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Polish Your Twitter Best Practices

Twitter LogoTwitter is a powerful platform and with over 645 million active users there is no need for an introduction, but are you using it in the most effective way to promote your product? Here are some quick and easy ways to improve your tweeting habits.

Twitter recently redesigned their platform, and with that came new opportunities to promote yourself and your brand. In addition to the avatar (400 x 400 graphic) there is now a header image (1500 x 500 , but 1500 x 421 fits best) across the top of the page. This give the most space for promotion. Be careful of text placement on the graphic though as it will appear slightly different on mobile devices.

It is also important to remember that when clicking on individual tweets, the background image that was previously prominent on your page is still visible so make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. The bio section located under the avatar is a great place to include album pre-order or buy links. The new layout also allows you to pin tweets to the top of the page. This pinned tweet will remain at the top of the page so it is best to pin a tweet of importance i.e buy links, video premieres, tour announcements, etc.

Kina Grannis Twitter Design Example

When it comes to tweeting itself, some things to keep in mind are to vary your tweets with authentic content, content with links, retweets, photos, and videos. Engage your fans by replying to their questions and comments. Hold a Twitter Q&A if you want. There are some great platforms that can help you run these seamlessly like CrowdChat.

Always use handles. Unless you use a handle, the likelihood of that person/brand/publication seeing your tweet is slim. Tagging allows people to know when they have been mentioned and flag a tweet they may want to retweet. You would want a publication to use your handle if they were tweeting wonderful things about you, right? Keep it short and sweet. There is a 140 character limit for a reason. So now that you know what you should do, here are a few don’ts to remember.

Don’t over do it. Excessive selling, self-promotions and retweeting will clutter people’s feed and turn them off from what you have to saying.

Don’t link to other platforms. Twitter has its own voice and should not be linked with other social networks. If you tag someone on Twitter and your Twitter account is linked to Facebook, the tweet you sent will show up with an @ instead of tagging the proper person/publication. Take the time to give each platform the attention they deserve.

Don’t share important news without a link! “We are heading out on tour this fall, tickets on sale now!!!” Cool, but where in the world can you buy them?!?! If something has a link, make sure you include it within the post.

The next important don’t has to do with hashtags. Everyone loves them or at least everyone likes to pretend they do. The reality is is that they can easily take away from the text of your message. Hashtags can be a useful tool, but use them sparingly. Regularly including three or more hashtags in your tweets means people will probably start overlooking them, because they tend to look like spam and are harder to read quickly.

That about wraps it up. Happy tweeting!

Long Live Cassettes: Cassette Store Day 2014

CassetteStoreDayLOGOLow and behold analog enthusiasts… The second annual Cassette Store Day is quickly approaching! On Saturday, September 27th, fans will once again gather at participating shops to celebrate the cassette as a music format. This year, the event will be coordinated from both sides of the Atlantic with Fullerton, California-based Burger Records overseeing efforts in the US, while Kissability and Suplex Cassettes will once again be organizing things in the UK/EU.

In a blog post on NME.com, one of the original founders of Cassette Store Day, BBC Radio 1 DJ / Kissability’s Jen Long, had this to say towards the viability of the format, “Music today moves faster than ever before. We are swamped hourly with new acts, new tracks, and endless free downloads. It becomes addictive, with more and more bands wanting to release their music, and most importantly, more fans than ever wanting to become a part of this world and start a label. However, you can’t sell mp3s from the merch table (and it isn’t the most romantic way of introducing someone to a great band). Plus cassettes are cheap to make and you don’t have to commit to large quantities, unlike vinyl.”

Originally conceived as a way to celebrate the lost format, the first Cassette Store Day, held last September, was met with open arms with stores participating in over eighty cities worldwide and releases from the likes of The Flaming Lips, Haim, At the Drive-In, Deerhunter, and more!

This year’s event looks to expand on 2013’s success while staying focused, “When planning this year we really tried to keep cassette labels and fans at the heart of the event. Last year grew far bigger than we had expected, so we are thrilled to have Burger involved to help us cover the US side,” said Long.

However, according to Billboard, “While CSD 2013 warmed the hearts and ears of listeners both nostalgic for music journalist Rob Sheffield’s ‘Love Is A Mixtape’ era and hopeful for analog’s growing sweet spot in the music industry, it did not inspire strong sales: in the week ending Sept. 8, 2013, cassette albums sold just 1,000 — up 1% compared to the previous week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. To boot, those numbers represent a miniscule 0.02% of the total 289 million music units moved sold in 2013.”

Despite these harrowing numbers, Burger Records is very much looking forward to this year’s festivities and had this to say, “Burger Records loves tapes! We’ve built our foundation on the forgotten format and have been preaching the merits of warm analog cassette culture for years. We’re honored to be ambassadors of Cassette Store Day 2014 in the good ol’ USA! We plan to bring some of our favorite labels to the table and invite everyone to the party and partake in the fun phenomena of releasing top shelf music on cassette tapes in pop culture today!”

Matt Flag of Suplex Cassettes offered this final consideration in the same NME blog post mentioned above:“Today [tapes are] the most affordable showcase for a band that is not ready to spend £1000 to drop 500 7″s into the world, so I can run a label that takes chances and puts out as many releases as I want to due to the cheapness and convenience of the format. Plus they look rad!”

