Twitter is a microblogging social media site, and its primary purpose is to connect people and allow them to share their thoughts with a big audience, in 280 characters or less.
Why you should promote your music on Twitter
Ranking high amidst social media platforms, for anything interesting going on around the world, best believe it's being discussed on Twitter. If you are keen on getting people to talk about your music, then consider Twitter a close ally for it is a good way to give your artist brand more visibility. In this article, we guide you through Twitter’s features and the best way to promote your music on Twitter.
Optimize your account
A mistake many artists make on social media is not optimizing accounts. First impression counts. Choose a handle (advisably one you already use on other platforms), put up a clear profile picture (this could be a recent headshot), and a header (you can customize this image to promote your latest project or release). Next, write a clear description of yourself in your Twitter bio and include links where appropriate. You may include your date of birth, nationality, and location. You can also pin an important/informative tweet to the top of your page.
Find your community and be aware of that community
Following other Twitter users is how you’ll essentially build your Twitter network. This is why you should follow with intentionality. Source out accounts that are similar to yours. This could be a fellow artist who makes music of the same genre, or even artists who are performing at a lineup that you’re also featuring on. If you have something in common with these types of accounts and/or artists, it usually means that their audience is more than likely made up of the kind of people you want to be targeting and putting your content in front of.
At a grassroots level, this is also a great opportunity to network, collaborate and take inspiration from other independent artists by observing how they’re using the platform themselves.
Make your tweets exciting
A unique thing about Twitter is the fact that you have to get your point across in 280 characters or less. It’s good to keep things short but understandable. Feel free and use all the characters Twitter has given you or even make threads where necessary. GiFs are good so use them. Let your personality shine!
Just like every other social media platform, fans want to follow an active account. It shows that you care enough about your fans to keep them updated on recent happenings. There are automation tools like Tweetdeck that help you stay consistent if things get too busy. Automation should however be done with care to preserve that personal touch. When in doubt about what to share, remember that the point of tweeting is to showcase your unique voice. Share little details about your day; maybe a song you’re loving or a random thought you had, a new music announcement, a poll, retweet a fan’s tweet or mention other artists and events in your circle.
Popular hashtags and Trending Topics
Although Twitter typically lists trends to follow, you would need to find the right hashtags to use and trends to follow. Trends are primarily determined by the Twitter algorithm, and by default, accommodated to you based on the accounts you follow, your interests, and your location. You could, however, adjust your Trends settings to particular trends and topics that may be relevant to you, the content you create, and the music you produce. It also increases your chance of interacting with your target audience and may help you boost your engagement and gain new followers.
Engage with fans and friends
Engaging with fans may be the most difficult part of maintaining a social media presence but it’s a solid way to connect organically. Whether it’s by following back, retweeting, or responding to a question, your chances of increasing your followers grow tremendously as you engage. Also, make sure your content is worth retweeting.
Optimize Twitter Lists
Twitter Lists allow you to further organize and customize the Tweets you see in your timeline. Viewing a List timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that List. You can join lists, or create lists of your own with accounts with similar interests or topics. It makes it easy to contact and engage with some of your favorite Twitter users in a semi-mass way. Lists can be public or private
Use hashtags efficiently
There are usually topics on the explore or ‘trending’ page. Tweeting about already trending topics means that users who are tracking a specific hashtag will be able to see your post, even if they don’t follow you. Remember that you are a brand, so focus on tweeting according to your interests. You must not share your opinion on every trending topic!
Track Your Progress
Twitter analytics is a great in-platform tool to actively see how your Twitter social media strategy is working (or not working). It gives a 28-day summary of insights along with specific tweet highlights. From the ‘Audience Insights’ and 'Tweets' page, you’ll be able to see a breakdown of your audience’s top interests, country, region, and demographics, and monitor your impressions, engagement rate, link clicks, retweets, likes & replies over a period of time. It’s something you should make part of your Twitter in-app marketing strategy in order to make decisions about the type of content your users want to see. In terms of gaining long-term success, analytics may be useful.
Popular Twitter Terms:
If you do decide to embark on this journey, there are some terms you would need to be familiar with:
Tweet: A Tweet (up to 280 characters) may contain photos, GIFs, videos, and text. As a verb, it is the act of sending a Tweet. Tweets get shown in Twitter timelines or are embedded in websites and blogs.
@: The @ sign is used to call out usernames in Tweets. For example 'Hello @username' People will use your @username to mention you in Tweets, send you a message, or link to your profile. Wondering what mention means?
Mention: Mentioning other users in your Tweet by including the @ sign followed directly by their username is called a “mention.” Also refers to Tweets in which your @username was included.
Retweet: As a noun, a Tweet that you forward to your followers is known as a Retweet. Often used to pass along news or other valuable discoveries on Twitter, Retweets always retain original attribution. As a verb, the act of sharing another account's Tweet with all of your followers by clicking or tapping on the Retweet button.
Thread: A series of connected Tweets from one person. You can provide additional context, an update, or an extended point by connecting multiple Tweets together.
Changes to Twitter since Elon Musk took over
If you're familiar with Twitter, it wouldn't be news to you that Elon Musk took control of Twitter in October 2022, and made some changes to the organization. Amongst the many changes he made, he made an official legal name change to X Corp and reduced staff by 80%. Other changes include:
Twitter Blue. Before the takeover, blue check marks were awarded to celebrities to prove their accounts were legit. Now, Twitter Blue is a paid subscription that offers additional features to the account. Blue checkmarks are available for pricing starting at $8 a month or $84 a year. Accounts that subscribe can edit and retract tweets, they see 50% fewer ads and can share longer tweets up to 10,000 characters. They are also able to choose features in the navigation bar, NFT profile pictures, prioritized rankings, two-factor authentication, and colorful themes for the app’s appearance.
Twitter feed views. Users can now select which tweets they want to see in their timeline: tweets recommended by Twitter or the latest tweets from people users follow.
Increase in controversy. Seems like Musk unbanned some accounts which were previously banned for controversial content including former U.S. President Donald Trump, rapper Ye (Kanye West), and influencer Andrew Tate, who is imprisoned in Romania for human trafficking charges. All these accounts were previously banned for controversial content.
Account identification and verification. Where blue checkmarks were previously used, there are now gold or silver checkmarks for public figures - they can keep their blue checkmarks if they subscribe to Twitter Blue.
Regardless of these changes, Twitter is still a widely used platform and a great tool for music promotion.
Note that while it’s great to use Twitter as a platform for promoting your music, excessive self-promotion could be damaging as they start to resemble spam. It's worthwhile to note that Twitter favours the bold. So whatever you do, do it with confidence, creativity, and style. To make your presence and brand stand out, you’ll need to study the platform and spend time forming your Twitter marketing strategy and finding your audience. Happy Tweeting!