3 Twitter Mistakes Musicians Make

3 Twitter Mistakes Musicians Make

3 Twitter Mistakes Musicians MakeA guest post by Kim Brittingham


Before we begin, let me say that this blog post isn’t intended to embarrass anyone.


True, I’m about to tell thousands of musicians what they’ve been doing WRONG on Twitter – and hopefully that includes you. (I say “hopefully” because if you’re reading this, then you’re on your way to doing Twitter better and finally getting the results you want.)


But as far as embarrassment goes, listen: we aren’t born understanding how to exploit Twitter wisely.  It’s a learned skill, like drumming or sailing or making the perfect beignet.


So here’s my goal for today: In the few minutes you invest in reading this blog post, I want to teach you three specific things to avoid doing on Twitter, which will improve your Twitter efforts immediately.


The alternative?  Continue spending months of klutzy trial-and-error on Twitter, doing things that get you nowhere.


So, are you game?  Good.  Let’s go.  Please stop doing these things:


1. Tweeting Links Without Text.  Think about this a second.  When you’re using Twitter and scanning a stream of tweets, some tweets will catch your eye, and some…well, your eye just skips over them.  Right?

In fact, if I were to ask you, “What kind of tweets does your eye skip over?” you might not even be able to tell me.  Because you’re skipping them, and quite possibly, your brain’s not registering those tweets at all.


Tweets that contain nothing but a link are utterly skippable.  They don’t tell you anything.  See, like this link:




Does that excite you?  Does it make you want to click through?  No.  Because you have no idea what’s on the other end of that URL.  For all you know, it could be a link to a tall guys’ online clothing store, and you’re 3’3”.  And with so many tweets to look at on Twitter, why would anyone waste their time clicking through a link that means nothing?


Yes, links are great for sharing.  But when sharing on Twitter, be sure to add some text that gets the attention to the type of person you’re posting it for.  For example:


10 Awesome Guitars on eBay This Week: http://tinyurl.com/cse25ec


Now, guitar enthusiasts might see it and click through, because they’re curious.  They might even retweet it to all of their followers.  The bottom line is, this tweet is now less likely to be ignored.


2. Automatically Cross-Posting from Other Platforms.  Services exist that automatically post your content to multiple platforms.  For example, such a service might grab all your messages from Facebook and automatically cross-post them to your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.


This might seem like a great idea at first, saving you the trouble of logging in to all these separate platforms and retyping the same message.  But Twitter is unique in that all messages are limited to 140 characters.  You don’t have as much room to ramble as you do in other places, like Facebook.  So sometimes, the message you’ve written for Facebook will not translate well to Twitter.  This is something I see every day – messages that trail off before making their key point, because they were written for another platform.  Here’s an example:


In the great big wide world, there are gazillions of different ways to look

around for various things to hel… http://tinyurl.com/cse25ec


Does that sentence fragment mean anything to you?  Probably not.  And it probably doesn’t inspire you to click on the link, either.


Maybe on Facebook the full message is visible, and maybe it reads, “In the great big wide world, there are gazillions of different ways to look around for various things to help with your psoriasis.  Here’s an article I wrote about finding reliable information on psoriasis and its treatments.”


OK, so it’s an unnecessarily wordy message no matter what platform it’s on.  But at least on Facebook you’d see the whole thing, and you’d understand what the heck the person’s talking about: psoriasis.


But when the message is automatically cross-posted to Twitter, it loses a lot.


That’s one reason it’s often a good idea to skip the auto-posting and individually tailor your message to the platform it’s being published on.  Returning to our example, this person would probably get better results on Twitter by writing:


Got psoriasis? Read my article on finding reliable treatment info: http://tinyurl.com/cse25ec


Works better than a trailing sentence fragment that doesn’t even mention psoriasis, right?


3. Tweeting Incessantly About Yourself.   You set up a Twitter account for your band.  It makes sense that you’d tweet about your band.  After all, isn’t that the point?  But then someone like me comes along and tells you not to tweet too much about yourself.  Huh?


Look back over the last twenty tweets you sent.  How many of them are essentially an advertisement for you or your band?  Do most (if not all) of them tell your followers to listen to your music, download your music, vote for you, read your blog, visit your website, or come to your show?  If the answer is “yes”, there’s a good chance you’re ticking people off.


Even your die-hard fans get sick of hearing you talk about yourself all the time.  Try breaking things up by tweeting about something else once in a while.  There is no magic formula for the perfect percentage of self-serving tweets versus other tweets, but try for at least 50/50 to start, and then watch what happens.  If your followers seem to respond positively to you sharing other information, do more of it.


What else can you tweet about?  Think about your fans and what else they enjoy besides your music.  You can share jokes, links to news articles, links to your favorite music, news about local events, and more.


And keep this in mind, too: Even when you tweet about something that’s not directly related to you or your product, you’re still promoting yourself.  If you share a hilarious joke that gets a lot of laughs, your followers are making the connection between feeling good and your brand.  If you share a bit of helpful information, you’re giving your fans a chance to think, “Hey, thanks man!” and they’re thinking it about you.


So there you have it.  Three small corrections you can make to get more mileage from Twitter right now.  Now rock on!


Kim Brittingham

Kim Brittingham is an in-demand writer, social media and blog steward. She’s also the author of two books: Write That Memoir Right Now (2013, AudioGo) and Read My Hips (2011, Random House). Visit her website/blog at www.KimWrites.com.


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