Is tweeting more frequently a good strategy in order to grow a band’s Twitter following? Before you send out that next tweet, here are a few things to consider.
A recent study by Next Big Sound, which examined 20 artists of various genres, showed that there is little to no correlation (r=0.07) between the number of times that an artist tweets and their resulting follower growth.
The artists chosen from the Next Big Sound database had between 1000-5000 followers and tweeted at least 15 times during the date range of June 16, 2013 - June 30, 2013. On average, these artists gained about 33 new followers over that time period. The results suggest that when it comes to gaining new followers, the quality of artists’ tweets may be more important than the quantity of tweets sent.
For example, rock/soul pop group, The Cliks, tweeted 81 times over the 15-day period (6th highest among all artists in the study), but they only gained 16 new followers over that span (5th lowest among all artists in the study).
Of course, the fact that The Cliks tweeted often and did not gain many followers does not mean that the quality of The Cliks’ tweets were necessarily poor. However, upon review of the band’s Tweets, one might argue that their tweets were not especially conducive to adding more followers to their “clik.”
Looking back on the band’s Twitter timeline for those dates, the majority of the Cliks’ tweets were primarily focused on themselves (most notably their numerous plugs for their PledgeMusic crowd-funding campaign, callouts for fans to vote for their video on MTVU, and reminders about their show at Toronto Pride).
While correlation does not equal causation, the Cliks’ way of posting to Twitter falls in a line with another trend uncovered in the study - there was a positive correlation (r=0.39) between the ratio of the percentage of tweets that were @replies and the percentage change in follower growth. The Cliks ranked third to last among all artists in the study for this ratio (only 3 of the Cliks’ 81 Tweets began with an @reply, while 78 tweets began with a broadcasted message).
Although this correlation is weak, it still suggests that replying to your followers more often may be related towards growing a bigger following. Put simply, there might be a benefit in structuring a higher percentage of tweets to consist of @replies rather than creating a feed full of broadcasted messages.
For instance, Hip Hop and R&B beats producer Frenzy French only tweeted 29 times (4th lowest in terms of number of Tweets sent), but 8 of those Tweets began with an @reply (ranking him 6th overall in the ratio of @replies and the Percentage Change in Follower Growth), and his 201 new followers added during that span was the highest among all artists both in terms of absolute growth and percent change.
While Frenzy’s French Twitter follower growth may be due to a variety of other factors other than his using a high ratio of @replies in his Tweets, the overall results from this study suggest that more time should be spent attempting to creating relationships through responding, rather than simply cranking out a high volume of Tweets.
Yet at any given time, a band’s goal may not always be focused on simply increasing their Twitter following. The Cliks, for instance seemed very committed to raising money from their fan base and getting more spins on MTVU. While the band did not amass a large number of Twitter followers during that period, their PledgeMusic fundraising goal was successfully met.
As with all things in life, there are tradeoffs… A band should consider their priorities, and recognize that they might not always be able to consistently grow their Twitter following.
When gaining new Twitter followers is the main goal, the focus should lie more in maximizing the quality of tweets rather than the quantity of tweets. Spamming your followers with tweet after tweet might not produce more followers, so make sure that there is method to your Twitter madness! And don’t forget to engage in conversation with your fans. They’ll love you for it.
By exploring and incorporating these tactics when shaping your band’s Twitter strategy, you may get closer to finding the customized approach that will work best for you.
See complete study here.
Photo Credit: Image from Socialblabla.com
Rob Savitsky is an intern with music analytics company Next Big Sound. He is an artist manager and a marketing, entertainment and technology consultant, who is currently pursuing an MBA at Babson College.