The power of a smartphone App.

Two items of discussion here.

“Magna Carta Holy Grail” – Jay Z

& “Recess” – Skrillex

source: Skrillex

source: Skrillex

On March 11th, the grammy winning producer, Skrillex, released a new smartphone app. So what is special about this? Well, Skrillex hid a stream to his new and unannounced album, Recess, within the application. 36 hours after the application’s release, Skrillex came forward and announced that the locked folder on the application’s home screen was hosting his album. It was available for stream. The album release came out of the blue. Two weeks ago, there was speculation that a new Skrillex album was coming at some point, but no one knew when.

The application is a basic arcade style alien spaceship shooting game. Very simple, but effective. People can play a simple game while streaming Skrillex’s new album. I think this is a great PR move. Everything was done by Skrillex’s team, and you can listen to his whole album for free.

Success because:
1) Free application.
2) Game & new album stream within application.
3) All done by Skrillex’s team. No external party’s influence.

Now, Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail album release.

Privacy Policy behind Samsung's release of Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail.

Privacy Policy behind Samsung’s release of Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail.

I think that picture sums up the problems with Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail application release.
Backstory: Jay-Z signed a $20 million deal with Samsung to allow a million Samsung Galaxy owners the ability to download Jay’s new album a week before its release. The application crashed and the privacy policy is a bit insane. So what rubs me the wrong way with Jay-Z’s PR move? Well, it feels shallow and not very thought out. What cell phone user wants to surrender their phone for an album a week early? What if you do download the app and it crashes? Oh, then you don’t get the album right away, and your phone’s privacy has still been surrendered. And Jay-Z still made $20 million.

Failure because:
1) It makes Jay-Z look bad. It appears as though he “sold 0ut”. There is nothing wrong with taking an endorsement. However, given Jay-Z’s legacy, he should have made sure that endorsement wasn’t going to sell out his fan’s phone privacy. Jay-Z gets paid, his fan’s phones are the price.

2) The application didn’t work properly. If you’re going to have an exclusive album download via an app, the app has to work.

3) The album came off as an advertisement for Samsung, not a Jay-Z music release.

Lesson: If you’re going to release your album/song via an app, make sure it works. Skrillex’s app has had no issues to my knowledge, and people are praising his app because it is simple. Simple game, simple album stream. Make an app that you developed, not an app that corporation paid you to utilize. Jay-Z’s app download was basically a Samsung advertising campaign, that exploited the Galaxy user’s information.

Source: Jay Z

Source: Jay Z

Information about the “Magna Carta Holy Fail” was discovered at Search Engine Journal


The World’s Largest Pop Star: Max Martin

Who is Max Martin? Well, just look at his production discography. I know its Wikipedia, but you get the idea. The dude is the world’s biggest pop star, and no one knows who he is, not even his biggest fans. (lol)

Max Martin has written more #1 Billboard singles than Madonna and Michael Jackson. He has sold 135,433,000 singles. (Hollywood Reporter) Katy Perry essentially owes her musical fame to Max Martin. (Quick sidenote; not all pop stars are talentless robots who follow every record label’s direction.) Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, most pop stars are faces. Figureheads. Illusions. Pick your poison. All they do is sing and dance as they’re suppose to. They sell records because their image is marketable. Why would a record label risk an investment on a pop star when they can contract Max Martin to write the song? The label knows that Martin will produce a hit, then the label uses their visually and vocally appealing star to sell the record. That is pop music in a nutshell. I know I’ve covered this formula before.

Photo by Mark Davis/PictureGroup) via AP IMAGES

Photo by Mark Davis/PictureGroup) via AP IMAGES

Publicity. Max Martin doesn’t have a lot of it. In the video I featured above, it seems as though Max Martin has only conducted two interviews. The man who has sold 135,433,000 singles, has only done two interviews. I just did a piece on Drake refusing to do more interviews since his cover story for Rolling Stone was replaced by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. That to me, is the difference between the star, and the producer. The producer does not receive the publicity for his songs, and the stars do. But thats how some producers want it. They want to make music, and thats it. However, you do have other producers who want the fame as well. (See: DJ Khaled). In Drake’s defense, he does write a lot of his own lyrics.

