You can learn a lot about social media success by studying the posting activities of top musicians and DJs.
Armin van Buuren certainly fits in this category. With 5.5m Facebook fans, 971,000 Twitter followers, 132,000 Soundcloud fans, and 592,000 YouTube subscribers (displayed in the image above), the Dutch trance DJ behind the ultra-successful Armada record label group has one of the biggest social media footprints in not just electronic music, but in music as a whole.
However some of you may rightly point out that, as one of the biggest DJs in the world – Armin has been crowned the No.1 DJ in the world five times by DJ Magazine – AvB was always going to have an enormous social media footprint due to his success offline and in the charts.
Indeed theoretically, one could assume that Armin is such a big success online because he is such a huge success offline, and that he could actually post nothing on social media and he would still have a massive online fanbase. We decided to analyse the posting activities of Armin van Buuren over 30 days to see if that is the case.
We wanted to know, how much does Armin van Buuren post to Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube, to drive the growth of his huge fanbase? We also wanted to analyse what type of content Armin posts to his social media, to see if we could discover any noticeable trends. We hope that our in-depth analysis will help DJs and musicians when scheduling their social media content in JustGo Music’s PRO dashboard.
We tracked Armin’s activity across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Soundcloud from June 29 to July 29 2013, and here is what he posted during that period:
• 169 Facebook updates
• 91 Twitter posts
• 5 YouTube uploads
• 4 podcasts
• 2 Soundcloud uploads
Immediately it is clear that, rather than rest on his laurels and rely upon organic fan acquisition, Armin van Buuren is very, very active on social media. During our tracking period, his social media activity resulted in the acquisition of 193,000 new fans in total across the four networks that we tracked.
And it must be said that the output of his Facebook page is nothing short of relentless, coming in at an average of 5.6 posts per day! His Twitter channel was also consistently updated during the period, with an average of 3.03 posts per day over the 30 days.
What type of content does Armin van Buuren post on Facebook?
Now that we know a little more about how much Armin van Buuren posts on social media to drive his fanbase growth, we decided to go a little further and analyse the type of content that he posts on Facebook and Twitter to see if we could discover any interesting trends.
Starting with Facebook, we crunched through his 169 posts and found some definitive patterns to the content that he posted.
Over the last 30 days, Armin posted on Facebook:
• 18 comment drivers – posts that directly asked his Facebook fans to comment
• 10 cross promotional posts – that promoted his other social networks
• 9 DJ mixes / radio shows – including three posts of his Ultra Korea live set, two posts of his Ultra Europe live set, and a number of links to his weekly A State Of Trance radio shows
• 8 old photos – generally these were old photos of Armin
• 5 memes – images designed primarily to drive shares and likes
• 5 family posts – including a number of posts announcing the birth of his new son
Armin van Buuren’s social media team are clearly making a concerted effort to drive comments on his Facebook page with 18 posts made in the last 30 days that directly asks fans to comment. That’s almost one a day.
Why is Armin actively pushing comments? Because comments are considered to be the second highest form of engagement on Facebook posts after ‘shares’. Incidentally, ‘likes’ are the shallowest form of post engagement as they require the least amount of engagement effort.
TIP: Ask fans to comment regularly, perhaps even daily. Focus on driving comments and shares, not likes.
Here are some of Armin’s best comment driver posts from the last 30 days.
Cross Promotional Posts
It comes as no surprise to learn that Armin is using Facebook to promote his other social media channels, however it is interesting to see just how much he is doing these types of cross promotional posts.
With a post going out about once every three days promoting another network, that’s a solid amount of his monthly posts dedicated to pushing his fanbase to his other communication outlets.
Obviously Armin and his team see the value of having fans subscribe to multiple Armin channels, as collectively that will raise his overall fanbase numbers. And of course, the more channels a fan subscribes to Armin, the stronger their potential connection will be to him.
TIP: Regularly cross promote your other networks.
Here is an example of Armin cross promoting his Spotify channel on Facebook.
DJ mixes / radio shows
Armin uploads a large amount of new audio content per month and these generally come in the form of his weekly A State Of Trance radio shows (delivered via podcasts), and live recordings of his DJ sets at major gigs.
What is interesting to note is that Armin’s team do not shy away from repeating posts when they have a quality piece of content to push. For instance, they posted links to a video of his 1.5 hour DJ set at Ultra Korea festival three times on July 3, July 6, and July 11.
