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.

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Networking At SXSW

March 11, 2013

By, Wendy Day (www.IndustryReport.com)

It’s time once again for SXSW and it’s easy to get overwhelmed at such a large conference. If you are traveling to Austin, TX to attend SXSW, you are committing a substantial amount of dollars to do so. It’s a good investment in yourself and your career so it would be smart to make the best of it before, during, and after.

sxsw

 

Before You Leave Home

1) Print Business cards. Your card should be clean and easy to read. It should have your name, phone number, email address, website, and all of your social media addresses/links. The goal is that as you meet people, you have something to leave with them to contact you after SXSW is over. And hopefully the folks you meet have one to give you as well (I always jot notes on cards so after I have collected 300 of them, I kinda can recall who’s who). Because I do so many different things in the industry, my card has a paragraph on the back that explains everything I do.

2) Print out the schedule: the list of panels, round table discussions, and events that are ideal to boost your knowledge of the music industry. Be certain to highlight the events and people speaking who will benefit you the most. Make sure you attend the discussions that will strengthen you where your knowledge is weakest and offer direct solutions to build your career. For example, if you haven’t placed music in TV shows or films, but would like to, be sure to attend the panels on those topics. Not only will you boost your knowledge, but you will be in the same room with folks who do this for a living which gives you access to those who may be able to help you place your songs.

3) SXSW is very big and there’s a lot going on at once. Most people are going for the performances and showcases, so if there’s a performance you really want to see, get to that event early or arrange a hook up now to get you in ahead of the crowds. Everything fills up very quickly.

4) Try to get added to one of the showcases if you are an artist. The Summer or Fall is a good time to apply to SXSW for a performance slot since usually by Christmas the schedule is full.

5) Reach out to your network of friends and associates and see who else is going. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn are ideal for asking your circle who is attending. If there’s anyone that you should meet with, setting up appointments for lunch, dinner, or coffee would make sense to schedule ahead of time. Folks may be hesitant to commit because they know once they get to Austin they will be pulled in multiple directions. Breakfast meetings may be best because folks can start the day with your meeting provided they aren’t too hung over, and you won’t get lost in the myriad of things going on at SXSW. Be flexible with folks if they need to cancel or reschedule. It’s a huge event with way too much to accomplish.

During SXSW

1) Check the SXSW smart phone Apps frequently to know what’s going on and to stay abreast of changes. Check Twitter and Facebook often for posts from folks who have discovered great events that you should attend. Stalk the #SXSW hashtag frequently and be sure to check your own phone, texts, and email for updates. These are the places that will list impromptu performances by artists that you might care about. Bear in mind that moving around the city of Austin during SXSW can be very slow and cumbersome if you need to get from one club to another quickly during the day or at night. Traffic is a nightmare.

2) At the showcases and events, meet as many fans and industry people as you can. Gather their email addresses, names, and twitter @’s of potential fans; and gather names, email addresses and phone numbers of industry folks and other artists. Keep your lists separate. You don’t ever want to treat an industry person like a fan.

3) At the educational events, be sure to network with other attendees as well as the panelists. Get names, phone numbers, email addresses, and social media addresses whenever possible. Google company names and people so you know who they are and what they do. Divide the people you meet into multiple lists: the ones who could help your career, the ones who are like-minded and who you may want to collaborate with, the ones you aren’t sure what they do yet, potential fans, etc.

4) Try to relax as much as possible and be sure to eat small meals often. Make sure you stay hydrated, especially if you are drinking. Sleeping will probably be challenging, but get as much rest as you can.

5) I can’t stress enough the importance of meeting people. This is a “who you know” business. Try to speak to everyone if you can. Find out what they do and exchange information. Make it a personal challenge for you to talk to everyone in each room or club that you enter. I realize that’s not possible, but try. Even speak to folks you meet in your hotel. This is the one time of year where everyone in Austin is attached somehow to the music industry. Be polite and outgoing. If you realize someone has no value for your career, don’t just drop the conversation coldly and walk away, be polite and kind and then move on. Don’t ever be an asshole.

