17 August - 2014
Twitter and Its Uses in Music By: Nikki Halliwell, 0 Comments

Twitter describes itself as an “interest network” and “the shortest distance between you and what interests you the most.”

People come to Twitter to see things that they care about, whether that is people or topics etc.

Why Should You Be On Twitter?

Twitter has 241+ million active users worldwide, 60% of which access twitter through their mobile phones and 1 billion tweets happen every 2 days.

It is a global conversation that you really need to be a part of in order to get your music heard. You can think of twitter as free promotion of your music to the masses.

Music is the heartbeat of twitter and 4 out of the top 5 most followed people on Twitter are musicians; 1 in 2 users follow at least one musician.

What Brings A Music Fan To Twitter?

The 3 main factors that bring a music fan to Twitter include:

  1. Discovery – new music
  2. Intimacy – feeling close to your favourite musicians
  3. Collective identity – being part of one big group of fans e.g. Beliebers, Directioners etc.

There is a duty of care once someone decides to follow you. It is also important to remember that a tweet can be more than 140 characters long. Think about what visuals you can bring along to help you tell the story visually too. Twitter’s media-forward timelines mean that photos, YouTube videos and Soundcloud links all expand in the news feed. This makes your tweets more interactive and more appealing to audiences.

Consider does whether or not what you are tweeting will stand out on a mobile device.

What Makes A Good Tweet?

Ideally, a great tweet would include all 3 aspects of the triangle below, however, it is only ever possible to include 2 of the 3 in a single tweet.

“My single is out Monday” contains nothing special and can be easily overlooked in a busy news feed. What else can you add that would entice your current or potential fans? Think about including a photo of your artwork or a link to where fans can purchase your single.

Getting your fans excited about a release leads to purchase.

Good things to tweet include:

  • Updates from the studio when recording
  • Updates on the manufacturing process such as when the artwork has been finished, when the master has been approved, or when the finished copies are ready to be delivered etc.
  • Reminders about release dates, upcoming gigs etc.
  • Updates from the road when you are on tour.
  • News about certain deals e.g. “just arranged digital distribution with Horus Music!”
  • Day-to-day work news e.g. “just approved some photos for a magazine article”

How To Join In

A good way to join in with conversations is the use of hashtags ‘#’. Try looking at the current trending topics to see if any of them are relevant to you or if you can use them to spark up a conversation of your own. #NowPlaying and #music are useful tools for enabling your music to reach new audiences.

You should also be active on your account and talk to others. People are more likely to follow you if they can see that there is life in the account.

Taking questions from your fans is great way to improve fan engagement, especially with Q & A sessions. For the perfect Q & A session you should announce that it is going to happen in advance, encourage other very important twitterers (VIT’s) to join in. You should broadcast selectively, for example if it is a question that is relevant to everyone then you can reply publicly, otherwise you can reply to that one person. Including a hashtag for your Q&A will mean that others will be able to see that it is going on and will help you to become a trending topic. Finally, you should try to reveal something at the end of the session such as the artwork for an upcoming release or simple announce that something is going to happen.

Being honest and open with your tweets will also mean that your fans are better able to connect with and relate to you.

A verified twitter account lets users know that you are who you say you are. Among others, one of the main requirements that you need in order to become verified is to have at least one album available on iTunes.

Twitter Design Update April 2014

Twitter first unveiled its design update by releasing it to celebrities and after no major bugs or flaws were revealed, they then released the update to every one else yesterday (23rd April). Many of you have noticed that this design looks a lot like Facebook, however this isn’t necessarily a bad thing and means Twitter is now more of a social network. It seems all of the top social sites are coming together with an agreed layout, which will make personalisation easier for individuals and companies that have a presence on more than one site.

Lists and favourites are also more prominent on the profile and therefore can be utilised more effectively. Users also have the ability to pin a tweet to the top of the profile, so that followers can immediately see what you are all about.

The new design is geared towards more interaction, images appear larger in the timeline and also your tweets that have more engagement are larger than others. There are still some improvements that need to be made to the Twitter app to reflect these changes but I’m sure they will arrive soon.

The background images are being phased out so users will need to approach the designs and call-to-actions differently; text positioning will be key for this. The introduction of the header means users can ensure visitors see key information as soon as they arrive. The optimum size for this image is 1500 x 1500px. Try a few designs to see what works best and consider how images may be resized for different screen sizes..

Conclusion

Twitter and social media in general is a fantastic way of communicating with fans.

It is important that you aren’t constantly promoting yourself; you should always have a balance between general communication and promotion. A good rule to use is the 80/20 approach (i.e. 80% of your posts should be more general and 20% of your posts should be promotional). As well as your own posts, you retweet another tweet and share pieces of content written by others.

I would say the new profile design is a positive step, but only time will prove its effectiveness. If you do doing Twitter, make sure you go through the previous written blog about 7 ways Twitter can increase your fanbase!