This new series is dedicated to Art and Social Media. With almost 2.7 billion people online, the Internet is an easy and mandatory tool to gain access to a very large audience of art and design lovers.
Social media are useful, and powerful, marketing tools to develop your name awareness, sell your artworks, fund your art projects, link with people sharing your interests, etc. People worldwide spend more and more time on both social networks (about 20% of their time on PC and 30% of their time on mobile) and PC and mobile devices.
Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. (source. Wikipedia)
There are many social media websites. They are all very useful in their own way; pick those social media which are the most adapted to your objective(s), target audience, target market, etc. as defined in your marketing plan. There are broadly 5 types of social media I would consider useful for artists. Some of the service providers span several of the above categories.
- Social Networks - Services that allow you to connect with other people of similar interests and background. Usually they consist of a profile, various ways to interact with other users, ability to setup groups, etc. Example: Facebook, LinkedIn, Viadeo, etc.
- Bookmarking Sites - Services that allow you to save, organize and manage links to various websites and resources around the internet in a single location. These sites usually offer voting functionalities which are key aspects of social media Example: Delicious, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, etc.
- Media Sharing - Services that allow you to upload and share various media such as pictures and video. Most services have additional social features such as profiles, commenting, etc. Such sites usually offer a simple membership for free with limited storage space and a membership with extended storage space for a premium. Example: YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, Picasa, etc.
- Micro-blogging - Services that allows members to publish short updates that are pushed out to anyone subscribed to receive the updates. Example: Twitter, Facebook with its status update functionality, etc.
- Blog Comments and Forums - Online forums that allow members to hold conversations by posting messages. Blog comments are similar except they are attached to blogs and usually the discussion centers around the topic of the blog post. There are MANY popular blogs and forums.
The new generation of art lovers is usually tech savvy and pragmatic. They know how to use the Internet to find information about art and artists; if they can’t find you, they won’t buy your artworks.