Local 802 has joined the cutting edge of the 21st century and is now “tweeting.”
To “tweet” is to send a message using Twitter, and Twitter is the latest addition to social networking sites, such as MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn.
To see Local 802’s Twitter page, go to www.Twitter.com/Local_802_AFM.
There, you’ll see what a Twitter page looks like. As you can see, it looks just like a blog, except that each post is only 140 characters or less.
The fun part is that you can sign up to “follow” Local 802’s Twitter posts. This means that every time Local 802 sends a new tweet, you can read it in at least four different ways:
- You can get the post sent directly to your cell phone.
- You can use free software such as TweetDeck to get instant updates and read new posts.
- You can read new posts at www.Twitter.com/Local_802_AFM.
- You can create your own Twitter account and read the Local 802 updates on your own Twitter page.
You can also link your Twitter account to your Facebook or MySpace pages or your own personal Web site or blog.
If you end up setting up your own Twitter page, you can post your own tweets through your cell phone, Blackberry or iPhone, in addition to using Twitter.com itself or other Twitter application.
Now, the obvious question is: why Twitter?
Local 802 joined Twitter in order to quickly send mass updates and announcements to members, which is a great resource in addition to Allegro, our Web site, the Local 802 hotline and our e-mail newsletter 802 Notes.
For example, we can tweet information about upcoming events and rallies and provide instant notification about hot-button political issues.
Furthermore, we can give last-minute updates about changes in location and meeting time.
Using the mobile phone update function, we can better coordinate job actions and provide members with up-to-date information. This way, members don’t have to wait for the Web site and hotline to be updated.
And for those of you who are wondering, we will not be tweeting about what the president of Local 802 ate for breakfast, or how long it took to get to the office because the subway yet again had problems, how bad the weather is and so forth.
For professional musicians, Twitter is an important part of viral marketing and branding. You can tweet links to your gigs, audio clips, photos, videos, blogs and Web sites, as well as general updates on your daily activities.
More importantly, there are widgets that allow you to update your Facebook and MySpace status via Twitter, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time each day updating all of your sites.
However, Twitter is not merely for pushing CD sales; it is about building a following, branding and marketing yourself. To build your base, it is important to get people involved in your daily life and artistic ideas and influences, in addition to promoting your gigs and music.
Ask your fans to suggest songs for your set list or plot your tour. Have a dialogue about the instruments and gear you use. Post some pictures or snippets of your recording session. And the best part? You can do all of this from your cell phone any time and any place — what more can freelance musicians ask for?