With roughly 319 million monthly active users, 500 million tweets a day, over 35 supported languages and 80% of active users accessing the service on a mobile platform, it’s pretty easy to see why Twitter is such an influential force in the world of social media (and for that matter, the world in general). So how can bands and solo artists use Twitter to effectively promote their music and get more fans? Read these five tips on online music promotion to learn how to use Twitter to promote your music on the internet.
5 Tips for Musicians for Promoting Your Album on Twitter
There are lots of nifty features and options for Twitter users, but some of them will give you more bang for your buck. If you’re an up-and-coming musician trying to gain followers and reach more listeners, there are a few ways you can use Twitter strategically to promote your music effectively, regardless of whether you’re a band member or a solo artist.
If you’ve already used services such as Jaynike and still need more help, this article is for you. Here are five tips for promoting music on Twitter for independent musicians.
Tip #1: Get Your Topic Trending on Twitter
Trending topics are exactly what they sound like: trends on Twitter, or popular topics. Needless to say, more people will see trending topics than tweets about other subjects. When someone clicks on a Twitter trend, they’ll see all of the search results associated with that trend, meaning tweets that feature the hashtag (#) or phrases which are trending.
So, how do you get a topic trending on Twitter? Getting a coveted spot on Twitter’s trending topic list can be tricky, as Twitter determines trending topics by using an algorithm that takes many factors into consideration, including the people you follow, where you’re located, and what your interests are. However, the main premise is fairly straightforward: if enough people talk about you in a short period of time, you have a shot at becoming a trending topic.
You have a better chance of getting noticed on Twitter if you follow these four rules:
- Pick the right topic. Not only does your topic need to be interesting and relevant, you also need to come up with a catchy, related hashtag you can use in each tweet about that topic. Later, you can call upon your fan base to use a specific hashtag on specific milestones, like an album release, new video upload, or upcoming concert.
- Identify your audience. Twitter is full of communities devoted to every hobby and industry imaginable. Don’t waste your time tweeting at people who don’t seem to have any interest in your genre of music. Look for people who seem like they could become potential fans based on their interests and who they follow.
- Tweet regularly. Tweet a couple times per day to get the conversation rolling. You can experiment with changing the times of day you post, or the frequency of your posting, to see what yields the best results. Remember to be consistent with your hashtags.
- Keep it personal. No one likes reading Twitter spam. Write your tweets as though you’re a human not a robot.
In 2016, LinkedIn user Sean Lu wrote an article describing how he got a topic to trend on Twitter in a matter of hours. According to Lu, in order for a topic to have any hope of trending, it needs to meet the following criteria:
- It can’t include any swearing or obscenities.
- It needs to rack up around 500 tweets within the first hour.
- Numerous people have to tweet about the topic – it can’t just be a small group of people tweeting over and over.
- It has to be a topic that either:
- Was not popular in the past.
- Used to be popular with Group A, and is now popular with Group B.
Tip #2: Promote a Tweet from Your Desktop, Laptop, or Mobile Device
If a tweet you made is already gaining attention, you can boost its potential even further by turning it into a promoted tweet. Promoted tweets are just like any other tweet, except that they’re paid for by advertisers – in this case, that would be you – who want to expand their reach. (If the concept sounds familiar, that’s because it’s very similar to boosted posts on Facebook.)
Accessing this type of advertising places this content in a few different locations around the site, including home timelines, user profiles, and search results for promoted trends. Promoted tweets also appear on the top of related search results. Just follow these five steps to promote a tweet on Twitter:
- Pick the tweet you want to promote. (Before you decide to spend money on promotion, make sure the tweet is engaging and has plenty of appeal to a broad audience.)
- Click the “Promote this Tweet” option.
- Choose the location you want to target. (Heads up: if you purchase Bandcamp Pro, you can see which towns and cities your sales are coming from, as we wrote about in our article on Bandcamp music promotion.)
- Choose your budget.
You must also choose carefully not only how, but when to use this resource. Take advantage of the tools available to determine when promoting tweets would be more efficient. For example, a service called Tweriod will let you see when more of your users are online, so that your content has a deeper impact on the media landscape. Twitter’s FAQ section also points out that promoted tweets are a great way to build buzz for upcoming sales (like ticket sales or album sales).
Tip #3: Interact with Your Followers on Twitter
Another great (and easy) way to enhance your connection with your fan base is to take a second and reply. It makes a fan’s day to have a tweet responded to by their favorite performer. The faster they receive the reply, the better. If you’re not a solo artist, take turns among band members to make sure someone always responds to questions, follows back fans, and thanks them for their support. A little bit of politeness and friendliness can go a long way, and it doesn’t cost you a dime.
Tip #4: Offer Exclusives and Giveaways to Twitter Followers
It’s important to keep your Twitter feed up-to-date with every major accomplishment and event in the band’s career. You can gain extra attention by releasing information as a Twitter exclusive first, such as album release dates or song titles.
This gets your fan base talking and spreading the good news. On May 3, 2015, rapper Kanye West received a boost of attention by announcing on Twitter that he was changing the name of his upcoming album.
The tweet earned over 65,000 retweets and plenty of free publicity.
Today’s internet trends indicate that video content also has great appeal, so when Twitter released its new video broadcast app, Periscope, it was no surprise that it reached the million-download mark in less than 10 days.
Whether you use Periscope or any similar platform, going live with an acoustic session is another tactic sure to help boost your Twitter presence.
In addition to offering content or info that’s exclusive to Twitter, you can also use Twitter to offer raffles, giveaways, and other fun contests that get fans excited and engaged. It doesn’t have to be something elaborate or expensive, it could be as simple as offering a link to a free download in exchange for using a certain hashtag.
Tip #5: Promote Your Twitter Account for More Followers
In any interview you go to, venue you play, or show you attend, make sure to mention your Twitter username. Likewise, make sure all of your promotional materials include your @ handle so that people can easily find you on Twitter. You never know who gets a track stuck in their head, gives you a follow, and then looks up where you’re playing next.
Even though your Twitter feed should always have up-to-date information, it is very important to lead your followers back to the real goal: the place where you sell your music, like Bandcamp, the iTunes Store, or your band’s website. If you have an online store, make sure to plug it regularly but don’t get spammy, or you’ll turn followers off.
On a related note, meeting up with other musicians has been a good career move for as long as the profession has existed. Today, using Twitter to talk about those meet-ups is a great tactic for exposure. It also helps set your position as an established artist, and creates a relationship where both of you can benefit from the exposure. Make sure to tweet pictures of your encounters with other artists, and ask them (politely) for a retweet.