How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Music Career: The Complete Guide
Chapter 2: How To Optimize Your Twitter Profile To Attract Fans.
As discussed in Chapter 1 of this series (Why Twitter Matter For Musicians) , Twitter can help you build meaningful relationships with fans and other music professionals that will help you grow as an artist. Now it’s time to dig into how to prepare and optimize your Twitter profile to make sure that you get the most out of your efforts on Twitter.
Your Twitter profile is all about branding, it shows the world who you are and why people should follow you. Each element should accurately reflect your message.
Let’s start by looking at what those elements are:
1. Name & Username: A Chance To Make Yourself Memorable
Your name and username are perhaps the most important elements of your profile because these play an integral role in your branding as a musician. You want to make these easy to recognize and to remember. To that end, make sure that both are:
- Consistent with your stage or artist name and with other platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud. Unless they are part of your name, never include numbers just to make your username unique. If your artist or band name is not unique or is not available, try adding “Iam”, “Official” , “real” , “music” before or after your name. Choose something that goes well with your name.
- Stylized in such a way that they are easy to read and visually memorable. For example: isn’t “@TheMusicDAtv” is easier to remember than “@themusicdatv”?
- I may even suggest that you add your main keyword in your name field provided that your name is short enough to accommodate both your name and the keyword in 30 or fewer characters. For example: “D. Nice | Songwriter”. Note that Twitter’s name field allows up to 50 characters, but anything more than 30 characters are clipped in search results.
2. Profile Picture: Aim To Make Yourself Easily Recognizable
Because Twitter users often follow lots of people and have a large number of tweets available to read when they log on, most of them skim their Twitter feed rather than read every post. As they skim, they look for the profile images of the accounts in which they’re the most interested. For that reason, make your profile picture stand out and instantly recognizable.
Here are some tips:
- Use a square image or optimize for a square shape.
- Incorporate your logo or another easily identifiable element.
- Use the image that best matches your message and strategy.
- Use a high-quality image. I suggest you let a professional design this for you.
- Resist the urge to change your profile photo too often. If you have to, make sure that your new photo is consistent with your branding.
Here is one musician who has mastered branding on digital platforms: Chance The Rapper
3. Bio: Use To Help People Find You & Convince Them To Stick Around
Your bio is usually the second or third element people check when they find you on Twitter; nonetheless, it is perhaps the most important element of your profile from a conversion point of view. This is because it is your last chance to convince the viewer that it is worth following you. It’s just 160 characters, yet you have to make the most impact with it. Just like an elevator pitch, it should be interesting, memorable, and succinct. It has to speak to both your prospective fans and Twitter search at the same time.
Without further ado, let’s drill down to how you should build your bio.
Optimize for Search on Twitter and Search Engines
When users search keywords, Twitter pulls accounts containing those keywords in the name and/or bio. Also, your Twitter profile is likely to show on the first page of your name search results on search engines such as Google. For those reasons, you need to include keywords that describe you in your bio. To determine exactly what keywords to use, you need to think about what your fans are searching for. Such keywords may be genre-related, tribe, musical style et cetera. Here is an example: “LoFi Hip Hop music producer”.
Connect Your Account
Mentioning other accounts you are connected to, especially if they’re big, helps prospective fans and other industry professionals find you. Go ahead and @mention other musicians with a similar style or influence you. You may also @mention your record label or management if you like. The reason is that when users search for those users, your profile may also show in the results. It’s also a way to connect with fans who already appreciate the other artists’ music and serves as social proof.
Promote Your Hashtag
Besides helping people find you, hashtags in your bio can also promote your brand. Therefore, you may include branded or relevant industry hashtag closely related to your individual style of music. As a word of caution, do not include a hashtag unless it is extremely relevant to you, otherwise, you’ll run the risk of your bio looking like spam to visitors and Twitter search algorithm.
I know that “tooting your own horn” is a hard thing to do for most people and it’s frowned upon in most societies; but here is one place you’re actually encouraged to do so. You don’t have to go right out and say “I am awesome,” rather you should communicate that subtly but effectively. Show prospective fans how talented you are by showcasing your accomplishments – awards, nominations, sales, collaborations et cetera.
Target Your Ideal Fan With Your Message.
Twitter is a place people who share commonalities interact with one another. And you have to share the linguistic traits in order to be considered part of a particular tribe. The people who follow you will do so because they identify with who you are as signaled by the words and how you use them to express yourself. Therefore, use specific words or jargon that reflects who you are and connects with who you want to follow you
- Be Relatable, Personable.
Remember, Twitter is about connecting with people; therefore, you need to give fans something to connect with. Show your personality and tell prospective fans your interests and what you care about. If you love The Yankees, Golden State or Chelsea FC, or if you are into motorcycles, share it. If you are a comedian at heart, it doesn’t hurt to show it as it might be just the thing that opens the door to someone who might have not have given you a second thought otherwise.
Call To Action
Last but not least, your bio should include a call to action. This is a piece of content intended to induce the reader to perform a specific action. Usually, a call to action is made up of an offer and a link to a page where the user can redeem the offer. Here are some key points to note:
- Your link must be shortened (for a minimum number of characters) and must be trackable. You may use services such as Bitly or music industry specialized services such as Feature FM or free tier at Smart URL.
- Your offer should be in exchange for something in return, such as an email address. Therefore, your link may direct users to a special landing page that collects emails for your newsletter.
- Also, be sure that the offer is worthwhile and enticing enough for the user to spend their time and give you whatever it is that you are requesting in exchange.
What Not To Do In Your Bio
- Don’t be boring, predictable, or blend in.
- Try not to use all caps. It could be distracting and impolite.
- Don’t just list keywords, but rather use a well-constructed paragraph to communicate your message.
- Try not to use include hashtags unless you absolutely have to. And if you’ve to, avoid overused or general hashtags.
- Try not to write your bio in 3rd person. Rather communicate with the reader directly by using words like “I” and “you”.
- Try not to be vague and avoid meaningless buzzwords. You don’t want your readers to see you as one of those millions of wannabe “aficionados” on Twitter.
- Try not to exaggerate your accomplishments, otherwise, you will lose your reader’s trust. For example, avoid referring to yourself as the “GOAT” even if you think that you actually are. Instead, let your work do the talking as MJ, Bob Marley or The Beatles did.
4. Banner: Visually Showcase Something Exciting
Consider this 1500 x 500 pixels real estate as your most powerful billboard on Twitter. If done right, content placed here can stand out and draw in users to your profile. For optimal results, the banner needs to be visually branded and may include both text and images. You can swap this banner as you need, but make sure that each version you place is consistent with your branding and message.
Ways to use Twitter banner for musicians
- Announce & promote your latest project or merch.
- Showcase yourself at work or your lifestyle to give fans an insider look.
- Showcase what your music is about.
- Highlight upcoming events such as tours, concerts et cetera.
- Feature event photos, or highlight your work and team.
As you’ve noticed, preparing your profile is the first and essential step to get the most out of Twitter. It takes forethought, research, planning, and strategic execution. Without a properly optimized Twitter profile, you might actually be turning away prospective fans who’ll never get to see your amazing content. It may take a few tries before you feel like you’ve nailed it. That’s okay. It takes more than one time for almost everyone too. Just keep working at it and with every change, hopefully, you’ll get closer to perfection.