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Twitter’s message to musicians not yet on the site: sign up now!

Twitter put the call out to musicians and artists on Friday with a message on its Twitter Media website encouraging them to sign up to the social networking site if they haven’t yet done so.

The article suggests ways in which singers and bands can utilize the site to their advantage, building up their fan base in the process.

“For music fans, Twitter is the next best thing to being backstage,” the article said. “For performers, connecting with your fans in an authentic way is one key to your success.”

It continued, “A Twitter connection tells fans how much you appreciate them, and it also enables you to tailor your messages. The fact is, Twitter provides more authenticity and creative control than any other online medium.”

The article highlights a number of artists — Katy Perry and Selena Gomez among them — and shows how they’ve been using the microblogging service to connect with fans and keep them informed of news and events.

It goes on to give a crash course in using the site, with notes and advice on using hashtags, doing fan interviews, adding photos and taking part in live-tweet events. It also gives some suggestions on how to operate a band account where multiple members are involved.

One of the great advantages of the site, the article says, is the ability to break big news to fans directly and personally, bypassing the need to deliver it through news outlets, which could spin the story in a different way to which the musician intended (though they’ll still be able to do that once they get the story off the musician’s Twitter feed, of course).

Whereas most bands and singers these days are quick to jump on Facebook, MySpace and more recently Google+, Twitter is sometimes ignored, a situation which no doubt prompted Friday’s message encouraging new members.

With Facebook and the like, it’s often the marketing team behind the artist which is managing and updating the sites, whereas to get the most out of Twitter the artist really needs to spend time engaging directly — something many might not want to do. Of course, there are some artists who hand over control of their Twitter feed to their staff, but then tweets often amount to little more than simply a rather dry running commentary about upcoming shows or new releases. One can well imagine that these impersonal Twitter accounts are a big disappointment for fans.

One singer who has used Twitter to great advantage is Lady Gaga, who is the most followed person on the microblogging site with — at the time of writing — almost 21 million fans hanging on her every tweet. Justin Bieber’s breathing down her neck though…

Top 10 most followed recording artists on Twitter (source: Twitter Counter):

1. Lady Gaga – 20.9 million followers

2. Justin Bieber – 18.5 million 

3. Katy Perry – 16.1 million

4. Rihanna – 15 million

5. Shakira – 14.8 million 

6. Britney Spears – 14.1 million

7. Taylor Swift – 11.7 million

8. Selena Gomez – 10.9 million

9. Nicki Minaj – 10.2 million

10. Marshall Mathers (Eminem) – 9.7 million

[Image: Chinellato Photo / Shutterstock]