Social media has opened a host of new opportunities for bands and musicians at all levels to connect on a personal level with fans. If you’re a band or musician, you should be on Twitter. There I said it.
Having done PR/Marketing for a small indie label in the past, I can attest that there are not a lot of bands (proportionally speaking) that take PR, marketing and promotions as seriously as they should. They’re in a band to play music after all, not run a business. The reality of the matter is that for serious bands, the band is in fact their business.
The benefits for a band using a site such as Twitter can be quite powerful. But where does a band or artist that is new to Twitter even start?
5 Simple Tips for Bands to Get Started on Twitter
1. Research. Gabriel Nijmeh (@gcn1) maintains an excellent database of Artists on Twitter (along with radio stations, record labels, music bloggers and other related lists). Click around and see who is having success using the site (@johnmayer @johnroderick for example) and who is not (@beastieboys big following with zero activity).
2. Learn How to Use the Site. Check out this post from Ariel Hyatt (@cyberpr) and Laura Fitton (@pistachio) for some logistical tips on signing up, thinking about your brand presence, etc. Be smart and act NOW on signing up, lest you want to get brandjacked like John Mayer. Next, hop over and study this post from Mike Phillips (@themikephillips) that offers 10 solid tips for how to use Twitter if you’re a band.
3. Get Creative & Engage Your Fans! The options really are endless. As Mike notes, offering up free downloads of b-side or newly released tunes (twtfm is a nice app), giving away tickets, providing show updates or backstage pics (use Twitpic) or conducting a poll to have fans choose encore tunes (use twtpoll) are all fun ideas.
MOST IMPORTANT – Be real and interact, respond and converse with your fans. Few social media tools provide such an excellent resource for active community engagement and conversation. As a touring artist, Twitter lends itself to keeping all fans engaged over an extended period on the road and beyond.
4. Track Your Progress. Tweetstats can provide some nice trend analysis over time but at the least, be sure to use BudURL to track click thrus on links posted so you can assess what kind of content your fans favor.
5. Listen. TweetLater or Twitter Search are both great ways to quickly track conversations around your band. Find fans talking about you and engage! Nothing would be more exciting for a loyal fan than hearing directly from the band.
Last, if you’re really motivated and want to take your band’s social media experience to a new level…
Ditch the Tour Bus. Become an iPhone band. I think I sense a new career for Apple genius bar washouts becoming roadies…