If used wisely, social media is a tool which has the power to create a community, provide inspiration and help visualize what is important. For artists who want to gain visibility or grow a following social media, we look at some of the growing trends and habits which can strengthen their visibility.
Social media is similar to any other marketing tool. It requires persistent effort to build a reach and maintain the following. One needs to be consistently at it and sharing the work with the followers in order to keep them interested, also you need to be engaged with the audience. You need to be thinking and planning on a marketing plan for the next few months and not just days.
Be strategic with the content
It is one thing to post for the sake of posting on social media. But to have a strategy which justifies the content is important. Ask yourself, why am I doing this? - is it to generate sales, gain exposure or connect with an audience? You need to choose your objective and then customize the tactics needed to achieve the goal. These tactics can be posts, photos or comments which are placed on other accounts, hashtags, etc. Generating authentic connections, have giveaways to boost your follower counts and offer flash sales, all these tactics will drive your sales.
Social media platforms can be a place where honesty takes a backseat. But being honest about where and how you are making work is creating genuine content for your audience. For example, if you are working on a new piece or involved in sculpting something new, share sneak peaks with your followers, get their ideas and input as well. They will be excited about the outcome as much as you!
Many artists have shared that personal interaction in very important in building sales on social media. Your audience will engage more if they know there is a personal connection with the artist. Galleries and art shows exist for this reason; to build that relationship. Social media give you the opportunity to share your art and life with the followers. While the focus in your own posts should mostly be on your art, you can also share personal experiences and adventures. These insights into your life will give followers a sense of connection to you.
Analytics is integrated with almost all social media platforms and is fairly easy to use. As well, social media platforms have worked hard to make this information easily accessible to non-experts. Examples of analytical insights could include: the time of day people are checking their feed, which countries host the majority of your followers, what languages your audience speaks, and how certain posts perform compared to others. Taking a little time out of your day to scrutinize your analytics dashboards can highlight which work and which positions are generating a buzz. Once you've underlined your "super-star" messages, try to find out what makes them different. Are they long or brief? Is that a photograph or a video? These little "aha" moments help you continually improve the way you communicate with your audience and generate accurate buzz.
Be a listener
Maybe the biggest benefit of social media is that you can communicate directly with your audience. From comments to retweets, winks and likes, social media gives you a chance to hear from your audience. Use social media to find out what your fans are up to. Is there a new trend that is not sufficient for your public? Maybe something controversial that's making waves in your area? Put your mind to it! But listening is not limited to the social media space. If there's a recurring subject in your "real world" social group or a topic that keeps turning up in your media, there's a good chance your fans have heard about it too. Staying current with Google's trend hashtags and trends is a digital way to get a sense of what's at the forefront of your subscribers' minds. Taking the pulse of social events allows you to generate conversations and relevant content more easily. News posts have a higher preference (among social media algorithms) and share rates than general posts, so please join the conversation.
We must remember that in the end, it is not about the number of like and shares but about your work, and the connections made with people who appreciate and share in the journey. There is potential for authentic work, and as artists and creative this is a chance to use social media wisely and efficiently to take your work international!