As you may or may not know, I love Twitter. I am well aware that Twitter (like Facebook) is a ‘love/hate’ social network. I found MySpace to be pretty lame and didn’t even make an account until 2009. I had dabbled in LiveJournal, online forums, and even MUCKs but I don’t think anything has given me as much online pleasure as Twitter.
It’s like tiny bursts of brain juice that anyone can read…and if your juice is tasty enough people will sign up for a membership.
…that description was not good. I know that now.
You can find out what your friends are up to, comedians use Twitter (among my favourites are the Rifftrax guys) to share short bursts of humour, you can create a Twitter account for any kind of random idea (the fake North Korean Soccer feed during the last World Cup was hilarious, as are Drunk Hulk and Jesus) or to promote your music, your podcast, your summer camp for geeks…anything!
I’ve discovered something else recently which I find interesting: Twitter is replacing email…it’s replacing phones…it’s replacing letters. This is what I mean: We get better response from businesses we are trying to reach, from clients we are working with, and in some cases with high level artists through Twitter than by most other means. For example…
There is a radio station we never hear from despite contacting them every week. When we mentioned them on Twitter…they replied INSTANTLY. So we began to inform our artists to (relevantly) Tweet at radio stations who are playing them. After doing so, they received interview requests, shout outs through the station’s Twitter feed, and more.
Twitter is public, like a broadcast, and it’s fun…unlike e-mail, which has stopped being fun. It’s a way to talk with people that doesn’t take up too much of their time but can still have an impact.
You’ll notice I said ‘relevant’ twice there. The important thing to keep in mind is that pestering people, or contacting them without any good reason, or asking for something isn’t a good way to use the medium. Tweeting at a radio station who is not playing your music and asking them to play your songs will ‘not’ get your songs played. Tweeting at a radio station because you’re playing a show in town and asking them (well in advance) if they’d like a spot on the guest list…that’s cool…you’re offering them something!
Treat Twitter like any other network: build relationships, keep up with people, and offer ‘them’ something. Over time, you may find that it pays off!
Build a list of Twitter accounts who you’d like to have more contact with. Maybe bands you’d love to open for. Or if you’re a writer, publishers and important critics or other writers. Follow their feed. Comment when they say something interesting. ReTweet them when they say something you want to share.
Finally, have fun with it! Twitter is, first and foremost, a place you should keep things positive and have fun. There is another artist I follow online (not one I work with) who quite literally complains every day about how no one gets it, his fans don’t support him enough, the industry is broken because he’s not #1, and regularly writes whiny posts about how it’s not fair.
…another artist I follow…is responsive to fans, tweets funny thoughts…and they’re on the charts. Need I say more?
You can see more of my random Tweets about music, what’s on my mind, my current sunburn, or the dog I live with by following @Potoroo. You will not see Tweets where I complain about not being famous.