The Network for Musicians is currently finishing up the first phase of Twitter integration, and soon, also MySpace and Facebook integration should follow. (This means that you can post to Network4Musicians, Twitter, and other social networks with just one click!)
Currently, many musicians don't use Twitter, or any online social media, for self promotion (including promoting: themselves, their bands / ensembles, their personal teaching practice, etc.).
What is Twitter?
I like to think of Twitter as a "micro-blog," which is basically a blog that can only accept very short posts (140 characters maximum). But Twitter is so much more because you can easily "follow" and connect with: music venues, established/famous musicians, industry people, music studios, music and news publications, and many other people or businesses who could help to promote your music to thousands, if not millions, of potential fans, clients, and partners.
Essentially though, Twitter is a social network where you post short messages (tweets) that are seen by all the people who follow you in a news feed format, and you, in turn, see all the posts from people that you follow in the same way.
Now if you tweet something that a person with a few thousand, or more, followers decides to retweet: then you can get some really good exposure for very little time and effort — just stick with it.
How Do I Get Free Advertising on Twitter?
As I mentioned that you can create a dialog with others and be socially active on Twitter to network and build up lots of music contacts, but it is also possible to get free advertising in a semi-passive sense as well.
By "semi-passive" I mean that you Would still need to post tweets and potentially follow people in the music industry, but you would not necessarily need to engage with them directly. The short answer is: posting regularly at a 3:1 ratio of interesting/informative/topical posts to promotional posts. Oh, and #hashtags.
Hash-tags are great for promoting your music business, band, or self! Just make sure you don't over use them (only 2-3 per post).
Hash-tags work by simply putting a number symbol in front of any word that contains no spaces (e.g. #n4m, #Network4Musicians, #newsong, etc.). Then when you tweet that message: Twitter will turn the hashtag into a link, and all messages containing with the same hash tag will be "lumped" together and searchable by that hash-tag.
So if you just recorded a new upbeat party song, you could post a message like this:
Check out my #newsong for sale on the iTunes Store! http://t.co/party_song
This is great #newrelease of #partymusic !
Any anyone that was looking for new releases or party music (say publishers or promoters) could easily find your post.
Paying attention to the hash-tags that big name musicians use in their tweets can also give you ideas for good hash-tags to use.
The great thing about using Twitter to promote your music is that you can get your music heard by new fans and music industry people, but you can also get the attention of large businesses and institutions that can help propel your music career. Oh, and hash tags.
How Twitter can expand your fan base and provide quality advertising for free.