This is not new though. There was the hit factory that appeared in New York City in the 1950’s. The music industry has been a production center for 100 years. A lot of music is more of a “product” than an “art piece”. In my mind, if the song is written specifically to make $$$, it is a product. If the song is made for personal pleasure, maybe with an audience in mind, that is art. It was made for personal expression, not just the dollars.

I see this hit-writing factory as two separate entities. You have the song writers, such as Max Martin, writing the music, then you have publicity and management teams doing the other work.

Side 1) Music
Side 2) Management & Publicity

Those are the two pieces of a pop star. The pop star’s image is molded by their music and publicity team. The publicity and management team of a pop are almost as essential as the song writer, because without the publicity, no one will discover the star’s new pop hit.

Response Post: Five Questions for Michael Sam’s Publicist.

This story, hosted by PR Week, intrigued me. I am a very big NFL fan, born and raised San Francisco 49er fan. The biggest question for me about this announcement is the timing. If you ask me, you don’t want distractions during the biggest job interview of your life. Thats what the NFL Combine is for NCAA football players, the biggest job interview of their lives.

Various sports outlets predict Sam being selected in the 4th-5th (out of 7) rounds of the NFL draft. I have never seen a 4th-5th round pick being covered so heavily. The amount of coverage he received was due to the announcement he made regarding his sexuality. There were more eyes on Sam during every drill he competed in at the combine. There was a spotlight on him, and not because of his athletic ability, but because he is the first openly gay NFL prospect. His sexuality has nothing to do with his football skills, yet he drew more attention to himself because he announced to the world that he was gay.

source: CBS Sports

source: CBS Sports

So why would Michael Sam’s publicist, Howard Bragman, want to release the story before the NFL combine? One reason, and one reason alone; he didn’t want the story to leak. Valid. Had Michael Sam’s sexuality been leaked prior to him making his announcement, there would have been controversy. His draft stock could have fallen more than it did, and NFL personnel would wonder if he had more secrets.

However, imagine Michael Sam doesn’t come out as a gay NFL prospect prior to the draft. There is essentially no spotlight on him, he gets drafted with no labels, and he gets paid and he should. Then he makes his announcement after he gets drafted. Would this be a bad look for him? Maybe. Maybe the media labels him as a talented NFL player but a gay player, and a player who held onto secrets during meeting with NFL teams.

It was a very difficult decision. To come out before or after the NFL draft. This is the first year that the NFL draft is taking place in May, not April. What does this mean? Another whole month for media coverage surrounding Michael Sam to die down.

Howard Bragman made the right decision. Having his client, Michael Sam, come out prior to the combine was overall more beneficial. Sam may have had to deal with a brighter spotlight and more pressure, but he won’t have to deal with it once he is drafted. As soon as he is selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, that team knows they  have drafted a talented player who happens to be gay.

Great PR move by Bragman and Sam. Michael Sam was able to announce his sexuality on his own terms. You always want your story out before the media gets their story out, and thats exactly what happened. Bragman said that “I’ve turned down every show that you can imagine around the world. As a PR guy, it makes me want to weep to say “no” to this caliber of people, but I also understand strategically we’re doing the right thing”. Michael Sam did not need anymore spotlight, and Bragman did an excellent job that they did their story to the fullest, and that they did it once. One and done. No need to milk your own story, especially you don’t really want the publicity that will naturally come with it.

Response Post: Drake Doesn’t Do Interviews (Anymore)

I guess Drake isn’t doing interviews anymore.

Drake Done With Interviews

If you’re asking yourself “why?”, I’m in the same boat as you. I think we all know that Drake is not done with interviews. The dude is in the prime of his career, and he is going to all of a sudden stop doing interviews? Not logical. He’ll receive brief publicity over the fact that he’s not doing interviews anymore.

