Do you have a love/hate relationship with social media? You aren’t alone, but it might be a necessary pain to endure. According to Pew Research Center, 7 out of 10 Americans use social media to connect with others, access news, share information, and entertain themselves. As a result, businesses rely on social media to reach and grow their target audience.
When art means business, many artists choose to do the same.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are among the most popular social media outlets. Although accounts are free and simple to use, there are a few key ways that help artists make the most out of social media, and treat their passion like a business.
Not sure where to begin? Here are a few tips to help ease the pain of social media.
Use hashtags. This will attract other user by grouping your posts with those that use the same tag. Don’t throw just any hashtag into your post: use hashtags that are relevant and specific to your brand. This will help expose you and your work to a targeted audience. For example, if your art is mainly abstract consider using at least one hashtag like: #abstractartist, #abstractartwork, or #abstractogram. Don’t forget to test your hashtag, by searching for it in google. If the search doesn’t look relevant to your work, and if your work doesn't appear in the results, then try a different one.
Avoid the curse of too many hashtags! Most social media sites limit the number of hashtags that can be used on a post. Smart Insights suggests keeping your hashtag count to less than 10 per post.
2. Show Some Personality
The first thing that people often see on your social media account is your bio. This isn’t just about you: it’s also about your style and what you create. Be authentic and get creative! Of course, the essentials are required: your name, medium, subject matter, a link to your website, and your contact information. Here’s a few good parameters from Artsy. But this doesn’t mean boring, stale, and academic: let your audience get to know you. Need help? Pay attention when you find yourself actually reading a bio - what’s different about it than others?
3. Stay Consistent
Remember the cliche: consistency is the key to success. It’s true for social media. Consistent, regular posts allows you to build credibility and reputation online. Active accounts are more likely to be identified by search engines.
Don’t have time to post multiple times every day? Sites like Hootsuite and HubSpot allow you to plan your posts ahead of time so you can spend more time creating than worrying about what to post at the least minute.
4. It’s Social, Silly!
Here’s some relief for you: ultimately, it’s not about how many people like or retweet you. It’s about connecting with those who are truly interested in your work. A few engaged posts from raving fans are MUCH more valuable than how many “followers” you might have. You don’t need sheep. You want patrons who will buy from you, year after year.
People WANT to know the artist behind the art. Remember, it’s called “social media” for a reason! Take time to build relationships with others: network with those who share your interests. Don’t be afraid to follow other artists, ask for feedback, get inspiration, and build a meaningful community around you that will last.
There is no one size fits all method for social media. So make sure that you as an artist are making it your own and find out what works best for you!
Even if it means accepting a friend request on Facebook from Grandma.
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