Twitter Search Tips for Bands

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In my last post entitled Twitter Tips for Bands, I wrote about some uses for Twitter that didn’t rely on having to follow or be followed by  hundreds of people. That part of ‘optimizing’ Twitter always felt a little, “synthetic” to me personally (but if it works for you, more power to ya).  This post concludes my humble offerings concerning Twitter with Twitter search tips for bands.

That’s right – Twitter search.

Twitter Search Basics

So why Twitter search? Easy. Twitter search is your opportunity to listen in on conversations governing any topic (a.k.a. “keyword”) that you’re interested in occurring in the Tweetosphere (I think I just made that up?) – but that’s just the beginning.

You can also reply directly to anyone – again – regardless of whether you follow them or not, or whether they follow you or not. You can also do some funky geo-targeting as well.

So here are some practical applications for bands looking to benefit from using Twitter search.

Twitter Search Tactics

You can access Twitter search from here: – this will take you to an almost Google-like search interface that is dedicated to Twitter. Before you start typing though, resist the urge and hit the magic link that will make the true possibilities of Twitter search come to life…

…click on “Advanced Search”

Now you’ve hit the mother lode! Here’s a brief walkthru of the options available for you and then I’ll give you some scenarios where you can create more fans or get more people out to your shows.

Words: This is the section where you’ll enter the specific keywords that you wish to target. Lets say you want to target “Grammy awards” as your exact keyword phrase, you’ll now see any tweets with the words “Grammy awards” in that exact order.

People: Allows you to refine the Words section by targeting only specific people talking/tweeting about that keyword. In this case, if you wanted to see what a celebrity said about the Grammy awards you can specific their name, like “Lady Gaga” or ” Willie Nelson”.

Places: This very cool feature allows you to geo-target where the tweets are coming from, allowing you to refine your keyword searches to reveal only tweets sent by people from a specific location. We’ll come back to this in a minute – it rocks.

Dates: Allows you to look for tweets sent on a specific date. Again if we went with the Grammy Awards search, you could refine it by returning only tweets that were sent the day of the Grammy Awards.

Attitudes: Enables you to filter results according to the attitude of the tweet; are you looking for people who were critical of the Grammy awards or people who loved them? How about people asking questions about the Grammy awards? You can find any or all of them by using this section.

Other: This last section allows you to specify whether you want tweets containing links, include retweets and the number of results per page.

Still waiting to be impressed? Well let me give you a few scenarios where Twitter Search can benefit your band.

Scenario One: Finding new potential fans with Twitter Search

Strategy: Help others with what you know and hopefully you’ll be rewarded with some new fans.

Prerequisite: Your squeeze page link listed on your Twitter page.

Keywords: Use keywords based on things like SSB (similar sounding bands to yours), keywords related to your instrument or the style of music that you play.


  1. Insert your exact keyword phrase into the Words section
  2. Ignore the Places section and unless you’re from a large city (you’ll get more data this way).
  3. Ignore the Dates section.
  4. Click the Asking a question? box in the Attitudes section.

Result: You’ll see tweets from people asking questions about the keywords that are related to your band, your music or your instrument. Now you can help them out by answering their question. Even if the question stumps you – you can hop over to Google and search for info that can help them out. By freely offering help, these people will be more likely to want to check out the person that was cool enough to help them (you) and could end up signing up for your squeeze page.

Scenario Two: Boost Attendance at local gigs with Twitter Search

Strategy: Use geo-targeting to remind fans or encourage strangers to check out your show for the first time.

Prerequisite: A gig to perform that day/your squeeze page link listed on your Twitter page.

Keywords: Use keywords based on things like SSB (similar sounding bands to yours), keywords related to your instrument or the style of music that you play. You can also try ‘live music’ or ‘live <your genre>’ to target people who are looking for ideas of where to go to see live music in general or your genre in particular.


  1. Use the Places section to enter your town and keep the radius within a comfortable driving distance, will people drive more than an hour to see you band? Probably not, so keep it close by.
  2. Use the Attitudes section to find those asking questions again – that way if people are tweeting “are there any great places to see live music tonight?” it’ll show up in your Twitter search results. If nothing comes back, you can leave this box unchecked so you get more potential data.
  3. Go through the tweets, reply to any that match your criteria and let them know that you have a show tonight. Offer an incentive (get in free, free beer, free cd) to get them to come out and see you.
  4. Repeat as necessary. In small towns you may have to change up your keywords to get the best results. Create a hash tag for your band if you have a following and let them know what time you hit the stage or what songs you’ll be playing.

Results: Savvy use of this method can help you to gain new followers as well as serve as a reminder to any fans you already have that may have somehow forgotten when or where you next gig was.

Twitter Search Tips Video

Here’s a video (over nine minutes) where I show you how to apply the Twitter search tactics I mention above.

One tactic my band used to do when headlining a gig a few years back was to drop the cover charge before we went on stage to end the night – now we could tweet that message out that the gig is now “free” for anyone who could make it over to the club before our set ended.

Allocate 15 to 30 minutes, 5 days a week or so for scenario one, and as many times as you want to use scenario two on the night/day of the gig.

Is this going to make you a celebrity overnight? Of course not, but you’ll be building up your fan base one at a time. Make a good impression (either over Twitter or via your live show) and that one fan you get can tell all their friends about you – where it goes from there is up to you.

Share your results using these techniques in the comments below!



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