Apparently this is all stemming from a Rolling Stone interview that was recently conducted. The USA Today article mentions Drake’s cover spot being replaced by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Now why was that? Oh, maybe because Mr. Hoffman spontaneously passed away and it made sense (cents as well) to put him on the cover. Not only did Drake lose his cover spot, but he claims that he was, god forbid, misquoted by Rolling Stone.

So let me get a few things “straight”.
1) Drake is mad he wasn’t on the Rolling Stone Cover because a recently deceased actor took his spot.
2) Drake was misquoted by the media (because that has never happened to anyone else, right?)
3) Drake is now done doing interviews.

Are you kidding me? How special are you? I get it, you’re a huge music star who enjoys the spotlight. Nothing wrong with that. But seriously, get some perspective for half a day. All this does for Drake is make him appear spoiled and selfish. But wait, any publicity is good publicity, right? Not when you’re already widely recognized by the demographic who you appeal to. He gains absolutely nothing from holding out on interviews.

Does Drake have a right to be a little put off by Rolling Stone? Sure. He was told he would get the cover and didn’t. Apparently he was misquoted, thus misrepresented. Its ok to be frustrated over that.

From a PR standpoint, Drake isn’t helping himself. Or is he? The entertainment industry revolves around staying relevant, and refusing to do interviews does not keep you relevant. Yeah sure, Drake is getting some publicity for this “no more interviews” stunt, but that publicity won’t last forever. So as soon as that ends, he cracks and does interviews again. And just like that, he stays in the media spotlight for an extended period of time. Instead of just getting the publicity of one Rolling Stone cover, he gets the publicity for not doing interviews + the publicity for when he caves and does interviews again.’

Milking every opportunity for the most publicity possible is how music stars stay relevant. Its one reason why “mainstream” artists sell more records. They’re in the spotlight more often, thus seeming more relevant. Is someone more inclined to buy a record of someone they’ve heard of, or haven’t heard of? I discussed this topic slightly more extensively in a previous post of mine.

So yes, Drake comes off as a spoiled and selfish celebrity, but he’s remaining in the media spotlight (Even though he called the press “evil”). Remaining in the media spotlight is critical for mainstream artists because the moment they seem “outdated” they don’t sell music. How long does a music career last when you stop selling your music? Not long at all. As long as they’re in the media spotlight, they’ll be selling music.

Infographic: Young NFL QBs VS Hall of Fame QBs.

Part 1: My infographic tips.

I know, this isn’t music industry related. Before I elaborate on how this infographic could be changed into a music industry infographic, let me discuss what I’ve made for J452.

My amazing infographic.

My amazing infographic.

I love infographics because they are able to communicate nearly any message in a concise and visually appealing manner. They can be about any topic ranging from sports, coffee, beer and medicine. The possibilities are endless.

These are my tips you should keep in mind when creating an infographic.

1) Consistency. The more consistent an infographic appears, the more effective its communication will be. When you look at an infographic, the more effective ones look concise and organized from a distance.  You want your infographic to appear as one cohesive work, not an overwhelming image.

2) Images over text. It is an infographic. So don’t be afraid to be image heavy. With that in mind, its not a photo collage either. Regarding your text, have your text aid you images, not the other way around. The graphics should make the infographic easy to understand, and the text should offer brief elaboration on your images.

3) Organization. Readers look at infographics from top to bottom. If their eyes have to jump across your infographic to understand your message, your infographic likely isn’t being very effective.

I found some tips right here:

Piktochart’s Infographic Tips.

Part 2: My infographic.

I looked at the first two yearsof these players’ careers to analyze their statistical accomplishments. Three of the players are two seasons into their NFL careers. Two of the remaining three are hall of fame bound, and the remaining quarterback, Joe Montana, is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.

I wanted to see if there was a correlation between the first two seasons of a quarterback’s career and their overall career. After looking at their stats, I have come to the conclusion that the three young quarterbacks are on pace for at a minimum, pro bowl careers. Andrew Luck had more yards than Brady, Montana, and Manning in his first season. Wilson had a higher QB rating than other five QBs in his first two seasons. Kaepernick was 2nd in QB rating for his two first seasons, and had a completion percentage comparable to Brady, Manning, and Montana.

