What is Twitter? Take a
look at the About page: http://twitter.com/about “The fastest, simplest way to stay close to everything you care about.” Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what you find interesting. At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters long…You can see photos, videos and conversations directly in Tweets to get the whole story at a glance, and all in one place. You don’t have to tweet to get value from Twitter.
You don’t have to use
Twitter to get value from it? Sure! You can browse, search. I used Hootsuite to tactfully stalk music supervisors and got my band placed in 2 episodes of MTV’s “Real World”.
Twitter for Business Twitter connects
businesses to customers in real time; to quickly share information with fans and allies interested in their products and services, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and influencers.
What does this say to
this room? Twitter can connect bands and labels to their fans in real time and if used correctly can result in varying degrees of success.
What are music people saying?
CyberPR: “This is an AP Wire of both your music and you combined into one wire.” Ian Rogers, CEO of TopSpin: “I would encourage people to take a look at FanPageList.com . It's mind-blowing to think of all the direct connections artists have to fans today, and how easy it is to get directly connected compared to the days of snail mail fan clubs. Direct connections between artists and fans are the key innovation of the past 10 years IMHO.”
Zoe Keating @zoecello “I am
a Twitter flaneur” “Twitter is my favorite of the mediums out there because it enables me to connect with the world at large with minimal cost to me. By cost I mean time and mental engagement. I can easily tweet what is going on, post a photo, and then go back to focusing on what I was doing. Other mediums, like blogging are a little more costly, and drain my artistic energy and so I do them less often.... ...I use Twitter to tap into the stream, see what's happening and connect with people. It's kind of like what I used to do when I lived in the city. I would walk out of my studio, stroll down a busy street observing the world and have a cup of coffee at the cafe. I might not talk to anyone, but it make me feel connected enough to the world to go back to the studio and be creative.”
More from Zoe “Social media
in general allows me to be myself to as many people as possible. My unscientific opinion (and it might not be true) is that "being myself" is what humanizes me for listeners and encourages them to buy my music or come to a concert...and it perhaps catches the interest of a stranger and encourages them to listen. Twitter is my favorite of the mediums out there because it enables me to connect with the world at large with minimal cost to me. By cost I mean time and mental engagement. I can easily tweet what is going on, post a photo, and then go back to focusing on what I was doing. Other mediums, like blogging are a little more costly, and drain my artistic energy and so I do them less often. Now that I'm a mother, this matters more than it used to. I've had to scale back and I pretty much just use Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr...in that order... With Twitter, the benefits go both ways. Of course I use it to do what every other artist does and endlessly talk about myself and what I'm doing. But I'm a solo artist and it can feel lonely backstage before a show or during a long day in the studio with me, the cello and the computer. So I use Twitter to tap into the stream, see what's happening and connect with people. It's kind of like what I used to do when I lived in the city. I would walk out of my studio, stroll down a busy street observing the world and have a cup of coffee at the cafe. I might not talk to anyone, but it make me feel connected enough to the world to go back to the studio and be creative. Twitter filled a void for me that I had when I moved to the country. I want to see what everyone is doing, but I don't necessarily want to interact too deeply with anyone because it will jolt me out of my creative state. So Twitter is for me the equivalent of strolling down a city street and reading the headlines on the newsstand, looking into shop windows, and stopping at the cafe for a quick cuppa. I'm a twitter flaneur. I don't have any illusions that everyone is listening all the time. If I have anything important I really want to get across, I find a way to say it at least 4 times in the course of a day. But most of the time I don't bother being so calculated and let my messages be serendipitous.”
Points of Reference Lady Gaga
has over 20MIL followers on Twitter. Rammstein and Iron and Wine have under 20,000 I personally have almost 2,000; one of my bands has 800; another alter-ego has 300. How many followers you do have? Twitter is only going to give you a ROIT (Return On Invested Time) if you use it or abuse it, or a tactful combination of both. Cool well let’s get you set-up so you look good and you can operate this crazy thing. We are also going to look at some use cases, techniques, tools to note, and finally just some general tips or my simple IMHO view.
USERNAME The Twitter username limit
is 15 characters but it's best not to exceed 10 characters if you can. Your Band name is best. Life is hard, oh well your band name is taken. Don’t confuse username and NAME i.e. Blackalicious is NAME and @blackalicious_ is username because @blackalicious is being “squatted on”... It is best if you SCORE that great name AND username, at times you simply WILL NOT. It’s no big deal.
PROFILE PIC Upload a good
PROFILE PIC that features your logo or focus of your band /label. Label it the name of your band for good SEO i.e. bandname.jpg I suggest making it consistent across all networks, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. etc. It’s everything goes, I prefer a uniform look, but hey when you are hot you are hot.
