A lot, is the unfortunate answer for the many musicians with an invisible – or even just a basic – presence on Twitter.
Though the social networking phenom has many detractors and its longevity is a subject for debate, there are undoubtedly huge rewards to be reaped in the here and now for artists willing to put in the time. Here are just 5 of the opportunities they could be missing:
1 – Unexpected Connections
How much time do you spend trying to connect with bloggers by e-mail? Furthermore, how frustrating is it when the response rate is barely measurable? Generally, their inboxes are overflowing with one-time pleas from musicians to check out their work.
The good news is that the connection you so desire may be only a few clicks away on Twitter. Many bloggers – and a great many industry folks to boot – make daily use of the site to post links, scan news, and just connect in general with the world of music. Chris Brogan makes several useful points in his post on the subject, including patiently building a Twitter relationship with the human behind the writing.
This can also extend to the venue you want to break the ice with to play, the PR specialist from whom you’d like some advice, and innumerable relationships with those that could assist your career. Today’s follow could be tomorrow’s champion of your music.
2 – Link Me In
A huge part of Twitter is sharing links to entertaining content. This means not only your music but also the witty blog entry you’ve just written, the humorous video you shot for your latest song, or even a picture of your cat doing something unusual (especially that one).
While some of this may seem facile and not directly related to your professional art, it’s the nature of social media in general and a key starting point for content going viral. Associating entertaining content with your own name and music can work wonders in spreading it far and wide, with Twitter being a main platform from which it can do so.
3 – Rewarding Hard Work
As previously noted, many people and organizations you want to attract to your band are tweeting away, promoting their own efforts and presence. If you’re doing the same on a daily basis and are connected, these people are going to notice.
Furthermore, it creates a subconscious association in their mind with your name and hard work, even if they aren’t working with you directly……yet. The next time your name comes up with regard to getting that choice slot on a weekend show or supporting that band that’s blowing up, that promoter or venue will recall your previous efforts and it can only count in your favor. Retweet their content, suggest their services to your followers, tune others in to their presence and reap the benefits of your hard work in the longer term.
4 – Avoid The Static
Many artist websites are updated infrequently, perhaps with only major news or additions to sections away from the home page. Infrequent content updates keep the site static and can lead to infrequent visits from those you want to come through, sign up to your e-mail list, and maybe even buy some music (an outlandish concept nowadays, we know).
Sites like Twitter and Facebook can assist in making your homepage more dynamic by offering embeddable widgets that feed your more regular tweets and status updates directly into your website. Your less monumental but nonetheless entertaining communications and observations are now spread to your own corner of the web, keeping it a fresh source of information on a daily basis. This also creates a two-way street, alerting those who have only been visiting your website to your social media presence and increasing your follower/fan base on those platforms.
5 – The Importance of Real Time
Whereas many sites in your online arsenal only assist you to promote in a billboard manner, Twitter (and Facebook) enables you to put out a call to action in real time. People monitor these sites several times a day – perhaps all day, to the annoyance of their employers but to your benefit – meaning that your breaking news or last minute call to a live show is more likely to reach an audience.
Taking this a step further, artists like Amanda Palmer and The Canon Logic have utilized this real time forum to successfully gather a crowd for impromptu performances in busy public spaces. With the added benefit of engaging those fans that are a part of this musical flash mob, it creates a sense of community and excitement associated with your music that more planned efforts may lack.
We’ll be focusing in on these individual points in more detail across future posts but hopefully this is food for thought for those that have previously dismissed Twitter as a limited version of Facebook and Myspace.
Are you utilizing Twitter to its full potential?
Do you have any success stories rising from your efforts on the site?
We’d love to have your input on this, whether advocate or cynic! If the former, be sure to follow us @AboveTheStatic.