SXSW Austin Texis

After You Get Home

1) Sleep. You missed a whole lot of sleep, get caught up.

2) Reach out to the folks you met that can help your career within the first 2 weeks of being home. Thank them for their time and tell them how much you enjoyed meeting them. If you shared a special moment, mention it so they may recall who you are.

3) Don’t ever assume people will remember you. In the weeks after a major event, I always change my avatar on my social media to my face, hoping people might remember me when they see my face. I also make sure the signature on my email explains succinctly who I am and what I do in a few sentences, along with my social media links. If folks can just press a link to arrive at my Facebook page or twitter, they might just click it.

4) Reach out to the folks that you met but have no idea what they do. Of course you’ve already googled them at this point, but if you still don’t know, politely ask them. I find it better to ask intelligently–meaning it’s better to ask “I see you work in publishing, what exactly is it that you do?” than to ask a general “what do you do?” It shows that you made some effort on your own to figure out what they do.

5) Lastly, put all of your new potential fans into your fan database. You should be sending out an e-newsletter soon anyway to inform your fans of your trip to SXSW and to discuss the highlights. If your email list has a feature where folks need to opt-in, add them to your list within the first 2 weeks after SXSW so you stand a chance of them remembering you and opting in. Don’t ask them to join your list more than 2 or 3 times, a week or two apart.

6) Networking is the art of give and take. Don’t just figure out a way for the people you met to help you, figure out a way to help them as well. People will be more open to developing a relationship with you if they see a benefit to themselves as well. You being a talented artist is not enough of a benefit, by the way.

7) Make sure you keep in touch with the people you’ve met and if you’ve promised any specific follow up, be certain to do so. Most people do not keep in touch, so the few who do follow up really stand out. When interacting with folks who have established careers in the industry, don’t be surprised if you have to do the bulk of reaching out at first. You need them far more than they need you. Until you have something solid or financial to offer, you are just one of many anxious and hungry folks trying to build a career in music. Be respectful of that. Don’t take anything personal.

Attending an event like SXSW can be very informative and a great networking opportunity for your career. Make sure you spend your time wisely, prepare for it thoroughly, and follow up professionally afterwards. It might just be the best money you spent this year.

Wendy Day is a 21-year veteran of the music industry who has managed to do the impossible: stay relevant. She runs the not-for-profit artist advocacy organization, Rap Coalition, and has helped discover, build the leverage of, and shop and negotiate deals for Master P’s No Limit, Twista, Cash Money Records (BG, Juvenile, Lil Wayne, Turk, Hot Boyz, Big Tymers, and Mannie Fresh), Eminem, David Banner, and many others. She has worked with Do Or Die, Lil Boosie, Webbie, Ras Kass, Slick Rick, BloodRaw, Young Buck, C-Murder, Young Jeezy, MGK, and others. She helps build independent record labels for properly financed labels showing them hands-on how to sell music and make money in today’s music industry. She wrote her first book, The Knowledge To Succeed: How To Get A Record Deal in September of 2011, and runs a social media marketing company called A Scratchy Throat to boost artists’ Internet presence and to increase their one-on-one interaction with fans.

Reblogged from: BundlePost, courtesy of: Robert Caruso

A frequent question I get from my connections in the social graph is “How do I build a relationship with an influencer for my brand/product”. Though it is a common question, the answer isn’t as common.

Since I sincerely believe that social media marketing is a parallel universe to the real world, I always take a step back and consider what we do in real life. What are the steps we would take in our local offline environment to accomplish this? What adjustments can/should we make within the social sphere to help us achieve what we are wanting to do.

First, we need to understand that social media marketing is NOT about you. You have to have a mindset of giving, providing value to others and a willingness to help them succeed.

Secondly. you need to clearly define what you hope to accomplish by building the relationship with the influencer. Review your product? Have a phone call? Share your link? There are many different goals one could have for wanting to build a relationship with someone specific within social media. know what yours is.