My infographic is trying to predict the future. Predicting the future is obviously impossible. It is quite feasible that one, two, or all three of these young quarterbacks falter at certain points of their career. Maybe they have a great first five years, and then fall off. Anything is possible in the NFL. But as for right now, these three young quarterbacks are on pace for pro bowl careers, if not hall of fame careers.

Now how does this translate to the music industry? Well, it doesn’t directly, but my infographic foundation could be carried over to the music industry. You could make an infographic comparing record sales of the 1960’s or 70’s with record sales of the 90’s or 10’s. You could use that infographic to compare the different in record sales of “Classic” music, with contemporary music. You could compare album advertising expenses with record sales. Use the infographic to display the different in advertising techniques. Today, there is the internet, social media, more TV usage, etc. There is a lot more visual stimulation via technology. In the 1960’s, ads were on the radio, billboards, and TV. There was no internet. There was no music streaming. It was a different world. Bands and musicians were dependent on being signed to a major label. Today, musicians can become international acts all on their own. They can make their own music and album artwork, and independently release it on the internet. (See: Macklemore)

Digital Music Sales Decrease For The First Time in 2013

Why did digital music sales decrease? Could this have been predicted? Were there any signs showing the potential for a sales decrease?

The point is, infographics like the one I made can be used to compare the present, with a foreseeable future. What sales numbers usually occur in the following year after an album sells 50,000 copies in the first week of release vs 500,000 copies in the first week? How have those results changed over the past 50 years? How does a quarterback’s numbers in the first two years of his career correlate with the rest of his career?

Response Post: The Branding of the Olympics

Branding. Branding  always seems to sell a brand, or sink it. Companies with good branding are recognizable, trusted and consistent. A company’s brand is what consumers expect of the products. That is the interesting aspect about the Olympics. The Olympics are a global entity that can be rebranded every four years without repercussions.

Each city does its own rendition of the Olympics. The host country is given the opportunity to put their culture on display. Everyone goes into the Olympics with a fresh mind, with a general idea of what to expect. It is a clean slate every time. When a company rebrands, it is usually because their previous brand image was becoming worse. Rebranding is typically not seen as a good thing. That is where the Olympics have lucked out. Since it is a global competition, a new country hosts the Olympics each time. Thus, a new brand can be created every four years.

I am not saying that the Olympics do not have expectations. If there is one thing that has been consistent about the “Olympics brand” is that the hosting country seems always seems to want to have the best Olympics. I think that there is nothing wrong with that. For a competition hosting athletes and spectators from all over the globe, the event should be of world-class quality. That is one consistent aspect about the Olympics, each hosting city wants to be the best. The Olympics have created a healthy competition, not just between the athletes, but between the hosting cities. For an event that has 4+ years of notice, the event should be world-class. Each city is picked by the Olympic committee for a reason, so if they can’t deliver a world-class Olympics, then they have failed.

If there were brand slogans for the Olympics, they would probably sound something like this:
– World class competition: athletes and cities.

– Global athletics, global culture.

– The Olympics: Where the competition extends beyond the athletes.

The Olympic “brand” in my mind is that hosting cities simply want to out-do each other. There is cultural acceptance, great athletics, and opening/closing ceremonies that are arguably the most elaborate live performances you will see. The opening ceremony for the 2008 summer olympics in Beijing had the best choreographed performances I’ve seen in my entire life. Have other cities been able to replicated that choreography? No. But have other cities attempted to display their culture in the most elaborate way possible? Of course. And that is the Olympic brand. To showcase culture and cater a world class event, to a global audience.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Since the Olympics are every four years, each city can do the event in their fashion. The possibilities are almost endless. As long all Olympics take place, there is no violence, and the opening/closing ceremonies are not a production failure, then the Olympics are viewed as a success.

