One of the most common mistakes musicians make when it comes to social media is that they focus their attention on the wrong metrics: Facebook Likes, Twitter followers, posts per day, etc. These are vanity metrics – you can brag with your friends at a pub about having 10,000 Facebook likes, but that would not do any good to your business if you don’t leverage your connection with the people behind these “likes”.

What is really important on social media is engaging with other users, building relationships, joining conversations. You hear that all the time, but you don’t always know how to do it, don’t you? Well, today you are going to start doing better than an average Joe who posts everyday on Twitter about himself and his new album, but never takes part in an interesting discussion.

Today you are going to focus on other users, and not only join, but to START conversations. I will explain a method which is ridiculously easy, will not take a lot of time to set up, and which you can customize for your needs. In fact, you can “set it, and forget it.”

The Idea.

I’m a big fan of automation when it feels “human”. We don’t want to spend time on something that drains a lot of energy and time, while can be easily outsourced. And at the same time we don’t want to look like robots. What we are going to do is create an automatic tweet to welcome each new follower on our Twitter account. In my tests, I found that it looked too spammy and unprofessional if each new follower was getting the same message. So I came up with a tactic, which allows you to diversify your message for different audiences.

We only want to welcome users that have a large twitter following to increase our chance of acquiring more followers: if users with a large following reply or retweet our welcome message, we have a higher chance that their followers will see our conversation and hopefully follow us. In fact, I created several tiers based on our new followers’ following. Remember: the more tiers you create, the more personal and less spammy you will sound. I recommend studying your Twitter following before creating tiers to understand how many followers with a large following vs. followers with a small following already follow your account, and then plan accordingly.

In this example, we welcome users who have from 1000 to 3000 followers.

Setup Instructions.

Zapier, along with IFTTT, are my tools of choice when it comes to Internet automation. You can sign up for a free Zapier account at A free account allows you to create up to 5 automation processes (called Zaps).

1. Log in to your Zapier account and then press the orange “Make a New Zap” button.

2. Now, choose “Twitter” as the Trigger App and “New Follower” as the trigger.

3. After that, choose “Twitter” as the Action App and “Create Tweet” as the action.

4. Press continue and connect a Twitter account (or if you already have one, choose it from the list). This will be our Trigger Twitter Account.

5. Press continue and do the same for the Action Twitter Account. Important: the Trigger and the Action Twitter accounts must be the same. You can even test the functionality of your account along the process pressing the “Test this Account” button.

6. Now, you should be on step 4 in Zapier. Define the username which Zapier will watch for new followers (this should be the username of the Twitter account you used earlier).

7. Then hit the “Add a custom filter” button. You should see a form with these boxes: field, condition, value.

● Choose “Follower Followers Count” as Field;

● Choose “(Number) Greater Than” as Condition;

● Type “999” in the Value box;

Click on “Add AND filter”; you should see another form with the same boxes as on the previous step:

● Choose “Follower Followers Count” as Field;

● Choose “(Number) Less Than” as Condition;

● Type “3001” in the Value box;

8. Click Continue. we‘ve reached the part where we create our message for that particular segment. The key here is to:

1. Create a message addressed to your follower.

2. Provide value.

3. Write a message that reflects your personality.

To make sure the message is personal, insert fields such as “Follower Name” (the actual name of the Twitter follower) and of course “Follower Screen Name” (follower’s twitter handle) clicking on the button in the top right corner of the box. Example of good messages would be:

Hey @{{follower__screen_name}}, thank you for following us! How are you today? :)

Hey @{{follower__screen_name}}, thank you for following us! It’s a beautiful sunny day outside.

How’s the weather in {{follower__location}}?

Good morning @{{follower_name}}, just wanted to say thank you and let music speak for itself :)[shortened link to your song on Soundcloud] @{{follower__screen_name}

Hey @{{follower__screen_name}, thank you for following! We deliver tips on growth hacking, social media and digital marketing weekly. Interested? [link to your lead generation card]

Remember: messages should be under 140 characters, but since we don’t know how long the name or the Twitter handle of our new follower will be, we will have to keep our message even shorter (100 to 110 characters would do fine). Please also note that if you don’t want your welcoming tweets to be seen by all your followers in their feeds, start your messages with a Twitter handle (which is @{{follower__screen_name} in Zapier).

In the next step Zapier will ask you to test your Zap. Fell free to do this to make sure everything’s set up correctly, or skip this step. Then give your Zap a title and click “Turn Zap On”. Boom! Zapier will automatically check for new followers every 15 minutes. If a new follower has from 1000 to 3000 followers, it will automatically welcome them from your account using the message you defined.

Now, you have to repeat the process for different tiers. With a Zapier’s free account you can repeat this process four more times. For example, you can target new followers having 3000-5000 followers and welcome them with another message, and followers with over 5000 – with yet another message. I’ve been pretty successful at starting conversations with this trick. It’s great because you don’t have to be at a computer doing this, but remember that you should be online replying to the followers who showed interest in your message.

Further Customizations.

Further customizations include targeting by language and creating an image tweet. Targeting by language is useful because you can craft messages in different languages depending on the language used by your new follower. Also, I’ve been using image tweets for our customers at FieldWork, and it worked great for visual businesses like restaurants, magazines, etc. Just make sure to use different images for different messages.

The post is written by Mike Rubini, guest instructor at We Spin and a founder of the FieldWork marketing agency.