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The Musician’s Guide to Social Media – Twitter for beginners


For more social media guides (including Twitter for Intermediates and Experts) see our Musician’s Guides section.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a website dedicated sharing information, updates and short conversations with others. With a limit of 140 characters per message it is very similar to text messaging from a mobile phone, but with the added advantage of being able to send a message to many people at once. Twitter has evolved into an indispensable tool for a lot of internet users, including musicians.

Quick Twitter vocab:

Tweet: an update or post on Twitter

  • Tweets are the updates that you put up.
  • Peoples can be anything from “I’m late for work” to “I’m tired” to posting links to something they have found really interesting.
  • When people are posting updates they often call it Tweeting.

Follower: When you sending an SMS from your phone you decide who to send to, but on twitter a user will decide who they want to hear from. If someone becomes your follower on Twitter it means they are interested in what you have to say. Every time your follower logs into twitter your latest “tweets” will be in their inbox.

Retweet: (RT) a tweet that has been repeated.

  • This is the equivalent of forwarding an email on to all your followers.
  • Just like email, a tweet is most likely to be forwarded (retweeted) when it contains a link to an interesting article, a funny video or other things that people want to share with friends.
  • This is one of the ways that a good music video can spread quickly online.

Why tweet?

  • It is a great & easy way to keep fans/followers up to date on the things you are doing
  • It’s a great way to for fans to feel more connected to musicians and their music
  • People love to “retweet” to let everyone else know what their favourite band are doing.
  • It can help grow your fanbase and introduce new people to your music.
  • It’s quicker and easier than updating a website or issuing a press release

What to tweet?

  • To attract followers you need to tweet things that are of interest to them.
  • Tweet that you are going to the studio today, announce your next single / album/ photo shoot – just interact with them!
  • Share pictures from in studio, events and photo shoots, tweet links to your blog posts and your newest videos
  • Ask for feedback or suggestions – this can range from advice on album artwork to general discussions. You could even ask your followers what kind of things they’d like you to tweet!
  • In a world where free music is easier and easier to find, fans who feel connected to and involved in the music creation process will find the music much more valuable and be more willing to buy.

Tips

  • Keep active – When new fans discover your Twitter page your recent tweets will help them decide if they want to click on the follow button or not.
  • Search for other musicians to see what they tweet & build a network up
  • If you are not active, you will lose followers

The most important outtake from this page is understanding how followers work – on twitter a user will decide who they want to hear from. This means that your approach to twitter should be to share updates that your fans want to receive, not to push messages that you want to send. If you are constantly pushing and selling then people can simply unfollow and you’ve lost the permission to speak to them again.

Next Steps

If you want personalised advice for you or your band please get in touch, or if you’d like to read more advice like this you should subscribe to our free newsletter below.

Next Article: Twitter For Intermediates.

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