Twitter For Musicians

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A quick guide for musicians trying to get their footing on Twitter. Cover Twitter basics, promoting a show, and promoting a recording session. Covers best practices.

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  • 1. TWITTER FOR MUSICIANS by David Fisher Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 2. WHAT IS TWITTER Quickly growing Social Network. Over 900% growth in the past year. • Built around sending 140 character messages to whoever wants to see. • Great way to connect with fans • An amazing tool to get feedback • Free and easy to use • Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 3. WHO USES TWITTER? Everyone • Artists • Fans • Businesses (including venues and labels) • Most importantly: Connected people. They love to share and talk. • Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 4. GETTING STARTED Go to and sign for for a free account • Fill out profile information completely. Name, location, website, bio & photo • Resist the urge to follow a lot of people at first. We’ll get to that in a bit, but use the • gmail search tool to find a few close friends using Twitter. Follow no more than 25 to start. Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 5. TECHNICAL NUTS AND BOLTS When mentioning a user’s name type a To send a private message type a ‘d’ • • @ prior to it. Example: “@CaseyDesmond prior to their username without the @. Your show last night was awesome, I got Example: “d tibbon I am talking to some great photos on Flickr at myself ” lrffY” Messages must be less than 140 • Following people makes their public characters. • messages show up on your home page. You can use a URL shortening service You can see any user’s timeline by going • like TinyURL or to shrink URLs to Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 6. DO NOT SPAM, DO NOT OVERFOLLOW Do not follow more people Twitter users are very conscious of • • than follow you. (but still follow spam. Spam comes in many forms, and all are bad. some people back too) Spam-Following is following a large Talking only about yourself, especially in a • • number of people, in hopes that a selfishly promotional manner, “Buy my percentage will follow you back. Do not CD here!” is considered spam. do this. Some self promotion is fine, but it • should be the exception, not the rule. Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 7. THINGS TO TWEET What you are working on Reply to people who mention you and • • have conversations. Use the @name Things you have discovered (links, convention to include people in the • equipment, new venues, photos) conversation. Links to new blog posts, photos, youtube Upcoming shows, cool people you • • videos, and fan sites meet, places you’re traveling and interesting happenings! Retweet (RT) cool things that other • people say. “RT @mashable: The Twitter Song ” Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 8. THINGS NOT TO TWEET Any personal information. Phone Don’t DM anything really private. At • • number, address, etc. What you say is some point you will forget the ‘d’ and searchable and public. accidentally send a public message. You don’t want that to be your SSN. All things can and will be used against • you. Think before you say it. If you’re big, Maintain a positive attitude generally. This • do you want that in the papers isn’t LiveJournal, and emo whining really tomorrow? doesn’t get people going. At the same time, you can find amazing support Tweeting while drunk or otherwise through Twitter when things are bad. • inebriated is almost always a poor idea Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 9. WHEN, WHERE, HOW MUCH? You should tweet at least once a day. Consistency is more important than • • anything else. More than 20-30 times per day • becomes a bit of a burden on your The stronger your content (links, • followers, but is still mostly ok. conversations, etc) then the more people will want you to tweet. You can use Twitter through the • website, via SMS, or via a client such as Tweetdeck ( Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 10. HOW TO I GET BIG? Unless you’re McHammer, you aren’t Have Twitter-exclusive tracks, pre-sales • • going to have 100,000 followers on tickets, information, etc. Give people overnight. Slow growth is the best. a reason to follow you on Twitter instead of just MySpace or your website. Promote your Twitter account on your • website, posters and promotional Contribute to the community. Charity • materials. Mention the Twitter account at resonates well with this community shows. Encourage mashup/remix of your • Run contests via Twitter content (to be reposted to Twitter). • Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 11. MORE TIPS Link your Twitter account in with your Watch what you click, more-so with • • website through simple widgets shortened URLs. Many other social networks like Use to find out • • Friendfeed can also link with your Twitter what people are saying about you. account Interact with them! Make sure you trust any sites/tools that Use hashtags to help promote a larger • • you provide your username/password event or happening. Used like #tag in a to. tweet Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 12. WHO TO FOLLOW When someone follows you, follow back They aren’t just promoting a product • • if: shamelessly. Some brands aren’t however. They speak a language you • understand, and say relatively They seem to have conversations with • interesting things. people that you converse with on Twitter They aren’t a spam-follower • You share some interests. • They have tweeted at you • Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 13. EXAMPLE: HOW TO PROMOTE A SHOW List show to all calendar services that you use. (MySpace, After the show compile all photos, audio and videos • • Facebook, band website, etc). Use your other traditional about the show and tweet them. Invite photos from the methods like flyers as well. show to your Flickr group. Tag well. Tweet about the show a bit. Ask specific people if they Thank people for attending via Twitter if they tweeted • • can come. Invite someone to take photos via Twitter. about the show, took photos and posted them, etc. Don’t over-spam this. Mention preparations, etc. Put out a blog post about the show, following up on the • Mail your mailing list about the show. Add Twitter handles media created, the people who attended. Tweet about the • to your mailing list signup sheet. blog post. Tweet at the show that you’ll go on soon. Share a photo Use Google Alerts/search to find people who mentioned • • using TwitPic. the show. Also search Twitter to make sure you didn’t miss anyone. Mention Twitter and your mailing list during the show • Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 14. EXAMPLE 2: SHARE A RECORDING SESSION Tweet about the studio you’re going to, Use to show a small video • • the musicians you’re working with and a snippet of you in the studio recording. bit about the goals of going in that day Tweet it! Take photos and tweet them from the Put up a blog post about the day in the • • studio. People like anything from studio. Share this via Twitter. performance, to gear photos. Respond to and interact with anyone • Ask followers on Twitter their opinions who mentions your day in the studio. • when it comes to a tough decision. They will love that they are part of the Work them into the process. process. Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 15. SUMMARY Twitter isn’t just another Social Network. Its a valuable communication tool. Things on Twitter are ever changing. Pay attention to others to see what is acceptable and what is frowned upon. Who are the people on Twitter? They are potential fans, friends and evangelists for your brand. Treat them as you’d like to be treated. People don’t like being sold to, but they love discovering great new things. You can be that great new thing. Don’t try to sell to them. Twitter is only one part of your digital strategy, but it can be the glue that ties it all together. Sunday, February 22, 2009
  • 16. CREDITS Presentation by David Fisher, • Follow me at • I blog on music, photography, and technology at • I help educate on social media at • Customized training and consulting services available. Email tibbon [at] for • details Sunday, February 22, 2009