What is Twitter?
Twitter is a micro blogging social networking site that allows you to write what is deemed as “tweets”. These posts can be about anything you can imagine, within a 140 character limit. You can also follow other people on twitter and their “tweets” will appear on your own page.
When it comes to twitter, you can follow whoever you choose to follow. The tweets are very short glimpses into someone else’s life, their thoughts, or just observations. You can quickly share a link that catches your eye or easily make plans with a group of people to have a wild night out on the town.
Basically, twitter is a simple man’s (or woman, gotta be politically correct) way of blogging. You can do this via the web or by text messaging from your phone. With the iphone and blackberry apps, this is extremely easy and addicting. It’s really easy to find and follow other people on Twitter.
Twitter, Connecting You to Your Fans
If you are a band, then you would be a fool to think that your fans do not want to connect to you in all levels possible. They want to know about you, your life, your music, and how they can become closer to the band as a whole. Every band has these diehard types of fans, even if your music sucks there is that groupie who always comes to your show, drives hours to see you play in some nasty bar, and they tell you thanks each and every time. Twitter can help you gain new fans and become closer to old ones.
How do you start on Twitter?
First, sign up as your band name. Go to http://www.twitter.com and establish an account. There is a video on the homepage to give you an easy-to understand overview of how to use Twitter. Even a bass player can understand it.
Second, use your email sign up list that you have saved to your computer from shows (Because every good band has a sign-up mailing list!) and see if any of your fans are already using twitter. You may have quite a few already on twitter tweeting away. Also be sure to setup your profile to reflect your band image. Use a good image, maybe a band picture or album picture as a static image in the background. Fill in the info about yourself, input your website or MySpace address. This is all so your fans have something to see you as when they view your page.
Third, decide who is going to run the account from their mobile device. Sign up with this mobile device and link to the account. This will be the phone you send texts/updates from. You can also update via the web. If you have a band account on Facebook, link the status update from twitter to your Facebook account. Each time you post to twitter, it will update Facebook for you.
Now you have to decide how you are going to post on Twitter. Don’t post the same thing over and over again or people will stop following you. I don’t suggest only posting for people to buy your merch all the time. You should actually spend a little time having a conversation about what is going on in the band or about you, one of the musicians in the band. Do post a few times about the business aspect of your band, after all this is a free marketing tool. Then you can actually engage in communicating with your music community.
You communicate directly by repling to other people’s tweets. You do this by using the @ symbol and then their username. If you wanted to type something directly to gulfcoastbands, you would type @gulfcoastbands first and then the message. You can also send a direct message that only the user can see. This can be a very effect way of talking to someone without exchanging telephone numbers per say.
As a band, you can use twitter as a very powerful tool. Just think, you are on tour so twitter can be your online diary of your adventures. You can use Twitpic to take pictures and share them easily from your phone. Maybe you want to share your set list to your fans for your show later in the week in Memphis, TN or Chicago, IL. Maybe you want to let them know you just had a great sound check and you can’t wait to meet them at the merch booth after the show. The possibilities are endless.
You can also get a Twitter Badge or Twitter Widget to add to your myspace page and website page. This will allow your non-Twitter fans to see what you are up to as it will update as your update your tweets.
As you can see, Twitter is a very powerful tool if taken advantage of and used correctly. It is in my opinion, that every band and musician should have a twitter for their fans to follow. It’s free and the possibilities are endless on who can spread the word about your work. Check out some links below to other people using twitter.
Music Bloggers & Podcasters & Zines
Bands on Twitter
http://twitter.com/thesubwaysTags: bands, indie, twitter