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Social Media for Artists and Photographers

Thursday 13th January 2011

When you sign up for an artist or photographer website with Gallereo, you automatically have the chance to link your website to your Facebook, Twitter of LinkedIn account, if you already have one. If not, you should definitely think about getting onboard. 
 
Social media has become an integral part of the online space, and no matter what your preconceived conceptions about Facebook, or Twitter maybe, we actually recommend that you take another look, find out how they can be valuable resources for you, and learn how to make the most of social media.
 
Why Bother?
 
First of all, lets start by saying that the purpose of social media is not to let everyone know that you've just had your tenth cup of tea of the day. It's also miss-guided to pigeon-hole social media as a platform where all you get to hear about is how many cups of tea people have had each day. 
 
The purpose of being part of social media is develop a network or people who are interested in what you do, or do things that you are interested in. Not only can you learn a great deal and find out about the latest news and updates, but you can make connections and find out about great opportunities that you may not have found out about elsewhere.
 
In saying that, let's take a look at our top 3 social media sites, and pass on our advice of how you use them, in a constructive way, to develop your network and communicate with other, like-minded people.
 
Facebook
 
Facebook contains both the pros and cons of being part of social media. The usual approach is to create an account for yourself and then create a 'page' about your website and your work. With having a personal account, you will probably become friends with people that you know, knew or know of, and in doing so you might have to put up with some comments about cups of tea. However, you can also just remove people from your account if they continue to re-offend on the subject.. 
 
What you should do is have a look around at other pages on Facebook and see what tickles your fancy. There are endless numbers of pages on all facets of photography, painting, drawing and sculpture. Museums have their own pages, galleries have their own pages, art publications have their own pages. If you're interested, why not join them to get updates on your favourite subjects? 
 
Your next goal is to get people to find your page, and 'Like' it so that they get all of your news and updates. Often easier said than done, but make sure to invite all of your friends to your page, let your mailing list know you now have a Facebook page and generally spread the word. 
 
On your page you will be able to display sample artworks from your site, link to new additions, update people on your next exhibition or generally let people know what's going on in your world. Hopefully this will encourage them to take a look at your website and get more involved with your work. 
 
Twitter
 
Twitter is a social media site that seems to cause a lot of confusion and produce a lot of negativity from the non-Twitter community. Again, we'll say that your experience of Twitter will fully depend on how intelligently you use it, and what you expect to get from it. 
 
Basically, on Twitter, you can post news, pictures, links and updates, as long as you don't use more than 140 characters in your post. You can also reply to other peoples posts by using the @ sign. Example - "@gallereo thanks for your post on using Twitter." You can also discuss common topics and have your say by using the # tag. Example - "I'm really loving the work of #pietmondrian right now."
 
Now that we've thrown the basics at you, how do you use Twitter effectively? You would create a profile for yourself as an artist or photographer and put a link in there to your website. You would then look to 'follow' people or ogansations that you are interested in. You will then get Tweets in your news feed from these people or organisations. 
 
The key to success for you, is to acquire followers. This again, isn't always easy, but do-able. Often, when you follow someone, they will follow you. Don't be upset if they don't though; just because you like them, doesn't mean that it's reciprocal. That's the way of the world. You can also encourage people to follow you by creating useful, meaningful Tweets of your own, or engaging in conversations with other people or topics using the @ and # tags.
 
When people come to check out your Twitter profile when they follow you, they'll hopefully also end up visiting your website. That's where the win in all of this is. 
 
Just like Facebook, if you follow someone who only Tweets about what they had for breakfast, just unfollow them. If they're really boring, block them so they may never darken your door again. Harsh, but sometimes necessary.
 
LinkedIn
 
Social media for the professional. Here you should not have any fears about tea updates, unless you link up with PG Tips or Liptons. The purpose of LinkedIn is for professionals to network and share opportunities with other professionals. 
 
Create a profile and get as much information as you can up there about yourself, with a link back to your website. Then start to introduce yourself to people that you know. The network is protected from extremely self-interested people (often referred to as Spammers) by limiting networking to people who you know, or know you, off-line. You start there, and then you are able to ask for introductions within their network if you have reason to request such an introduction.
 
Another way of building a network on LinkedIn is to join various groups and discussion boards that you are interested in. Become a committed member and contribute effectively and you'll soon find your network growing. More importantly, you'll find that there is a lot to learn, and a lot to discover through social media. 
 
Want to get started making friends? Why not track down Gallereo first. We're on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and will welcome you with open arms to our network. Drop us a message to let us know a little more about you.

Posted on January 13th 2011 on 05:32pm

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