While Facebook is great for turning friends into fans (and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends…), finding fans outside that network can be difficult. On the other hand, Twitter and its hashtag feature allow you to find and connect with complete strangers around the world with similar interests—be it musical style, television shows, politics, or food photography.
So how do you use Twitter to find more fans and market your events? Here are a few ideas:
Follow To Be Followed
There are thousands of musicians on Twitter. Follow established bands in your genre and look at their followers; then follow them, too. You can search for specific bands that you believe you sound similar to or for venues in your area. You can also search others’ tweets for keywords (like “folk punk”) to find people most likely to become your fans. Follow only those accounts that are active and relevant to your act.
Post your thoughts or what you’re doing, announce upcoming releases, share posters for your next gig, link to your blog posts, favorite tweets you find particularly amusing, reply to mentions, and re-tweet shout-outs from fans. Be sure to read others’ tweets, especially those of your fans and fellow musicians, and reply to some. Remember that you’re connecting with fans, not just talking to them.
Contests and free give-always are a great way to encourage your followers to interact with you or share your tweets. Offer a free piece of merchandise to anyone who can come up with the most creative way to use your band’s name in a sentence, for example. Crowdsource your followers for your new album artwork. Or, when someone shares your tweets, videos, or music with their followers, thank them with a mention and a free download code.
Plan An After Party
Shows can be a dime a dozen, and making yours stand out can be hard. However, as many musicians on Twitter have already discovered, planning an exclusive after party during which your band will perform is a sure way to get the crowds talking. Tweet a time and place, then wait for the party to begin.
Tweet on the Go
Because of it’s 140-character limit, Twitter is an ideal on-the-go social media platform. Tweet on the way to a gig or between sets, or snap and share a pic from the stage. Remember to mention fans and venues, too.
These steps can help you create and maintain a dedicated fan base. Remember, sometimes, the best way to a fan’s heart is not a perfect ballad—sometimes it’s a witty tweet.
Do you use Twitter to connect with fans and market your music? How did you build and maintain your fan base?
See also: Music and Social Media: Promoting Your Act, Music and Social Media: Facebook, Music and Social Media: MySpace, Music and Social Media: YouTube, Music and Social Media: Instagram, Music and Social Media: Google+, and Music and Social Media: LinkedIn.