It is great to have you here!
Social media is something every musician has been trying to get familiar with. While you might think Instagram is good enough, these past few years you have likely been stuck with the algorithm changing all the time leading you to struggle to grow and keep an active audience.
Then, you have Facebook but should we even talk about it? What happened to that Facebook page of yours? Of yes, that's right it is either a ghost town or you barely have one nowadays. (Yes, it still works for a very, very small amount of artists.)
This leaves you with, Twitter.
If you have not been focusing on Twitter lately, I would highly recommend trying to do so. To quickly break it down, here are a few reasons why.
- A simple way to stay engaged with your audience.
- Easy to engage in other people's conversations.
- A single retweet from the right person could be a massive help.
- You could be a few DMs away from your biggest opportunity yet.
- Reasonable Ad platform & re-targeting.
1. Staying engaged with your audience.
You may wonder what to post about, but that is not so hard to find out. Visit the Twitter account of some of your favorite artists and put your own twist to it. Here are a few ideas:
- Fun or cool pictures.
- Line-up announcements etc.
- Random life or industry tweets.
- Release announcements, previews etc.
- 'Retweet with a comment' certain questions.
- Retweet some of the tweets you're mentioned in.
- Support other musicians you like and want to support.
- Share video tweets when producing a new track, testing sounds etc.
I would also highly recommend liking comments and mentions at least. If you are an upcoming artist, this is your chance to actually reply and engage with your fans. Growing and maintaining an active community will 'require' some of this.
You could keep a pinned Tweet, which allows you to showcase everyone visiting your profile the most recent thing you are focusing on. From a new release to a tour or even your new merch. Make the most out of this tweet!
Watch this interview by Lauren Engel with WUKI talking about building your network. You will notice throughout the interview how many times he mentions Twitter being a huge help to getting to where he is today.
2. Engaging with others
A while back Twitter acquired Tweetdeck, it is a simple tool that allows you to manage your Twitter account more efficiently by giving you multiple feeds organized by columns.
If you are planning to focus on growing your Twitter account, you should give this platform a try, it will really help you.
When using Tweetdeck, something very helpful is using lists. It allows you to only see the tweets and retweets from these users. For instance, you could create the following lists:
- Music Blogs
- Blog Writers
- Favorite Artists
- Upcoming Artists
- Managers & Others
- Previously engaged with
Notice how that was 'carefully' picked.
Blogs would be to engage with certain blogs, leave a comment and support them.
Blog writers would be a way for you to support others work and slowly letting them know you are around.
Favorite artists, so you can support them, leave a comment and slowly people may visit your profile.
Upcoming artists would be to support your fellow producer friends. Stay in touch with them and support them as much as you hope they would support you, but don't expect anything in return.
Manager & Others would be for anyone you respect in the industry that is not a producer. You will be surprised by the number of managers, booking agents and others that you will find on Twitter. A good example would be someone hosting a festival you are hoping to play at or some managers from your favorite booking agency.
Previously engaged with would be a column of the people you have already have a conversation with and hope to remain in touch. Keep supporting what they do!
3. A single retweet from the right person could be a massive help.
When we were being more active on Twitter, Dj Snake retweeted a tweet from the EDM Alert account. It brought quite a bit of traffic to the tweet and even our profile. This has happened quite a few times by now with numerous artists.
By supporting them and staying engaged in the conversations and being active, you will hopefully gain some interesting followers which could lead you to get the support from bigger artists.
4. Build stronger connections by Direct Messaging others.
As an example, If you notice an upcoming producer that released a track you liked and they have their DMs open on Twitter it could be a good time to contact them, show your support etc. You could try asking them how they made a specific sound within that track or whatever else you think would be appropriate.
You could also DM people that are supporting your work and thank them. When you are really in the early stages of your career, simply 'liking' someone's reply isn't good enough anymore to build an active community.
A little personal story about taking advantage of DMs:
To give FB some credit, it was still extremely helpful for musicians a few years ago. Through talking to DJ Ralph via Messenger, I was able to book Avicii for a show in Miami during the WMC in 2010. The booking fee at the time was only $400 + transportation etc. I believe this is what is happening with Twitter and Instagram today. I find it to be a good example because I don't think It would happen the same way via Facebook today, so you might as well take advantage of Twitter while you can.
If you hope to get something out of it, remember to bring value. On top of organizing the event, I helped them sell additional Ultra Music Festival tickets they had to pay for the hotels, drove them around, etc. In return, they invited me to different events from pool parties to private events and made me feel like I was part of the group. It then became something we did on a yearly basis for about three years.
This is in very low quality and a bit embarrassing, but here one of the flyers we used for the event. It was the night of Ultra, right behind the American Airlines Arena.
5. Advertising on Twitter
Another advantage of Twitter (which most of the other platform offer as well) is the simple ad platform they have. You can easily re-target people that have previously engaged with your tweets. This will be very handy when you are releasing a new track, plan to go on tour etc.
You can also enter the profile of artists that make the same genre and target their audience. One thing I would maybe not recommend is the monthly plan Twitter offers called 'Promote Mode'. You might be better off spending that budget yourself on campaigns that you carefully created.
Are you giving Twitter a try? Some of these links might help:
- Here is an article with some tools you could use to enhance your Twitter experience.
- If you are looking for a way to tell which account has an active/real following over others, SparkScore could help you with that. This can be a good help when you are trying to pay or work with certain blogs.
- If you want to follow a diverse group of people instead of musicians only, FollowFriday.io is a simple website I made last year. It might help you with that!
- Twitter doesn't support searchable DMs, but here's a work-around.
That's about it, for now, I hope you found some of this helpful.
Keep in mind, none of the above will work overnight nor do I encourage wasting time on social media or starting to spam others. Try to limit yourself to a certain amount of time each day or week and bring value to others.
I wish you the best with your music career!
If you have specific tips that worked for you on Twitter, or even a question about this article feel free to get in touch. The link to my profile is @Guillaumebardet.