Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My advice to indie musicians about Twitter

I think Twitter is a phenomenal vehicle for interacting directly with the world, especially your fans, and your future fans.

My advice to you is the following:

1. Tweet links to your songs that people can play.

2. Tweet links to your music videos.

3. Tweet about upcoming gigs.

4. If you would like to get mp3's of your music circulating out there, tweet links to free downloads when available.

5. Be interactive with people who show an interest in you; don't be a stiff.

6. If you think that as a "creative" person you're too busy to do what I just suggested... revise your thinking.

7. If you think all you need to do is get signed with a label, and then they can take care of everything for you... revise your thinking. The record companies are out for them, not you.

8. When you tweet your music, DON'T (a) address your tweets to any specific person or (b) send direct messages... that would be s.p.a.m. [unless you are actually engaged in actual dialogue with them]

9. If you want to connect with other people tweeting about your type of music, use "search" to find them, and follow them if you like what they tweet.

10. When you tweet about your music, consider using hashtags to make it easier for people searching for your type of music to find you. [E.g., if you are a jazz guitarist you could use hashtags #music #jazz #guitar, whereas if you're a gospel vocalist you might want to try #music #gospel #spiritual]

11. Think of twitter as a place to interact with, and hang out with, your fans, and to show interest in, and respect of, others... not as a place to just keep promoting yourself and tooting your own horn. Some examples of great musician peeps, who treat their fans like friends, not "fans", are @zoecello, @amandapalmer, and @marysarahmusic.

12. Never send auto-DM's (automatic direct messages sent when someone follows you).

13. Do not write your bio in the 3rd person.

Any questions? Post them in a comment to this post, and I'll try to answer them.

Any additional twitter tips for indie musicians? Post them in a comment, and I'll select some for inclusion below.

Additional tips [most recent first]:

5/10/11 4:25 pm tip from @rob_t_firefly: Avoid the temptation to just hook your Facebook or similar to Twitter, let it pull down your posts into Tweets, and think "okay, I'm on Twitter" and leave it at that. Most Twitter users will not be pulled in by posts they could see elsewhere; if they wanted your Facebook they'd probably be following your Facebook. Tweeting your Facebook posts, Youtube uploads, or whatever else is a good thing to add to a Twitter presence, but it's not the only ingredient in itself.

1/11/11 5:04 pm tip from @GraceRodriguez: Use a tool like Hootsuite, CoTweet or Tweetdeck to schedule reminders for upcoming gigs or links to merch/music for sale.
Since Twitter is a constant info-stream, you can't expect people to see every single tweet..... just make sure you inject your personality into it so it doesn't become spammy
[note from RB: I use SocialOomph to schedule time delayed tweets. Also sometimes Tweetdeck Desktop]

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