You aren’t tweeting enough. There, I said it.
Twitter provides an incredible opportunity
to keep your fans engaged and to reach new
fans, but you need to be active. I’ve heard a
number of artists say that they’re concerned
about tweeting too much. The reality is, Twitter
isn’t like Facebook: On Facebook, too many
updates can be overkill, but on Twitter, the
average effective active lifespan of a tweet
is about one hour. So if you’re not doing it
enough, you’re not going to rise above the
On the other hand, if you are always
tweeting the same thing . . . @you will be
#ANNOYING. To keep things fresh with your
fans, I’d like to propose you send out a mix
of these three essential tweets: I Tweet, We
Tweet, and You Tweet.
I Tweet The I Tweet is a personal tweet.
This is an opportunity for you to give insight
into your personal life: what you’re
doing, what you care about, what you’re
listening to, what you’re into. Fans are following
you because they want access to
you. Twitter provides them a little glimpse
of what’s going on in your life, or your perspective
on things, and that helps them feel
connected to you.
We Tweet The We Tweet is how you keep
your fans in the loop about “official” news about
the band or you as a solo artist. Some examples:
We’re playing the Roxy next Friday; get
your tickets now. Hope to see you there.
We’ve just released a new single, take
Screw the labels, we’re doing it ourselves &
asking our best fans to help us fund our recording.
Please give at PledgeMusic.com.
We’ve made it to the final round in the
songwriting contest; please vote for us.
@Supercoolblog just said our album was
the hottest thing since Rebecca Black’s
“Friday”—check out the review.
Have a look at this video we shot last night,
you won’t believe what Gonga did during
You Tweet The You Tweet may be the
most important. This is where Twitter
stops being a broadcast, and starts getting
personal. In my recent Facebook Strategies
article (“Engaging Your Facebook Audience,”
Electronic Musician, February 2012),
I described a concept of the “Virtual High
Five,” in which you reward fans by personally
acknowledging them. This is the same
concept. When a fan follows you, retweets
you, or tweets something cool about the
band or your music . . . make sure you send
out an “@fansname thank you” tweet, and if
appropriate, retweet what your fan said.
The “You” Tweet can also be used to engage
fans in conversation. A perfect way to do that
is to ask questions. For example:
We’re picking songs for Friday night’s set
list; what do you want to hear?
This is a subtle way to remind your followers
that you have an upcoming gig, and
they’ll feel more obligated to come if they
responded with a request. Especially if
you reply, “Thanks @fansname, we’ll play
it, see you Friday!” Bonus points—if you
can remember, shout out, “@fansname requested
this,” when you play it; I guarantee
you’ll make a lifelong fan and also let the
audience know you are active on Twitter.
Remix Yo’Self Considering the one-hour
shelf life of a tweet, and the fact that different
fans log on at different times, it’s
perfectly acceptable to send out repeat
news. That being said, Twitter won’t allow
you to send out an identical tweet within
too short a timeframe, so get creative and
Don’t Sweat the Grammar Tweeting is the
new haiku. U only have 140 char, so don’t lose
the msg. by using proper English. Abbreviate,
drop non-essential words; people understand
the medium and are forgiving.
Remember Your ABCs Always Be Converting.
Twitter is great, but it’s a shallow experience,
and people are easily distracted by the
next tweet. Whenever possible, use links to
take fans somewhere else that they can have
a richer experience of you and your music.
Capture their email with a free download on
your Facebook store, or send them to your
website to see an embedded video or read a
blog post, etc.
Always Be Explicit If you want people to
take action, say it in the tweet. And if you
have spare characters, especially for “We”
Tweets, ask them to “Please RT,” or better
yet, “please retweet.”
Always Be Authentic Your true fans can tell
if it’s you or not. So make sure that whatever
you tweet is true to you, and true to your
Carl Jacobson is VP of marketing at Nimbit (nimbit.com). He is also co-executive
producer of Masters of Sound (mastersofsound.net), an online series dedicated to
documenting the work of recording engineers
and producers. Follow Carl on Twitter: