Bethany Cosentino, frontwoman of lo-fi indie act Best Coast, spends a lot of time on her Twitter account. Thanks to her, shall we say, low-maintenance approach to an Internet presence (including but not limited to conversations with boyfriend Nate Williams of fellow lo-fi act Wavves, pictures of homemade vegan cuisine, and weed-related musings), she's racked up a collaboration with Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, a friendship with Paramore's Hayley Williams, and nearly 50,000 Twitter followers-58,000, if you count those following the account she made for her cat, Snacks. Her advice on how to effectively use Twitter is based on experiences, both successful and -- well, not so much.
1. Sometimes too much is just enough.
At first, Cosentino didn't buy the hype.
"[One of my college professors] showed us Twitter I thought, 'This is stupid, I would never use this,'" she says. Nevertheless, the frontwoman needed an outlet for her band, and was "not a fan of Facebook," so she created an account. Though her over-share tweets were secondary to tour updates at first, she says she began to see a trend.
"As soon as I started Best Coast, I made a Twitter [account] so that I could directly and quickly get information out to fans," says 24-year-old musician. "But oddly, people cared more about food and TV than they did hearing about my shows and record."
2. Make it fun -- for yourself and your followers.
Cosentino explains that Twitter can also become a productive outlet for battling the monotony of life on the road.
"Sometimes on tour, when I'm super bored, I'll tweet something like 'Ask me questions; I'll answer 10 of them" and get hundreds of questions from people, ranging from things like, 'How do you like your eggs cooked?' to 'What inspired you to write "Boyfriend?"'" she says. "It's a fun way to connect with fans; Twitter allows people to feel like they actually know the person they're following."
3. Don't be afraid to branch out.
Anyone following Cosentino's tweets knows a thing or two about her home life-including, of course, her cat, Snacks. Creating a Twitter account for the now-famous feline started as a product of boredom, but the account has attracted thousands of Best Coast fans and provided an additional, creative element of the band's promotion.
"I mean, I talk about my daily life all the time, [and] that cat is a huge part of my life," she says. "People really liked Snacks and were interested in him from the beginning. I figured since he already had so many 'fans' online, people would follow him on Twitter."
4. Drinking and tweeting? Big no-no.
Though playing fast and loose with a platform like Twitter has, for the most part, benefitted Best Coast, Cosentino admits there are some serious downsides to the strategy-especially after a few cocktails.
"I was drunk once and talked shit about Katy Perry [on Twitter]-It went on blogs and people asked me about it in interviews for a long time," she remembers. "In all honesty, [Katy] isn't my favorite--but what I said about her on Twitter was just fueled from me drinking margaritas all day. It's funny [at the time], but it's annoying the next day when you read back and think, 'Oh, God, I sent a drunk text to the whole world.'"
5. Brush off the haters.
Like any celebrity, Cosentino gets her fair share of online hecklers, but her laid-back Internet persona has drawn particular ire. Nevertheless, she says, ignoring them is a key element of success with the site.
"Twitter acts as an outlet to say or do anything with little to no consequence," she explains of her hecklers, some of whom have actually come to her shows, as they promised online, to shout insults from the audience. "When I was growing up, you couldn't bully people over the Internet. In this decade, you can tweet at someone, 'I hate you. Your band sucks!' and they'll most likely see it. I'm past the point of getting my feelings hurt, though."