The first is one you’ve undoubtably heard about: Twitter.
Launched in 2006, Twitter did not start gaining significant amounts of traction until a couple years ago. Now seemingly everybody is on it. Twitter is a free service that allows people to communicate in under 140 characters.
There is a misconception that Twitter is only useful to let people know what you’re doing, but there’s so much more to it. Using Twitter you can send announcements, engage followers, and even tell jokes.
If you’re over-worked and under-rested like I am, then you might find services like HootSuite useful. HootSuite is a website that allows you to manage and schedule Tweets in advance. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t forget to tweet about your upcoming exhibit!
But Twitter is useless if you don’t know what to tweet. If you’re using Twitter for marketing, it’s a good idea to use the 80/20 ratio: 80% social, 20% promotion. Here are some ideas for things you can tweet about besides yourself:
- upcoming museum exhibits
- a piece by another artist
- quotes from famous artists
- something that inspires you to create art
- music you listen to when making art
- art events in your locale
- an awesome deal on supplies
Everybody and their Mom is on Facebook these days, and why shouldn’t they be? It’s a great way to connect to your friends and family. It’s also a great way to market art.
You can set up a fan page for your art, which is basically a personal profile, but you can have unlimited fans (you can only have 5,000 friends), insights into your visitors such as languages and locations, and even better: you can set up your page so certain promotions are only available to those who like your page.
- spotlighting another artist
- starting a discussion about a controversial museum piece
- sharing a news article
- posting a tutorial video
Third on our list of social networks that are useful to artists is one that you may not have heard of: Pinterest.
Pinterest is new to the social network scene only having launched in 2010, but it’s totally cool, and perfect for those of us who are visual.
When you sign up for a free account you get virtual bulletin boards and you can virtually pin things to them that you’re interested in. A little button that you can install in your browser allows you to pin something to a board with just a click of the mouse instead of logging into the website.
Boards can be about whatever you want. My boards include “Marketing Wisdom” “Products I Love” “Travel” “Cityscapes” “Art” and “Awesome People.” People can repin something onto one of their boards which in turn helps spread your pin.
You can make a board of your own artwork and your followers will see your newest piece as soon as you pin it there. You don’t have to send out an email blast or ask them to go look at your website. One pin and it’s done.
It should be noted, social media is not like the famous rotisserie oven from late night infomercials: you can’t just set it and forget it. Social media requires regular maintenance to be effective, but if you’re consistent about putting yourself out there, it can do wonders for your career.