Friday, November 4, 2011

Will you be my friend? Social networking for artists

For the 2011 Oklahoma Arts Conference, OVAC partnered with the Oklahoma Arts Council to present the Artist Track – designed specifically for artists to learn more about marketing their work. Our guest speaker Alyson Stanfield of Art Biz Coach led sessions focusing on marketing through social media.

Alyson Stanfield
Photo by Kimberly Lennox
As Alyson stated, social media is not to be used as a megaphone, blasting information to your readers. Instead, it is a tool for spreading your message but first you need a message to spread and you must cultivate relationships with people who want to listen.

Alyson outlined a Social Media Manifesto for artists. Here’s a brief synopsis.

1. Have fun! If you’re not having fun with it, odds are good nobody else will think it’s fun either. Keep it interesting to keep your audience.
2.  Engage. Don’t just blast a message. Engage with your followers and tailor messages to their interests.
3.  Listen. Pay attention to what others are doing on social media and respond when appropriate. People love someone who listens to them!
4. Be the thought leader. Why does someone follow you? They’re probably interested in what you think or what you have to say about art.
5.  Make it easy for others to talk about you. When creating social media posts, consider how they might be shared by others. When your followers share your posts with their friends, they are giving you a high recommendation. Make it easy for them! Make images available, include captions on your images, make your tweets easy to re-tweet, etc.
6.  Don’t build your brand on someone else’s platform. Social media tools are great for building audience and spreading your message. But, don’t forget that those sites (like Facebook and Twitter) are owned by someone else. You cannot control what they decide to do with their websites. Remember to build your online home base on a platform that you can control, such as a personal website or blog.

For more tips on the business of being an artist, subscribe to Alyson’s blog, Art Biz Blog at

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