Can you use Twitter to promote your band, or is it just one more distraction? That all depends on how you use it. Find out how to use Twitter for your music career in a way that wins you fans.
Set Up Your Twitter Page:
First things first - you need to set up a Twitter account if you don't have one already. Getting your Twitter page started couldn't be easier. 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 140 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 off by following them and then checking to see who else is following them - you might find more people to follow yourself in their list. The trick here is to get people to follow you - and the best way to do that is to start following them.
Since you want to use Twitter to advance your music, your label or other music related business, look for fellow music types. Music fans, journalists, artists, labels, etc - these are the people you want to follow you.
The beauty of Twitter is also its downfall - the TMI effect. Twitter can be a great way to not only keep fans informed about your news but it can also 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 info they ignore your tweets. For instance, peppering your tweets about your show dates with tweets like "out buying strings for the tour" can be fun for people to read, but chronicling every inhale and exhale is overkill. Your important info will get lost in the shuffle.
...But Do Be Personal:
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 Twitterfeed that will pick up your blog RSS feeds and post 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, than people will stop paying attention. Make sure you keep adding personal tweets in there with the tweets picked up but your feeder - otherwise people will think you ignore your Twitter page - and they'll start ignoring you.
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.
...But Don't Waste Too Much Time:
Like MySpace, Twitter can be an enormous time sucker. Don't substitute interaction on Twitter, MySpace 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 so on. Your number of Twitter followers, like your number of MySpace friends, is actually 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.
Good Things to Post on Twitter:
Here are some ideas about things your can tweet about to keep music fans interested:
- Updates from the studio when recording
- Updates on the manufacturing process (announce when 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 (for instance -"just arranged digital distribution with such and such company")
- Day to day work news (e.g., "just signed off on ad copy for magazine")