By Chris Robley of CD Baby's The DIY Musician.
You're busy. You've got songs to write, gigs to book, shows to play, rehearsals to run, and much more. While it's important to be active on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you need to make the most of your time on those networks without getting sucked into a social media black hole.
In CD Baby's new free guide "Twitter for Musicians in 10 Minutes a Day," we outline a simple plan to help you promote your music on Twitter without feeling like your online life is becoming unmanageable — any more than it already is, of course.
This plan depends upon two things: 1) committing to a content calendar and 2) scheduling your tweets in advance using a 3rd party tool like HootSuite or TweetDeck.
But what about the tweets themselves? How can you make the most of those individual 140-character updates? Here are some tips to help you make the most of your music promotion efforts on Twitter:
1. Be consistent. Whether you tweet once a day or once an hour, stick with your schedule for a little while and you'll see your retweets and follows increasing.
2. Share other peoples' content. There's an unwritten rule in the Twitter world: you share my content, I'll share yours. By retweeting, you're earning karmic points and increasing your chances that you'll get followed back. Plus, if it's interesting content, your followers will want to see it too! Tell your fans about some other great bands. Hype their shows and releases. Link to other folks' blog articles and YouTube videos.
3. Don't autopost everything. There are tools you can use to post a single update to multiple social profiles — Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. — with the push of a button. But people who follow you on every platform want to get a unique experience in each place. So while it's ok to use the autopost method occasionally, try to give your Twitter audience a little something different than they'd get on Facebook.
4. Pretend the whole world is watching. Unless you have a private/protected profile, everything you tweet is public. Don't write something you'll be ashamed of later.
5. Interact! You can't just tweet "listen to my new song" every couple hours and expect to see your number of Twitter followers growing. You have to be more interesting than a simple advertisement for your music. Here's few things you can try instead:
* Share exciting news about your musical life.
* Let your fans go behind the scenes on a tour or recording project.
*Reply to those folks you're following.
* Join existing conversations.
Be useful to others first. Then you can expect your followers to help promote your music.
6. Write longer tweets. Internet marketers like to tell you to keep things short. But a tweet is only 140 characters, so it's one of the few cases online where you actually benefit from using all the space you're allotted. Also, some data shows that longer tweets get more clicks.
7. Go verb-crazy! We're emotionally stirred by action. So make your tweets sing, screech, punch, and dance.
8. Tweet in the afternoon and evening. After 2pm Twitter traffic increases fairly dramatically. Maybe folks at the office feel like they've gotten enough work done for the day that they can afford to sneak in 5 minutes on Twitter? Whatever the reason, you might want to schedule your tweets with those people in mind.
9. Tweet closer to the weekend. Similarly, as the workweek draws to a close, Twitter traffic soars, with Friday being the busiest day. So your heaviest Twitter activity should be on Thursday and Friday.
10. Don't be afraid to ask for a retweet. Often in life the best way to get something is to simply ask. The same goes for Twitter. People are far more likely to retweet your content if you ask them.
11. Spread tweets out by at least 1 hour. You want to get the most people possible to see your tweets. By spreading out your Twitter activity by at least an hour, you're increasing the likelihood of different folks seeing your updates. Plus you're not annoying your followers by cluttering up their news feeds all at once.
12. If something is worth sharing, tweet it several times. Got a new music video? Come up with a bunch of different tweets linking to the video. One could say, "Man, our drummer looks good in a tux." Another could say, "Check out my weird hairdo in our latest music video." Another could say, "Can anyone guess why Jane is making that face at the two-minute mark?" Another could ask fans to share the video if they like the song.
Hopefully these tips help you craft more compelling tweets — which will help you grow your fanbase on Twitter — which will help you sell more music.
For more tips on using Twitter effectively with a minimal time commitment, download CD Baby's FREE guide: "Twitter for Musicians in 10 Minutes a Day: How to Promote Your Music, One Tweet at a Time."