Active participation by brands and small businesses on social media can result in significant audience growth. For industries where the majority of professionals are independent, such as the art world, the lack of a dedicated digital marketing department can leave some feeling jaded at the thought. However, if these people are consistent with their personal efforts, social media could prove particularly lucrative in marketing themselves to relevant audiences…
The difficulty in marketing through social media for artists, particularly for those who have drawn blanks with it in the past, is maintaining the motivation for consistency. Many efforts fail due to a lack of awareness surrounding the importance of targeted content that is regularly posted and constantly monitored. This has been particularly prominent in the past – we’ve all witnessed sporadically updated pages with scattered content, whether we were merely a passer-by or the perpetrator ourselves.
A note on consistency
In order to begin to see any kind of ROI from social media, the social requires disciplined consistency. For creative professionals who are naturally prone to fits of creativity rather than structured planning, this can seem demanding and often results in questioning whether or not it’s really worth it. But the great thing about marketing through social media is that the hardest part is the strategy. In other words, once you have devised how you are going to meet your goals, you’re already the majority of the way towards achieving them.
If you decide to spend time considering that strategy instead of posting sporadic content on your social channels, you’ll soon realise that not only will these networks become more lucrative but also less work for you on a day-to-day basis.
Social media for artists and galleries
Social media can be the perfect tool for marketing for art professionals as visual content already receives more recognition by users than any other style of content. Not only that, creative networks allow artists a platform on which they can utilise their natural creativity to build awareness of their brand, grow their audience, and market featuring exhibitions.
Human activity breeds value
The most significant tip towards achieving this is being active. Social media is, by its very nature, a social platform. Artists have an edge as they already use their work to express something within themselves and social media users value transparency and authenticity. By focusing on actively engaging with their audience by sharing relevant and associated content that offers value, while not losing sight of their personality, artists stand the best chance of steadily building an engaged audience.
A small engaged audience is of far more value than a massive, uninterested following, especially to niche businesses. These people will play a crucial part in influencing their friends and peers and could eventually become an advocate for an artist’s works.
Establish your personal branding and keep it crisp and consistent
While galleries are already required to have unique branding in order to succeed, it’s not always the same case where artists are concerned. While some time could have been spent in developing a signature or logo, much of an artist’s branding stems from the art itself. In order to remain instantly recognisable, artists’ pages need to have a consistent branding that compliments seasonal art features.
Keep all of your content related and stop promoting
In order to offer value to an audience and ensure you don’t lose followers through indifference, you need to ensure that your content remains completely relatable and interesting. Self-promotion is a huge red flag waving over social networking. Everything that you post should contribute to building an active dialogue with your audience.
Be responsive to comments, especially provocation
It all goes back to social media being innately social. As you update your audience on new commissions and pieces, they will naturally have questions about stimulus and interpretation. Your responses to these questions will be crucial to building that dialogue.
When it comes to provocation, don’t allow yourself to be incensed in your responses. An engaged audience will have respect for brands who respond directly to ignorantly provocative and negative comments with an educated humility. It’s the perfect way to show off authenticity as it will allow you to seem completely human.
Allow your content to speak for itself
This article hasn’t focused at all on content strategy. The reason for this is that within creative industries, authenticity is of the most importance. Spend time devising a content strategy that speaks for your brand and tells an original story. Be provocative and you are sure to see a response.
Social media is a crucial network building tool that transcends gaps between communities – as a member of an industry that relies on the engagement of a niche and exclusive audience, it should undoubtedly be put to good use.