Twitter Intro for Musicians
Connecting with fans…remember passing around a clipboard at live shows to collect emails and mailing addresses? We still do that, but how in the world are you going to stay connected and promote to fans in today’s technological world? Enter Twitter — the perfect, if not most misunderstood way to connect with new and existing fans. We can all agree your online presence is just as significant as the music you create. Remember all the hoopla around Myspace? The site has experienced an unprecedented decline in traffic. According to Clickz.com, visitors to Twitter grew by 836%, while Myspace declined by 23.5%. You don’t need to be a statistician to figure out what those numbers mean. If you want to be successful musically in 2011 you better have a grasp of the ever-changing social media landscape – that’s where your fans hang out online, and that’s why any tech savvy musician is on Twitter. Read on to find out how to get started!
Step 1: Sign up to Twitter: It’s easy! Just visit the sign up page here. Fill out all of your info and choose a password. Remember to be careful about which username you choose as this will be your “handle” – the name people use to communicate with you through Twitter. If you want your Twitter page to represent your band or solo project you might want to include your band or project name in your username. If it is just for your own personal use or musical networking, choose a username that means something to you (try to avoid too many characters and symbols). Once you are logged in, click “Settings” in the top right. Click “Profile” and add a user “Picture” and then “Design” and add a background image. This separates you from a lot of other “newbies” who haven’t done that yet. Musicians, your user picture can be your band logo and for the background find that cool shot of you wailing on guitar or a picture of your band playing a gig!
Step 2: Follow. Twitter is about following. Don’t worry yet about how many people are following you. You want to follow influential people, musicians, media and those who you respect and value opinions from. Doing this means you can keep a pulse on the newest musical trends, artists to watch, and industry news. An easy way to do this is find your favorite musician or music industry figure on Twitter and check out who she or he is following. (Hint: try industry analyst Bob Lefsetz @Lefsetz). Also, many Twitter users use a third-party software program that offers more features than the Twitter website, such as Tweetdeck or HootSuite. Also, check out wefollow.com and add yourself to the database. It’s free!
Step 3: Tweet! You have a few followers, you are following some cool people to keep you in the loop musically and you have Twitter ready to go either through your browser or a third party application, now what? It’s time to Tweet! When to post and how to post is an art form in itself. Take cues from your followers who “Tweet” in a style you would like to emulate. Don’t post too much, or too little, find a happy medium. Timely and current Tweets are always good, like your take on current events. Think about a unique perspective you have on something and figure out a way to present it to the world. To get a sense of what people on Twitter are talking about make sure to check out the “Trending Topics” section. If you are promoting your music or live gigs be careful to present it in a way that doesn’t feel like blatant advertising. If you are having a hard time coming up with an original thought respond to a Tweet that somebody you follow posted by clicking “Reply” or click “Retweet” to just post it to your followers.
We hope all you fellow musicians will check in to this blog in a few weeks when we do a more advanced Twitter clinic for musicians where we go into promotions, gaining followers and more. In the meantime good luck with creating interesting and timely tweets and not getting addicted to the awesomeness that is Twitter!
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