What other company/brand has the option to rebrand with such ease? I cannot think of one. Rebranding occurs when the current brand is not seen in a positive light by the public. However, there is one brand that can get away with continuously rebranding themselves (to an extent). Those brands are music brands. Bands and musicians are essentially rebranding themselves with every album release. Every album you listen to has a certain theme, sound, concept, etc. Music artists are either remembered by their most popular album, or their most recent album. If they are remembered by their most popular album, then the most recent album has reshaped their brand. TV shows can’t rebrand because they need viewers. If a show is consistently changing its material, they’ll lose viewers because they are not sticking with what viewers are expecting of the show. Movie directors brand themselves with the material they deliver. It would take multiple movies for a movie director to rebrand him/herself.

Rebranding is a dangerous tactic, but some brands, like the Olympics and musicians are able to rebrand themselves consistently because their audience is open minded to certain levels of change.

Grantland: The Branding of the Olympics

Response Post: Celeb PR Not All Red Carpets and Paparazzi: Ask Scarlett Johansson

I read an article written by my most glorious professor, Kelli Matthews. She really is glorious, I’m not sucking up to her. (Well, maybe. There’s a little bit of truth in everything, right?) Anyways, Scarlett Johansson is in some hot water at the moment because of her fallout with the NGO, Oxfam. Now why did this come about? Well, Ms. Johansson took an endorsement from SodaStream. Where is SodaStream’s manufacturing plant? The West Bank. What does Oxfam stand for? Human rights. Do SodaStream and Oxfam share the same moral values? Nope. Who was an ambassador for both? Oh you guessed it, ya girl, Scarlett Johansson.

SodaStream & Johansson Source: The Guardian

SodaStream & Johansson
Source: The Guardian

Kelli’s post was pointing out the fact that this whole “entertainment PR” is much more than glammy red carpet movie premieres. Usually, entertainment PR means you’re dealing with all the worst aspects of the entertainment industry. People like actors/comedians/musicians/etc are all brands. Yes they are people, but they are brands. When you go see a Leonardo DiCaprio movie, you have an expectation because its  DiCaprio movie. Its his brand that is selling the movie. (in addition to other aspects of course).

DiCaprio's Movies

DiCaprio’s Movies

So what does entertainment PR do? It maintains the entire image of the entertainer. Since its the entertainment industry, you’re relevant for maybe a month at a time. Entertainment PR needs to keep you relevant for good reasons. Dumping a human rights NGO for SodaStream probably doesn’t look the best to the public. Then again, Oxfam isn’t featuring Johansson in Super Bowl ads. So who is keeping Johansson relevant right now? SodaStream. Entertainment brands sell on hype, buzz, relevance, and credibility. However, having credibility as an entertainment brand means you’ve done a damn good job for an extensive period of time.

This carries over to the music industry just as much as it carries into the movie industry. They do both reside in the entertainment industry. (So thanks Kelli, for internally laughing when I said I wanted to do music PR, lol) Something that damages a musician’s reputation that isn’t human rights related, is faking a performance. Now the interesting aspect about this is that it totally depends on the type of music. Pop stars can get handed a beat, lyrics, a melody, a choreographed dance, and then lip-sync the song to a…sold out arena. The pop music audience just wants a performance, they don’t care if its actually being sung or not. If they actually cared, lip-syncing likely would have gone out the window.

However Steve Angello, a Swedish DJ, and member of the super group, Swedish House Mafia, took some heat for faking the last 15 minutes of one of his sets at a music festival. You hear his mix changing songs without him actually touching anything. His defense? He needed his music synced with all the pyrotechnics. Valid reason. However, with DJs, people already question what they are actually doing on stage besides “pressing play”. This resulted in his entire DJ legitimacy being put into question. That puts his brand into question. There was some damage control for this, but in some people’s minds, he never recovered. Some people will forever see him as a fraud, due to one video on the internet.

Steve Angello Source:

Steve Angello

That is the thing about entertainment PR. People who are brands, are alive for only so long. If your PR team can’t recover for one of your errors, your brand is as good as dead. You can lose your brand due to one antic. Its not a company with insurance and the like, actors/comedians/musicians are a single person, and buy like them due to their product. But since they are one person, one action can sink their image. With a company, its a nonliving entitiy. They get second chances. Most entertainment brands don’t. This is why entertainment PR is not all red carpets and paparazzi. You hold a brand’s life in your hands on a day to day basis.