BACKGROUND PIC A cool background
is great but as you’ll see everyone kinda “wings it.” Take a look around. Note: Background images must be in PNG, GIF, or JPG format, smaller than 800k. If your image's file size is too large, the easiest way to get it down is to use and image editing program or web app to shrink the image. Animated GIFs are not supported as background images. “A picture says a thousand words”
Here are 3 examples of
background pics, all very DIY, no fancy graphic artist needed! I use the FREE GIMP 2 on a PC and I’m sure you MAC heads have a good free Photoshop-like program if you don’t already have Photoshop or Illustrator.
ME: At times I do
1800 X 1100, and I put some surprise content right of 1250px from the left for bigger screens.
You can’t possibly make “one
size fits” all so 1280 X 1024 resolution on 17-22 inch wide monitors what you should prepare for. I don’t always use my own advice. 1280x1024 is larger than the current "standard" size, but many users view their Web pages in this display size. A significant number of users have displays as large as 1600x1200. My personal background is 1280px X 1024px and is 48k in file size
BIO It is best practice
to put up a good BIO that describes what you and your band do and put your Website URL IN the BIO and another Website for fans to visit in the URL field. DO NOT use URL shorteners. App URLs for Facebook are OK. Best practice is to think what you want to come up in a search return or an App that uses the Twitter API and uses the BIO info.
How do I get people
to follow me? Be yourself; be popular; make good music! Or music that sucks that everyone likes! Best of luck on that! It is a popularity contest, and a conversation. Where it starts! How to get followers: - It has to be organic - Follow people, they may follow you back, they may not - Follow people? Follow fans back? MAX out at 2001!? What to do? From your Website, Facebook Fan Page - Embed Twitter Badges and Follow buttons. - Link to your Twitter profile everywhere you can! - Say “Please follow us on Twitter” on your Facebook page posts and other Social Networking sites you have a presence on. - Want someone to follow you? Tweet at them “please follow me”.
Wayne Coyne - @waynecoyne -
Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips has almost 86,000 followers - Uses Twitter a lot - All his Tweets are automatically retweeted by @theflaminglips which has almost 900,000 followers He uses http://www.mobypicture.com/ and sends out pics and vids in a "status update" format
Zoe Keating - @zoecello Avante
Garde’ Cellist with almost 1.3 Million followers, has played with Rasputina, Imogen Heap, Amanda Palmer, John Vanderslice and many others. Very talented individual. She woke up one day and was featured in Twitters “recommended to follow”. Majority of Tweets are direct interactions or conversations with fans and friends, and occasionally "status updates” such as "I wish pancakes upon you all".
Halestorm - @HalestormRocks 25000 followers.
Awesome group that ROCKS live and is signed to Atlantic. I suspect a few people are working on this account - Someone with the band on tour is Tweeting and pointing URLs back to the band’s Website blog - A band member uses Instagram and posts more intimate photos. - Someone back at the office seems to be posting - Post vary from very “buy” centric, to intimate and downright silly. - Anywhere from 2-5 times a day.
Don't Tweet in the Dark!
- ViralHeat: Analytics beyond the "@" to monitor your band/brand, say if someone Tweets “bandname” instead @bandname. Must have unique band name. - Crowdbooster - Be sure to look at your “@” replies, be sure to interact with your fans, respond! ReTweet things you like to your followers. If you want something retweeted start your tweet with “Pls RT:” - Use Twitter Search! See what the “Twittersphere” is saying about you. Search without the “@” - Make short hashtags for shows and tours. i.e. Hash tag for the show tonight is “#gab” or say my band @lifelovemisery #llm, or #sxsw. It can be long if it must, for example #sfmusictech
How frequently should I Tweet?
And when? I will share some insights to help you decide your best times! - I personally, like times between 11am-Noon, and after 3pm, like 3:05-3:10 - 2 Tweets M-F and 3 on Saturday and Sunday Look into tools to help you manage this: - Have no time to Tweet? Program it into Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. - 6builder to build a following, maintain it, and help assemble content and copy to Tweet at the most appropriate time. Tools like this take a serious time investment. - Use Google Analytics. Are 30% of your fans in France and you live in Chicago? Act accordingly.
Music and content in your
Twitter stream - Post links to your Website, Blog, Facebook page, etc. - Post pics ,videos, links to music to 3rd party services. - Videos play right in the stream! No video? Get with it! - iTunes samples in your stream! Post the link with /album/ directory in it.
Great OLD article on 100
musicians and how they use / or don’t use Twitter. http://mashable.com/2009/07/08/twitter-musicians/
Finally.... - Be yourself -
Provide content and information - Interact! Twitter is a direct-to-fan connection! - Make music! Find a good balance of using your social media presence! - Do not connect your Twitter account to your Facebook Page or vice versa. - Don’t forget about Mobile: connect your phone to Twitter and try out a few apps! Moby, SocialCam, Instagram, the Cam on your phone!
Questions? Sure! Follow me at
@toddtate > Tweet at me! Submit questions via my Website at http://www.toddtate.net/contact In San Francisco this Fall? Do not miss the SF MusicTech Summit! http://www.sfmusictech.com