Favorite Music Fan Following: What makes great fandom?

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Katy Perry has her KatyCats, Lady Gaga has her Little Monsters, and Ariana Grande has her Arianators, but those are just a few of the uber-fan groups nominated for this year’s Favorite Fan Following at the People’s Choice Awards. The polls are open for your votes, but the category has us thinking: What exactly makes great fandom?

Judging by this year’s nominees, it all boils down to three key elements:

A clever nickname. Fans are a tight-knit bunch, so naturally they need a troop-like moniker to go along with their adoration. There’s the Britney Army and Rihanna Navy, and Selena Gomez fans have even dubbed themselves “Selenators.” And who can argue with the catchiness of Austin Mahone’s “Mahomies?”  But the catchy names aren’t reserved for just music—even fans of Scandal character Olivia Pope call themselves “Gladiators!”

A social media community. Every artist’s Facebook and Twitter pages means at least a dozen more sister pages generated by fans and dedicated to their favorite artist. On the Twitter front, Swifties have @OhSwifty, @TheSwiftys, @SWIFTISGORGEOUS — and that’s just scratching the surface. Great fandom means connecting like-minded fans with news, pictures, and songs—it’s about building and keeping a community. Because, who else can appreciate the release of Katy Perry’s new album like they can? 

Costumes, costumes, costumes! Whether it’s Halloween or at a concert, great fandom can mean dressing like your idol in the biggest way possible. Just look at Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters outside her San Francisco concert in 2010 or these KatyCats posing in full Katy Perry regalia before a concert. And if your favorite singer isn’t known for their dramatic on and off-stage get-ups, super fans can always be counted on to get a little creative with how they show their love (just like the Swifties above!).

What do you think makes a great fan following? And why does you Favorite Fan Following deserve to be nominated? Make sure to vote in our polls and tune in to the show on January 8, 2014 on CBS to see the results!

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