The other day, I posted a link about starting to use Twitter. Since then, I’ve put a hold on the CD replication and other COPYCATS Media fare. Instead, I’ve been digging up a whole lot of other useful information and interesting stories regarding this application and its use by the music industry.
I found this case study about how an artist got 14,000 downloads within 48 hours by using Twitter to create a buzz. He simply gave his music to a friend and asked him to help spread the word. While Twitter no doubt played a large role in this accomplishment, you have to consider the collaboration with Lil Wayne was arguably a bigger factor in this promotion’s success.
So there you have it: get Lil Wayne to do a track with you, post it on Twitter, and get 14K downloads in just 48 hours. Simple as that.
Can’t find Lil Wayne’s phone number? Dang. Now what?
While the built-in popularity and name recognition really helped push this track, there’s still a lot to be learned from this case for independent musicians. In fact, you should consider using name recognition when promoting yourself. You may not be collaborating with big commercially successful artists, but think outside the box. If you want to start buzz about a track, what words will resonate with casual fans. Maybe you did collaborate with another artist who’s prominent in their local scene. Perhaps it was recorded at a well known studio. Or maybe it’s a live track from a top notch venue. Anything you can put in your “tweet” that is easily recognizable by your audience is a good thing.
The second thing to learn from this case is using alluring language in your messages. Notice how he constantly used the word “exclusive.” This helps gain some attention from your follower if they know they can’t get it anywhere else yet. Use this and other words (“rare” or ”live”) to add some more value to your track.
The third thing I noticed from his posts is the way he hyped up the release of this track all in the matter of 20 minutes before actually posting it. At 9:48 PM, he teased by mentioning he had an exclusive track and asked what blog/website he should send it to first. This got people in his network talking; suggesting sites or asking for him to give it to them first. He later posted at 10:06 PM that we was going to make it available on Twitter. He also requested that others re-tweet it and spread the word. When it was finally posted moments later, fans and followers happily obliged.
One could do something similar simply by asking their followers if they are interested in hearing a brand new/exclusive/live/limited edition track from your band. You should get some positive response. This also gives you an opportunity to directly engage some of your fans individually through Twitter. You can then come back with another post asking your fans to promise to re-Tweet if you release it to them. Most would be happy to do so.
The last thing to consider is your own network of followers. Moe Arora, the guy who started this buzz, currently has over 1,000 followers on Twitter. On top of that, some of his followers probably have lots of followers who also have lots of followers, so each re-tweet just keeps reaching a larger and larger audience.
So what if you don’t have 1000 followers on your Twitter account? It could take some time and effort to get that many solid contacts. The shortcut would be find your own @moearora. If you read the story, you’ll remember the original artist putting out the mix-tape was Mack Maine. He asked Mr. Arora to help him get the word out. So if you don’t spend too much time with your Twitter and social networking accounts, it would be wise to befriend somebody who does. Try developing relationships with bloggers who cover your local scene. Follow them and exchange messages on Twitter. If they re-tweet any tracks you post on Twitter, your music could spread like wildfire.
Bonus – Upon further review of @moearora ‘s Twitter feed, I found he posted a pretty good article by Dan Zarella called 5 Steps to Going Viral on Twitter. It covers some things I mentioned above and gives insight into other factors such as timing.