The Musician’s Guide To Twitter: Making Your Followers Count Part 6

following.pngThe 2000 Follow rule is the bane of every group’s existence who is trying to market themselves by adding tons of followers who may potentially like their group. We have been doing a ton of experimentation with the Musformation Twitter as well as some of our friends bands. After the jump I will explain our findings about how to follow people on Twitter in a smart way, how great our results have been by numbers and some of the common mistakes people make when they do this.

Why would you want to sit around and make followers for your band when it is such a tedious and boring process? It works really well! We have been doing a ton of experiments with it lately with our site and some of the bands we work with. What have we been seeing? If you use some of our practices you can get around 20% of the followers to follow you back as well as 10-15% go and listen to your songs. For something that takes an hour or two you can get around 100 people to listen your songs. That can be a much better result than a show that takes two hours to drive to and then be there for 5 hours to play to 8 people. So listen up and we will show you how to spread the word.

2,000 – The Rules Of The Game

We all can look back to the days where you just had to sit and make Myspace friends all day with bands that sounded like yours and you could actually make some new fans. Twitter does not make this half as easy as Myspace did. However there is still a way to pull it off but it does take some smarts and time. Seeing as Twitter limits you to only be able to follow 2,000 people, if you are going to use following as a tool to get people to discover your band it is going to take rationing and some intelligence.

Identifying Your Target

In the past we have told you about following a group that is similar to yours. We want to stress the importance of this – finding a band that is A) Local to you B) Has fans that are very likely to like your band is the single most important part of this technique. Once you have found that groups Twitter page we want to click on their followers page. It will look like this:
twitterfolows.pngThis view is very important since it shows us when the person last tweeted and who they are. If you start following a porn star it may be good for some fun after you are done working under your sheets but it is not going to help your band get followers. You want to look at the people following this band and make sure they are people who didn’t just follow them to spam them. The other thing we want to pay attention to is when they last tweeted. If they haven’t tweeted in 2 weeks+ don’t go near them. There is a large portion of Twitter that doesn’t ever use it. This means they are never going to read your tweets and it isn’t going to help you one bit. What we want from followers are people who tweet like crazy and are going to potentially re-tweet your tweets and keep up with your band. We want Internet addicts. Otherwise this becomes a useless tool in getting people to like your band.

Being Smart
Now that we know who we want – how do we find those people? One of the first clues is to scroll to the beginning of the bands followers. These are the people who were passionate about this band and once the band announced they had a Twitter they jumped right on board. These are the early adopters and passionate tweeters who are likely to like your band and be the type of people who talk about your band to others who will like it.

Yes, this is a super pain in the ass to scroll to the beginning of the groups followers and if the group has thousands of followers you will be hitting the next button for a while. We suggest putting on a YouTube or some TV while doing this and getting used to some seriously tedious work. However there is a way to make it faster! Switch to the abbreviated view by clicking the sort view above so that the page looks like this:
badfollowview.pngOnce you are at the start of their followers it is time to get to work and finding people who are relevant and tweeted recently. Click the follow button on everyone you find to have tweeted recently and that doesn’t look like a spammer. You will only be able to follow about 1,000 people in a 24 hour period so this should take about an hour if you are fast and dedicated. If you want to follow to the 2,000 limit you are going to have to do it another day. Sorry chief!

Making It Effective
Now you have some followers! Does this really translate to anything? In my opinion not really. I have found that a lot of people I know Tweet but do not read other peoples tweets very often. If that is the case why in the hell are we doing this? There is a way to make this work!

The first way to make it work is using TweetLater which we told you about last week. With TweetLater you can enable Twitter to automatically send everyone who follows you a direct message. In this direct message you can write a description of why your band should be listened to by this tweeter. If you are following a band that is local to you we reccommend mention that and anything else that is unique about your band in this message. Link a place where they can hear your music in this message since that is what we are trying to do in the first place. You only have 140 characters so make it short and pertinant. 

Perhaps the Direct Message or the follow got this tweeter to check out your Twitter page. One of the best ways to make it so they may actually listen to your band is to make a custom Twitter background. In this background write something about why you are worth checking out as well as linking all your other social networks. I would also recommend that in your last 10 tweets always having a SoundCloud link to your music in case the person is reading through your tweets to see if you are worth following.

Doing these two things we have been watching great stats number growth when using all of them together. Using our analytics tools we have seen for every 1,000 people you follow 75-150 people visiting the artists site and listening to their music (combined with website plays and SoundCloud listens). That is a pretty great results for the little time it takes to do this. If you are making new fans after they hear your music odds are those fans are spreading the word to other people. Making this a pretty great technique to market your band.  

Take It To the Limit One More Time
You now have 2,000 followers and now you are screwed right? Nope! You now need to go through the people you are following and find the ones who are not working for your band. If they haven’t tweeted recently un-follow them. While some people suggest you just un-follow everyone and start again, we may warn you that if these people are using an App like TweetLater they may have en
abled to un-follow anyone who un-follows them. If you want to be safe we suggest going to FriendOrFollow and seeing who isn’t following you and only deleting them. Some groups we know just go through and un-follow everyone. They claim they may lose 5-10% of the followers but it does enable you to gain many more after this is done so it may be worth it for the growth you can achieve by following 2,000 more people again.

We think un-following everyone may hurt some of your fans feelings and we know that relationship can be fragile. If you plan on un-following many people at a time we would suggest waiting a week after you followed them since we find it takes many people a few days to look at who has recently followed them and see if they should follow them back. We still see great results coming in from follows we made 7 even 9 days later.


Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.