Hello My Spammier Musician Friends On Twitter.

I’m worried that you haven’t read this excellent short essay by Steve Lawson about how musicians can best use Twitter.

Twitter is a chatroom. It’s the biggest chatroom in the world.

And you, your music is great. I like you and your music. We met once, I don’t know how, through mutual friends or at some gig or other where we shared a stage; we stayed vaguely in touch, as musicians do. Myspace, Facebook, the odd further gig etc. And later, because this was a while back, I found you on Twitter and started following you.

I stopped following you soon afterwards, because you pretty much only tweeted links to your own stuff. Constantly. Nothing else. Or almost nothing else.

I don’t really know you well enough to write and say ‘hey, stop doing that’. That would be weird. The way you choose to interact with people online is your own business.

But seriously, Twitter is a chatroom, and no-one likes a spammer in a chatroom.

If all - or even the vast bulk - of what you have to say is links to your own promotional material, that’s going to come across as very spammy. I wish you wouldn’t do that. I like your stuff and I still wish you wouldn’t do that.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t talk about your work or link to the stuff you’ve done. We all do - it’s inevitable. It’s what we’re doing.

But getting the balance right is a question of how much, how often, and whether there’s also a sense that you are entering into the idea of Twitter as a chatroom where you are having conversations with people on a range of subjects extending beyond yourself and your work, or whether you are using it purely as a marketing tool.

If it is the latter, you really need to go and read both the above link and this other essay by Steve Lawson on how musicians can best use social media.

Essentially it boils down to this: Twitter is a chatroom, not a rolling billboard.

Stop being that guy.

I still like your music. I do. Really I do. That’s precisely why I want you to stop spamming your Twitter followers with it.