While many in the industry will snicker and others may write off the cassette resurgence to, “F#@&ing Hipsters,”[1]  there is something to be said for the DIY spirit and practicality of it all that makes it deserving of support.

Cassette Store Day 2014 takes place on Saturday September 27th. Labels wishing to release a cassette on the day can sign up for a small admin fee of $10/£10 from June 30th – August 15th at cassettestoreday.com.  Stores wishing to participate can sign up for free on the site. A full guide to assist labels and stores is also available for download.

Looking forward to pulling out my old Walkman!

[1] ^Long, Jen (12 July 2013). “Why We’ve Created Cassette Store Day (And Why It’s Not Just Hipster Nonsense)”. NME.

Suicide Silence’s Unstoppable Debut

This past week, American Deathcore band Suicide Silence’s highly anticipated album, You Can’t Stop Me, hit digital retailers worldwide. Here in the Retail Marketing department, we have been working hard on preparing digital music stores for the arrival of this record, heralding updates of its pre-release campaign to all of our accounts. iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Beats Music were very receptive to the band’s first effort in over two years, and due to some awesome placement, fans were able to help push the album to #18 on the iTunes Top Album Charts and #2 on the iTunes Metal Charts in the US.

iTunes_Metal_Showcase_SuicideSilence_YouCantStopMe_20140715

20140715_Suicide Silence_BeatsMusic_ METAL_Featured New Releases

We secured lots of great placement in stores abroad as well. Slots on the main, Rock and Metal pages helped You Can’t Stop Me soar to #2 on the latter pages in iTunes CanadaAustralia’s iTunes charts also got a dose of Suicide Silence, scoring the top Metal and Rock albums alongside some killer placement on both of those pages.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 4.17.49 PM

In addition, a Tagboard contest was implemented in conjunction with all of the retail placement we received. Fans were encouraged to submit pictures of themselves with screenshots of their iTunes, Google Play or Amazon digital download of the album with the hashtag #YCSM. This entered them into a competition to win a signed booklet or poster. The interaction was huge and retail stores as well as fans loved it! Some fans even bought three formats of the album. Engagement is key and because of this, Suicide Silence and their fans successfully unlocked all of the potential to help make this a really great week of release.

After all of the buzz, You Can’t Stop Me debuted at #16 on the Billboard Top 200 and #2 on the Independent Albums Charts!

Surprise! The Raveonettes Release Brand New Album “Pe’ahi”

The Raveonettes: Pe'ahiWhat’s that? A new album from The Raveonettes?! You heard right, and it’s OUT TODAY via Beat Dies Records.

Turns out Beyoncé isn’t the only one who can put out an album sans pre-release build-up. The Raveonettes decided to break the rules a little by announcing and releasing their new album, Pe’ahi, all in the same day, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (M83‘s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming), Pe’ahi explores a different sound for The Raveonettes. They create a new musical world, one with “choirs, harps, digital bit crushing, rhythmic changes, unconventional song structures, different ways of singing, staccato, machine gun guitar picking, and a somewhat schizophrenic universe,” according to frontman Sune Rose Wagner.

Pe’ahi, which was recorded entirely in a 20th century apartment building in downtown Los Angeles, is named after a dangerous surfing destination in Maui, Hawaii. The opening track, “Endless Sleeper,” talks about “taking risks in order to exist,” and draws from a near-death experience that took place on the island. This sets the tone for the album as one that “would only have been possible to make on the West Coast. Sun, surf, the Pacific, vast spaces yet a sense of isolation.” Pe’ahi is at the same time dark and bright, heavy and light, and oh-so-worth your listen.

Check out fall tour dates after the jump and get your hands on Pe’ahi from your store or service of choice now!

… Continue Reading

“Codebreaker:” The Story of an Unknown Genius

CodebreakerYou may not have ever heard of Alan Turing. Yet, his impact on the outcome of World War II and technology today was monumental. Codebreaker, out earlier this month on your favorite digital video stores, makes his story known to the world.

Winner of the Audience Award at the 2012 Science TV and New Media Awards, Codebreaker is a film about Turing’s life as a scientist and mathematician who used his genius to break the German Engima code and help the British defeat the Nazis during World War II. In addition to saving millions of lives with his breakthrough, Turing also imagined a digital world far before anyone else. He had a visionary mind about the future of technology, but persecution by the British government prevented him from making even greater strides in the fields of computer science and artificial intelligence.

Told through documentary-style interviews as well as dramatic reenactments, Codebreaker reveals the war that went on within and outside of Turing’s mind. His homosexuality resulted in the government failing to recognize his contributions and instead forcing him to undergo chemical castration. Therapy sessions based on real conversations between Turing and his therapist give insight into the despair Turing experienced: at the young age of 41, Turing’s torment resulted in suicide.

Featured at over twenty-five major universities and corporate screenings at Google, Intel, Microsoft, AT&T, Société Générale and more, Codebreaker is a film that the world needs to see. Alan Turing is an unknown genius who should stand amongst Albert Einstein, Issac Newton and Charles Darwin, and this film finally gives him the recognition he deserves.

Discover the story of the scientist you never knew and check out the trailer below:

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