So you want to be a rock superstar?
These days, overnight fame for musicians is more possible than ever. With the rapid speed of viral videos and the instant dissemination of information online, social media makes it easier than ever for talented people to reach audiences across the globe.
If you’re in a band, and you’re not engaging with social media, the likelihood of your success is slim. Twitter is one of the most important tools at your disposal, and can be an integral part of building your fan base and establishing a following. Here’s my step-by-step guide to getting your band “in” on Twitter. I hope my advice leads you to stardom.
Step One: Create an account. Okay – this is an obvious first step, but I want to clarify that your band’s account is different than your personal Twitter account. Remember that you’re trying to establish an online presence for your band, and in order to do so, you have to treat your band like an entity unto itself.
Step Two: Have a catchy profile bio. I’m talking about that two or three lines of italicized text that sits below your band’s name. As a Twitter user, once you set up your account, you have the opportunity to customize your bio, and this is your chance to summarize yourself for the online world. As a band, this your moment to textually convey your vibe. I follow Metric on Twitter, and they have one of the best bio’s I’ve ever seen: “We’re the prime of your youth.” It’s quick, it’s catchy, and it captures the band’s essence. Another great one is Dead Winter’s band bio: “Heavy metal, science fiction and chicken wings. Not exactly in that order.” This one is a little longer, but it does the trick. Since Dead Winter is a lesser known band, the bio both describes the type of music (heavy metal) but also adds a humorous flare at the end. One more example: Marina and the Diamonds. Though she’s not a band per-say, this singer/songwriter’s bio is worth mentioning: “Teen Idle.” Again, it’s flashy, it’s quick, and it rocks.
Step Three: Follow other musicians. Remember that Twitter is about fostering a network of like-minded individuals. When you follow other musicians and bands, you’re creating a nexus of similarly interested people. Aim for a mix of big-name bands and small, independent musicians. Remember that the well-known bands have ghostwriters updating their profiles, so these people are less likely to engage with you than local inde bands. Not only can you learn from this latter group, you can also cross-promote: if they retweet your updates and links, then suddenly, you’ve broadened your network!
Step Four: Tweet links to your music. Now that you’ve got a wicked profile and have established musically interested audience, direct them to spaces where they can listen to your work. If your band has clips on You-Tube, tweet links so that your Twitter friends and followers can hear you. Tweet links to your MySpcae or BandCamp page, and be sure to tweet any updates, including new music and tour dates.
Step Five: Compose interesting tweets. Just as it’s important for you to tweet links, it’s important that you don’t use Twitter solely for circulating your music. If you do, some users may get annoyed and delete you. Also, if Twitter notices that you’re only tweeting links, they can flag you’re account as spam, which leaves you nowhere. To avoid this, make sure you also throw in some creative tweets, like lines of lyrics that you’ve been working on, or commentary about your next show. Although your musically talented, you need to remember that Twitter is a visual medium, so you have to provide your audience with something legible. If you want people to listen to your band’s music, you must first make them care about your band, and you can do so by composing tweets that capture the flavor and personality of your sound.
See you in Hollywood!