod, no doubt busy and bombarded with distractions, he manages to stay connected to his fans at all times.
So the takeaway lesson from all of this is simple, and it’s something you should remind yourself everyday as an artist or manager:
Actively establishing fan communication channels + Responding and engaging conscientiously = Healthy, trusting, profitable fan relationships + Viral growth
In the end, this means a long and successful career doing what you love with the support of your faithful tribe.
Alex Hoffman is the Director of Artist Services at Grooveshark. He is currently focused on launching a robust artist platform within Grooveshark and developing new products and partnerhsips that drive value for artists, labels, and management.