Twitter can be a powerful way to connect with your audience and potential new fans. Use the platform strategically to avoid the noise and impact your bottom line.
Set Up Your Twitter Page
First things first: You need to set up a Twitter account if you don't have one already. Simply visit the Twitter website and click the "sign up" button. Twitter will walk you through the steps of setting up your page and will teach you how to make your first "tweets," the 280 character posts you send out to your followers to let them know what you're doing. The whole process takes just a few minutes, and you can use your account immediately.
Once your Twitter account is in place, it's time to start looking for other Twitter users to follow. If you know friends who use Twitter, start by following them and then checking to see who else is following them; you might find more people to follow in their lists.
Since you want to use Twitter to advance your music career, your label or other music-related business, look for fellow music fans. Journalists, artists, and other industry names are excellent targets.
The beauty of Twitter is also its downfall. It's called the TMI effect. Twitter can be a great way not only to keep fans informed about your news but also to make them feel closer to the whole process when you tweet about things you're working on as you're doing them. The trick is not to go too far and overload people with so much information that they ignore your tweets.
For instance, peppering your tweets about your show dates with tweets like "I'm out buying strings for the tour" can be fun for people to read, but chronicling every step is too much.
Although giving people too much info can be a Twitter turnoff, not giving them enough attention can be equally damaging. There are many services, like dlvr.it, that will pick up your blog RSS feeds and posts them to your Twitter page, doing the tweeting for you. This is good for your blog traffic, but if your only tweets are through a feeder, then people might stop paying attention. Make sure you keep adding personal tweets with the tweets picked up by your feeder. Otherwise, people might get bored and might stop following your feed.
Join the Conversation
Social interaction is the point of Twitter, so jump into the conversation. Not only may you end up building relationships with people that can help you in your music career, but you will also draw people back to your own Twitter page, where all of your news about your new release, tour dates and more can be found. You may even draw in some new fans.
Don't Waste Too Much Time
Like Facebook, Twitter can be an enormous time sucker. Don't substitute interaction on Twitter, Facebook, or any social networking site for actually DOING something. Twitter can be a tool in your promotional arsenal, but it should never come before the basics like practicing, playing shows and promoting yourself.
Your number of Twitter followers, like your number of Facebook friends, is a pretty poor indicator of how much you're accomplishing, so don't forget most of what you need to do for your music career needs to happen outside of the virtual world.
Things You Can Post on Twitter
Here are some actions you can take—and tweet about—to keep music fans interested:
- Updates from the studio when recording
- Updates on the manufacturing process (announce when the artwork is finished, when the master has been approved, when finished copies are delivered, etc.)
- Reminders about release dates, shows, and other news
- Updates from the road when you're on tour
- News about deals it's ok to talk about
- Day-to-day work news