First of all, before I go in to the topic and why I bothered writing about it, I will briefly explain what an hashtag is, and what it is used for.
What is a hashtag?
“A hashtag is a word or a phrase prefixed with the symbol #,a form of metadata tag. Short messages on microblogging social networking services such as Twitter, Tout, identi.ca, Tumblr, Instagram, or Google+ may be tagged by including one or more with multiple words concatenated, e.g.:
#Wikipedia is an #encyclopedia
Hashtags provide a means of grouping such messages, since one can search for the hashtag and get the set of messages that contain it.” – Wikipedia
Function of a Hashtag
“Hashtags are mostly used as unmoderated ad-hoc discussion forums; any combination of characters led by a hash sign is a hashtag, and any hashtag, if promoted by enough individuals, can “trend” and attract more popular, it will appear in the “Trending Topics” area of a user’s homepage.” – Wikipedia
Ok so now I believe we all have a general idea of what the hashtag is, and its function on the social media like twitter. For those of us who are twitter users, I’m sure we would agree with me that hashtags are most of the time used for fun, to joke and most importantly get a form of trend.
These days, entertainers especially musicians have now taken the initiative of actually creating hashtags, to promo their materials. If you ask me, it’s a brilliant initiative, after all the social media isn’t meant for fun alone, it can be used to promote and boost business.
Now to the reason why I decided to write this article, Nigerians on twitter would testify to the fact that, there are twitter handle known for trending Hashtags on Nigerian twitter (Brilliant if you ask me, at least it takes the stress away), majority are known for asking random/catchy questions about topics like sex, social lives, etc, that will easily catch the attention of it’s/his/her followers.
These kind of hashtags and the questions that follow are meant for fun and fun alone, so it’s kind of alarming and silly, when an artiste who wants to trend a song on twitter, pays a so called “Online promoter” to help trend his/her song. Why is that? Let me give a scenario (My next paragraph).
Lets assume I’m an artiste, and I’m about to drop a new track, titled “Let’s Rock”. I want to trend on twitter, obviously so that more people can get to hear my song and stuff. I pay an online promoter, who promises to make my song trend; he/she creates a hashtag and calls it #LetsRock. The promoter starts to ask random questions, with the hashtag #LetsRock, ending each question. The promoter wants to trend the hashtag by all means, so he/she asks very catchy/silly and most times dirty/sexual or dumb questions.
We all like to get naughty and stuff, so the questions go round, people answer; more people answer and so on and so forth, till the hashtag #LetsRock trends on twitter. The promoter tells me the artiste that my song is trending and stuff, I check my trends and I see the hashtag #LetsRock trending.
The question now is Fine, the hashtag #LetsRock gets to trend on twitter, but really should I be happy? For me, it’s a BIG NO,
and I’ll explain why.
My intentions were to get my song to trend, and get more people to hear my song, reason why I paid a promoter. The title of my song #LetsRock trends on twitter fine, but really did the song itself trend? Did the link for people to download trend? Did more people get to hear the song? Your guess is as good as mine.
Only the song title in form of a hashtag trended, my song didn’t trend. Any random person who checks his/her trend and sees #LetsRock as probably the No 2 trending topic in Lagos, gets curios to know what the hashtag is about, clicks on it to view tweets about it, what does he/she? Random questions and answers, that has nothing to do with your song. Is that what you paid for? Did you pay for people to have fun on twitter or for your music to trend?
I noticed this is common with upcoming and potential Nigerian music stars; I get the fact that you are desperate for recognition and stuff, but in the midst of it, you’ve got to be smart and wise. Do not let anyone in the name of “Online promoter” play on your intelligence.
Below are a few tips on how to make use of twitter to promote your music.
Always tweet your music links from time to time, on a daily basis. Yeah you want to have fun and tweet random stuff, but if music is your hustle, you’ve got to take it serious.
Let the first tweet that appears in your FAV’s be about your music, and a link to download it.
Let the website in your twitter BIO be a link to download your music.
Learn to bombard the DM’s of your followers with your music links, and solicit for them to tweet it.
Always search tweets about your song titles, and your name, and retweet them.
Tweet your music links @ people that matter, you never know who will listen.
When using a hashtag for your music, paid or unpaid for, make sure that tweets about the hashtag are not random questions, talk about the music, yourself, links to your music.
That’s all the tips I can remember for now, hopefully you’ll find them useful.
Lastly, always remember that its not just about trending, it’s about trending your music.