Welcome back, kids. It has been a few weeks, did you jump right in and start tweeting your little hearts out? Are you ready to talk Marketing Mixes and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Just kidding! If you are to the point where you need any of that, you will have a marketing agency handling all of those details. However, there are some things one can do in the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) market that demonstrates some professional savvy.
The state of the current entertainment industry is complete shambles. From the number of remakes Hollywood is green lighting, it is apparent the metrics-focused number crunchers are not willing to take many chances. Many well-known bands are faced with the dilemma of having to figure out what to do with their own products at this point, and even they appear to be somewhat adrift in the 21st century miasma of technology. Gone are the days of managers and agents handling all of the finer points of business because long gone are the days of risk taking. Businesses are streamlining and this will become more and more evident within the American workforce. Jobs are being reduced to actions-per-hour and shifting to production based versus performance based outcomes. So how does this apply to the arts? Well, that remains to be seen, but crowd sourcing and fan bases are becoming more important than ever before.
How do Twitter and other social media platforms play into this 21st century DIY model? Well, for one, having fans is essential. Regardless of whatever your niche is, having fans is increasingly important. I previously mentioned the Twitter Elite, some of which have tens of thousands of followers, but no real product to promote or sell. Other than their witty tweets, which may or may not be a sign of true writing talent, or segue into anything more than a popular Twitter account. Being funny in 140 characters or less and possessing the desire and talent to transfer that into something more is completely different, IMHO.
If you are currently using various social media platforms you might want to consider using a Social Media Management (SMM) tool. There are various options to choose from, and I am not here to promote one versus another because they are not paying me to endorse them. These tools are especially useful if you have more than one person accessing accounts and posting content. It allows the owner to maintain ultimate control over the accounts and not risk having one hijacked by an angry associate. From one interface you can manage almost all networks, control user access to sites, and the bonus ability to analyze the data. Yes, the dreaded analytics and metrics folks, they matter. Even if it simply affords you the knowledge of understanding what topics and posts are most popular, or when is the best time to ensure your posts get traffic. You need to know what and when works best. This information is important because it helps you build a fan base. One of the best features I have found with SMM tools are the URL trackers, which allow you to view exactly how many direct clicks a link received.
Now, if you are simply using social media as your public stream of consciousness, let’s cover a few more acronyms that will help you traverse the Twitterverse like a seasoned pro:
DGAF– Don’t Give A Fuck. A particular favorite of mine because I literally DGAF about most topics.
STFU– Shut the Fuck Up. Goes hand-in-hand with DGAF.
NW– Now Watching. Use this when you are posting about something you are presently watching. Duh.
NP– Now Playing. Same as above, but typically applied to a song.
FML– Fuck My Life. Added to emphasize displeasure with the topic of discussion.
NSA– National Security Agency. The United States’ Big Brother surveillance system that is watching and listening to every communication sent globally.
CISPA– Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. If you don’t know what this is, read up on it, immediately.
SOPA– Stop Online Piracy Act. Please see above, and seriously, educate yourself, like, now.
TTLDNL– Took Too Long Did Not Listen. Applies to anything that takes too long to read or load.
Cross-posting. There are now many widgets available that allow you to cross-post content from one site to another. For example, a blog you post on WordPress can immediately be shared across FB and Twitter if you add the right widgets. This can be useful, but can also lead to redundancy in your TL.
Picture sharing. Great way to build a following, but be aware that platforms like Instagram do not post the picture into Twitter TLs. The user must click on the URL and wait for the picture to load, which I honestly never do. If I see an Instagram link in a tweet, I skip it. Posting pictures directly through a Twitter site or app is typically best.
Selfie. Not the same as picture sharing, and now an official word in the Oxford English dictionary. This is the alarming trend by users to take pictures of themselves and immediately upload it for everyone to see. Be aware, there is also such a thing as a Funeral Selfie, which is exactly as it sounds. People are taking pictures of their sad, duck faces before, during and after a funeral. Says a lot about the delusional narcissism that is rampant on the Interwebs.
Asterisks. These are used to show actions.
*puts head in oven*
*wields golf club like Excalibur*
*slams hand in door jamb*
Long Read. Useful in warning users whenever you share something that is not brief. Attention spans are short on the Internet. Always.
Direct Links in DMs. FOR GOD’S SAKE NEVER CLICK A LINK IN A DM! It is spam and phishing at it’s finest. Your account will soon be sending out tweets and DMs to everyone about losing weight and pictures you found of them on the Internet. If you happen to be the recipient of one of these types of messages, be nice and @ the person to alert them that their account has been compromised.
Manual Retweet. This is when a user opts to not retweet the tweet directly, or when they want to add something into the tweet. It can be useful when adding satirical commentary into ridiculous news items, but some users see it as a dick move.
Passwords. I am going to close with this topic because it is one that often goes overlooked by the average bear. Weak passwords and passwords reusage are two of the main points hackers find especially amusing in cyberspace. The fact that they can exploit one database to gain access to someone’s life because of passwords being reused is a focal point of all InfoSec leaks. Use strong password generators and store all of your passwords safely. I keep mine on a locked excel spreadsheet, which is a total Pain In The Ass (PITA), but it keeps my data secure; however, should you ever happen to see any of my social media profiles spewing anything other than pop culture satire or general shit-talking, please scream @ me to let me know my account has been pwned.
Until next time, kiddies.
dixē.flatlin3 is a pistol-packing mama from the American Wild West. Having survived more travails than Christian in the Pilgrim’s Progress, she decided to get mean and take it to the world. Honing her acid-sharp wit on MySpace, Facebook, and later Twitter, she became known for compacting volumes worth of vitriolic social commentary into one-liners, which she would throw off with the abandon of a Vegas stripper. She is a long-time contributor to Paraphilia Magazine and also runs its Twitter account. With Dixē Ex Machina she shares her insights into the vagaries of social media, technology, business, and 21st century communications: the good points, the bad points, and suppositions as to where it all might be headed.