Once you have aligned your thinking with the first and second points above, you can then follow these steps to best position yourself for a relationship:

1) Identify – Be sure that the person/brand you are targeting for the relationship makes sense. Identify the person(s) that are best suited for your brand, product or service.

2) Observe & Document – Do your research. Make sure you know what they do, their website and blog locations. Monitor their social posts and conversations and take note of who they are as a person and what drives their conversations. Pay specific attention to the human/personal topics that they engage around and document the information.

Don’t rush the observation step. Take time to understand the influencer. Rushing will usually result in missing the important subtle things that are most important! This can take a week or a month, depending on the person. Take your time…

3) Engage – Once you understand the topic drivers and personality of your influencer, begin to engage with them. Specifically comment on their posts, share their content and facilitate meaningful conversations with that person. If they have a blog, share their articles and comment on them. Look for ways you can assist them by furthering their reach, introducing them to prospects and retweet their relevant content.

*Important – A big mistake made at this stage is to do too much too quickly. Do NOT like/share bomb. (don’t like 5 posts on their wall in a row or RT their last 4 posts, etc.) This can come across as stalking or an obvious ploy. Use common sense and ramp up these activities over several weeks or months.

4) Build – Build a relationship with the influencer through more and more frequent conversations.

5) Ask/Answer – Ask open-ended questions about them, their articles and their business. The goal here is to continue to further the relationship building, but also foster a climate where the influencer begins asking YOU questions about what yo do. This is the point you know you have earned the right to talk about what you do and what you would like from them.

*Important – DO NOT ask for anything at any point before this stage. You must do the work prior to requesting a call, review of your service or sharing of your content. Also, be sure that you continue steps 3, 4 and 5 on an ongoing basis. Don’t make the influencer feel as though they had a horrible one night stand and were played.

I cannot stress enough that patience in the entire process is crucial. If you follow these techniques and take it slow, you will develop influencer relationships that will bring value to them and benefit your brand.

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

“I can post my music to facebook and reach millions of people.”

While it’s true that over a billion people visit facebook every month, you must have a strategy and plan in place if you’re trying to get a portion of them to actually view your page and listen to your music. There are tried and tested methods that will boost your exposure on Facebook. Today, we’re gonna look at the more basic ways to bring attention to your page and your music so that you can get more “likes” and “listens.”

First, just posting your music to your Facebook page and hoping that people listen is not enough. Posting a link to your song or your video on your friends’ pages is NOT networking and DOESN’T work. (To be honest, when you post links to people’s pages or inbox them your link unannounced, it gets deleted – the reality is that most people aren’t going to your Soundcloud or Reverbnation link just because you post it on their page.) You have to establish a relationship with a person first in order for your networking efforts to be successful. Any unsolicited links you “give” them are considered SPAM!!! You don’t need to spam your music to gain new fans. You only need to learn how to use the social media tools Facebook makes available to you.

So I hope you understand that uploading your music on Facebook is only seen by the people you interact with–and you hope they listen to it. Your closer friends will probably like and comment on your music (they like everything you post anyway). You won’t engage many new people this way though– and what’s the point in posting your music online if you’re not going to reach new people? Of course you could just stick to street & club promotions (which can be very effective), but what’s the purpose of making music if you’re not doing what you need to do in order to MAKE SURE that new people give it a listen?

Secondly, the reason you want Facebook “likes” is because they may eventually lead to sales, and in the BUSINESS of music, money needs to be made in some way shape or form. So whether you use your likes to ask people to buy your music, attend an event, or purchase a T-shirt or whatever it might be, you’ve got to find a way to make money from your craft if you’re in the music BUSINESS. If you’re someone who makes music just for the love or as a hobby, then this post AIN’T for you.

Now, for those artists, managers, or label owners, etc, who are interested in using Facebook to get seen and heard……..let’s talk about the simplest ways to get facebook likes.

