Twitter recently had its eleventh birthday. The social network has over 313 million active monthly users. The site is a great place to join a discussion, promote your brand, and give the common person a voice in politics, movies, music, and more. Many brands, influencers, athletes, actors/actresses, and musicians populate the site. The blue check of verification allows fans to know the account is the official one of the person or brand they want to follow.
Bands have been using the platform to follow and unfollow thousands of people and annoy Twitter users for over a decade. Instead of annoying people, work on creating great content while connecting with your fans. Twitter is a great platform to get your message and music out, so you should never discount it in your social media strategy.
Below you can find twenty-five ways to use Twitter to promote your music.
- Use photo and video content to create a buzz – The best way to do this is to document as much as you can. Take notes of what you see established artists doing then find what works for you. The power of an iPhone 7+ is amazing, so it is highly suggested you at least have this technology. Otherwise, get yourself a camera. Start creating high-quality media. Document your shows, your studio sessions, and promote using it daily.
- Interact with your fans on a daily basis – People are going to love following you on Twitter because you reply to their mentions. Not everyone is going to get a reply if you have a very active Twitter, but make it a daily practice to interact with your fan base. There’s no better way! It’s in real-time, so it’s like sending a text to someone. Make this your main focus outside of great content.
- Promote your upcoming shows – You can use video and photo content for this. Promoting shows and tours on Twitter is great because you can see who’s going to what show in real-time through tweets. Make sure your tour/show flyers are awesome and your video updates are even better. You’re competing against the best music media online. Make it great!
- Hold contests – You should want to give incentive to those who follow you to promote your material. Give them rewards! Stickers, digital downloads, merchandise, and posters can be great giveaway prizes. RT contests are a good start. Be creative!
- Promote your YouTube videos – There’s always the opportunity to drive people to your latest music video, vlog, or tour update. Make sure to create a 15 to 30 second trailer for the video you’re promoting. Include your YouTube link, and you’re all set.
- Constant flow of information – Twitter is a bit different than all the other social media sites. You can go on “Twitter rants” or “Tweet storms”. These are tweets in succession which can be used in your favor. Let the fans know what you care about. The more they see inside your personality, the better.
- Reach out to other artists/bands – You can easily reach out to any artist or band on the platform with a tweet. Simple, effective, and perhaps never replied to. It’s all about your community. Will another artist want to hit you back? It depends on how much the other person (or people) are active on the site. More than likely, this is the easiest way to chat with another artist online, plus it makes it public. Fans love to see interactions between their favorite artists.
- Promote other brands – Twitter is a great place to let your community know what you’re digging with gear, clothes, movies, television, and more. You can promote other things you like and perhaps you’ll see a connection in the future with the brands you enjoy most. Be tasteful. A few professional photos would do well here!
- Use polls to find out what your audience enjoys – A great feature on Twitter is the ability to poll your followers. If you want to see what song is favored over another, you can do it. Maybe you want to find out what city (out of four choices) will be the best bet to play next. Use polls to do some A/B testing.
- Sell merchandise – The easiest way to sell merch online is by posting about it. If you don’t promote your T-shirts/CDs, then who’s going to buy them? Find what works with your community. Make sure your merch designs are an A+ always.
- Increase your Spotify numbers – Make sure to promote your Spotify link(s). If you’re at 200 monthly listeners, then try to hit 500 then 1,000. If you’re at 1,000, try to hit 5,000 then 10,000. Think of Twitter as a hallway with people coming towards you. Which people are you going to hand a flyer or a CD to (a.k.a. promote your Spotify link)?
- Go live with Periscope – Twitter has another app called Periscope which allows users to broadcast live. Use it to your advantage. Document the process. Perform acoustic. Show fans behind the scenes at a show or in the studio. You can even use the app to chat with your fans and hold a Q&A. People love to see things in real-time. Let them in.
- Promote your mailing list – Don’t forget to post about your email newsletter. You’re going to need direct email contact with your customers (your fans) to break through the noise of social media. You will be able to send out the news to your fans just as quickly as sending a press release. Emails are your friend!
- Use hashtags to create trending topics – The hashtag doesn’t have to be the top trending topic on Twitter. It can be used for your community. Pick a hashtag no one is using and create a weekly occurrence with it (i.e. live broadcast, giveaway, or merch sale). You can also use hashtags to help promote a new single and see how many people are taking part in using it. It will give you real-time feedback if your music is making its rounds.
- To help promote other music – In the course of your career, you’re going to make friends who also play music. Not only on Twitter, but everywhere, you will want to become a taste maker. People will enjoy following you because you can introduce them to new music, not just your own, that they can vibe to. A community atmosphere with music discovery in the forefront is key.
- Actively enter conversations – Use your Twitter account to get into conversations. If you see something you want to chime in on, do so politely. Your account can be used to help promote a cause, give advice, or sign people up to vote for an election. You find what conversations you’d like to be a part of and then engage!
- To follow artists, industry insiders, and influencer accounts – Use your timeline wisely. You can’t see what’s happening unless there’s little clutter. Some accounts use the follow/unfollow technique and cannot use their timeline to their advantage due to the number of accounts followed. Follow the artists, industry people, press, radio, etc. accounts you enjoy. Find out who’s who and what’s what, how people post, and if people like being engaged. At the very least, you’ll be connected with how these profiles run their accounts and see their news in real-time.
- Stay consistent – People want to follow accounts that give them joy or entertainment. This is why we see puppy videos going viral. You want to stay active online which means daily and most times multiple times a day. You don’t want to post the same thing over and over, so start getting good at communicating what’s going on in your day while documenting the process. Use all the features Twitter has to offer and most importantly: be creative and fun!
- To try for higher interactions versus higher follower counts – It doesn’t matter who follows you on Twitter. What does matter is interactions. Are people tweeting you back? Do you have a lot of retweets or favorites? Are these people tweeting about you? If you have 5,000 quality followers, it’s better than 50,000 with no interactions. Simple!
- Keep up with trends – Follow influencers to see how these accounts are promoting their content and borrow what works for you. When GIFs were made available on Twitter, it turned into one of the main ways people communicate on the site. Stay in tune with new techniques!
- Direct message people who follow you – Use direct messages effectively by not mass messaging everyone, but targeting people who may be happy to receive a DM from you. You might want to promote your music video, your latest song/EP/LP, or your mailing list. Either way, make it fun and enjoy conversing with your fans!
- Use it as part of a combination – Twitter will be one of many social networks you will use. Don’t spend all your time on it (or any other site). Use it as much as it needs to be and focus on the real things: booking shows/tours, writing great songs, getting better live, and promoting your music offline.
- To link to your official website – Make sure your Twitter followers know the best place to be for your music and updates is your official website. There you can buy merch, see tour dates, see your blog posts, and much more. Don’t forget to promote your main hub! This should be your main focus online.
- Like posts by your fans – You may not have all the time in the world to tweet back every single person, but you do have time to like their post. It shows you see what’s going on. Tweet back to them if you can add to the conversation. If you want to be mysterious, then so be it. Liking posts still keeps it interesting!
- Promote a tweet – You can use Twitter advertising to promote big things like tours, new music, and/or music videos. Spending money on a Twitter ad may not be for you, but you might want to try it out and see what works.
Twitter is a huge resource for your online promotional strategy. Use it to create a community. Use it to talk to your fans. Don’t use it to follow a bunch of people so they follow you back. The best thing about Twitter is that you can speak with people in real-time. Use the element of surprise for live broadcasts. Keep things interesting. You’ll see new, interactive followers through consistency and quality posts.