Celeb PR Not All Red Carpets and Paparazzi: Ask Scarlett Johansson

Viral Videos and Publicity

Baauer. Have you heard of Baauer?

Baauer Source:


If you answered no, let me try again. Have you heard of “The Harlem Shake”? That answer surely has to be yes, or this is your first day on the Internet. If it is your first day, welcome. If its not, then welcome back. Anyways, on the surface level, it appears that Baauer, a New York based music producer, blew up when videos of fans dancing to his track “Harlem Shake” went viral. The videos went viral, yes, but not organically.

To make things simple, a YouTube channel uploaded the first Harlem Shake video on Jan 30th. This wasn’t the 30 second version that you became used to. Anyways, their dance caught traction, and five replica videos were produced over the next week. Then things changed.

Maker, a website that “specializes in making money from YouTube” (Ashton) noticed the video on Reddit. They seized the opportunity. They filmed their “office version” of the Harlem Shake, and the video took off.

To cut to the chase, Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake” ended up in the number one spot on the Billboard hot 100. That is all due The Harlem Shake video going viral. Maker, made their Harlem Shake video because they knew they could get money from ad revenue. Most anyone can get ad revenue from YouTube if their video captures enough views.

The Harlem Shake going viral was not by accident. Baauer blew up across the Internet during February 2013.

Baauer's search index via Google

In the past year, Baauer has continued to make a name for himself.  He has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the electronic music scene. He became a household name because a 30 second dance video featuring his song went viral. The publicity Baauer gained from the video is what launched his career. He may not have been in the music spotlight prior to the Harlem Shake video, but due to his name now being a recognizable one, his name is usually featured in headlines, because its recognizable. Why is name recognizable? Because of the Harlem Shake.

That is the power one viral video can have on a music career. The publicity from viral video can launch your career into the stratosphere. Whether the video’s virality is due to a professional company, or due to organic growth, one video can change a musician’s career. See: Gangnam Style. I heard that Psy made eight million off of YouTube ads ALONE. That doesn’t include record sales, merchandise sales, and performance fees. One song, one video, and he’s an international star and multimillionaire. That is the power of proper publicity.

Did Baauer plan out this Harlem Shake video craze? No. Did he benefit from it? Absolutely. So did the label he is signed to, Diplo’s Mad Decent. That also means Diplo benefitted. The other artists signed to Mad Decent benefit. It is a trickle-down effect with this. Publicity can make or break your career. In this case, all the publicity Baauer garnered from the Harlem Shake video craze definitely made his career.

For further information on this, check out’s article on how the video went viral.

Customer Service and Public Relations

So, I’ve been offered the customer service coordinator position for an upcoming music festival. Point being, this got me thinking about the overlap between customer service and public relations.

Well, lets look at a few things.

What does customer service aim to do for a company?
– Keeps customers happy.

– Gives an insight to the company’s culture based on their work with customers.

– Strives to maintain a good public image for the company.

What does public relations aim to do for a company?

(Copy and paste from above.)

I realized very quickly that the basic goals of public relations and customer service are pretty damn similar. Of course how they go about completing these goals is very different from each other. I know I’m not just speaking for myself when I say that I go back to companies that keep me happy.

Boiled down:

– Happy after interacting with company = continue to use company for their products.

– Not happy after interacting with company = stop using company’s products.

Public relations keep customers happy beyond the customer’s product experience. When a “PR disaster” occurs, it is the public relations’ job to maintain a positive image of the company. When customers are not happy and contact customer service, it is customer service’s job to keep that customer happy.

Positive image of company = business.

Happy customers = business.



Look, happy people!

If I am to accept this position with the music festival, there is no question that my public relations knowledge will spill into my customer service work. It will be my job to ensure that all festival attendees are happy. It is my job that they come back the following years. It will be my job to display how _______ event company handles customers. My interaction with customers is going to influence the patron’s perception of this company. Am I an email robot? Or am I a caring customer service coordinator who wants the customer to be extremely pleased with their experience?

