I don’t how often i have heard people say “No i don’t use Twitter, it’s just a bunch of people saying where they are, what they are doing and what they had for breakfast” and “What can I do with 140 characters?” Well, it has proven it can do a hell of a lot more than that, from distributing news, social and political commentary, to marketing, distributing not only short bursts of text but also pictures and videos. It has now been around for 6 years, and has pretty much become the leader in spreading information across the world, becoming the social barometer of our times.

It is now an essential tool in any musicians marketing strategy, and there is a wealth of techniques you can use to get the best out of twitter in keeping your fan base informed and engaged.

Not only can you use it as a news service, it also has great potential for you to find new fans, and get them to discover you.

Since its inception, there has become a wealth of third party utilities to help you exploit the potential of twitter to the full. Two i have been using the most over the years are Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. They give you the ability to monitor the ‘twitterverse’ and search for keywords and hashtags (twitters own keyword system that allows users to find tweets on certain subjects such as #art #photography #ladygaga etc) that could be relevent to you, your music and your goals. They allow you to join in the conversations and connect with people discussing things that could be relevent to you, and in turn, you might be interesting to them.

Chris Singleton over at Prescription PR has put together a list of 13 top tips for musicians and bands using twitter which i think you should take a look at. Here is my favourite peice of advice from his article…

By all means post links to your band’s new videos and MP3s from time to time, but do not get too fond of doing so; otherwise you’ll just look like a jerk. Believe me, when it comes to overcommunicating about my own music projects, I’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt…and despite waxing endlessly about the importance of musicians keeping schtum for five minutes, I still see artists (who should know better) bore their friends, family and remaining fan to tears with hourly Facebook updates about their latest creative endeavours. Nobody cares after a while (if they ever did in the first place –geddit?). Instead, post links to great content from other sources – whack links up on Twitter to scintillating articles which don’t happen to be about your music (and rest assured, there are a lot of them). Or make witty observations about cheese and/or the credit crunch. In short, get a reputation for being an interesting dude, not a self-obsessed bore.

Check out the rest of his article here.

We also have an article on our Make It In Music site on twitter for musicians here.