Why Performers and Entertainers Should Twitter

Peter D. Marshall, a veteran filmmaker, asked on Twitter whether anyone had links for social media tips for a talk he’s preparing. The talk is aimed at theater people and how to promote themselves using social media.

Now, I see a lot of musicians on MySpace, but I’ve so far only come across one on Twitter: Henry Rollins. (Not that I’ve actively searched, mind you.) He’s not very active, and only follows 21 other Twitter accounts. Still, he establishes a presence and indicates when he’ll be play somewhere next. He also divulges little tidbits that give a glimpse into his life. This has garnered him over 6,500 followers on Twitter.

Yeah, So?

Well it’s like having a sort of subscription list if you are a performer, because then you can equate “follower” with ‘fan” (most of the time). Now had you started to build these followers from scratch by asking the same 6,500 people to sign up for an official newsletter, you might not have the same response. But now that you have these followers, you can offer something, and because they feel they know you, it’s possible that you’ll get a much better response. (Just speculating.)

Another person in the entertainment field that I follow is Diablo Cody, aka Brooke Busey, the scriptwriter who won an Oscar this year for the movie Juno. Her experience before Juno includes being a stripper, phone sex operator and ad agency work. Oh, and she has a university degree in media studies.

It’s fascinating and entertaining to follow her. Like watching the genesis of a caterpillar to a butterfly, simply because she’s documenting her progress from relative unknown (in a wider scope) to acclimating to the entertainment life. More specifically, she talks about when she’s going out for the night, parties, what she’s thinking of wearing, and that she’s taking acting classes, etc. (I originally liked Twitter simply for this ability to peer into the mindstream of a Twitterer – but Twitter is useful for so much more.)

Diablo Cody only follows 14 accounts and has 3,243 followers. What she isn’t doing is including a link to either her official website or her MySpace page in her Twitter profile. But she is Twittering – something that I think all performers or others in the entertainment biz should do to supplement their Facebook/ MySpace profile pages and their official websites. Just remember to link in your Twitter profile to one of those profile pages or your official site.

A Simple Plan

Treat it all as part of building your personal brand:

  1. Your website can be very professional and maintained by someone (webmaster, PR person, business manager, etc.) The website should provide links to your Twitter account and to your MySpace (and/orFacebook) page.
  2. Your MySpace (and/or Facebook) page is like another view of your website, with pictures and audio or video of your performances. Aside from managing “add” requests and comments, you don’t have to spend a lot of time running this page. (You could have a friend or hired hand managing add requests.) Link to both your Twitter account and your website.
  3. Twitter is more immediate. Fans will love to peer into your head. You can use Twitter when you’re on tour or have some project coming up and want to let little bits of info out about it. You only have one link out, so take your pick: MySpace/Facebook or website.
  4. Make sure that your YouTube (or whatever) videos have a watermarked of you Twitter URL. (For that matter, go upload your own videos to YouTube, before someone else beats you to it.) That way, you’re visually emblazoning your Twitter presence into viewers minds.

So, are there any performers who read this site and who use social media for self-promotion? What do you use and how and why? Feel free to drop your Twitter link. (Get one if you don’t have one. You don’t have to follow everyone that follows you.)

5 thoughts on “Why Performers and Entertainers Should Twitter

  1. Ha- that’s a great story-funny how some don’t *get it*…just now becoming a focus and -you can find me on Twitter as infosourcer or Suzy Tonini

  2. Anon/ Infosourcer: That’s great to hear from you. You know, when I used to publish a monthly entertainment magazine back in the early to mid 90s and was a webmaster in my day job, I tried to get the big record labels in Canada (Sony, etc.) to embrace something called a website. Only Nettwerk Records, an indie label, in British Columbia had one. The big ones didn’t, and thus no local sites either. But no, they wouldn’t hear of it. All the reps I knew were skeptical. Well, at least we’re talking about artists now and not labels. Hopefully established artists will learn about Twitter and similar tools soon, else they’ll be surpassed by younger hopefuls who do “get” it.

    So I guess I’ll have to check out your MySpace page and hope I find your Twitter acct. It’d be very interesting to see what MC Hammer has to say

  3. Hi Raj,

    funny you should post this – just today I tweeted about where all the artists on Twitter are- I know of Henry Rollins, Sarah Bareilles and Mc Hammer- all of whom I follow. I used to be Label manager for A&M Records in Paris and have a pretty healthy MySpace artist roster of riends and I broadcast about Twitter about 2 months ago but not much response. I think Twitter would be an AWESOME tool for artists- much better than MySpace. We’ll see- after all, aren’t we all early adaptors paving the way 😉

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