Pistachio Consulting and publicist extraordinaire Ariel Hyatt (CyberPR) have come up with a number of guidelines for musicians who want to maximize their exposure for free by using Twitter. Here’s what they came up with (let us know what you think!):
1. Surround Yourself with Successful People
One of the oldest rules in the book of business success is to surround yourself with successful people. Find someone inspiring to watch and enjoy the little snippets of their life that they share.
2. Join or Organize a Tweetup. Get out there and Network
Invite people to come out for a drink or to watch a show. Any meeting in a public place provides an opportunity to meet and network with potential fans. Famous already? Do this the way you might do an in-store or other more controlled public appearance
The really major friendships and business relationships that have come to me have been a lasagna of different layers building on each other: connecting online, connecting in person, hanging out online, seeing each other at another event… it builds up to some very powerful, loyal connections.
3. Use Twitter to Share Audio and Video Links
Twitter is primarily text based, but that doesn’t mean you can only share text. Use Twitter to share links to other material, including photos, audio files, and video clips. You can even share a live video stream that you can deliver using nothing more than a cellphone using technologies like Qik.com or Flixwagon. Imagine letting fans watch (and then later embed on their own web pages) an impromptu jam on the tour bus. Your authenticity – and access that YOU get to control – is very enticing.
4. Use Twitter to give your fans a Sneak Peek
Speaking of which, imagine being backstage at a gig warming up and letting fans experience the sound check without any hassle or cost on your part. Again, that mobile video cellphone, or webcam live streaming, or even just links to audio, Twitpic.com put your fans there.
That type of content can make fans feel connected and it costs almost nothing to make available. It also lets you take back a fair share of the “Papparazzi economy.” Good money is made exploiting stars’ privacy. Go straight to your fans instead and use the content the way YOU want to.
5. Take Twitter on the Road with You
It’s hard to sit down and compose a blogpost when you’re on the road on tour. With a phone in your hand, it’s easy to share snippets as the mood strikes. And since it’s Twitter, people don’t expect well-thought out, composed and polished updates. They just expect you to be genuine.
6. Twitter is powerful because it’s not in-your-face
Don’t try too hard. Don’t be pushy. Just be authentic. Talk about stuff that you would remark on out of the power of your own heart. All the soulful things about musicians are the very same things that will make you successful on Twitter.
People want personality; they want authenticity; they want a genuine look at the person behind the music. You’re not dealing with the paparazzi coming in and invading. You’re saying, “I want to share something personal, and I’m going to let it get out there in a way that is totally on my terms and in a way that benefits by business as a musician financially.”
7. Don’t push; Pull instead
Get people involved in your life, in your artistic ideas and expressions. Share a photo and say, “this is where I write most of my songs.” You can get people excited and involved by letting them know when you have a new album, when you do a signing party, when you have a tour going… don’t send tweet after tweet saying “buy my album, buy my album,” because you won’t get an audience that way.
People can get a real sense of what you’re like just from reading 4 pages of tweets. It always astonishes me how well I know someone by the time I meet them, just fro those little offhand remarks.
BONUS: Be creative.
Creativity is what you do for a living, right? Try using your name, a song, album or venue to “tag” your tweet by putting a # in front of the word, especially when you ask a question. Instant communities have formed on Twitter by sharing a tag in common. Searching http://search.twitter.com for your tag (see hypothetical for The Beeristas: #Hartfordshow) lets everyone follow the conversation.