Social Media for Artists (Part 2): Effective Social Media

This second part of our four-part series on social media marketing for artists covers more broad strokes on how you can find and meet your market, and where to focus your efforts.  (Find Part One here.)

Have a purpose in mind.

This may sound simple and obvious but far too many people have no idea why they are engaging in social media other than it is the thing to do. Your purpose could be to position yourself as an authority, drive traffic to your website or blog, help others, promote a cause or just have a better social life. Decide on your purpose and stick to it.

Don’t Waste Your Time

A lot of online venues are mostly good for meeting and interacting with other artists. That’s certainly useful in and of itself, in terms of support, feedback, and critiques, but it’s easy to waste time there that could be better spent in a community more likely to buy your work.

Target your audience or market.

Think of social media in the same light as your other marketing efforts – who is your target customer? (Remember, we’re talking about you as an artist brand.) What are their likes and dislikes? What are their demographics? How can I reach them? And most importantly what are their social media habits and which social media platforms do they use? Once you have defined your target audience you are ready to start to connect with them.

Choose the social media platforms that are appropriate for you and your target audience. The idea here is to match up social media efforts on the right platform with the right messages. You may have different customer groups who have substantially different social media habits – do some research and find out!

Look at some of the social media platforms that are more visual in nature such as Pinterest and Instagram. Artists have a lot of content that is visual and is well suited to these types of sites. Don’t just think of these sites as a place to show your work but a place to show how you create. Many artists have been quite effective in engaging their audience by showing the steps they take in their creative process.

Take some time to plan and write your profile.

Your profile should portray you as unique, authentic and someone worth connecting with. People will judge you after reading a few sentences or looking at your profile picture. Tailor your profile to match your purpose and target audience. A person reading your profile should say, “I want to get to know that person better!” And again, be consistent!  While your profiles don’t have to be identical across all platforms, they should share a common theme, and as we mentioned last week, a common avatar.

Choose your friends or the people you follow carefully.

A mistake many people make is to have as many friends or followers as possible. Your goal should be to have good friends not just a lot of friends. If you do it right, sooner or later you will have a lot of good friends.

Hopefully you are now starting to get a good idea of how to start crafting a comprehensive social media effort that focuses your time where it can best benefit you.

Part Three in the series covers how to create a niche for yourself in a competitive creative market.

Megan J WilsonMegan 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.