It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… a completely irrelevant thought that sounds like a diary entry! Yes, that’s Twitter to the common eye. Believe me, for the longest time I thought that Twitter was the one of the lamest things to ever hit the music industry. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Why?
Well for one, I always thought that Facebook was a more varied version of it. Why should you be limited to 140 characters to post, not have thumbnail displayed photo previews, why not have extra pages like downloads or band pages, and why not just freakin’ have some privacy? I mean, what ever happened to the mysterious rock star? The icon that was either so DIY or so busy that the only time you could see them and hear them talk was that magical hour and a half on stage? That was a rock and roll icon to me. They were a mystery until you had to go out to their live show.
Unfortunately, I got slapped in the face with reality when I found out that this is 2012, and the Backstreet Boys are way past the Backstreet Men phase, making me one old bastard for the times. It came time that I had to embrace this fancy new technology of the youth, and I fumbled for a while until I figured out it’s pure gold in today’s industry
1) Twitter maintains your relevance in every day. We live in a generation of instant-gratification. If you can’t appease your blood thirsty shirt-ripping music-pillaging hounds of fans, you can sure bet they’re going to go and feast on the next target they see since you’re clearly not putting out. Before you know it, your fans forget about who you are just because you’re not updating them on a day to day basis. You’d be surprised how true it is.
2) You can create a short statement swift to the point that’ll be immediately received by all. While 140 characters seems constricting, it actually aids you, the reader, or your fans. How often will your fans stop what they’re doing to read that giant Shakespearean essay you posted on Facebook? Most likely, they’ll just skip through it; in fact they probably won’t even see it. Twitter guarantees your tweets will appear in the streams of your followers (Unless they’re following an insane amount of tweeters), whereas Facebook posts actually have never reached more than an average of 15% of their fans.
3) Searching buzzes on Twitter is more effective than using Google. Please re-read that so you don’t assume I just said Twitter is better than Google for information. I said searching for buzzes: do you know how many people tweet about the silliest things you can’t find on Google? When Facebook was down, Google wasn’t telling me anything. But all I had to do was search “Facebook” on Twitter; and I’ll tell you, Twitter exploded about it. It’s not that Google fails or anything of the sort, it’s just that the way the search engine is configured, Twitter sifts through much less and more relevant information to produce its Tweet results as opposed to Google.
4) In addition to #3, you can create the buzz yourself. Trends and re-tweets are very helpful in that the fans do some of the promotion for you. Let’s say you’ve got 900 followers, and one of them re-tweets your post to their 300 separate followers. You’ve opened your chances of getting seen from 1/3 more of your own followers, and from one fan. It’s extremely helpful, not to mention if your fan base is loyal enough, you can even trend your product locally for everyone to see on their home page. Remember, this is ALL free.
So, to wrap this up, I found that Twitter isn’t the enemy. It’s helped me keep up very closely with the DIY bands that I really like without having to go through an intense effort to get updates from them. At the same time, it’s helped me stay in contact with a lot of people. Of course there’s people on Twitter that tweet 100% bull-shit or re-tweet philosophy because they think they’re the next Confucious to their 2 followers. Stuff like that exists on every platform: there’s really no escaping that one person eventually, but hey, you can always un-follow them. Personal Twitters can be great when you want to establish that artist-to-fan relationship.
So start now: You don’t even need to start tweeting or anything of the sort. It’s just very helpful to get your domain set so that you can use it any time in the future. Just remember that it just could be that helpful edge you get down the road. And hey, as far as that mysterious rockstar thing goes, most professional Twitters of the big stars aren’t even running their Twitters: it’s usually just a social media promotions guy taking control of it.
If you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve always signed off with my name, so don’t think this is some advertising, it’s just habitual. Til next time