You can go to another page on this site and see that Taylor Swift has over 7 million twitter followers. I have answered a few of her tweets but alas, have not heard directly back from her.
That is the downside of Twitter—it is most often a one way communication. Except for Blake Shelton, who apparently puts down his beer to tweet back unless he’s mastered one hand texting. As an aside for Blake: don’t drink and drive and don’t text and drive. Get Blake a driver.
I like Twitter. I don’t really use it too much because even I don’t care what I am doing 24/7. I can’t expect many others care. And when you have nothing to tweet for a couple of days does that make you look pathetic? Now you see what I do in my free time.
That said, Twitter is a cool marketing tool for Country Music acts because we know that there is no more loyal group of fans than Country Music fans. If Taylor can tweet that she enjoyed Minneapolis and that the crowd was responsive I can see her fans wishing they were there to see the show.
If Blake tweets that he had to step off stage to pee, I can see his fans, well maybe they wouldn’t exactly want to be there, but they become engaged in his irreverence.
I have spoken to Scott Borchetta about this a couple of times and I know that he works closely with his acts to stay engaged in blogs and tweets. Scott is one of the best marketers in our genre and he gets it as well as anyone. He also knows that Twitter is only one way to market. And that is my point today.
Earlier this year I read an article by an Erica Swallow (I am so glad that this is not being tweeted to Blake) on Mashable. Erica used examples of successful tweets so I went back and looked at those and then some of the artist sites.
What many artists miss are the opportunities to use their fans as viral marketers. If I follow an artist I would be included in the tweets, but I am always looking for a way to pay off the listener. On the radio side we talk about a promotion benefiting the sponsor, the listener, and the station. Two out of three is not good enough.
What do your artists do to pay off the listener? A contest for a free download a day? How about a personal phone call to one of your followers each week? A promotion to win a pair of tickets when you’re in their market? This is the kind of stuff that will encourage tweet-chatters to share tweets and hashtags in their personal social network.
Not only will this help you build your followers but build the kind of additional loyalty that help you sell an extra 10,000 downloads over the life of a CD.
Now, you cannot live on Twitter alone. Facebook still is the big gun for your acts but one of the things that I like about Twitter over Facebook is the longer life span of a tweet and the apparent immediacy that Twitter brings. Because Twitter has become so associated with breaking news it appears to be more “important” and not so much a social gathering spot like Facebook.
So how does all of this tie Radio and your Artists together? I know that many radio stations follow acts and forward tweets about those acts to their followers but how about making sure that you’re not missing these opportunities? Why not take the initiative away from the radio programmer and guarantee that your activities are being sent to the right people?
Do radio stations have a list of hashtags of their acts anywhere on their websites? This is the kind of stuff that the Country Music listeners expect from the music and their stations. Make their life easier and yours more accessible. If you think that following someone is as easy as stumbling across them on Twitter you’re wrong. Everyone needs to reach out.
Remember that this has to benefit all three elements. Radio, Artist and the Listener.