Saturday, April 13, 2013

Social Media for Artists - 25 Do Not Tips to Help Artists Accomplish Art Marketing Goals (Part 2)

 Social networking websites, can be great ways to spread the word about your art. As with any communication model, though, one has to know how to use it in order to get where you want to go. This part 2 concentrates more on Facebook and lists the don'ts, recommendations and suggestions is designed to help you accomplish your art-related goals with maximal benefits to you...

Don'ts
1.If you don't do it in real life, don't do it on Facebook. As impersonal as Facebook might seem sometimes, your actions effect real people with real feelings.

2.Whatever you do, DON'T ASK PEOPLE FOR MONEY-- especially people you don't even know!

3 Don't post only about yourself. Boring. Bring others into the conversation. There's much much more to life than you, plus the fact that people prefer to visit pages where they can dialogue with others, get informed, share information, learn interesting things, be exposed to different ways of living and thinking, and so on.

4 There's no need to call your page "X Artist" or "X Fine Art" or "Art by X." That's being redundant. What's important is to format your page in a way that makes it instantly obvious to anyone who visits that they're on the page of an artist.

5.Don't tag someone unless what you're tagging is a photo of that person (or a photo they took), or a post or link or thread that they're likely to be interested in. For example, do not tag self-promotions, show announcements or images of your art with the names of people you want to see it. That's super irritating, plus now they'll have to waste time untagging it (and maybe unfriending you as well). Tag images of your art with people's names when it's portraits of them-- and that's it.

6. If most or all of your information is private, don't friend strangers without first introducing yourself or explaining who you are or the nature of your request. If people have no idea who you are and can't find out anything from your page, then what reason do they have to friend you?

7. Don't spam or send mass emails or messages. If you're sending an announcement or invitation or request to more than one person, make sure the reason you're sending it has something to do with them. "Look at me" or "Look at my art" are not good reasons. If you're having an event, make an event page and invite friends that way. And absolutely don't use apps to spam friends on your behalf.

8. If you make an event page, do not post repeatedly on it. Posting over and over again is really irritating for all of us who either can't come or have no interest. Even we who are coming are likely to get tired of post after post after post. Those of us who can no longer endure your barrage are forced to remove your page from our calendars. We know you're having an event; thank you for inviting us. Now that we've been invited, remind us maybe once or twice between now and whenever it's happening. That's more than enough... and best of all, it keeps us on your good side.

9. Don't add people to a group you're either starting or already belong to unless you ask their permission first. If they don't want to be in the group, they're forced to go to the group's page and leave.

10. Don't ask people you don't know for free stuff-- merchandise, favors, advice, services or whatever. Either have a good reason for asking them (one that they can understand and appreciate), cultivate a relationship with them first, ask whether they mind if you make a request, etc.

11. Don't use "Facebook Questions" to ask your friends questions en masse. This is too impersonal a way to start a conversation-- especially if you're asking for feedback about your art or for other types of personal opinions. If you have a question for someone, ask it more personally-- like in an email, or if you know them, in a chat. Or if you do use "Facebook Questions," first explain why you're asking your question... and then ask it.

13. Don't post video after video of your favorite music or other non-art related topics unless they directly apply to either you as an artist or to the type of art that you make. Are you in this for art or are you in this for music or whatever? Make up your mind. Plus, supposing someone likes your art, but hates your music? Now you're screwed.

14. Don't post on someone's wall unless that post has something to do with that person, that person's interests, something to do with a particular post on their page, or something you know they or their friends will be interested in seeing. If it's all about you and has nothing to do with them, save it for later when you know them better and they'll understand what you're up to.

15. Don't post your response to a discussion thread separately on the wall of the person whose thread it is. Post it in the thread. Posting outside the thread just makes you look like you're more interested in calling attention to yourself than you are in contributing to the thread. Plus, those participating in the thread will not see your post.

16. Don't use other people's discussion threads to promote yourself or your art-- unless those threads closely relate in some way to your art, or your comment or promotion relates in a direct and significant way to the post.

17. Don't post unflattering photos, unrelated links or photos, or inappropriate links and comments on other people's pages.

18. Don't initiate chats with people you don't know-- especially if your only reason is for them to look at your art, come to your show, go to your website, answer questions, or respond to other requests. If you want to chat with someone you don't know, email them first and ask whether it's OK.

19. Don't send app or game requests to friends who don't use those or other apps or games. Visit their pages first to see whether they use any now, and assess how likely they might be to accept an invitation to use the ones that you use. If acceptance looks unlikely, don't make the request.

20. Don't clog your page with games and apps. People who might be interested in your art but aren't interested in apps or games are unlikely to waste time plowing through oceans of irrelevancies. Plus an overload of games and apps makes you look like your diddling your life away rather than focusing on your profession as an artist.

21. Don't email people to ask what they think of your art or your website or whatever. Post these requests on your page and ask your questions there. That way, you give everyone the option of responding without pressuring them. Forcing people to look at or respond to your art is uncomfortable for them and counterproductive for you.

22. Never mislead or misrepresent your intentions. For example, don't email someone a link to what looks like an article about social justice or the environment when it's really a request for them to look at a piece of your art that relates to those topics.

23. Don't ask friends to do things for you unless they're actually your friends-- like in real life-- or you can explain the nature of your request in terms they can relate to and understand. Better yet, position your requests so that there's something in it for whomever you're asking.

24. If you email someone to ask them for a favor and they email you back to decline, then send them an email thanking them for at least considering your request. Simply not responding because you didn't get what you wanted is really rude-- and makes you look really self-centered.

25. Don't be a taker. Facebook is not a vehicle for you to try to sponge up as much free information, advice, favors, feedback and other perks for yourself and your art as possible. If you want to get somewhere, give first; ask later. The more you give, the more you get back in return. People are far more likely to respond positively to your requests once you've made yourself available to them in some sort of constructive capacity first.

Alan Bamberger