My band got the attention of a music blogger from Twitter. My band has no music yet, but the blogger wanted to catch my band’s first show. Unfortunately, a snow storm hit, so he couldn’t make it. But he still wants to catch one of our shows. I’m writing this to show you how using social media in the right way will be way more rewarding than the crap I see most bands doing.
First, follow mp3 blogs, local newspapers, and local media on Twitter.
Put them on to a specific list so I can see all their tweets without being distracted by Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Fallon tweets. I try to find very local media: the closer to home and where I’ll be playing shows, the better.
Second, try to follow the person rather than the organization.
If it’s a weekly newspaper, look up the music journalists’ names and find them on Twitter. Instead of following the radio station you want to be on, follow the individual DJs.
I casually did this for one DJ that hosts a weekly, local band series on the radio. I re-tweeted her show announcement. I replied to a tweet or two, being light-hearted and funny. Then she posted something about one of her followers wanting a prize. So I offered that follower a free t-shirt of my band. The DJ retweeted me to all of her followers. And the person sent me their address so I can mail them a shirt…in a city that I want to play soon. How cool is that?
Third, when the gatekeepers post something relevant, retweet their posts.
When I retweet, I try to spread the retweets out throughout the day instead of in a row. If someone sees you retweeting a million posts in a row, they tend to ignore you. Also, if you are filling up your Twitter stream with a ton of posts per minute, people will unfollow you. So don’t go buck wild re-tweeting everything in existence all at once! Only re-tweet what is relevant to your music that you think your fans would like.
Fourth, don’t promote yourself to the media list.
That’s a bad way to get attention. If they are interested in you, they will follow the link in your profile to learn more about you. They will read your tweets for relevant information. Spamming them to follow you, listen to your music, or to write about your shows just sucks. It’s what Seth Godin refers to as “interruption marketing“. It’s the same thing as irritating commercials during your favorite show. Or getting email about erectile dysfunctions. Nobody wants it.
Fifth, join their conversation and talk casually.
I’ve just started reading Likeable Social Media, and the book really drove home how to use social media properly within the first few pages. Instead of hoping people will follow you and join your conversation, engage in already existing conversations. When a media outlet posts something entertaining that I can contribute to, I reply to their tweet and start a conversation going.
That’s it! Don’t spam, don’t self-promote. DO talk, DO promote others. Not only does it work wonders, using social media properly is more fulfilling and meaningful. The relationships you form have depth. You’re not barking out to a world that isn’t listening, you are talking with someone, one on one, who actually wants to talk back to you.
Here’s my only mistake. Well, not really a mistake as much as I wish I was more prepared. The music blogger wanted to hear my band’s music, but we don’t have anything decent recorded yet. Nothing I can showcase to him. Still, he’s coming to my show, so I did something right! And I made sure that both he and a friend are on my guest list to the show. I’m going to treat this guy like gold!
I wanted to share this with you to show that these principles do work. They are not marketing fluff. They may not work overnight, though. It takes work finding your own voice and finding those that want to have that conversation with you. But, just because it doesn’t work immediately does not mean you should stop.
What I’m sharing with you in this post is something I really wish I understood with my last band. If I applied these techniques for six years straight with my old band, we would have had much greater success and would have been happier as a band.
Of course, don’t just apply these tips to music gatekeepers, apply them to everyone in your Twitter feed! Find someone talking about something you can create a conversation with. Create a friendship. You don’t have to spend hours on this, either. Just find a couple of people a day and talk to them.
The worse that could happen is they don’t reply to you and un-follow you. The best that can happen is you can build a network of fans and media that will support you.
Happy Tweeting, my friends! Don’t lose hope. Just be patient and consistent.
(Update: Thanks to Mart Anthony for pointing out that I only had 5 tips instead of 6!)
Disclaimer: The link to Likeable Social Media is an affiliate link. If you purchase anything from Amazon on that link, I get a percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. But it helps me pay for hosting costs, so thank you!!! Much appreciated!