Using social media to promote your art business can be tricky. Social media rules are forever changing and it’s up to us, as artists, to stay current with those changes.
Back in August of 2012 I shared some tried-and-true tips for using social media to build trust with your art buyers and collectors. While those tips still offer solid advice for today’s artists, I thought I’d expand on that list just a bit. . .
Here are three more ways you can build trust through your social media outlets.
1. Share information other than your own
Eula M. Young, COO of Griot’s Roll Film Production & Services Inc., believes it’s important to engage fans by sharing relevant information from fans and/or business colleagues.
“How I build trust on my social media pages is to engage in my fans’ posts and re-post their events.” Eula says. “When you share other business owners’ events on your page you build a relationship and that translates into many opportunities. I can’t tell you how many wonderful opportunities I have received just by posting and sharing other people’s events on my social media page.”
As an artist, it can be scary sharing the works of other artists, especially when you’re struggling to get sales and worry that a potential sale may be lost to the competition.
But here’s the thing—by sharing the art of others, you’re showing your art buyers that you’re confident enough in your own work to offer them art that compliments your own.
The artists you feature may, in turn, increase your own audience by talking you up on their social media pages or sharing your information with potential clients looking for something only you can provide.
“Also, posts that link to interesting and relevant news articles and other kinds of content are more likely to be shared by customers on their own profiles, increasing your business’ inbound links and SEO,” says Hannah Marr, Content Director of BizBrag, Inc.
2. Be useful to your followers
Jayme Pretzloff, Online Marketing Director for Wixon Jewelers, believes one of the keys to succeeding with social media is to be useful.
“Give followers interesting information that they enjoy seeing in their News Feeds,” says Jayme. “You need to be inherently useful to your followers. Be truly useful and they will keep you close to them. These social platforms are unprecedented because they put businesses and their friends together and their friends aren’t constantly trying to sell to them, so you shouldn’t either.”
Hannah Marr concurs.
“If there was one piece of advice that I could give to small business owners who are looking to build trust with their customers through social media,” says Hannah, “it would be that not every post should be attempting to sell a product or service to the customer.”
“To a customer, this makes it look as though the business’ only goal is to make money, rather than building relationships with customers and building a repertoire for having great service, caring about customers, etc.” Hannah continues. “When customers have been thoroughly engaged, they are more likely to buy a good or service on their own, rather than having to have the product sold to them before they decide whether or not to purchase.”
“Chances are,” says Hannah, “if a customer is interested in your business enough to give it a like or follow, then that customer is probably interested in the industry as well. By having a profile where customers know they will be getting new information frequently, you will ensure that customers will continue to visit your profile and may even begin making it a point to check your profile to see what kind of new content you have posted that day.”
As an artist, there are several ways you can make your social media pages more useful to your followers. You could:
• Talk about your creative process: where you find inspiration, how you transfer that inspiration into a piece of art, what various steps of your piece look like before it’s finalized, etc.
• Show your delivery process: how you carefully package and ship your work so that it gets delivered undamaged
• Share online courses: who taught you a new technique ,what did you think about the teaching style, how can you incorporate that technique into your own art, etc.
share product reviews: why do you prefer a specific brand or company over another, why is one tool more efficient than another, etc.
• Share art events: don’t just announce where you’ll be selling your art in person, give them a reason to attend. . . talk about the venue, talk about the other artists who will be attending, talk about the types of food being offered, etc.
3. Never delete negative comments
Brady Lowe, Regional Community Manager for Globe University-La Crosse, says, “Never delete negative posts or comments.”
He goes on to explain that negative feedback and comments actually “provide organizations great opportunities to showcase stellar customer service.”
“A first reaction to a negative comment on a Facebook might be to delete it so that other customers don’t see the post. However, a negative post presents an opportunity to publically respond, address the concerns of the poster, and provide a remedy for the problems,” says Brady.
“This public address of customer service shows other Facebook users that a company is serious about the complaints that they receive, they act quickly to find solutions, and that their customer service goes above and beyond to nurture their customers.”
This is great advice for artists, as well! Original art can be expensive, causing potential art buyers to be leery about buying art over the Internet. By showing potential art buyers how you handle customer concerns, you build trust. . . making it less frightening to buy from you.
By following these tips, you can reduce your art buyers’ risk and give them a reason to trust you with their hard-earned cash.
Remember, social media is WAY more effective when you take the time to build relationships. . . so try avoiding those “just listed,” “for sale in my shop,” and “buy now” posts! Find ways to be useful, interact, and respond instead.