by guest blogger Samantha Ward, staff member for Easely
Most artists will agree that customers are necessary for them to continue their practice. But where do they come from? These days, building a social following online can greatly contribute to lead generation.
Building fans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. is invaluable to a budding or established artist, but it does take some effort. If you’ve noticed that you haven’t had much attention on your social media outlets, it may be time to revamp and optimize your content with some techniques of inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing with social media is all about creating a web presence for yourself by releasing content that attracts new customers to you, rather than directly selling them something. Post content that is interesting and educational, not a slew of sales pitches.
You can begin your social media overhaul by optimizing your content. Make a list of keywords that are appropriate for your business and keep them on hand when writing all of your bios/descriptions, and social media updates. Your bios should be consistent across platforms and should be clear, concise, and linked to your website URL. By using keywords and being consistent, your information will be easier for search engines to find and suggest to people browsing the web. This is called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
Once you’ve created consistently branded accounts, start promoting your social presence everywhere! Link all your accounts on your website and emails, add your accounts to your business cards and promotional materials, and get creative! Engage your followers by creating incentives for them to share.
For example, create a contest on Facebook or Instagram to win a piece of art by tagging a friend in the comments who must then “like” or “follow” your page. If you are offering a $100 piece and gain 50 followers in the process, this could be a worthy investment. Perhaps three of those 50 followers will become customers someday, earning you $500 in the future. You can also offer incentives to new followers by creating promotions that are only available via social media.
Interacting with fans and followers is just as important as reaching out to potential business contacts in your industry via social media. Use it as a networking tool to build relationships with other artists, bloggers, and collectors. Follow them, participate in discussions, and retweet their content. You can use tools like Tweet Grader, Twitter Search, and Twellow to identify other Twitter users in your industry.
With these tips, you will be able to see exciting results over time. A good social media presence takes time and effort, but with a little bit of engagement and creativity you can grow your network to be larger than ever!
Samantha Ward is a an artist specializing in printmaking (focused on serigraphy and etching) as well as larger-scale installations created around musical performances by other artists. She is the artists relations manager for Easely and artistic director of FoundSound Music.