“Why Twitter is a Musicians Best Friend”
By Dexter Patterson
I don’t know about you but I have never taken Twitter very serious. To be honest, I thought Twitter was all hype because I couldn’t see the value in it. I could tweet until I turned blue in the face and still see no results. All I wanted was more followers but once again that little blue bird failed to deliver.
I was ready to give up on Twitter until my professor assigned a book The Tao of Twitter by Mark W. Schaefer for a recent assignment. The Tao of Twitter, is the #1 selling book on Twitter in the world and I had no clue it even existed. I must admit I went into this book extremely skeptical because I had pretty much given up on Twitter. I had come to the conclusion that Twitter probably only worked for famous people. Boy was I wrong! Reading Mark’s book has truly changed my life. If it weren’t for the Tao, I would be just another uneducated and extremely frustrated Twitter user. For years, I tried marketing my brand to the masses on Twitter. I have had my fair share of success but I must admit my approach wasn’t very efficient. Not only was I failing to stay in contact with my loyal fans but I started to lose sight of my target audience. This is when I had my “a-ha moment.”
It’s time for a new approach.
After reading Mark’s book, I challenged myself to take things to the next level. I no longer viewed Twitter as a burden but as a potential resource to grow as an artist and businessman. I now realize Twitter has an endless supply of information and it is full of incredible opportunities. I now spend my time on Twitter following industry leaders and learning as much as I can from them to better myself.
One of the core principles of The Tao of Twitter is developing a targeted audience. I know this sounds simple right? But 9 out of 10 artists fail to do this properly. We assume because we can get a few Facebook likes that everyone likes us. We assume we are marketing our music to our fans but how much do we really know about these so-called fans? As musicians, its imperative that we start to market ourselves to people who actually like us. My professor at UW-Madison Don Stanley said; “Remember we all start at zero”, but if you work hard you will not stay at zero forever.
As artists, we need to try to have a little more patience. Don’t ever let your want for more fans impact the way you view the fans you currently have. Why are your current fans so important? According to Mark Schaefer, “No amount of work, time, or dedication to marketing and social media networking will work if you haven’t surrounded yourself with people who might be interested in you and what you have to say.” How can you find these dedicated fans? According to Mark Schaefer, you have to provide them with “meaningful content” that is worthy of their attention. Your content is what will establish your value on the social web.
We also need to stop wasting our time connecting with everyone. Focus on connecting with people who offer something positive to your growth as an artist and business professional. The Tao of Twitter suggests we should seek out connections with the thought leaders in our industry. “Remember that it’s not essential for somebody to follow you for you to realize some business benefits. Twitter is a great learning tool; so, if a celebrity, author, industry leader, or professor doesn’t follow you back, relax and just enjoy the information they provide”, said Schaefer. Remember it’s not always about you.
Sharing is caring…Yes even for Musicians!
We really have to check our egos online and realize that it’s in our best interest to support others. Not only does this show you genuinely care but also it can create opportunities for you to collaborate with other artists. In addition, collaborations are great because they can help you gain new ears for your music, and new ears can lead to new fans. We are always so worried about ourselves that sometimes we forget to engage in the social part of social media. Just keep it real! “You can’t fake authenticity”, said Schaefer.
We can’t be afraid to give our fans more of us in our marketing efforts. Fans will always support someone more if they feel a real human connection with that individual. As an artist, don’t ever be afraid to show people who you really are. Mr. Schaefer did a guest lecture in our class and he said; “When you write from your own perspective, you have no competition.” Remember we all have the power to be an original!
In the end, put in the work and be patient.
It’s sad because as artists we are constantly comparing ourselves to the success of others. We are always beating ourselves up if we don’t have instant success. Social media marketing is hard work. We need to start focusing on the quality of our music and be more creative with the way we market our content to the public. We need to establish our voice and make it heard on a regular basis. Remember social media is alive and to reap the benefits of it you must live it. Continue to network with people who make you better because we all need to be pushed in order to reach our full potential.
This post was inspired by my recent coursework at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I want to send a special shout out to my professor Don Stanley (@3rhinomedia). I also highly recommend that you grab a copy of Mark’s book if you want to take your social media marketing to the next level. You can buy The Tao of Twitter on Amazon today!!
Peace and Progress