I wrote a post on how bands are using Facebook wrong recently and it’s become the most popular post on my site. So I’ve decided to move that topic over to Twitter. Get Twitter right and it will become your biggest source for new fans in no time. I find Facebook is great for engaging with your current fan base, where Twitter makes it easier to find new fans start a connection. Below I’ve outlined, where bands fail at their approach to Twitter and how you can turn it around.
It’s so simple and so important, yet so many bands fail to do this simple task. You should post a link to your website. Not Facebook or Youtube but your main website. You should describe your music in 2-3 words. You should name a couple of similar artists that you sound like, as you will show up in directories when someone searches such artists. Give a link to a sample your music, preferably a free download in exchange for an e-mail address. Upload a picture of band and not a logo, people are more likely to follow if they see a real face.
There is no point on being on twitter if you are not planning on using it. Unlike Facebook, twitter works better when you post regularly, but try and make most of your tweets conversational rather then statements.
There are some large automated twitter accounts out their but they are usually breaking news, allowing followers to digest large amounts of info from a topic. But this does not have the same effect for a band. You need to be a person.
Although automation can deter followers, it can save you a lot of time adding to the number of tweets you send out. Eg. If you have a blog you can set it to automatically tweet when you publish a new post. Or if you upload a new video to youtube or add a new tour date. Be careful of the last one as uploading 10-20 tour dates at one time can fill up followers time line and annoy them.
I’ve said this before and will keep saying it… Web 2.0 is all about interaction. If you’re not engaging with others on twitter, then you are wasting the service. Reply to people’s posts, Retweet others tweets. Sending Music Monday #mm and Follow Fridays #ff is another way to award those who interact with you during the week.
If you constantly send out links to your music on the likes of iTunes then people are going to stop following you. Instead talk about other things that take your interest and link to other artists. This will have the effect of people trusting your opinion and allow for others to talk about your music in return.
This is the most effective way to get followers and more importantly the right followers. Go to an artist you sound similar to and follow the last 50 people to follow them. Some of these people will follow you back and those that don’t you can unfollow at a later date. Choose small to medium bands over large bands. Repeat this with other bands but don’t over do it or Twitter might block your account. Also once you hit the 2000 mark you need to have 2000 followers before you can follow anymore. There are sites online that allow you add and remove your friends and followers on twitter.
Every few days you should take some time out and go through your new followers. If any seem interesting then you should follow them back, as long as they are human and not auto feeds. Send a direct message thanking them for the follow and linking them to some free music. Use their name and maybe some info from their profile in the message, to show it’s not an automated message.
One of the easiest ways to dive into twitter properly is to have tweet conversations with your real life friends. You are naturally use to having text conversations with them already. Once you get use to this you’ll find it easier to start reaching out to others. It will also make you look approachable to others who will see that your reply to tweets.
There are some great apps out their for organising your twitter, from scheduling post to analysing your followers peak tweet times. These apps can save you time, help you create content and keep track of your friends and followers.
Although automatically adding your update to your Facebook page is a bad idea, having a twitter feed on your website is a useful tool and one that encourages fans to follow you. I don’t use a twitter widget on my site as I don’t want to distract my readers. I do however have a follow me link under the headline of each post.
There are 2 ways you can use hashtags, first is to follow popular hashtags and join the conversation. You can find these in the discover section, but will need to scroll down below all the Bieber and One Direction tweets! Following Later With Jools Holland or Glastonbury footage on TV you can make your views heard and gain new like minded followers. The other way is to have your own hashtag that your fans can use to join your conversation. This could #singletitle or #albumtitle release or a tour or competition.
Photos are a great way to add content to your twitter feed and with smartphone cameras constantly improving, along with apps like Instagram, Vine, Periscope and Meerkat you can easily add engaging photos and videos, while on the go. People love pictures as they take little effort to get the big picture and tend to be more engaging then text. For a higher response consider adding text to a photo.
Like photos videos are very popular on twitter and the key here is you don’t have to produce the content, you can simply share a video you like. Make sure you write something and don’t just post a link. Try and be creative and upload impromptu videos of the band behind the scenes.
If you’re writing a blog post or uploading a video to your website, you need to ad social share buttons. You can use Digg Digg or Add This for sharing buttons. You can also use Click To Tweet to produce a tweetable soundbite. It’s as easy as this:
If you think Twitter beats Facebook for band promotion – Tweet Me!
If you think Facebook beats Twitter for band promotion – Tweet Me!
I’ll let you know the verdict soon!
You should integrate twitter with your live shows. Buy getting your fans to use hashtags or by uploading pics of people at your shows. Tweet before you go on a radio show and ask your followers to listen in and comment. Put your Twitter username on your flyers, business cards and at the bottom of all my e-mails.
Lists seem a little excessive when your first starting out on Twitter but you’d be surprised how quickly you can lose track of your friends. Make a list for people you regularly interact with, another for other bands and one for media. This way if your off line for a few hours you can easily read through the important tweets. You don’t have to follow someone to put them on a list and you can follow other peoples lists.
Twitter is one of the easiest ways to find Journalists, DJs, Promoters and other industry people and build a relationship. Use Twitter Search to find people you want to target and follow them, reply to their tweets, retweet them and send them interesting, relevant topics. Only after you have built up a report should you direct them to your music and chances are they will already have looked before you do.
Twitter may be about conversation and instant comments and replies but if you only use twitter on the fly then you will be limited in the response to your tweets. Plan out both large and mini twitter campaigns. promote the launch of a new twitter campaign to build interest and keep a close eye on the results to see how you can improve the next time.
Twitter will only do as much as you push it to do. The more creative you can get the more other people will get involved. Think of ways to get your fans to spread something fun around twitter and their followers will join in.
Twitter is a slow burner but if done right it’s consistent. Get even half of these right and you will be on your way to gaining followers and driving traffic to your website.
So now it’s over to you… How have you used twitter in the past to gain new fans? What’s your favourite method for interacting with people on there? Chat in the comments below.