This morning, while taking the tram to work, I started listening to The Dimes’ album The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry using Spotify on my phone.
I did this because they were recommended to me in this blog post from the blog Confused of Calcutta, in which JP Rangaswami describes being followed by The Dimes on Twitter, and then being able to buy their album in any format he wanted – and to name his own price – from their website. He writes:
In 15 minutes before lunch, a band had managed to connect with me, let me check them out, get me to the point where I went and bought their music in my preferred vinyl (along with a free copy in the more “shareable” digital format). Every step of the way they ensured I only did what I wanted to do. Nothing forced. (…) Simplicity and convenience. At my pace, in my time. Where and when I wanted to. Giving me the free right to listen and not pay. If I chose to buy, to pay what I felt like paying. Thank you The Dimes.
In addition to all that, they’re on Spotify too, which is my preferred format, so to speak.
Furthermore, they have written an album about Boston history, and another one supposedly “based on stories singer–songwriter Johnny Clay read in Depression-era newspapers, which guitarist Pierre Kaiser found under the floorboards of his 1908 Portland home”. They also really do remind me of Iron & Wine.
So they got my attention this morning, but not just because they reach out to potential customers directly through social media – a lot of people are doing that. I started to think about why they got me to listen to their music when other bands who have followed me on Twitter have often been ignored.
I think it was because they reached me through a fairly lengthy blog post with time to quote other sources that referred to an album as a“sonic postcard to historic Boston”. That happened because they connected with a blogger who writes that he cares about both music and the spread of information. And they told him – in their Twitter bio – that their music is enjoyable to fans of Iron & Wine and Fleetwood Mac. So rather than yelling “Listen to us!” randomly, they told the right person why he should.
I generally don’t follow people who haven’t tweeted in a couple months, so Twitter isn’t the best way to reach me personally if you’re not actually tweeting. But my preferences are not always a good prediction for what works in general. As a consultant, it’s good to be reminded of that regularly. In this case, the lesson is that there are a lot of ways to use Twitter. But also, that old rules of communication are still true: Know your audience.