As artists our objective is to create a work of art, put it out in the world for others to engage, and make a connection. One of the ways modern artists make connections is through social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram (amongst others) make it possible to extend our reach into our communities and outward geographically like never before.
As Uncle Ben (never actually) said to Peter Parker** “with great power comes great responsibility”. Like any new technology, social media is a double-edged sword. On one side you have the ability to reach out to people who would never have known your work existed under different circumstances; it also means that overwhelming our audience and creating negative associations with our name and brand is also easier than ever before.
Social media is important for a menagerie of reasons. The list could go on forever but these two are especially pertinent. One, it’s mostly free. Setting up a Facebook business page, a twitter feed, a LinkedIn profile, and Instagram are free. Facebook has some paid promotional options but they are not required. Two, it keeps your art in the forefront of your potential customers’ minds.
Pick the right tools for your medium. You don’t have to utilize every single social media option currently available. If you don’t enjoy it and aren’t making connections its ok to ditch twitter or instagram. The only exception to that is Facebook. Even if you hate Facebook you should have a business page because the marketing potential is just too high to ignore.
Be authentic. When people buy your art, they buy your story. Share that with them. Keep the 2 AM “getting slizzered” facebook updates to your personal page but let people see the daily things that inspire you. Let them in on the creative process (and hard work) that goes into your pieces, stage production, installations, recordings, and/or *insert your particular medium here*.
Spend some time making your accounts uniform so people can actually find you and associate your logo or face with the work that you do. In a saturated market, branding yourself is incredibly important and should be a priority.
Select the best tools for your particular art. Half of it is knowing your art and the other half is knowing your audience. Do some research and figure out where your ideal client hangs out online.
Post the exact same stuff on every network. Most platforms allow you to post identically across the other platforms but if you want people to follow you on multiple social media outlets and share your work with others, you are going to have to play to the individual strengths of each one. There are of course exceptions to this rule and we all know rules are made to be broken but think critically about the benefits of spending a little extra time making individual posts that allow you to show your work in the best possible light.
Think of social media as selling out. It’s not. It’s smart business which is something we as right-brained people struggle with.
Social media is a free way to reach potential clients, customers, art galleries, and future collaborators. Our only investment is our time and as our societal information seeking behaviors continually look to the internet for shopping, news, and interacting with others both locally and globally, it is safe to assume it is a wise use of a limited resource even if it means getting that extra shot of espresso in our early morning coffee.
**Peter Parker is Spiderman’s alter ego and if you didn’t know that please do yourself a favor. Step away from the paint thinner and towards the Redbox to rent The Amazing Spiderman. Just do it. No, seriously. Just go.
Latest posts by Rachel Brandt (see all)
- Art integration for parents who want to foster art in their home - September 19, 2013
- A Social Media Overview for Indie Artists - September 14, 2013
- Pros and Cons of online outlets to sell your art - September 11, 2013