Social Media Plan for Artists (Part 1): How to Communicate as an Artist Brand

Social media marketing for artists is a lot like social media marketing for any business, but with some added benefits.  Alas, if you’re looking for a quick fix for your problems, you’ve come to the wrong place. With social media, shortcuts are useless. Your success as an artist will revolve around forging genuine relationships and engaging your audience/fanbase/customer base and the only way to build a base of people who will buy and support your work is by building it organically, which means time.

It also means without being overbearing or spamming people.

In other words, it’s just like every other aspect of being an artist. You need to invest a lot of time and effort, but eventually that investment will pay off.

Learning social media can be daunting.  The platforms are complicated enough, without even getting to the etiquette requirements, but it is achievable with daily practice. Here are some tips on how to communicate with people via social media:

Be Consistent

You are in the process of branding yourself.  For artists, successfully using social media means having the same avatar/icon on every platform you use, and preferably having the same username.  It may be too late for that, but if you have the opportunity to pick a name that isn’t otherwise in use – take it.  Here’s a site that can help you pick a name that isn’t currently in use on the major platforms, and find out if anyone is using the same name you are.  Basically you want to own an identity across the internet. And putting a human face on that identity is crucial. The best avatar is still your face. It’s tempting to get creative with your avatar and change it once every few weeks or months.  Try to resist that – think of your avatar as part of your brand.

Talk to your audience, not at them

Your followers are a key part of your online marketing platform, so be nice. The word-of-mouth that they generate will put your art in front of new people. So say thank you, don’t be rude, and don’t get the idea that you’re a celebrity (unless you actually are, of course) just because you have a lot of followers.  They want a relationship with you, so give it to them.

Control How Much of Your Content is About the Sale

If you want people to keep coming back, you have to give them a reason to do so. If everything you post is about what piece you are selling, your audience is going to become tired of that.  Ask yourself, what am I giving in return? Social media is becoming more about conversation and collaboration than about the hard sell.  Which means…

Content is King

If you google “Content is King” you will come up with a million results.  It has become a slogan.  But it’s also true.  The more fresh, new and interesting content you come up with that appeals to your audience, the more successful you will be.  Do you have an interesting technique for mixing paint?  Film it and post it.  Do you have a unique journaling process?  Tell your followers about it.

Hopefully this has gotten you started in thinking about how to communicate with your followers.

Come back next week for Part Two of Social Media for Artists and we’ll cover some tips for effective social media marketing.

*This is basically my great, great grandfather’s business story.

MJW LinkedIn photoMegan J. Wilson is a professional ghostblogger, commercial freelance writer and social marketing consultant.  She also blogs at Dirt Totem Productions, where she is an avid cheerleader for social media marketing for independent films.