Twitter Tuesday: Warner Bros. Records

The social networking world is normally head over heels obsessed with celebrities’ every little move, including what they tweet. Popular artists will gain hundreds of thousands of followers and people will over scrutinize what they say to the smallest punctuation mark. It’s these same musicians that are fun to analyze and do Twitter Tuesdays on. This week, we’re going to look at the music industry’s use of Twitter from a slightly different standpoint. Warner Bros. Records is one of the largest record companies in the United States. They boast some of the biggest musicians on the scene. From alt-metal masters Avenged Sevenfold to classy jazzy pop artist Michael Bublé, Warner Bros. spans the spectrum of genres. Having political punk rock (Green Day) and Cher on the same label seems crazy, but alas Warner Bros. proudly claim both.

So what does their use of Twitter look like? Is there an obvious lack of personality because it is a collective rather than an individual?

It is apparent by the lack of emotion fueled banter that they don’t try to be anything other than what they are. At the same time, however, there is some sort of personality to the tweets.

Even Warner Bros. can appreciate the end of the week.

Take tweets where the record company asks followers for their input about a who’s tuning into a certain event, or tweets asking people to “check out” or “tune in”, and it doesn’t look much different than what a celebrity’s personal Twitter would tweet.

Although  most of the questions asked are basically rhetorical, by them throwing the questions out at all encourages followers to respond.

Apart from questions, there is still a fun and playful voice. For instance, they, like the rest of the YouTube and internet society, can’t help but talk about what the fox says.

Through light hearted Tweets about Ylvis’s big hit and questions that are really directing readers to a bigger conversation, Warner Bros focuses on one thing, and basically one thing only: promotion. They don’t spam the same link over and over, and they don’t tweet about all of their artists’ new albums, shows and interviews, that would be too much to bear. How they select what interviews and music videos to tweet about I’m not quite sure, but they spread their love. And if they aren’t directly tweeting about an artist, they retweet their artists’ tweets left and right. In fact, Twtrland says about 53% of Warner Bros. tweets are retweets. It reminds me of that proud grandma that tells everyone about how great her grandkids are and she puts all of the newspaper clippings with their names on the fridge. Warner Bros. is great about retweeting relevant information.

The following tweets were all retweeted by Warner Bros. Records.

Warner Bros. may run a very professional, yet fun timeline, but does it make a difference? Do people care about what a company says when they could follow their favorite musicians personally? The majority of Tweets from Warner Bros. mentioning an artist tag the artist’s personal Twitter handle. It’s easy for people wanting Tegan & Sara or Lily Allen’s latest updates to just follow the account of the artist themselves.

This profile has 163,000 followers, which is a significant amount, but compared to the artists they’re representing it is a tiny fraction of people reading their tweets. Do they succeed at anything that wouldn’t happen without their Twitter? I think the answer is yes. Their fan base isn’t going to be catered to the same as Jason DeRulo’s or the Black Keys. Warner Bros. is a major record label, and people that want to know about major happenings in the music industry will have an interest in Warner Bros.’ Twitter. A look at other prominent record companies shows interesting data. Primarily hardcore record label Rise Records has over 187,000 followers, and Island Records and Def Jam Records each boast over 400,000. According to this USA Today article, Warner Bros. holds a significantly higher portion of the market than the other three record companies. So there must be something else contributing to the lack of reception in an otherwise good looking Twitter feed of Warner Bros. Records.
Check back next Twitter Tuesday for a comparison of different record companies.
Thanks for reading.

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