Microblogging platform Twitter has long been a powerful tool to connect people and communities. Aside from being a go-to source for news, entertainment and trending topics, Twitter can bridge communities and strengthen fandoms.
While the current pandemic has cancelled live events such as concerts, film screenings, fan meets, and expos this year, fandoms have still managed to come together and celebrate through Twitter. According to the social media app, interaction between fans and their idols have become more prominent than ever.
Twitter has given fan groups from around the world an easy way to follow their favorite artists and get breaking news on the latest lockdown projects as well as connect with like-minded people they can build a community with virtually.
Aside from simply liking, retweeting, and using hashtags in Tweets, here are a few other tips and tricks to level up your fandom game on Twitter.
Engage with visual content
With a maximum word count of just 280 characters, Twitter users need to keep their text short and sweet. A recent study found that Tweets with photos resulted in 120 percent more engagement and a 350 percent increase in clicks to the tweet.
Fandoms can engage their audiences better by embedding visual content like photos, GIFs, and infographics with longer text to share important announcements or ensure that their content isn’t constantly buried in the Twitter newsfeed.
Visual content can make for more eye-catching and engaging status updates, and it helps to have a good mix of content including links to websites, images, and videos when using Twitter.
Follow fan conversations
One of the most popular ways for fans to communicate and receive updates on Twitter is through fan Twitter accounts. Run by some of the most devoted fans, these accounts also set hashtags to trend and even provide real time translations for new songs and interviews during live shows when subtitles aren’t yet available.
Other hardcore fans share re-edited videos with captions to help fellow fans – who may not understand the language – to stay up-to-date and closer to their idols.
Follow us, we are the official funclub of #brightwin in the Philippines. We provide latest update about @bbrightvc and @winmetawin. Together let's support our babies ? #อัลเทอร์มาจีบ #คั่นกูEP4 #คั่นกู #2getherTheSeries #brightwin #BrightWinPH https://t.co/gn6Lw4qw8S— OFFICIAL BrightWin Philippines ?? (@BrightWinPhil) March 13, 2020
Some of the most well-known fanbases on Twitter include K-Pop groups. Ana (@anadelight27), an EXO-L and ELF, started her fan journey on Twitter and uses the platform to get real-time info about her favorite idols.
"It's easy to find updates on Twitter and it is special for fans like me because a certain hashtag can show you videos, pictures, and updates that you are looking for. It also feels like you are in a concert itself because you get updates as they happen. In addition, fan accounts give freebies when you meet them at concerts, so it's also a nice way of meeting new people.”
Fan accounts are great go-to sources of information as well. To get started, simply search for your favourite artists’ names on Twitter, and look through some of the top Tweets that show up. Fan accounts will often mention fans and the actor or artist name in the bio, such as “fan account,” “fanbase,” or other similar terms making it easy for other Twitter users to like or follow.
Join the conversation yourself
Fans love to connect with one another to share their shared interests and passion, so don’t hesitate to share your voice and join the conversation. You can use hashtags to sort through all of the Tweets about your favorites and find out what the trending topics of the day are. Fans also often use hashtags to show support by bonding through “hashtag parties” where they all join forces to make their hashtag trend.
For Caitlin (@wALANAnana), being on Twitter enabled her to support and grow Ben&Ben’s (@BenAndBenMusic) fanbase. She even has first-hand experience on how powerful fandoms can be in amplifying support online.
"When Ben&Ben was nominated for three Wish Awards, we created a contest to encourage fans to vote. They managed to win two of those awards. When they released a new song, we initiated the #BenAndBenLIFETIME hashtag which reached no. 1 on the Philippine trends and no. 4 on the Worldwide trends last June 3. Lastly, we also had an initiative called #BenAndBenBBsPrideHome where we gather pride stories from fans and post it on our social media accounts. Most of the stories we’ve gathered were sent via Twitter."
From giving relief to typhoon victims to creating a fundraiser to supporting the different genders. Yes, that's my fandom or more preferably my family.— KAY-FUR not KEE-FER // #bbngmgabbs (@unic0695) May 31, 2020
I'm so proud of this fam, @BenAndBenBBs @BenAndBenMusic#BenAndBenBBsPrideHome ?️?
On the other hand, fans of #MayMayEntrata and #EdwardBarber always use their love team hashtag #MayWard for daily updates and even important activities, such as when they showed their fandom’s power using #PushAwardsMayWards to support the love team during this period.
Participate in trends
Want to know what’s trending for the day? Trends are determined by an algorithm and are tailored based on who you follow, your interests, and your location. The algorithm identifies topics that are popular at the moment to help people discover the hottest emerging topics.
On desktops, you can view trends for a specific location by exploring other locations in the trends box to see what’s happening in a specific geographic location. This is especially helpful for events and concerts happening in other countries.
You can choose to keep tailored trends based on your location and who you follow, or you can select “Change” to choose a nearby location or search locations. To participate in a trend, simply post a Tweet including the exact word or phrase as it appears in the trends list (with the hashtag, if you see one).
Trends can also help keep fans updated on the latest merchandise or product endorsements connected to their fandom and their availability. For instance, for BTS its Weverse. Meanwhile, other Kpop stores that are DTI-registered can secure specific products for fans who may not be able to buy the items readily in the Philippines.
Form real-life connections from the online community
Twitter gives fans the opportunity to stay closer to their favorites and fandom even if they are miles away. As they unite online to share the same love for their idols, fandoms eventually help their community establish real-life friendships beyond Twitter.
The current pandemic halted all fan meets and cupsleeve events, typical fan gatherings held at coffee shops or milk tea cafes to celebrate birthdays and achievements of their idols. Fortunately, fans found a way to innovate and even spearhead projects for good causes.
For example, fans of NCT Dream’s (@NCTsmtown_DREAM) Na Jaemin created a birthday fan project that benefits local jeepney drivers. Fans of Maine Mendoza (@mainedcm) and Angel Locsin (@143redangel) also gave full support for their respective efforts, #DoNationDrive and #UniTENTweStandPH. This shows that being a fan is also about sharing love to anyone who needs it.
Hello PH NCTzens & NANAzens! ? We will be having a birthday fankit for a cause this coming August. The profit of this fankit will be donated to #ParaKayManong Campaign under NCT's Na Jaemin ??— felicitaté. (@felicitatemnl) June 28, 2020
More details will be posted next week so stay tune! :)#NCTDREAM#JAEMIN pic.twitter.com/QDQuI774mT
Angel Locsin never ceases to amaze me. It’s been more than a decade since I’ve started fangirling hard and every time she comes up with something like this, I just stan harder and harder than ever. Napaka-busilak ng puso. Talagang nag-iisa. @143redangel #UniTENTweStandPH— Christian Capuyan (@itsxtiancapuyan) March 27, 2020
Enjoy meaningful discussions with your fandom friends on Twitter through this new conversation setting.
No matter what group you’re a fan of, there’s a community out there on Twitter. Connections can start from a conversation, so don’t hesitate to Tweet and interact with your fellow fans on Twitter!