A while back we posted an article called “Dear indie bands, your friends are not your fans,” which sparked some interesting discussion.

One of my favorite comments came from an artist named Vitne. He says:

Personally, I hate it when I see that a band member or the artist themselves aren’t the ones maintaining and responding to fans’ messages on networks like Facebook and Twitter.

I’m far more interested in artists that personally respond to me. First of all, I know they are active. Second, I can see that they are personally connected with their fanbase to an extent. Third, because of this, they stay in the front of my mind, making it much more likely that I’m going to listen to their music or buy some merch.

I absolutely understand how cool the mystery of the rock star was before the 2010s. But I’m turned off by the corporate label machine feel, and I feel it is losing its place in the modern music world. Dee Snider has personally responded to me on Twitter, same with Mark McGrath, Billy Idol, Good Charlotte, and even Hulk Hogan. I really appreciate the fact that they took the time to personally respond to me, and it makes me an even bigger fan.

I think what it all boils down to is that I feel recognized as a fan. And that’s what I strive to do with my fanbase.

As Vitne says, it comes down to a personal connection, the feeling of being seen and heard by his favorite artists. I love the word he used: “recognized.”

We all live busy lives, and it’s easy to put corresponding with individual fans on the back burner. I’m certainly guilty of it. But unless you’ve reached a level in your career where the size of your audience makes that completely unmanageable, it’s probably a good idea to set aside a little bit of time each day or each week to personally respond to every tweet, comment, and email. Not simply with a “thanks!” — but with something more, something that shows they’ve been recognized. Hell, if Amanda Palmer still finds time to write back to all her fans, shouldn’t we?

How do you show your fans that you recognize them?

Let me know in the comments below.