Social Media for Artists = 5 Tips + 5 Favorites

Social Media for Artists, Stephanie Kilgast
Share your work! It’s how you’ll get found 🙂

Hey Folks!

As suggested by a reader of this blog, for today’s behind the scenes, I will talk about social media marketing and how I manage to still have my sanity.
I ended up writing something rather formal but it really is just how I work right now.
Don’t take these tips as THE thing to follow, it is more of a guideline to help you find what will work best for you and your work 🙂
I’m first talking about general tips and then about the social media sites I’m using. It it is NOT an exhaustive list, there are far more social media sites out there and I’ve tried far more than those, but these are the ones I use on a daily basis.

Social Media for Artists and Artisan in 5 Tips

#Tip 1 : Use What You Like
First and foremost, I only use social sites that I actually enjoy, I don’t force myself to use things I don’t get or don’t like.
Seems a bit infantile? Maybe. But think it like that, if you’re an artist or artisan, chances are marketing and talking about your work are not things you do enjoy, so you already have to get out of your shell a bit. Now imagine having to make efforts in a place you hate? Exactly. So use what you like. You’ll be more likely to stick with it, be consistent and see actual results.

#Tip 2 : Autoshare makes everything better.
Autoshare? What is this new devil’s invention?
Auto-sharing basically publishes elsewhere what you just posted on one social website. Most social media websites have some kind of integration about this. It is sometimes called synchronization, auto-sharing, sharing or auto-publishing.
If you don’t find the auto-sharing you need, “If This, Then That” will greatly help you.
For instance, I’ve synched my Instagram account with my Facebook Page, and the Facebook Page with Twitter.
Hence when I take one picture on Instagram… bam! facebook… bam! twitter.
If This, Then That” automatically posts my blogger posts on my facebook profile and facebook page.

#Tip 3 : Scheduling gives you Freedom
You can schedule a lot of things for free on the web. Blogger (the blogging platform I’m using) let’s you schedule your posts using your own time frame. So does facebook and tumblr.
You even can schedule your Instagram posts using an app called latergram.me! (I don’t though, I like the spontaneous ease of Instagram)
Why do you want to do that? Time, my friend! If you sit down one hour on sunday evening and prepare all your images and posts for the week (heck, the month!) you are gaining a lot of daily time and also are freeing your mind for actual creating.

#Tip 4 : Check Your Stats
I’m assuming you have some kind of online shop. Most online shop platforms (etsy, dawanda, but I suppose shopify and storenvy as well) have integrated stats. If you do, I’m also assuming you are using google stats.
Learn how google stats works and check it!
Don’t check your stats too often. It makes no sense and isn’t helpful.
Check where the traffic is coming from. Does it come from facebook, your blog, pinterest or something else? You might be surprised!
Concentrate your efforts where it works.
If you just started on a new social platform, give it some time. Check how the traffic is doing after a few months of use.#Tip 5 : Change is your Friend
Don’t be afraid of change. The internet mutates so rapidly these days you have to move fast and jump on new social media trains when they appear.
The only ‘rule’ that I have is to only try things that are starting to get popular, not just any new comers.
Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook? I didn’t even use them when I started out in 2008, back then I used Flickr (it still is my main portfolio) and … I don’t recall what else.
After that I used deviantArt for some time and then came facebook, twitter and so on.
My point here is to stay alert and look for new possibilities that might work for you. If it’s free, give it a go, if you like it, even better, stick with it for a couple of months and see if it works.
Ourdays you have to be able to adjust more than anything else to stay present on the huge web that is covering the earth.

My Favorite Social Medias

#Fav 1 : Instagram is fun
I love instagram because it’s visual and full of artists. Forget the idea that instagram is just there to share a picture of your lunch or what you’re wearing today. (even though that is also a fun thing to do once in a while)
Instagram is, in my opinion, THE best platform to connect with your followers, as you can show work in progress, pictures of your working place and also show that you are not a machine and an actual human being.
Also and unlike facebook, they do not use “smartfeeds”, meaning your followers will see your posts if they’re interact with your or not.
Downside? You need a smartphone.
Ideally one with a decent camera, so you can shoot with your smartphone, post-edit the picture on instagram and publish it.
If you have a crappy camera on your smartphone, fear not! You can also use pictures that you send on your phone, via dropbox or per e-mail.
I post on instagram about 1-2 pictures a day. Instagram auto-post this on flickr, facebook and tumblr.
My facebook account is linked to twitter so the instagram post is also on twitter.
Social websites covered = 5 :
Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter
Time needed = 10 minutes :
5 minutes to arrange a picture and shoot, 5 minutes to post-edit, write something, add #hastags and publish. (#hashtags are key words)

#Fav 2 : Tumblr is for Art Projects
Tumblr is a visual blogging platform with very little text and an easy re-blogging feature.
In my experience, and unlike instagram where people enjoy rough pictures of work in progress and pictures of your atelier, Tumblr folks prefer the glossy shiny pictures of magazines. They like beautiful and clean pictures.
Tumblr is the ideal place for an easy portfolio and also to build up some followers along the way.
You can have as many tumblr accounts as you wish, but what I find very handy is that you can have sub-blogs.
I have one main petitplat tumblr blog and one dedicated tumblr for this year’s daily miniature veggie challenge.
My petitplat tumblr is just my instagram feed, automatically posted on tumblr. However, I don’t encourage you to do that, better schedule one beautiful picture per day to build up followers. It is on my to do list, so eventually I’ll do that too 🙂

#Fav 3 : Blogging and g+ is good for SEO
SEO = Search Engine Optimization
Google is a monster, it is complicated, it changes all the time and nobody really knows how it works. (and this is why it’s ruling the world right now and most governments are trying to limit its power as it is ruling our life from every possible angle – but I digress)
One thing is sure though, google loves google+ and also blogs.
So whenever you blog or use google+ to share your work, you get a few extra points in SEO.
And this is power my friends! The easier you get found via google, the better.
I blog at least once per week and share the post on my google+ page. I could automate it, but blogger makes it extremely easy for me to share the post.

#Fav 4 : Pinterest Boosts Creativity
I adore and could not work without pinterest.
And pinterest is also a great way to get your work out there. To keep it short, the idea is to feature your work either on specific “your work” boards and/or on theme boards.
For instance you are making casual jewelry, you can create a board about “casual style” and mix your work with clothes and other fitting items.
Also it seems to make a difference to be consistent and to post regularly.
That being said… frankly I don’t have a plan here. I have a couple of boards of things that matter to me. A couple of boards dedicated to my work and that’s about it.
Remember tip 1? Do what you like is pretty much a life mantra. You cannot be consistent if you don’t enjoy something, and I enjoy Pinterest like that for now.

#Fav 5 : Facebook is a Must
I don’t so much like facebook as the other social medias I just talked about, but, with instagram it is my most active one. Almost everyone is on facebook these days and these people spend at least 1 hour daily over there. It has quite some potential and even though the smartfeed seems like a bad idea, it really is quite good as your posts are seen by your most active followers who also usually happen to be the most likely to interact and share your work.
It is also easy for me as I spend too much time on facebook anyway, might as well use it on purpose.
As I’ve already said my facebook page gets automatically the instagram posts and this year I post everyday about my daily mini veggie challenge.
I check twice per day about comments and like all the comments, to show I’ve read them.

Ok, that’s all I can thing of!
If you want to share other tips and tricks I haven’t covered here, be sure to comment 🙂

xx
Stéphanie

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