I’m sure that most of you have seen an offer to buy “likes”. The websites selling the “likes” promise hundreds or thousands (or tens of thousands) of likes for a low cost. I’ve seen it range from $30 for 1,000 to $1200 for 100,000 likes. These so-called services promise you likes in a “few days”. Which leads us to the question: do these services work? Well, they work to get you likes, just not the ones you’re looking for. The problem is that with fake likes you don’t have a genuine fan. A fake like will never listen to your music or buy your song. A fake like will never tweet or post a status about your music so a fake like is worthless in the music industry. Add to that fact that Facebook, as a company, will remove the majority of fake likes eventually, making you look worse than before! Buying fake likes won’t solve the problem of marketing your music–just like most business shortcuts, it’s non-effective and likely to do more harm than good.

So what’s the most effective way to introduce new people to your music and reach the people who are interested in what you make?? You pay for it.

Facebook Ads for business are the simplest way to reach new people on Facebook. The setup is simple. Facebook literally walks you through the steps:

Take your time and pay attention as it’s all laid out for you: from how to build and customize your page, to how to invite your friends to like and interact with you. You’ve gotta START with your friends, and build from there. Fortunately, Facebook gives you the key elements necessary to get started.

Once you have your page setup, start posting content. Invite your friends to like your new page first and do NOT just spam links of your music or videos! Have conversations with the people who like your page, engage with them, share interests and insight. Again, Facebook gives you insight on how to do this effectively:

So far, everything we’ve covered is free. You can research and learn how to build your followers and likes from here. You don’t NEED to pay for anything at this point. Once your page is created, you have to consistently post interesting statuses.

Eventually you’ll reach a point where investing into targeting other markets makes sense, and when that time comes you’ll want to start an ad campaign for your page. Don’t jump the gun here though. Be consistent in posting to your page and talking to the people who’ve liked your page.

Before you even think about buying ads to draw people, you will want to have at least 100 legitimate likes from friends, etc. Remember, you gotta have those 100 likes before you even think about taking it to the next level.

Setting up your ad is simple and, again, the folks at Facebook have everything laid out for you. At first, it may seem confusing when you’re asked if you want to:

Get More Likes
Promote Page Posts
Advanced Options

You’ll make your decision based on what you’re trying to do. (I know that you have goals, right?) So depending on your goals, you’ll choose to promote individual page posts, or to expose your page to as many people as possible, or simply to get more likes. Once you make that decision, you can move on to deciding WHO to reach.

You can choose to target a city or even a particular zip code INSIDE a city (so u can target an actual neighborhood if you want to!). You also have the choice to target people with certain interests. You can target people who like Pop music or R&B; or you can be more specific and target people who like Rihanna, Beyonce, Lil Wayne, or Drake, for example. You can target married people, single people, or people who love sports. There are numerous categories that allow you to really pinpoint the people most probable to like your page.

Below is an example of a campaign designed to target Facebook users in Jacksonville, FL (including 25 miles outside the city):

If you noticed, the target audience is aged 13-40, with an interest in Music– specifically Hip Hop/Rap and R&B/Soul music. Our choices have narrowed down potential fans in the Jacksonville area from over 457,000 people to almost 172,000. This isn’t a bad thing because it targets people who list music as an interest and these people are more likely to become a fan.

So what will it cost?? Well, that’s totally up to you. The good people at Facebook allow you to choose exactly how long you want to run your ad, how much you’re willing to pay for people to see your ad, and how much money you’re willing to spend per day on your ad campaign.

As you maneuver through the options available, you’ll be able to cater to the appropriate audience for you. It’s not hard to get your Facebook ads started. It will take some tweaking and tinkering to get the best results but with the right effort, focus and determination you can build an ad campaign that converts clicks to your page into likes and likes into fans who you can THEN reach out to and ask to listen to your music or watch your latest video.

At the end of the day, your Facebook page and any ad campaign associated with it is only a small part of the total work you’ll need to do in order to succeed. Internet presence is becoming more and more important in today’s digital age.

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