The Complete Guide: How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Music Career.
Part 1: Why Twitter Matter For Musicians
Let’s be honest; being an aspiring musician today is tough. Between trying to figure out how to grow your career on your own with very limited or non-existent resources, you also have to compete for attention with everybody and their mothers who have somehow become musicians too. And it does not help that on any given day, there are a million things you must do – promote your latest songs, network for new gigs, fight for the attention of fresh fans – and there is hardly enough hours to get them done. Discouraging? You bet. But hold your horses, or rather your mouse, because
There is perhaps no better time yet to be an aspiring musician than today!
Because of social media, you have access to millions of potential fans that you can build your career upon. Twitter, in particular, offers a unique and a too great an opportunity to ignore for any aspiring musician looking to grow a fan base to help advance their career. Once you learn how to use it effectively, the reward could be career changing.
And that is the reason why we decided to put together this series to explore exactly just how aspiring musicians can use Twitter to help grow their careers and get the most out of it without spending 25 hours a day.
Actually, before I get to that, I know that some of you either gave up, about to or have never even attempted to use Twitter to help grow your music career because you got overwhelmed with all the noise or heard about all the spam, bots, trolls or the sheer volume of content churning through the platform by the second. Truth be told, you could easily get lost in all that chatter. However, the good news is that Twitter recently started taking an active approach to combating spam and bots and the results can be seen across the platform. Also, believe it or not, it is actually relatively easy to stand out above all the fake news once you learn how to.
So, do not get discouraged because Twitter has a unique and crucial role to play that no other social platform can in your growth strategy.
5 Things That Musicians (and everybody else) Can Do On Twitter That They Can’t On Other Social Platforms.
1. Use As A Media Outlet
Although it has network capabilities, Twitter is actually not a network, but rather a media platform. Unlike LinkedIn, you can follow someone who is not connected to you; and unlike Instagram and Facebook, it is not the norm for users to make their profiles private. This public nature of everyone’s feed makes it viral-prone; hence better suited for non-networked media campaigns and engagements.
2. Post Links Without Hurting Your Reach
Facebook downgrades your posts if they contain links, especially non-facebook links. As you probably already know, the only link you get on Instagram is the one in your profile bio. On the other hand, Twitter lets you post tweets with or without links as many times as you like with no penalty. That means you can post links to Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, your website, or anywhere you like without any restrictions or side-effect imposed by Twitter. As a matter of fact, links on Twitter could be a great tool to squeeze in more enticing call-to-action content as external links like Soundcloud, YouTube or your website (if Twitter or Open Graph tags are implemented) will open previews that include images/video and summary. Personally, I think any link without tags is not worth posting on Twitter.
So you're about to or have already released some music? Without marketing, nobody will care because they'll never hear it. Truth be told, a poor release well marketed will fare better than a great release poorly marketed. Submit your music now >>>>>> https://t.co/y0ZAjTrlV4
— The Music Dev Agency (@TheMusicDA) December 13, 2018
Tip: Use https://cards-dev.twitter.com/validator to preview how any link would look like once posted on Twitter.
3. Post As Frequently As You Want Without Hurting Your Reach
Although Instagram lets you post as many times as you please, but every post has to be accompanied by a pic. How many insta-worth pics can you honestly produce a day? Besides, Instagram has a very fickle user base, hence there exists equally cosmetic Instagram etiquette rules, of which one of them dictates “thou shalt not post more than 3 times a day otherwise we’ll unfollow you.”
Facebook allows you to post as many times as you like a day, but the more you post, the less likely your followers are to see your posts.
Unlike both, Twitter is for the spontaneous and fans love surprises and suspense. Since you can post as many times and as frequently as you like, your tweets can be coordinated into a string of tweets telling the story of you as it unfolds each day. And you can be as creative as you like knowing that Twitter is not going to hold you back in sharing with your fans.
4. Cold Network Without Being Sneered Upon.
As in the cliche, networking, both online and offline is an essential ingredient in the recipe for building a successful music career. And Twitter is more suited for networking than Instagram, but less formal (more friendly) than LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you can add people you “know” or connected to and is not very open to “cold” networking. On the other hand, Twitter not being a network, you can “mention” or “reply to” anyone regardless of whether you know or is connected to that person or not. As a matter of fact, it is encouraged to engage with people relevant to your music as that initiates conversations that help connect and build meaningful relationships with fans and other music professionals. It is these relationships that will help take your career further ahead.
We wanted to find a proper way to say thank you to @IdioblastR @koledo99 @officialaprasad @cutnscratch @DEMPT @05Yap @nouran_kerdawy @sirmelvinjae @tomkanetomkane for showing us some love with follows. And we realized @djkhaled says it better than we can ever do. pic.twitter.com/FfCv0Rteq1
— The Music Dev Agency (@TheMusicDA) January 26, 2019
5. Use Advanced Tools To Help
While there is a lot of noise on Twitter (as there is on all social media), it doesn’t take a lot to stand out. As an open source platform, there are way more useful third-party tools that can help you make your experience cost-effective, less-frustrating, less time consuming, and more effective. Such tools can help you
- laser-focus on relevant audience and not waste resources on trolls, spam, bots or people that are just not your fans,
- create and schedule content at optimal times so your fans can see it, as well as collaborate with your team, other musicians or partner brands,
- discover content by keywords (genre,industry,location) or users so you can pinpoint opportunities, tastemakers and engage in conversations that matter to you,
- monitor your name or brand such that you can take advantage of any positive public relations opportunity and quell negative ones before they they damage your career, as well as keep up and engage with your fans and advocates talking about you,
- track engagement and interactions on the posts you share, so you can see how your content is performing and opportunities for optimization.
FYI, I will be mentioning and recommending some of these tools as I discuss each related topic in this series.
I hope that by now I have convinced you that Twitter is worth your time and effort as a musician as it can complement your mix of your social media presence with more personable and immediate content to help you establish and magnify your personality, your music, your brand and build meaningful relationships with fans and other music professionals that will help you grow as an artist.
Next, let’s talk about how you can actually get the most out of Twitter. Here is a preview of topics I am planning to touch in detail in this series:
- How to prepare and optimize your Twitter profile for maximum results.
- How to get more relevant followers that will become fans.
- How to build an effective content strategy that’s engaging and interesting to your audience.
- How to turn followers to life-long fans and advocates.
Please let me know in comments if there are any other related topic that you would like for me to include in this series.