Every day, artists are being bombarded with new ways to share their art with the world, making it difficult to choose and stick with just one social media outlet.
The problem is that choosing more than two or three social media networks can cause more damage than good. Spreading yourself too thin makes it hard for your art collectors to get to know you, and makes it difficult for you to use your time efficiently.
When choosing a social media network for your art business, consider these three questions:
1. Where do your art buyers gather online?
When you think about your ideal target audience—which should be people who have the money AND inclination to buy your art—you need to think in terms of how well they use the Internet for communicating with friends, family, colleagues, and business contacts. Then ask yourself where they’re doing that communicating.
If your art caters to young teenagers, for instance, they’re not going to be gathering around the virtual water cooler known as LinkedIn. Instead, you’re going to find them on Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, and quite possibly, even MySpace.
Another thing to keep in mind when selecting a social media network is how small, targeted, and niche your audience is. If, for instance, your art is not mainstream and those who purchase your art gravitate towards a lesser-known social media outlet, you’ll want to make that one of the places you frequent.
In many cases, this could be a single online forum, dedicated to the topic (or topics) that your target market loves. There’s no problem choosing a small social media outlet—the important thing is choosing the same one that your buyers are at.
2. How active will you be?
The minute you announce which social media network you’re using, you’ll be expected to engage in conversation with your art collectors. If you don’t have a lot of time to commit to social media, you’ll need to choose an outlet that doesn’t move at lightning speed or require up-to-the-minute updates.
For instance, Facebook followers don’t mind waiting for an answer as long as one is provided by the end of the day, whereas Twitter followers tend to like an immediate response (or at least within the hour).
Traditional forums may take even longer, where one question is answered several times, and discussions last for weeks, months, or even years.
Understanding how quickly each social media network functions (slow, average, or fast) will help you in determining which one is the right fit for you, and your business.
3. How tech-savvy are you and your art collectors?
There are a lot of rules to using social media, and a lot more internal rules for using specific social media networks. It’s important to choose one that you can quickly understand, and that your art collectors can intuitively grasp, too.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the conversation, so don’t be afraid to test the waters.
If you’re not sure which social media network is best for you, and your audience, sign up with the one you are most comfortable with and give it a try. After six months, if it’s not producing the results you desire, either hire a social media specialist to show you what you’re doing wrong, or try another network.