TIP: Post new audio content regularly. Create a weekly radio show, and distribute it as a podcast. Repost quality content, but separate the posts by a few days.
One of the more unusual pieces of content that Armin posts on Facebook regularly is old photos from his archives.
Seeing an old photo of Armin working on music on an ancient desktop computer, or a group photo of a young, baby-faced Armin, Tiesto and Ferry Corsten hanging out backstage at a gig will obviously endear his fanbase to him, as it shows his humble beginnings. There is also a potential ‘share’ energy with these types of photos as most people love to share funny / unique / interesting photos.
Here is an old photo that Armin posted recently.
TIP: Create a folder of old / unusual / funny photos that will endear your fanbase to you, and post them at regular intervals on Facebook.
For better or worse, memes have become the internet standard for driving ‘likes’ and ‘shares’. As the digital equivalent of a bumper sticker, meme images are a simple solution to drive both shallow engagement (likes), and deep engagement (shares).
Armin’s team clearly values memes, and they post a unique meme about once per week on Facebook.
Here are some of their most successful memes from the last 30 days.
TIP: Create and release a couple of memes per month. One of them might just go viral.
Some artists prefer to separate their private life from their public one, however Armin has made the decision to share parts of his private life with his fanbase.
Armin made 5 posts over the last 30 days that mention his family specifically – he made 4 posts about the birth of his new son Remy, and one post about the 2nd birthday of his daughter Fenna.
Sharing such intimate details of his life with his fanbase endears his audience to him, and the posts generally resulted in a heavy amount of positive engagement.
TIP: Don’t necessarily shy away from posting details about your private life. Showing you have a stable network of friends or family behind you can be a positive message to send out.
What type of content does Armin van Buuren post on Twitter?
Over the last 30 days, Armin posted on Twitter:
• 21 posts about his radio show A State Of Trance
• 15 retweets
• 12 live updates
• 12 @reply drivers
• 10 family posts
With the recording of his weekly radio show no doubt taking up a big chunk of his life, Armin posted 21 times about his A State Of Trance show over the last 30 days on Twitter.
The majority of the posts either linked to the show, or asked Twitter followers to get involved in the show by submitting their @replies about their favourite tracks on the show.
Here is a good example of Armin using Twitter to get his followers involved in the show:
TIP: Use Twitter to involve followers in your radio show, tracklists, or DJ mixes.
Twitter is primarily a conversation tool, and Armin uses Twitter to regularly respond to his fans. Over the last 30 days, Armin posted 15 retweets from fans, who either sent him content he liked, or wrote comments that he agreed with.
Here is a retweet that garnered a good response.
TIP: Reply to every mention, and retweet as many messages as possible.
Twitter is perhaps the quickest way to get real-time information out about what you are up to. Armin regularly uses Twitter to update fans on what he is doing at any point in time, however his messages are always related to his DJ life. Tweeting live from the studio is one of his favourite posts, and updating fans whilst he on route to a gig is another.
TIP: Use Twitter to post real-time updates from the studio, or before / after gigs.
The highest form of engagement on Twitter is @replies, so Armin regularly asks questions to his fanbase to drive them.
Here is one good example of him doing that.
TIP: Regularly ask questions on Twitter that encourage fans to share their opinions.
Just as he does on Facebook, Armin regularly shares details of his family life on Twitter. One of his most popular tweets during the last 30 days was when he announced the birth of his son Remy.
TIP: Both Twitter & Facebook are potential outlets for sharing personal updates.
Overall we hope that this in-depth analysis of Armin van Buuren’s social media activities is useful for developing your own social media strategy.
It is interesting to note that despite having a huge potential online fanbase due to his offline success, Armin aggressively engages with social media to drive his fanbase growth. He is particular active on Facebook and that might explain why his Facebook fanbase is so much bigger than his other networks.
There is a clear and consistent strategy to Armin’s social media content, and his team clearly have a schedule that they stick to rigorously. They almost certainly are tracking the performance of every post, and have A/B tested posts to optimize their engagement. Therefore borrowing some of the above ideas should help to turbocharge your own social media performance.
We hope that you can use this article for reference when you’re scheduling your own content for social media, using JustGo Music’s Publisher / Scheduler tool.
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