Whether it was where Meek Mill collected his L for tweeting reckless or the social media site that has gotten Azealia Banks suspended, Twitter is a great social media app for rappers to express themselves, connect with fans, share news (with timing) and have fun while at it.
Many of SA rappers are in their thousands follow bracket with AKA clocking a million followers a while ago so their reach is palpable within the 140 characters streets. Which brings me to the point of saying, rappers need to learn to use Twitter smartly.
With the sudden rise of newspapers, if we can still call them that, paying close attention to rapper’s TL than their 16s, I think it’s time SA rappers use the spotlight on them to further the hip hop agenda. I hope one don’t do is don’t be sexist, a bigot, homophobic or threaten violence. Thats the first no no. Don’t cross it.
Here are my 10 tips on using your Twitter account smartly rappers:
1. You are human before being a rapper. Tweet like one.
This eludes so many rappers on the game that it seems they are aloof of current affairs in the country they along rhymes in. A well executed comment on current affairs, goes a long way to making people and fans alike see you holistically. For example, Fees Must Fall. A message of support to the students that was fighting for education freedom and equality not only shows that you care about the nation you rap in but it’s future affects you.
2. Invest in SM tools like Buffer & Hootsuite
Buffer is as free as your DFH link. Hootsuite is less than a bottle of Ciroc in a club. Use them. These tools look at your followers activity, when they are online, real time numbers of interactions, real time numbers of links clicks, it’s a glorified stuur boy. You schedule important posts like other SM platforms you on (Snapchat, ‘Gram, Facebook), announcements, album links, your Soundcloud and YouTube pages etc at a set time that Buffer / Hootsuite has analyzed your following and it will be more visible. The vitality of that is immense and unimaginable. The reach it garners is beneficial to you.
3. Don’t be a robot.
As mentioned with SM tools, it’s automated but that shouldn’t be your only focus. Once in a while log on your Twitter app and tweet a congratulatory message about your favorite sports team, how much you enjoyed a certain movie (no spoilers), a favorite indulgence like reading African literature. You a rapper, that’s the basis of what your followers know about you and that is the chunk of what you are about but a little, “Steph Curry is killing it with the three pointers tonight! #NBA” is a soft spot and very much welcomed. It shows your character and while we on that, don’t censor self because you don’t on record. Find a way not to cuss than tweeting “f*ck” when on record you have 76 of those in one song.
4. Don’t feed the trolls.
Many a rappers have felt susceptible to this. One random person disses your song, you attack them and their mother. You get into a bad light. Don’t engage trolls. Just don’t, you feed one a whole community comes out.
5. Engage valid tweets and in hashtags
Every once in a while, someone will ask you where you performing, where can they get a CD or even a, “Who’s your favorite rapper?”; these deserve answers. This is someone who wants to know you the rapper. If asked about a girlfriend, scroll. You don’t have to engage with all interactions but there are ones HAVE TO attend. On hashtags, here’s a free one, drop a link to a song you did a year ago on Thursday and hashtag #TBT. This shows you don’t log on just to search your name and RT. Which leads to the next one.
6. DON’T RT all your name searches & hashtag tweets
This is messy my goodness. Your TL looks like a pig sty of self glorification, I’m sorry promo tweeter but it does get messy. Now you have to scroll through pages of RTs to find the link to this song called hot & classic. It’s tiring. You don’t want people to use Twitter’s function of turning off retweets.
7. Pictures, Twitter loves pictures.
Whether it’s a selfie or some of interest, pictures say a thousand words. Even if it’s not a picture of you, but a picture of a full venue makes people wish they were there or celebrate your art.
8. Music opinions and views. Tread carefully.
You don’t want to blackball self in the industry becasue you was a loose mouth. With opinions, it needs careful precision as much as it needs the full understanding that people have different preferences. You can say Pac is the greatest, one person will say Biggie. DON’T FIGHT THEM TO BE RIGHT. Coz you gonna be inundated with people saying Canibus or Hymphatic Thabs, now it’s about who is the greatest not who YOU think is the greatest. Keep your music views as blanket as possible. That album is hot. That song is hot. I grew up on this rapper’s music. This song is special to me. The production on this song is beautiful. Like that. It ensures that you can tell the trolls and fight starters from valid comments.
9. Don’t only tweet your music but tweet about your music.
A story of how a song came about, what you were feeling when you wrote a certain song, think J. Cole “Interlude” on “Cole World: The Sideline Story”
10. Tweet other rappers music
This might be a facade to many but if you feeling a song, tweet the iTunes link or YouTube link to it. Don’t do it to only your known affiliates, do it with music you feel and feel is good music.
As generic as these tips are, rappers are different & their crowds too. Don’t let SM dictate you, you decide how to be social. Being yourself is a step into someone reading how you conduct yourself into them believing in you enough to support you.
Written by SDOT (@SDotJR_)