Artist Toolbox: Social Media

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Following on from last weeks Artist Toolbox, this week we are going to tackle Social Media (or at least the very basics.)  We live in a world where information is immediate and where mobile phones are used for much more than just phoning home.  We have the world (or at least the internet) at our fingertips.

Nowadays, to get yourself noticed you really do have make song and dance!  Know how to market yourself in the right way.  The quickest and easiest way is to use Social Media.  We will be looking briefly at the main three tools: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Hope this helps you get your work to a new market & spread the word about the festive selling events you are taking part in.

  • Hopefully you already have your own business Facebook Page.  If not, set one up! 
  • From your own personalised page you can create lots of other pages linking off. Such as:
    • An events page - detailing craft markets, exhibitions etc.
    • A stockists page.  A list (with links through to the shops) where the public can buy your work.
    • You can also link your Etsy, Folksy and Bigcartel shop to your FB page too.
  • Share.  
    • Your fans will love knowing what you are doing that day.  
    • Inspiration - what is inspiring you? Autumn leaves for example.
    • New scarf - show them
    • A work in progress piece
    • Your favourite mug
    • A cafe you like
    • A walk in the park
    • Your favourite magazine has arrived.
  • All of these short posts (always use a photo if possible) will allow the public to build an image of who you are.  What type of person you are.  And can relate to you easily. 
  • Hashtag everything & tag. Craft fairs, work in progress etc - it helps new people find you.
  • Link your facebook page to your twitter account - what you write on FB will then automatically be shared on Twitter
Remember the more you add to your Facebook Page - the more 'current' it is and stays on top of everyone's feeds.  You will gain more followers and potentially more customers too. However keep your posts to a couple a day so you don't overwhelm people.

So Facebook is like your on-line diary, a shorter version and more immediate version of your blog.  Twitter on the other hand is there for quick bursts of information (a maximum of 140 characters to be precise.)  

An example post could be: 'I am at the Made in Bristol Gift Fair today - here's my stall being set up. @madeinbristol @colstonhall #mibgf'  

@madeinbristol is our Twitter handle and when others use this in their tweets we can see this and retweet your message spreading your message further via our followers (and hopefully attracting some extra followers for you.)

So some good practice tips....
  • Always @ people in.  Link to who you are with, where you are.  
  • Always use a # (hashtag) - this brings new followers, who are also following the # event/subject
  • Try to always add a photo (lots of people use apps like TweetDeck and tweets with pictures really show up in the feed. You are creating beautiful gifts so share some sneaky peaks!

Lots of us have a smart phone in our pocket complete with a pretty decent camera. Use it to provide a photo log of your adventures. The Instagram App is a free app to download to both Android and Iphones. It is a great way to gain followers, just by a simple photo being uploaded.  Warning!  Like Twitter & Facebook it's highly addictive and great fun too. If you are prone to distractions maybe limit your social media time to the first part of your work day (whilst you get caffeinated ready for some creating!)
  • Link your Instagram to your Facebook and Twitter feed.  They will show up in both and save you time uploading images later.
  • Cause a stir with new products - show them on IG first, add a link to your online shop
  • Build an audience of followers, who will love all that you do!
When used correctly, these 3 Social Media tools can make your self promotion so much easier.  One is always updating the other, building a bigger profile, more followers and more business your way.  You will never know who is liking you - it could be a new customer, a new stockist or a magazine for a feature.

By no means this list is exhaustive - why don't you comment below with your favourite platforms & tell us why this works for you. (E.g. Addicted to Pinterest? Tell everyone what excites you about this tool.)

Also we shall hopefully be holding workshops soon, to introduce this ever changing world to any novices  out there (if that is you, hope we haven't lost you!) And help you all refine your marketing efforts with more helpful tips. Watch this space!

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