Ten tips for marketing your music on Twitter

Twitter is huge, and it's only going to get bigger. So learn how to get yourself seen and heard.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 11 Sep 2012
  • min read
Reporting an active user base of 14 million and counting, and with more than 340 million tweets sent per day, Twitter is a powerful marketing tool with huge potential reach. The best part of all: it's free and you probably already have everything you need to get started.

Music is the most talked about subject on Twitter, and all you need to participate in the conversation is either a computer, tablet or smartphone. Twitter has a brilliant guide for musicians and artists but here are our own top 10 tips for marketing your music on Twitter.

  1. Put your Twitter username or URL on your website/bandcamp/myspace/business card - anywhere you can. Better yet, where you can, embed your Twitter feed into your blog or website. You won't get any followers if people don't know you're out there tweeting.

  2. Watch out for this common mistake - if the first word of your tweet is the username of another user i.e. '@DizzeeRascal and me worked on a collaborative track', you should put a full stop before the '@' symbol. Otherwise, only mutual followers for both you and, in this example Dizzee Rascal, will see you tweet. Consider revising sentences to avoid making the mistake, for example, 'I have been working with @DizzeeRascal on a collaboration, look out for it soon!'.

  3. Give your fans a sense of engagement by sharing the love. Simply retweeting your fans' messages and thanking them for coming to your shows will make them feel that much more engaged with you. Imagine how you would feel if your favourite artists tweeted you!

  4. Twitter isn't called a social network for nothing. Twitter gives you an open platform to approach people you may not otherwise be able to talk to. Have a new EP coming out and want some coverage? Why not approach prolific bloggers and ask them if they might like to review it? The same goes for record label A&Rs. Get networking!

  5. Promote, promote, promote. Have a gig coming up soon? Tell the world! What's more, why not mention (by using their username with @ symbol i.e. @PRSforMusic) bloggers, journalists etc that might be interested in coming? You could even give away free tickets which ties into our next point...

  6. Consider running a competition. Competitions are a great way to generate buzz and hype around a concert or the release of an album. Fans will feel rewarded for following you too, as you are giving something away to your loyal fans. A typical way of running competitions on Twitter is the good old 'follow and retweet to enter' method: to qualify for entry, people must both be following you and retweeting your message, amplifying the tweet's message each time someone retweets it to all of their own followers. Using a hashtag like #AlbumGiveaway allows you to track the tweet and collate all of the retweets in one place so you can pick a winner(s) at random.

  7. Keep it fresh. If you are going to get started on Twitter, make sure you keep it up to date. Nothing looks worse than having a Twitter feed that is barely updated; it looks like you're not really interested and/or have nothing interesting to say. Free tools like Hootsuite can help you schedule tweets to post automatically, so you can be broadcasting updates even when your catching some ZZZs on the tour bus home.

  8. Ask questions. Give fans the opportunity to converse directly with you. Why not host an AMA (Ask Me Anything), where fans can pitch questions to you using a hashtag?

  9. Follow Friday is your new best friend. Follow Fridays (or #ff) is a hashtag used by Twitter users on Fridays to recommend their favourite Twitter users for their friends to follow. Take part in it yourself and there's a good chance people will return the favour, winning you those all important followers.

  10. Most importantly, Twitter is not just about selling your music, believe it or not. Aim to give value back to your followers. They don't just want the hard sell. Try to be interesting and funny. Let them know what you have been working on by posting photos and videos. But most of all, be yourself.

Here are a few PRS for Music members that we think have got the right idea when it comes to Twitter:

@Summercampband - Summer Camp heavily involve their followers, using their Twitter to invite fans to star in music videos, sharing photos from their Tumblr blog and keeping fans updated as they tour the world.

@Ghostpoet - Ghostpoet started a hashtag a few months ago entitled #BringBackLateOfThePier. Late of The Pier disbanded shortly after their 2008 album Fantasy Black Channel, leaving fans with a hole in their musical lives. Ghostpoet, a fan himself, invited other fans to reminisce, posting their favourite lyrics and memories from shows using the hashtag.

@Jessie_Ware - Jessie just released her debut album Devotion. She let her fans know well in advance where they could get signed copies, posts funny pictures (she isn't afraid to laugh at herself as this picture proves) and retweets funny messages from fans:

Words: Shaun Mooney