Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

News, notes and ideas on music marketing, self-promotion, artist empowerment and more

May 13, 2008

Twitter: I Get It Now (and So Should You)

About a year ago I started a Twitter account. After poking around on it for a few months, last summer I published a blog post called "Smart Ways to Use Twitter for Music." I thought I got it. But I didn't ... until this past Saturday night.
You see, I didn't really enjoy much of what I read on Twitter. Quick posts like "Running late to catch a plane" or "The cat just threw up in my shoe" didn't intrigue me all that much. So I opted to take a practical approach: I used Twitter to link to my most recent blog posts, podcasts and video clips, to announce events, etc.

Nothing wrong with that. But I got distracted and didn't post very often (which is like being invisible compared to the active Twitterers who post something every hour or so). In fact, until this past weekend, my last Twitter post was from February. Why bother?

Then Saturday night Pooki and I had dinner with our friends Helena Bouchez, Jason Feehan and Randy Chertkow. (Jason and Randy are authors of the forthcoming book "Indie Band Survival Guide.") They opened my eyes to a new way of looking at Twitter.

Don't get me wrong, I still tire quickly of the quick mundane posts many people try to pass off as interesting details. But I began to look at it in a different way.

For one thing, most of the lame cat vomit posts I detested were from people I barely knew. But when I took a fresh look at Twitter and examined the tweets of people I knew and liked, I found myself saying things like, "Oh wow, Ariel's in Argentina" or "I didn't know Jason was thinking of moving to San Diego."

I was engaged in a way I hadn't been before. And as our friends explained to me Saturday, there's a sweet spot between being practical with your tweets (and in the extreme, over promoting) and simply dishing out useless personal drivel.

The really good Twitterers find that balance between business strategy and personal revelation. If you like and follow a certain artist or author or even the CEO of a cool company, you may want to know the person's take on business -- but you can form an even stronger bond when you get to know the person.

So, I'm going to take a stab at tweeting more often. I invite you to follow me. And I encourage you to start your own Twitter account. It's quick and easy.

Here's another cool thing: If you've been thinking about blogging but can't muster up the strength to write full paragraphs on a regular basis, Twitter is for you. Anyone can come up with 140 characters (one short sentence) without blinking.

Encourage your fans to follow you. Embed a Twitter widget on your site so non-Twitterers can track your activities. It's fun, it's addictive ... and it just might endear you to more fans.

Gotta run. I just found cat vomit in my shoe. And I don't even own a cat!


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posted by Bob Baker @ 8:01 PM   3 comments


At May 14, 2008 1:04:00 AM, Blogger Erin Ivey said...

hey, bob! you make a great point that balance between personal and promotional comments is crucial.

promotion is all about exposure and twitter gives artists and fans yet another way to connect (on an ironically more personal level). it's easy to learn and updating becomes second-nature fast. definitely worth it to give fans more insight and have your name/thoughts/promo in front of them that many more times.

erin ivey

At May 14, 2008 3:23:00 AM, Blogger James said...

Great thoughts on twitter here. I think everyone using the service should think twice about what type of messages they post, refining your comments make them much more interesting.

The twitter client 'Twhirl' is also great for keeping tabs on all of your twitter activity.

At May 14, 2008 1:57:00 PM, Anonymous stinson said...

Hey Bob-

Twitter has possibly been the best social media site I have gotten involved in. To me it seems so much more interactive than many of the others, which is ironic b/c it's so simple. Since signing up for an account I have been able to connect on a very personal level with several other music industry professionals in my town (Nashville).

I love Twitter for two main reasons: a) it's so simple b) for what people have been referring to as "microblogging." I only post on Mondays on my personal blog. Via Twitter I can make short, quick comments throughout the week. This way I don't have to wait until Monday to "blog" about something, running the risk of a topic being irrelevant by that time.

Glad you are on Twitter and FYI I am one of your followers.

@james Twhirl is great, isn't it? I've also been using the TwitterFox add-on for Firefox. Have you tried that?


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