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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!

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.


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.

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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!

Geo-Target Your Tunes on SoundCloud

soundcloud logoWith a world of music out there and a corresponding number of territorial rights and restrictions, it’s important to be able to control where your sounds are heard and when on sites and services like SoundCloud, which are growing in both popularity and reach. It’s also helpful when you’re promoting a track in one country but have a separate release strategy for another. And anyway, it’s just nice to be able to manage this kind of thing, period.

Lucky for us, SoundCloud has a geoblocking tool that does just that. It’s only available on whitelisted accounts, so be sure to use our SoundCloud Connect app in the Marketplace to get your or your artist’s account whitelisted first, and you can use it to restrict and allow hand-picked territories for each of your uploaded tracks. It works on the SoundCloud website as well as embedded players, and you can apply it to individual tracks as well as playlists (more on that later).

To get to your geoblocking settings, click on the “Availability” menu you see when you upload a new track to SoundCloud.


Tracks are set to be available worldwide by default, but by checking the Geoblocking box, you gain control over which countries can and cannot access your music.

SoundCloud_Geoblocking_Continent_CountrySimply enter a country or continent in the box, filtering down your range of availability as you go. If you want to remove a selection, just hover over the ‘x’ next to the given country or continent. You can even remove an entire continent except for a certain country. For example, if I’d like my track to be excluded everywhere in Europe except for France and Switzerland, my settings would look like the image on the right.

If you’re not ready to manage your geoblocking settings at the time of upload, you can also edit them later for any track or playlist. Just click on the edit icon, scroll to where it says “Geographic availability for this track/set,” and choose between the following options:

  • Use existing settings: this will keep any individual track settings you’ve already implemented
  • Available worldwide: pretty straightforward…
  • Custom settings: this allows you to either Block or Allow your sound in specific territories through handy drop-down menus

Note that if you want to manage geoblocking for an entire playlist, the settings you implement for the playlist will override any existing settings for the tracks within it. So if I’ve restricted one of my tracks in Europe, but it’s in a playlist for which I select “Available worldwide,” this last setting will override my initial European block. If however I’ve only blocked one of the tracks in Europe but I want this whole playlist to do the same, I can adjust the custom settings in my playlist and it will apply to all my tracks. Here’s what that would look like using the same filters I used earlier:


Note, if you’re not using playlist-level geoblocking, make sure to have all the tracks within a playlist abide by the same rules for seamless playback.

Voilà! That’s how you manage your geographical presence on SoundCloud. Remember that this tool is only open to whitelisted accounts, and you can manage that straight from The Orchard Workstation via our SoundCloud Connect app.  If you don’t have access to The Orchard Marketplace, contact your client rep for assistance.

Ask a Music Journalist: How to Give an Interview Like a Pro

Within Temptation Q&AThis article, written by journalist Rachel Bailey, originally appeared on Sonicbids. We’re excited to be working with them to bring you the best and most relevant content for your business!

One of the most fun parts of the music journalist’s job, at least for people like me, is the opportunity to have a conversation with a musician whose work we like. When we are doing our jobs well, we spend hours in advance of the interview listening to their records, reading past press, talking about them with like-minded friends and thinking about what we want to say.

The best music journalists come to an interview with a set of questions prepared, and we always hope to have come up with at least a handful that the artist hasn’t been asked by other interviewers before us. But no matter how prepared we are, no matter how thoughtful our questions are or how much time we’re willing to dedicate to the interview process, these conversations are two-way streets. Whether you have a great interviewer sitting across from you or someone with a litany of “What’s your favorite…” questions, there are some strategies for being compelling in conversation.

Put some thought into what you do, and the message that your press materials send.

When most artists put together a press kit, they include a bio of some sort that sets the tone for the narrative they want to spin about the current album or the band as a whole. Whether you write the bio yourself or have someone else do it, familiarize yourself with that narrative, as it will likely be the basis for some of the questions you are asked. Spend some time thinking about how you feel about your music, what you’re trying to say with it and what it means to you. Write these thoughts down. Then, when you are inevitably asked about it later, you’ll be prepared with thought-out answers. Do the hard thinking before the interview begins. We journalists can only write so many stories about bands who don’t have much to say about themselves.

Tell stories.

Anecdotes are both your friend and your interviewer’s friend. They take writing about something rather esoteric and different to talk about and ground that airy pursuit. Real stories, rich with detail, that relate in some way to the music or the people who make it can be the key that really unlocks the potential for a great piece. Here’s a great example from The Casket Girls.

Don’t stop at “yes” or “no.”

Hopefully, you won’t be asked too many yes or no questions in an interview, but in the event you are, don’t settle for answering with a single word. Elaborate upon your response. Perhaps someone will ask you, “Were you influenced by so-and-so?” If you were, talk about how that manifests itself in your music, or what about that particular influence is meaningful to you. If not, go on to say some of the things that did influence you. Apply this way of thinking to any question that invites you to stop after a brief answer, and try to find something of value to add.

Remember, we can only “get it” if you give it to us.

Any interviewer worth their salt is going to come into a conversation with an artist with some ideas of their own about that artist’s catalog and persona. The point of the interview is to get to know you better, and to share that knowledge with people who care about you. So the more information, commentary, personality, intimacy, humor and stories that you bring to the table, the more likely it is that the finished article will feel like a reflection of you and your values. We and our readers are hungry for insight. It’s up to you to decide how much of yourself you want to share. But if you can find parts of yourself that you’re comfortable releasing into the public consciousness, you’re much more likely to be successful.

Boost Your Reach with Your Very Own YouTube Billboard

YTBillboardHave a new album or film coming out soon? Of course you do! But do your fans know about it? Pre-release promotion is a no brainer, but ask yourself how you are conveying that message. YouTube is one of the most powerful tools available for making your voice heard, though it’s often underutilized as a promotional tool. Consider your video’s watch page as a virtual, interactive billboard for your message. Creating a simple, yet compelling video announcement can invoke pure excitement among eager fans while allowing you to convert potential sales right off the bat.

Let’s take an album release for example. If you want to draw a genuine response from your audience, they’re going to want a taste of what to expect. Tease a track that fans have never heard before with creative imagery behind the audio. You’ll build up expectations while also leaving your audience wanting more. Time this the right way and your album will already have eager eyes waiting in anticipation for street date.

Aside from giving fans a sneak peak at what you’re promoting, you also have some prime real estate to work with to take care of business. Display vital information like the album title and release date in both your video’s title and description (or burned directly in the video itself). More importantly, give your fans the opportunity to buy the album instantly. You’ve gotten them amped up for the release, now turn that excitement into a sale by including pre-order links in the videos description and in-video annotations.

What if your following isn’t that great on YouTube yet and your fans are more centered around Facebook or Twitter? No problem! This strategy will work there too. Create your video billboard the same way we talked about above, and simply copy and paste the link as a post anywhere else on social media. As long as your vital information is included in the video’s title or burned into the video itself, you’ll get traction anywhere else your fans are. Excited fans will spark up conversation either on YouTube itself or directly in your social posts, all leading up to a strongly boosted street date.

Check out our decorated example below:


About The Orchard

The Orchard is a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets. Founded in 1997, we empower businesses and creators in the entertainment industry.

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