How To Succeed With Twitter

By, Tony Guidry (www.aScratchyThroat.com)

twitter iconMarch 2013

Twitter is an essential tool in your social media strategy. With 250 million unique users monthly, and over 500 million registered users, this is a platform where you definitely need to establish your presence. Today our focus is on the best ways to use twitter to reach people who share your profession or area of interest. In other words, we’ll be focusing on how you can use twitter to interact with people in the music industry, in order to learn from the professionals.

I chose to start by sharing with you ways to interact with ‘decision-makers’ and people who influence the music industry because for most aspiring artists there is a NEED to be educated about the business of music.

You may want to start by following the CEO’s of major record labels & their subsidiaries. You may think that if they hear your music they’ll sign you. Well the music industry doesn’t work that way. (But that’s another article for another time & place). As an aspiring artist, the people who influence and choose what goes on in the music industry – the people that are REALLY important to you – aren’t the CEO’s. You’re going to want to follow the DJ’s and club promoters and venues in your area, and the legitimate publicists, managers, etc who offer the guidance you may need.

You’ll also have to determine if these people actually use twitter regularly or not. LA Reid (@LA_Reid), CEO of Epic Records mostly tweets quotes and doesn’t really interact with other people much on twitter (he doesn’t need to). While a person like Wendy Day  (@RapCoalition), who helps build independent labels and artists’ careers, is on twitter throughout the day, everyday. Wendy interacts with her followers and gives them insight and instruction on how to reach their goals in the music industry. But, if you send her something that looks like this:

twitter spoof

I GUARANTEE that she won’t answer you. This is called ‘spamming your link’ and it is TOTALLY ineffective. Only amateurs consider this marketing or promoting. Spamming your link only gets you blocked, muted or unfollowed.

None of the “quick” fixes work. Buying followers doesn’t work. All the social media platforms give you “instant access to millions” – but establishing yourself on twitter requires you to dedicate some time and effort to what you say, how you say it, who you interact with and when you speak (tweet).

WHAT TO SAY

Say nothing at first. At first you LISTEN. The key to growing your base on twitter is to connect with the the people who have similar interests. You can only find these people by listening, watching, and paying attention to what others are saying FIRST. Engage with these people based on the things you have in common. Talib Kweli (@TalibKweli) recently followed me because of our shared interest in the plight of Leonard Peltier.

When you do start tweeting, say what YOU think and how YOU feel. Once you’ve started using twitter regularly, you should easily learn twitter etiquette and find other  people with similar interests. If you’re an aspiring rapper and you befriend other aspiring rappers and follow each other, you’ll have a million followers in no time!!!

Tweet about your interests and your day to day activities. Twitter is a place where communication (back AND forth) is REQUIRED. If you constantly tweet your video link or ReverbNation URL, it’ll be extra hard to have meaningful interaction with others. Who likes talking to someone that’s always self-centered and talking about themselves? NOBODY.

So, you want to mention the things that actually interest you as a person. It’s as simple as being yourself in your tweets and sharing who you are as a person and artist. Follow the people who interest you and some of them will follow you back. Read the tweets of the people you find interesting, and comment accordingly. As long as you’re consistent, you’ll see the number of your followers begin to build. Even more importantly, you’ll meet people with similar interests and goals from different cities, states & countries – and maybe you can network with them to further BOTH of your goals.

Don’t get caught up on the total number of your followers. Follow the people you can learn from and interact with them. If you follow someone who is well respected in the music industry like @RapCoalition, you’ll see that she tweets a lot of good info on the music business and other issues , don’t tweet AT her about your new single or video. Listen first, read her tweets, learn about her and what she does…then when she tweets about something of interest to you, engage her in a conversation on that topic.

The more you use twitter as a tool to converse with others, the more you’ll learn and improve your ability to really network with people. Your mastery of this ability will place you in a position to meet new people who can really help you move forward with your goals in the music industry.

Social Media is only one piece of the pie in promoting your music. You’ve got to tie in street promotions, performances, press, promotional touring, etc with internet marketing in order to maximize the potential of your music. A Scratchy Throat ensures that you have a powerful & professional online presence.

Tony Guidry is Senior Marketing Manager for A Scratchy Throat. A Scratchy Throat – the brainchild of industry mainstay Wendy Day – provides professional social media marketing specifically designed for today’s aspiring artists.