This is a revisiting and updating of an old post I wrote way back in 2012, Social Media Marketing is a Dumb Phrase. If you’re a fan, you might enjoy reading it from my perspective back then – or maybe you even remember the post! But I hope you’ll read today’s version as a current perspective on the topic.
I’m telling you the truth about social media marketing today. Ready?
It’s a misnomer.
WE OFTEN USE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE WRONG WAY BECAUSE WE ARE CONDITIONED TO THINK IT’S A MARKETING TOOL.
Social media is only minimally effective at marketing.
You might have felt a glimmer of this as you watch those big-names running Facebook ads and racking up followers on Instagram. (And you’re probably jealous too, right?)
You’re wondering why they’re having so much success on social media and you can’t get traction!
It seems like you’ll never successfully market your art unless you can crack the code those big-names are using to get all that interaction on social media.
It’s hard to know what your next step is. But I’m going to tell you right now, you just need to change your perspective.
Instead of using social media for marketing, start using it as a location to hang out with your fans, helping them get closer to you so that they’re more ready to buy your art.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS A NURTURING TOOL.
If you want (or need) new fans, think about getting in the media, connecting with influencers, and going to or hosting events.
If you want (or need) sales, grow these relationships with your fans and then tell them about artworks that are available.
So how do you grow these relationships?
First, consistently post on the platform your fans like the most.
Make them feel welcome by showing up and sharing your world. Be a little vulnerable. Let them see the not-totally-perfect parts of your art practice (or even a glimpse of the rest of your life, if you’re comfortable).
Ask them questions (and share your own answers) to spark discussion and friendships. Let them ask you questions to gain deeper understanding of your art practice. Help the fans connect with each other.
And ask your customers to share photos of your work on their walls to add to your social media presence.
Your fans don’t want to see only posts about your art and your gallery shows – or constant requests for them to buy – they want to spend quality time with you too.
The focus should be on their relationship with you.
Because even when you don’t know their name or anything about them, they have a relationship with you. And how that relationship progresses matters to your art business.
The second thing you should do to grow these relationships is interact on their accounts.
Leave thoughtful or interesting comments on their posts. Hit the like button a lot. Follow them. And when you start feeling that connection over time, don’t hesitate to send them a private message through the platform to thank them for being such an enjoyable part of your community.
When you focus on these relationships, you’ll create fans who trust you and are excited to purchase from you again and again.
Setting up your social media profiles and consistently posting is most effective when used for the right purpose – interacting with people who already know about you so they continually support you and, when they’re ready, buy from you.