One of the things that my Social Media Promotion For Musicians book tries to instill is that the rules are different for an artist from a normal user on any social platform. If you’re using it to promote yourself or your music, you have to take a different approach. Sometimes musicians get a bit carried away on Twitter though, and as a result get far less engagement than they could be getting if they just tweaked their strategy a bit. Here are the top 5 Twitter fails that I see.
1. Using Too Many Hashtags
It seems like if a couple of hashtags work, then more will work better, but things don’t actually go that way. Although you’ll see many people fill up their character count to the max with hashtags, it’s been shown that one or two is way more effective than anything more than that. Fewer hashtags makes things easier to read as well, which is a huge improvement when it comes to engagement. This is by far the biggest Twitter fail of all.
2. Using The Wrong Hashtags
Many users will try to use whatever hashtags are currently trending, and while that’s not a bad strategy in general, you have to make sure that whatever you use is appropriate. For instance, you wouldn’t want to use #newmusic or #newmusicfriday if your tweet wasn’t about new music that you’re releasing. By all means, do some research, but be sure that the hashtags connect with whatever the tweet is about.
3. Posting The Same Tweet Over And Over
Tweets have a very short shelf life, so you can be sure that the people who see a tweet in the morning probably won’t see the same one if it was reposted in the afternoon. This is something that I do myself with great success, but there’s a way to do it that’s effective.
The easiest thing to do is to change the hashtags for the second tweet. This will broaden the potential audience and is generally effective, but it’s not the best way. If you really want to do this well, rewrite the entire tweet so its different, yet says the same thing. For instance, the first tweet might say, “Check out our new release ‘Color The World’ now available on Spotify.” The second one could say, “Our new release ‘Color The World’ is now available on Spotify. Check it out and let us know what you think.” You’re saying the same thing, only differently. Even if a follower does see both, it’s much more acceptable and potentially could prompt an action, when just reposting the same thing won’t.
4. Posting Too Much
Studies vary on this a lot, but it’s generally been shown that 2 or 3 times per day is about the right tweet rate, although some studies say as much as 5. It’s okay to post more if the content changes a lot (like breaking news, or you’re posting from an event) as long as your followers are warned in advance that it’s going to happen. What most users really hate is a barrage of tweets from the same person that dominates their feed.
What’s not cool at any time is spamming, which is just posting something like “Listen to my new song” over and over. Not only is this not effective in getting people to actually do what you want, but it will even cause your audience to decrease as well. Yes, it’s true that many big brands might post 100 times a day, but each one is different. 100 times of the same thing will basically kill your account.
5. Stoking A Flame War
Social media can be harsh, and the more popular you become, the larger the target that swings around your social neck. Let’s face it, you’re going to get some hateful engagements that will be painful if you take them seriously. The very best way to handle this is to not engage at all, just let it pass. If you must reply, then just do so once and once only, and hopefully your fans will take up your cause from there.
I have a friend who went to comic school just to learn how to deal with hecklers so she could use that against online trolls. It’s been highly effective, and even fun for her, as she cuts them down to size then immediately blocks them. It’s almost become a sport for her.
You don’t have to go that far, but for your own peace of mind, avoid the trolls and avoid the flame wars as if they don’t exist. It’s better for your mental health, and your online health as well. Flame wars get in the way of your messaging, so they’re to be avoided at all costs.
If you stay away from this 5 Twitter fails, you’ll find that your messaging will become much more effective, you’ll spend less time at it, and you’ll feel better about yourself too. Who could ask for a better outcome.
You can read more from the Social Media For Musicians guidebook and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.