Social Media - The What
So if you've read my overview of The Why of Social Media for artists, we are now ready to review some of the various social platforms. The list below is not exhaustive, but it will give you a quick sense of how you might want to use each platform and where you might want to focus. I will say at the outset, whether you're starting fresh or trying to make the most of what your doing, my recommendation is that you concentrate on two or three platforms at most. You can add more over time if you wish, but focus typically brings the best results and makes it easier to manager your time and your efforts. So - let's begin:
Of course with over 1 Billion users worldwide it is hard to avoid or ignore Facebook. The platform let's anyone with a Profile page post updates, include a picture, and share these updates with "Friends" or "Connections". And if one has a Facebook Business Page (free to create) they can not only share these posts with their connections, they can also promote posts (paid) to reach more of their connections and even find new connections. You can create targeted ads that can be used to reach almost any audience you can imagine. As a quick example, if I was so inclined, I could advertise my latest piece to those between the ages of 35 and 55 living in the French city of Toulouse, but only those that have expressed an interest in art and red wine. More details on how to create Facebook Business Pages and Promoted Posts are provided on The How page.
Instagram is all about the image, and that can make it a great place for visual artists. It's less about the text-base updates about what your thinking and more about a stream of images... For you as a visual artist this can and should include your art, photos of you creating your art, photos of shows, openings and so on. Also, Instagram allows for very effective use of hashtags - more on that on The How page.
Most people are familiar with Blogs, or blogging. One can think of Twitter as the same basic idea only limited to 140 characters per "blog post". Twitter is great for bite-size updates or commentary, and you can include pictures with your posts as well. Twitter is noted and distinguished as well by it's reliance on the use of hashtags, tweets and retweets and the ability to easily join the latest "trending topic" - more on that on The How page..
Pins and more Pins... Pinterest is all about people creating virtual "boards" that they then "pin" interesting content to that they've found somewhere online. For example, someone who has a Pinterest board for "Napa Valley Living" might have pinned content from wineries, travel companies, artists that create wine inspired art, etc. As an artist, my hope is that people that visit my website will find a piece they like and "pin" that piece to one of their personal Pinterest boards. In a sense this is their way of endorsing what I'm doing and sharing it with their connections or those on Pinterest that follow their board(s). While artists can create their own Pinterest boards, my take is that the value is making sure that your website is arranged in away that makes it easy for people to pin YOUR content to THEIR boards - more on that on The How page..
There are of course so many other social platforms out there and I'll continue to update this page over time.