Public relations paints the perception of companies world wide, and so does customer service. For example, Zappos, an online shoe retailer labels themselves as a customer service company that sells shoes. Who have I bought shoes from for the past six years? Zappos. I’ve been in an email thread with a music equipment company for almost three months now about fixing some of my equipment. They usually take 4-8 days to respond my emails, and are sometimes so brief with their responses, that might as well have not responded at all. Do I want to go back to this company and purchase their products? No. But do I love the experience that I have with their products when I’m using them? Yes, but I’m on the verge of changing company alliances simply due to their miserable customer service.

With music festivals, I know of multiple people who had the time of their life at a music festival almost due to the customer service they encountered. The customer service was the cherry on top, it was what pushed their experience from great to amazing. Usually its those little experiences that bring customers back. That will be my job if I accept the position, to present the company’s image to customers. Presenting a company’s image and morals what I am learning about right now as I pursue my public relations degree. Cheers to happy customers.

25 Skills You Need for a Killer Customer Service Career

Response Post: Handles and Hashtags.

This post, resonated with me because I could be a whole lot better at Twitter. I remember the very first Twitter account I made was for my high school rock/metal band, named “Guns Fall Silent” (lol high school rock bands). As much as I had the intention of creating a social media account that would lead our band to the masses, I had no idea how Twitter worked. I think I checked that account a grand total of maybe three times. Tweeted maybe once.

Fast forward to today,  I now have two Twitter accounts. One of them is my personal account @bigredceej. I started my personal Twitter in order to post random bodies of the text on the Internet with little to no consequences (I’m conscious of what I post). I also have an account for my music production alias “CARZiNGER”, that handle is @carzinger_music. I started this account be able to spread my music without spamming my personal account followers.

I can’t say I’m by any means a Twitter professional, but within the past five months or so I’ve really grasped a hold of what makes a Twitter account successful. The tips I’ve caught up with are all mentioned on Anneke Jong’s post on “How to Not Suck at Twitter”. (Whether I actually utilize those techniques is up for debate). The continuous usage of hashtags, handles and mentioning trending topics = followers. Thats undeniable.


However, this is my personal qualm with getting a successful Twitter account. Its quite standard to see Twitter accounts be overrun with hashtags/mentions/handles/trending issues, etc. Blue links across 90% of my Twitter feed makes my feed look the same, even though I follow a total of 543 accounts.

So you really have two options with Twitter.

One option is to not follow the protocol to get a “successful” Twitter account. You can tweet in the style that suits your fancy, and not pay attention to the “should dos” of Twitter. Then hope that followers come naturally. But don’t get your hopes up.

The second option is to follow the protocol of successful Twitter accounts and blow up your account with mentions/hashtags/etc. This will gain some traction as the more involved you are, the more involvement you’ll receive from other Twitter users. Every time I tweet using a hashtag, or mention, I usually get a favorite and/or retweet from an account I’ve never even seen. I check these accounts and they’ve always been legitimate accounts. I’ve even had a brief Twitter conversation with the San Francisco International Airport, because I used their handle and a hashtag.

Point is that, in order to not suck at Twitter, you need to care. Imagine that, the more you care, the more successful you’ll be. If you really don’t care for Twitter attention, then do you, tweet as you like. But you’re looking for those mentions, followers and retweets, get in the habit of always using handles and hashtags.

As I’ve said, using those handles and hashtags gains Twitter attention. This is one way to build your brand in the music industry, or any industry for that matter. Lets look at an account with a lot of followers, for example, Tiesto. When someone sees Tiesto mention someone or something that they haven’t heard of, people are going to investigate. Tiesto has 2.56 million followers. Even if five percent of his followers see his tweet that mentions you, 128,000 people have now heard of your brand. All it takes is clicking on your Twitter handle, and just like that, your brand has been discovered. That is the power of proper hashtag/handle usage.

How To Not Suck at Twitter, by Anneke Jong