You can imagine standing in a crowd of people. Nameless people surrounding you as far as the eye can see; some whispering to the person next to them, other shouting for attention. You would like to join in, to introduce yourself…. To tell people about your work and what you have to say.
How do you do that?
All these people are chatting to each other, to their neighbours and then their neighbours likewise. Information is spread like ripples or Chinese whispers.
How can you reach those you can not see?
Well … welcome to Social Media and its uses and advantages
Firstly, some surprising facts.
We know, thanks to the Office of Statistics that over 90% of households have internet access and that 73% of adults choose to access the internet on their mobile phones.
We know that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc. are all used almost entirely on mobile platforms as well as some being available on desktop – but should we consider them as showcase for our work?
Even more statistics for you
Last year, we spent an average of 1 hour 29 minutes per day using social media across all devices. In 2017 that figure increased to 1 hour 48 minutes whilst the overall time spent online only increased by about 5 minutes to 2 hours 55 minutes per day. The Office for National Statistics reported that use of the internet for social networking increased to 66% in 2017
And from the chart above you can see where we are spending time.
Facebook is clearly still the largest app on the internet with Whatsapp (a free mobile messaging app) above Youtube. Following that are the rest of the leading players in the social media arena.
66% of the UK population have a Facebook account.
2 out of 3 people voluntarily giving up their demographic information as well as their likes/dislikes in almost every social aspect; fave books, music, fashion, sports and art.
It is the most responsive of all platforms – meaning posts are responded to and ‘liked’ more readily than any other. Consequently a single post, reaching friends of the poster can follow the 6 degrees of separation theory (your friends recommend to their friends and on to their friends…. And eventually Kevin Bacon reads it lol)
However people are turned off by receiving posts with ‘added value’ – for example, a picture with no context or a ‘I am having my hair permed’ message with no accompanying proof.
My advice is to freely post pictures of your work but why not post a work in progress? Create a story and allow your follower to join in. Let them see your progress, mistakes ‘n’ all, so when the final piece emerges they feel the elation that you do. This is far more likely to incite interest and a committed ‘friend’ who will share your work with their own friends.
Twitter has seen a decline in usage over the past couple of years with both Instagram and Snapchat posting larger usage figures. However it was the first to use the ‘#’ notation and still has an impressive 1 in 5 of UK users.
I would recommend using Twitter to get involved in others conversations and not try to create topics yourself. If you say something of interest on somebody else’s conversation then chances are that you will get people ‘following you’. Once you have a few followers then you can tweet to them about your show or new piece of work or any interesting creative ideas. Retweeting other interesting pieces may well get you noticed by new people too.
Here is an article showing the top ten retweeted items in the UK last year … the numbers are impressive. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/techandgadgets/mans-quest-for-free-nuggets-is-uks-most-retweeted-post-of-2017-a3710241.html
An interesting platform that is statistically the fastest growing platform of the moment (since Facebook bought them) and the only platform where you can not link back to your site on your posts. The only place that you can mention your website is your profile. That said it is primarily a platform governed by visual aesthetic given that it was created for photographers and heralded the way for online photo filters. There is now the facility to create a ‘story’ post too emulating the style of Snapchat …. We shall see where this goes.
Instagram also allow for the hashtag use 😊 so you can tag your posts so that they are easily found using a search
I would suggest having an account and using it is a mobile portfolio. Makes sure all your titles, media, sizes are correct. Also investigate the ‘story’ concept that they are now promoting. Tag or # al posts with relevant keywords (‘abstract’ or ‘landscape’ will not get you far as there are tens of thousands of posts with the same tag … try to be specific
This platform is the most visual of all and is primarily used a list making device. Statistics show that it has actively used primarily by women but the trend is changing. Most people, including myself use it a filing system for all the things that inspire me. You can create pinboards for your own work and all the other things that you have thought were noteworthy. I have seen boards with the contents relating to particular colours, art movements, artists, medium, poems, poets, landscapes in Autumn etc… I am sure you get the idea
Pinterest are actively promoting a forthcoming selling mode of the platform but I am not certain how long this will take.
I would suggest using it as a personal scrapbook and think that if you follow the 80/20 rule then your boards will gain much more interest – 20% your work and 80% pins of things that interest you. After all you are as interesting as any of your works and your eventual buyers will want to know more about you … so let them
I have given an approximate use for the above platforms and of course there is a ton of info on the internet about how to set up and use them all for promotion and marketing.
Hopefully I shall soon post about each platform individually with some case notes and show you exactly how I have used each of them to promote my own work.
Keep in touch