Raleigh regularly shares his music, merch, and event updates with his fan club of more than 14,000 through text messages.
Raleigh Keegan is a country music singer-songwriter living in Nashville, TN. He performs, records, and shares his music worldwide and is available to stream across all major music platforms.
Standing out as an up-and-coming music artist can be tricky, especially when social media algorithms change how fans view your content. Raleigh needed a way to connect with fans one-on-one on his terms.
After a few years of growth, Raleigh regularly communicates with over 14,000 fans via text. Thanks to his text blasts, he’s able to see a ten-fold increase in streaming each time he shares his new music with fans.
When singer-songwriter Raleigh Keegan moved to Nashville in 2017 to pursue music full-time, he had to sell his house to pay for his first record.
Today, he’s released several EPs, a debut album, and has more than 66,122 monthly listeners on Spotify.
Of course, this success didn’t happen overnight. One of the reasons why Raleigh was able to realize his dreams as a career musician is because of the monumental effort he dedicates to his fans.
When engagement levels on social media weren’t delivering the intimacy he was looking for, he gave texting a try. Less than one year and over 14,000 subscribers later, Raleigh has unlocked the secret to fan engagement—texting!
Outside of live performances, social media used to be the one space where musicians could connect with their fans on a more personal level.
But having lived through the dissolution of platforms like Myspace and Vine, Raleigh saw firsthand how dangerous it could be to put all your eggs in one social basket.
“You don’t own Facebook. You can’t control Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok,” notes Raleigh. “When those platforms eventually fall, you lose your platform. The only thing you own is your email and SMS contact lists, and unlike TikTok, those will never get banned.”
Also, recent changes to the Instagram algorithm have made it harder for creators to appear on their fan’s feeds resulting in record low engagement for many.
Combined with the total shutdown of live in-person performances due to COVID, Raleigh felt motivated to find a more direct way to connect with fans.
“A big part of what I would call the new music industry is about building direct one-on-one relationships with fans. With texting, I can share my updates with people I know want to hear from me, but I can also answer all of the people who text back. That’s thousands of people for me, and I’ve built relationships with all of them.”
Beyond strengthening his bond with fans, Raleigh has also capitalized on texting as an avenue to promote his brand through merch sales and sharing new releases.
“Most people are bombarded daily with content. So for me, texting is just another piece of the puzzle to say, “Hey, I still exist, my music still exists, and here’s what I’m doing” without having to fight through the noise.”
So far, Raleigh has enormous success sharing his new music, merch, and videos with fans. But the best part? He can see the fruits of his labor in real-time.
Within minutes of sending a text advertising the release of a new song, he can log in to Spotify for Artists and watch the number of folks listening to it spike.
“In the music industry, there’s not a ton of quantifiable data around your marketing. For example, you could pay a radio DJ four-ten grand a month to plug your song, but it’s tough to know how much you get in return. But with texting, we can see that we sold this many things or we got, “X’ number of streams.”
As the world begins to open back up, Raleigh is just as eager as his fans to get back to live music.
While most of his keyword promotion and calls to action to join his text list have been done via social media so far, he looks forward to the day where he can share it on a screen before his set.
He remembers pre-pandemic attending a Zac Brown Band concert where attendees were invited to text a keyword to a number on stage to be entered to win a merch bundle.
If you’re an entertainer thinking about adding texting to your marketing strategy, Raleigh just has one piece of advice for you.
“It’s a long-term game, but you need a way to consistently get your message to your audience. Texting has way better open rates for me than email, so if you don’t start now you’ll definitely regret it a few years from now!”
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