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Twitter tips: Developing fan relationships

Twitter is still growing, more people are joining the micro-blogging service every day, more connections are being made and more Tweets being, er, Tweeted. According to a blog post from the company back in February the site was serving 600 Tweets per second!

So, what does this mean for musicians who are using Twitter? Well, two things:

  1. Hurrah! There are loads of new people who you can potentially connect with.
  2. There’s a whole lot more content out there.

We’ll concentrate on point two, and don’t worry, all this extra content isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You could call it clutter but the important thing is to recognise the impact it has on how people use Twitter. Because Twitter is so big and busy people consume it in a passive way; they scan their updates once every hour or so and are unlikely to check it deliberately unless they have had a direct message. This means, of course, that much of what you Tweet may get “lost” to your followers as it is quickly pushed down the ranks of their home pages by new Tweets.

The important thing is not to worry about this. If you have something truly important to say, you’ll be saying it elsewhere too (on your website, MySpace and Facebook for example). It won’t ever truly be lost. The way to approach Twitter is to look at it as a stream of consciousness. Not everything you Tweet must be of great import. Neither does it have to be about your music. Recall our previous tips; your followers will already be interested in you. Even if you think you have nothing to say the very fact that these people have opted to follow on Twitter means they are interested. Remember the way you devoured magazine articles about your favourite bands in your teens? You were probably just  as excited to read about their rider demands as anything else. As a medium, Twitter is almost the realm of banality but it is also incredibly powerful at developing a feeling of intimacy through a constant drip feed of tweets. As Clive Thompson put it in a great NYTimes articletaken together, over time, the little snippets coalesce into a surprisingly sophisticated portrait of your friends’ and family members’ lives”. Of course, keep as much stuff relevant to your music as possible but just don’t worry about feeling that some of what you are tweeting is banal.  The important thing is to stay active.

Here are 5 tips to help you do this:

1. If you’re in a band, give someone the responsibility of Tweeting for the group. Rotate this responsibility if you like. Tell your followers which member is currently Tweeting – they’ll be interested in hearing the different personalities of band members.

2. Use Trending Topics and join in the conversation. Posting during #glastonbury, #oxegen or #worldcup might just gain you some followers.

3. Follow Back. If someone has followed you, follow them back, unless you’re pretty sure they are spammers; it’s basic Twitter etiquette. Okay, maybe @stephenfry doesn’t follow all his 2 million+ followers back, but you’re not @stephenfry. When you get that big, then we’ll talk.

4. Use Private Lists to manage your followers. They might be a pain to set up at first, but lists will hugely enhance your Twitter experience and make it so much easier for you to see what’s going on. You can create lists for fans, music press/bloggers, overseas fan etc. It will make the Twittersphere less daunting on your next visit. Make sure your lists are kept private – your fans probably won’t want to know they’ve been classified by geographical location.

5. Use Free Tools. TweetDeck is a great one for managing multiple Twitter accounts and also integrates Facebook too. Happy Tweeting!

1 Comment

eilish 12:59 pm - 27th April:

Thanks Major!