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Musicians and Twitter

June 4, 2009
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AUTHOR: AuthorAriel Hyatt | DateOctober 22, 2008 |

Musicians Twitter Roadmap

By Ariel Hyatt (@CyberPR) & Laura Fitton (@Pistachio)

[Note from Music Think Tank: This is a comprehensive post on Twitter.  If you are an artist and you have not heard about or used Twitter, you shuold read this post.]

It has been over 18 months since I joined the Twitter community and since I began to really use it something has shifted for me radically. Using Twitter has directly contributed to my life in meaningful ways.

I must admit that when I first saw it, I wanted to cry.  Why would anyone care about what it is I do?  As a still recovering traditional publicist I couldn’t really understand the benefit for my artists if I was using Twitter.  After all, it’s about my clients not about me. How wrong I was…. It turns out the social web isn’t directly about you, it’s about other people: The audience that you become engaged with, and how you interact with them and with them in mind magic can happen.

Some things that happened since I joined Twitter:

Kept Up With Old Friends
I can keep up with distant friends and feel engaged with their lives even though we don’t speak on a regular basis. I love that I can keep up-to-date with my best friend in Antwerp as you can send international Twitters without getting charged on your mobile.

Saved Precious Time
Because of all my Twitters go straight to my Facebook updates, and I only login to my Facebook twice a week.

Made Money
We recently began to work with a huge client, Wendy and Lisa because a friend of mine, Twittered, that he was meeting me in Los Angeles for coffee. Wendy and Lisa’s manager read his tweet, checked out my company and called my office within hours.

Met (and Continue to Meet) Interesting People
I met a slew of new artists, podcasters, and bloggers to add to the Cyber PR family.  These people are now active users of our system.

Speaking of which, I met someone I now call a friend because one evening she sent out a message asking if anyone had a place to stay in Brooklyn for an upcoming conference NYC Podcamp.  Since I had been following her and reading her blog for months, so I pinged her back and said please come and stay with me.

Indeed she did and the two of us had a wonderful connection and a great time at NYC Podcamp where we were both speaking.

Because Laura AKA Pistachio is now one of the most known personalities with over 7,000 followers she is officially part of the “Twitterati.”  Her activity on Twitter has led her to get an agent with ICM, and she is now writing a book.

I interviewed her to get her perspective on how you can use Twitter to grow your own fanbase and we discussed some practical things that musicians can do that will help get you on the Social Media court quickly, so that you feel like it’s making an impact…

Ariel:  Hi Laura. I love the way you talk about Twitter and how it’s radically shifted your life. How in the heck did you find Twitter? Can you tell the story?

Laura:  I found it in a fairly typical way, which was just that as I started my serious blogging in March and April 2007, it was definitely the talk of the town.  The blogaratti or whatever you’d like to call the particularly well-known bloggers in the social media space were all saying, “oh my God, this thing is great.”  None of them could really articulate why in a way that was particularly convincing.  But they talked about it enough that I went and I signed up and looked at it and I thought it was dumb.  Just like everybody.  It looked stupid.  Twitter is the dumbest thing you will ever see.  But the truth is it…  Now I sound like an evangelical crazy woman.  It has incredible power and it takes time to learn that.

What happened was that those first couple months I thought it was dumb.  I even blogged it was dumb.  Yes, the post is still up.  You can go read it and laugh.  Around May, I noticed a guy and he mentioned it very incidentally in a blog post and I clicked into his Twitter stream and it was full of really productive things he’d been doing.  He’d been taking mentoring meetings.  He’d been going to networking events.  He’d been doing a bunch of really smart things.  This is a 19-year-old kid out in Silicon Valley who’d already founded two companies.  He was kind of an inspiring person to watch anyway and this idea that you could watch little snippets from his life, as he felt inclined to unleash them made me realize that’s one of the oldest rules in the book of business success is surround yourself with successful people.

So I started following him and because of the way Twitter is set up, you just kind of wander around and find people.  It’s very much accepted that you would be reading someone’s Twitter who you don’t know.  So I wandered around who he was following, who he thought was motivating, and I picked up maybe a dozen, maybe twenty people to read.  They say follow on Twitter, but follow’s a little freaky.  I call it read.  Who were just doing and saying smart, interesting things. So, I really enjoyed watching the Twitter stream come by when I had time.

It’s a great work break.  It is easy to get drawn in and spend a little too much time there.  You do have to watch for that, because you’re going from being who you are your whole life to suddenly being surrounded by people who are really intellectually stimulating, who maybe have common interests with you that you didn’t know that many other people were into the thing you’re into before.  It’s a really refreshing, exciting experience.

Tweetup – Meeting people in Real Life
So what happened, four days after that blog post, a group in Boston got together in public and just said, okay, you know, if you’re following me on Twitter, you’re invited to come out for a beer.  Okay, that struck me as really bizarre.  But I went.  As a young mom, two kids under two.  I did not need big excuses to get out of the house.  We were all meeting at a public place so it wasn’t particularly worrisome.  These turned out to be some of the real rock stars of social media.  Scott Monty’s gone on to head up social media for all of Ford worldwide.  Steve Garfield, who’s one of the first video bloggers ever and has been in Time Magazine and Brian Person, who’s just the heart and soul of Twitter for many of us.  We had a great time and that really cemented it.

Fast forward about four months.  People started to really start following me out of nowhere and I wasn’t sure why because I really wasn’t trying to build an audience or pursue an audience.  But from the New Media & Podcasting Expo…  I think I had somewhere between 300 and 600 followers then.  Now I’m starting to approach 7,000 already.  It’s really kind of crazy.

Ariel: What Can Musicians Learn?

Laura: The opportunity for musicians is huge.  If an ordinary person like me can suddenly get an audience and a micro, micro, mini celebrity kind of thing going on, someone with a bona fide audience and something to constantly give their audience, like their music, and relationships to build and peaks into their lives, can really build something substantial using Twitter.

The other thing to remember is you’re not just sharing text and it’s not even just text and links.  Through those links you can share audio, you can share photographs, you can share video, you can share live video streaming off a cell phone that you carry with you.  Imagine that.  You’re backstage at a gig warming up and you suddenly give your fans a little sneak preview into what that looks like.

Twitter = Free Portable Marketing
Laura: The type of content you can offer your fans for essentially free, because it’s just the time you take to put into it…  And from a mobile base, because I think if you’re on tour, musicians, actors, and executives all fit this profile of probably having some kind of mobile phone with them and being constantly in motion.  So it’s very hard for someone like that to sit down and blog or really spend a lot of time in front of a computer trying to share content.  Being able to do it through your mobile is really powerful and cool.

How Twitter Changed Laura’s Life
It’s been absolutely surreal. I’ve been in a lot of newspapers (The New York Times).  I’ve been in some magazines.  I’ve had a lot of professional opportunities come my way. Marketing and business guru, Seth Godin, in his new book Tribes mentions the effect of what I’ve done with Twitter and what’s happened to me and the kind of business outcomes that have come from it.

It’s been absolutely surreal.  I’m being followed now by a childhood friend It’s so funny because he knows me from “real” life. Now he’s sort of stumbling into my work life.  Last time I mentioned to him that I was included in Seth Godin’s new book, he said, “oh, you really ought to write a book or something, ha, ha, ha.”  I said, “oh, yeah, no, actually I have an agent with ICM, I am writing a book.”  He’s like, “really?” So, even my friends kind of don’t understand what’s happened and I’m really still coming to terms with it…

Read full post at: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/twitter-is-radically-changing-the-way-musicians-are-building.html

Originally found at: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/twitter-is-radically-changing-the-way-musicians-are-building.html

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