Top Ten Tips To Mastering The Twitterverse And Social Media

How to Win Friends and Influence People!

1936 Edition of Carnegie's Classic Tome
1936 Edition of Carnegie’s Classic Tome

How is it, 76 years after Dale Carnegie taught us How to Win Friends and Influence People in the first best-selling self-help book ever published, that we’re more baffled today than ever?

Type “How do I get people to like me” into Google and you’ll get links to five billion listings, nearly one for every person on the planet! Typing “How do I get people to follow me on Twitter?” produces two billion results. Type “If You’re Not online …” and Google will finish the sentence for you by adding the words “you don’t exist…,” producing 300,000,000 links.

For musicians and performing artists, the question is more than a matter of solipsistic, existential philosophy though, it’s a matter of survival.

So if you’re a performing artist wondering how to get someone to like your Facebook page, or just one of the two billion people wondering how to get people to follow you on Twitter, here are our …

Top Ten Tips To Mastering The Twitterverse And Social Media

1. Show up to the party

Woody Allen once quipped that 80% of success in life is just showing up. There’s no way you’re going to end up dancing with the Prom King or Queen if you’re not at the ball. So make the effort. Nothing else is possible if you’re not even present.

At a minimum, that means having a website (here’s an article on Business2Community explaining why) and a Facebook page. Here’s a great article on Hypebot by Eilish Burke of Amp Music Marketing on how to get the most out of your Facebook Page as a performer.

2. Join the conversation

So you’ve set up a Facebook page and invited everyone you know to Like it, and you’ve followed the five steps in the article I linked above to get the most out of it. Now it’s time to get going on Twitter.

Twitter birdTwitter at its best is like a party. If you think of it as random groups of people carrying on conversations in different corners of a large room, you’ll realize the best way to introduce yourself is not to walk in and shout “Look at me!!!”

Instead, find a group that looks interesting to you by searching topics, and join in by introducing yourself and asking questions – fitting into what’s going on, in other words. Type Chopin, or cellist, or classical music into the search field on Twitter, and you’ll find thousands of people tweeting about that subject.

Talk to them by hitting the “Reply” button on any of their tweets. Asking questions is a great way to get people to respond. Even better, tweet a link to a YouTube video showing a performance of Chopin you think is outstanding. Or funny. Or even awful. Just like you would if you were talking to your friends.

Here’s a great article on getting the most out of twitter as a musician. And another right from the bird’s beak, the smart folks at Twitter themselves.

3. A picture is worth a thousand words

John McCarthy, a famous computer scientist once posited that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then 1,001 words must be worth more than one picture. But that may only be true if the writer is Shakespeare. (Here’s a link to 1,000 words that Shakespeare coined.)

Lion with a man's head in mouthPhotographs instantly engage and move people. The photograph to the right is a great example. My mission in writing this article is to get you to put your head in the virtual lion’s mouth of social media, so to speak.

Use your smartphone to snap quick candid shots of everything around you — backstage, the inside of your instrument case, what you’re eating, your sheet music, rehearsals, you with members of the audience, you with friends, the theatre marquee of the movie you’re going to, the theater you’re playing in that night, the plane you take to get there, the scenery on the way, you with the taxi driver that dropped you at your hotel, “No Exit” signs on the roads, your instrument, or the room you’re staying in that night.

Photograph the world you see around you, and share it. Most people aren’t performers — they don’t get to make music, travel, rehearse or perform or meet all the interesting people along the way that you do — so document your life and share it with them. If you do, they just might “Like” it.

4. Share your passions

Do you love a movie? Or a song? Or a performer? Read a book that you liked recently? Even better, have you seen a YouTube video you like? Share it with the fans who’ve Liked your Facebook page, then literally “Share” that post with your own friends on Facebook (so they won’t see it twice if they’re also fans), and post a link on Twitter. Let people know what’s cool and fun in your life and they may just want to “Follow” your lead.

5. Have I mentioned YouTube?

Have you ever heard of Justin Bieber? (Hint: He was discovered on YouTube … and just in case you’re one of the haters, here are fifteen others discovered there too.)

