Making The Most Of Twitter In 2016

My last piece ripped apart Facebook, and now I’ll throw shade at my favorite social media network: Twitter. I joined Twitter back on July 22nd, 2006. Yes, 10 years ago, when it was called Twttr.

I got this question recently, relating to Twitter:

“How should a music blog, or other online brand, organize it’s following / followers on Twitter for maximum exposure, clarity of branding and credibility?“

Organize nothing, and play like you’ve got nothing to lose with the followers you got.

Exposure? There’s a lot of brands on Twitter all shouting for attention, clicks, RTs, and video plays. Your updates sit between TMZ gossip, sports scores, political news, and photos of cats. You’re competing with everyone in your field, and every other field ever. All the time. Forever.

Also, look what Twitter has been doing. Have you seen the Moments ads on TV? The promoted Tweets below replies? The suggested follows, and the polls, and the new animated heart… er, I mean “Like” thing, apps to install, the “while you were away” feature that will never go away.  Count on Twitter to add even more distractions in 2016.

All this fluff aside, you need to use Twitter in 2016 to speak with people directly and honstly. You’re the singer in a band? Reply to the fans. You’re the owner a studio? Talk with other producers and band folk. Run a music blog? Have conversations with your readers.

That’s where branding and credibility come in. Could an unpaid intern – without your knowledge and experience to draw from – have those same honest, intelligent conversations on Twitter? Most likely not.

An unpaid intern can automate Tweets from the RSS feed on your blog. They can find some stock photos, or RT someone that said, “I love your stuff,” but that’s just “social media by numbers.” That is amatuer hour in 2016, and it’s a house of cards because everyone – small businesses, bands, record labels, Best Buy, and Oreo cookies – EVERYONE is doing that.

You need to do what they can’t do. They can’t be you. They don’t have your humanity, your humor, your dread, or your sense of humor. They don’t observe the world the way you do. They can’t be charming like you, or cute, or sassy, or studious.

Forget the social media tips, tricks, and techniques that everyone and their uncle’s hardware store are using. In 2016 you just need to go full bore you on Twitter.

Seth Werkheiser is the quiz master of metal trivia at Skulltoaster. He’s also the founder of some music sites you may have heard of, including Noise Creep (2009) + Buzzgrinder (2001). He’s anti-Facebook, anti-clickbait, and anti-growth hacking. You should most definitely follow him on Twitter. Yes, right now.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.