Using Twitter to Talk With Fans

The most important thing to remember when using Twitter is that it’s a forumTwitter Logo for conversation with your fans, not simply a way to disseminate information.

To create an account:

Note: When choosing a username, the shorter the better because you only have 140 characters per tweet. Try to choose a short name that is as close to your actual name or band name as possible so you’re easy to find and easy for your fans to recognize.

Once you’ve created an account, here are Ten Twitter Tips to remember:

  • Now that you have an account, add an image that is consistent with your other social media images so your photo is easy for your fans to recognize.
  • Fill in the bio section with information about your band and a link to your website or MySpace URL.
  • Use “@” before someone’s Twitter name to Tweet at them; use a hashtag (#) to note a keyword that will come up in searches. For example #musicmonday
  • Recommended: download an application like TweetDeck or Hootsuite, which act as dashboards to help you manage your Tweets and create lists of users and searches.
  • As an independent artist, you should absolutely use Twitter to promote upcoming appearances and shows. You can also use it to share “behind the scenes” information about your music. Tweet about where you’re recording, who you’re working with, and what inspires you. Your fans are interested in what you have to say!
  • Cross promote your social media pages by Tweeting links to recent posts on your website, Facebook or MySpace pages. This is a great way to increase traffic.
  • Send out free MP3s of your songs and take requests from your fans. Use Twitter as a way to gauge interest in new songs by asking fans for feedback.
  • Keep up with trends by following people in the music industry, listening to what they have to say, and engaging in the conversation via Twitter.
  • Tweet on a regular basis. At least four times a day, everyday.
  • Don’t worry if it takes a while to get the conversation going. Keep at it!

Check out these musicians that have been using Twitter in different ways:

John Mayer (@johncmayer) is one of the most well known mainstream musicians to use Twitter. He Tweets a lot about his life and has regular conversations directly with fans.

Ben Folds (@benjaminfolds) uses Twitpic to share photos and captions through Twitter with fans.

Matt Nathanson (@mattnathanson) has a great sense of humor, jokes with his fans and often posts his #morningrecords picks.

Next week we’ll look at the visual and social power of YouTube to promote your music.

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