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Last week, I wrote on why everyone in the music industry should try Twitter, and apparently some people have taken it seriously 😉 since I did get a lot of new followers from within the music business; many of them first-timers. Great! But now that you are tweeting (geek talk for sending messages) – what do you actually do there? In my newly championed short-is-better style, here is what to do with Twitter and what to tweet about if you are in the music business:

Make sure you use a nice profile icon (i.e. your image) on your Twitter page, and that your info-box provides some short reasons (and one good link) why people should follow you. If you can, design your page background to be distinctly ‘you’

To be able to tweet very quickly use the Tweetdeck software or just install the really cool ShareThis extension in your Firefox or IE browser. I post 10-30 times per day but spend very little time on the process, using these tools (I focus more on the actual conversations)

Follow other twitter users that are in the music industry, or in related fields. To find good people (pick your follows carefully!), try Twitterholic, twellow, twitter search, or AllTop or Tweet Directories

Answer the direct messages and pings that you will get from people that follow you. This is crucial to get a real networking situation going. Again, Tweetdeck is best for this.

Remember: it’s all about LINKS. You must have blogs, myspace sites, photos or videos to link to -otherwise there is no point in tweeting. Always have a link in each post, and make it specific, too (i.e. not just the homepage). Note: if you don’t yet have a lot of content to link to, you need to make sure it’ll be forthcoming shortly – otherwise there is no point in tweeting. Tweets are teasers for something larger!

  • Make your tweets timely, succinct, unique and relevant. Tweet about stuff that happened today, or yesterday (or tomorrow, as in my case) but not about that great track from 1963 (exceptions may apply). Better to tweet ‘new track from xyz made me crash my Vespa’ than to use some pre-made PR message!
  • Most importantly, your tweets must contain strong content (yes… content and context = kings!) otherwise you will not get people to pay any attention to you. Refrain from too much marketing hype, canned stuff, self-promotion and boasting (‘hottest band ever… signed to our label’ etc). Instead:
  • Tweet about personal and direct stuff: how you found this new writer, why his latest video is unique, why you like the soundtrack of XYZ movie etc. Short message + concise content + link; 3-5 times per day.
  • Tweet about the hairy and current music business issues, and dish up the bottom lines; be frank, such as “really hate / love it when my music shows up on youtube and nobody really knows how I get paid”
  • Tweet with links to unique content such as ‘music by xyz artist on our label was used in xyz youtube movie, see [link]’
  • Always give people links to relevant, deeper content such as ‘great motown techno crossover at [link]last.fm, blip.fm etc – don’t send people off into another general direction
  • Offer special deals and real value to your followers – but don’t pitch. Just talk about it. Things like free tracks (with promo-codes), backstage passes, video downloads, PDFs (EPKs!!), photos etc. If you have a new writer you just signed to a publishing deal, put up his demos somewhere and offer access to anyone that pings you via Twitter.
  • Create CONTEXT. If you want to place your track in a movie, tweet something like ‘seriously romantic italian folk song available for your new film [link]’ – but always keep in mind that a tweet that goes nowhere (i.e. no or bad content) is a bad thing!

Part 2 to follow shortly. Contact me via Twitter if you need help or have feedback. Thanks.

iPhone users: try Twitterfon – my fav Twitter app on the iPhone.

Related stuff: Guardian Twitter Guide About.com on Music+Twitter Website Mag Twitter Tips

Image via Geek & Poke

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