On Monday, December 8th at 7:00 pm EST, Eve Mosher will present her Creative Capital webinar Social Media—How to Be Everywhere All the Time.
Many people have mixed feelings about social media, but the bottom line is that it can be a useful tool for artists. Like any other tool we use to share, show or promote our work, social media has the ability to connect more people to the work we are creating as well as to provide greater support for our work. I myself reluctantly came to social media about 7 or 8 years ago. I quickly learned that it was, in fact, a pretty interesting and amazing tool, and since then I’ve learned a few things from trial and error and I’ve learned from others as I share my experience through Professional Development workshops and webinars. Here are a few tips for thinking about social media:
Be yourself. Let your personality come through in your posts, images and comments. Our culture has changed and the lines between professional and personal are blurred. People want to know more about the person behind the creative work produced. Let your life seep in.
Learn how to manage it all. Social media shouldn’t take over your life, and it doesn’t have to. You do not need to be posting or reading all the time. You can use tools to manage the information. Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Buffer let you schedule your posts ahead of time. Flipboard lets you read everything in one visually appealing space. And learn how to unfollow/unfriend people so that your news feeds aren’t cluttered.
It’s about quality, not quantity. It’s a cliché for a reason. You can have 2,000 friends or followers that don’t interact with your posts in a useful way or 200 who will promote your work to their friends, share widely (they are a trusted source of information) and interact with you in a way that is both helpful and informative.
Know what your privacy settings are and how to use them. Go look—now if you want! Read through ALL OF THEM. If you don’t understand something, Google it. You have almost complete control over who sees your content, how things get added to your wall or news feed, etc. Knowing that you have done this step will make you feel more comfortable on your chosen social media platforms.
Don’t be afraid. What you post and share is entirely up to you. I like to say it’s like a cocktail party—you can choose how much you want to reveal to the people you meet. You can make lists on Facebook so that you can share different posts with different people.
Don’t feel like you are missing out. Everyone you know is on Instagram and you’ve tried it, but it just isn’t working for you. That’s okay, you have to find the platforms that really work for you, where your time is most productive. During some cycles of your work, that time should be focused more in the studio than in marketing your work on social media. But if you have an event coming up, you should have a plan to make social media work for you!
Don’t panic about copyright. Some artists fear posting photos of their work because of copyright concerns. Unless you are a digital artist, most of the online images, clips or excerpts you post are not your actual artwork, so feel free to share them. The more work samples you get out there, the more your audience can share with others and build excitement for your work.
Don’t forget about the real world. Sure, social media can make us feel connected, but it is still really important to show up in person. Your network might grow on social media, but to deepen those relationships you also need to have face to face meetings and conversations. Go to the openings, premieres, talks of your peers, mentors and institutions you value. Then you can also tweet, Instagram or Facebook about those real life interactions.
Want to learn more? Register for the Eve’s webinar on Monday, December 8th at 7:00pm EST.