If pictures are good, moving pictures are even better. Or so Hollywood discovered more than a century ago. If you have any video of yourself performing, upload it to YouTube. Here’s an article showing musicians how to easily set up your own YouTube channel. And if you don’t have video of yourself performing, make some! Justin did when he was barely old enough to walk.

6. Play nice

As a wise old man once suggested after an intense chat with some burning trees: “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.” Like and share your friend’s and fan’s content and they’ll be more inclined to like and share yours back. Follow others on Twitter and once you’ve built up some followers of your own and show you have some interesting things to say, they may start following you back, especially if you interact with them in fun ways. You can check to see who is and who isn’t following you back on Tweepi or FriendOrFollow.

7. Remember Show-and-Tell?

Nothing’s changed. And yes, sometimes the other kids laughed at your dumb story about the tooth fairy in Grade Four (OK, that was me, not you, and maybe I’ve never gotten over it, but the main thing is we’re all adults now, and even if we occasionally still make a mistake, like the time I shared my “Elf Yourself” video on Facebook, for instance), it’s still necessary to take risks and reveal something about yourself — the things that make you you. (Just not your political opinions, stands on social issues or religious beliefs please … or sex tapes unless things get really desperate.)

8. Strategery

As Yogi Berra once observed, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.”

Hilary Hahn's violin case dressed up for Halloween
Hilary Hahn’s Violin Case dressed up for Halloween

Put together a simple strategy. Hilary Hahn tweets as @violincase under the moniker HillaryHahnViolinCase, and all of her funny tweets are from her violin case’s perspective. Pictured here is a photo that her violin case shared on Instagram and Twitter of its costume for Halloween.

One of our website clients, pianist Andrew Armstrong, uses his personal Facebook page brilliantly to post truly hilarious and somewhat mortifying stories about the horrors regularly encountered in economy class flying between cities. He has an engaged group of smart friends and fans that love the way he makes fun of the indignities he endures.

It’s not that your strategy has to be funny or clever, but you should have a strategy of some kind.

At KultureShock.Net we have a very simple social media strategy: to showcase the most talented people in the world — our clients — and along the way we like to share our passion for performance and design. We do this on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterestour blog, through our email newsletter and our KultureMash page.

So, if you’re one of our clients and follow us we’ll automatically follow you back. If you let us know about your Facebook page, we’ll “Like” you, and if you mention @KultureShockNet in your tweets, we’ll retweet them to our followers. It’s all part of our social media strategy to help promote you.

What’s your strategy?

9. A little consistency goes a long way

Ralph Waldo Emerson wasn’t wrong when he observed that “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” but online, a little consistency is a good thing.

Tweeting or updating your status once a day consistently is better than four tweets one day, then going dark for a week and then popping up to barrage people again. Try to find a natural rhythm that fits your schedule. The focus should be on quality over quantity, originality over frequency.

If you’re only able to engage a few times a week, use this helpful tool for scheduling tweets in advance — Hootsuite. Here’s a link to a YouTube video on The Basics of Using HootSuite.

But don’t lose sight of the fact that Twitter is a conversation, not a billboard, so keep asking people questions and answering those asked by others, retweeting other people’s posts that interest you, and engaging when you can.

10. Desperately Seeking Synchronicity

The sweet spot in social media, the networked nirvana we’re all seeking, is when all of your social media accounts begin to reinforce and complement each other. The synchronicity comes when your social media accounts are driving traffic to your website and your website features all of your social media accounts and helps generate new followers.

So, to sum up:

  1. Show up for the party
  2. Join the conversation
  3. A picture is worth a thousand words
  4. Share your passions
  5. Have I mentioned YouTube?
  6. Play nice
  7. Remember ‘Show and Tell’?
  8. Strategery
  9. A little consistency goes a long way
  10. Seek synchronicity

I hope this article has helped open the door to social media a bit wider for you, and hopefully sparked some ideas about what and how you want to communicate.There’s no wrong or right, but you do need to be part of the conversation. Experiment, have fun and engage, building relationships, community, and learning more about yourself as you do. This is a journey, not a destination.

Please share your experiences and ask questions in the comments section below. We’ll discuss them with you and we’ll all learn together. Happy Tweeting!