Musicians and bands should take notice of Stephen Fry’s comments on BBC’s Analysis programme “Stephen Fry: The Internet and Me”. Fry points out that Twitter and its ilk have made it easy for celebs to bypass the press offices and gossip columnists, and tell the world what they’re doing as soon as it happens. Why though, are there not many bands and musicians on Twitter? Why aren’t there many bands from Manchester (UK) not tweeting that they’re doing a gig on Friday night? No DJs either, plugging their new set?
Mr Musician, it’s ok to have a Myspace page and add a new event, or go on Facebook and tell your followers when your CD is out, but do you use your Myspace blog to involve your fans (or potential fans) in your writing process, or post a comment on your FB wall to say you’ve finished another track? If you had a Twitter account, you could send update your fans on a regular basis: “someone from a record label was at the gig earlier tonight” – that sort of thing.
Surely you’re not waiting for manager to do it for you? If you’ve got a PR person, are they on Twitter, or Digg, or even blogging on your behalf? To me, a lot of bands – especially unsigned ones, are missing the boat. They’re not looking for new ways of promoting themselves. Yeah, they’re on Youtube, Bandcamp, Facebook, but everyone is. How many people read comments or blog posts on Myspace these days? How do you know it’s not the record company’s PR department writing a post?
Think about Stephen Fry’s “Help, I’m stuck in a lift, but I’ve still got time to Twitter” tweet as an example of what I mean. Stuff like Twitter just a great medium for keeping his fans and followers uptodate with what he’s doing: when his next TV programme is on, when he’s recording a podcast, and when he’s going to have a cup of tea. So many people, many of them are celebrities, have switched on to the self-publicity machine that is Twitter, especially in the UK. Jimmy Carr, Philip Schofield, Chris Moyles, Alan Carr – they may not be really famous and massive celebs, but they’ve all realised that their fans and potential fans read their Twitter posts.
Mr Musician, Mr Band member, Mr DJ, Twitter et al let you build up your profile for your fans and let people know that you’re a real person, with real thoughts, not just a noise on a CD. Get Tweeting when you’ve finished a recording session, or when you’re getting a new guitar!
My daytime job is in e-learning in a further education college, and I’m amazed by the number of applications, websites, and other stuff I come across that could be used by bands to promote what they’re doing.
Don’t forget, this is just my opinion. If you want to know more about what I’m upto, why not follow me on Twitter!
Note: this article was first published by me in my blog on March 10, 2009.