How to Social Media
I can't tell you how much I've been waiting to hear something like this. It's nice to hear a discussion about Social Media not in the context of logistics but in the context of "To What End?" So often I hear social media advice that speaks to Increasing Your Likes, or Posting Consistently, and Use These Specific Hashtags and Blah Blah Blah and so on and so forth, but never about the big "Why do any of it at all?"
It just gets glossed over. I think the assumption is always that everyone wants to jump on all those various treadmills and run as fast and hard as they can.
I don't know if that's a generational thing or what. I do know that increasingly there are more and more college-age folks I teach who seem to be keeping their decreasing social media presences at a very cool distance. My heart tells me that a lot of people are wary of Social Media nowadays because they feel like they're being leveraged. Like a demographic or a commodity. And from what I can sense and surmise, that's part of what my students sometimes feel...
I just saw a recent YouTube video encouraging artists to do all the platforms all the time, and I thought, I, for one, can't keep up with keeping all those ever-changing algorithms happy so I can somehow magically render the supposed benefits. And to me, it seems most of the "experts" giving advice didn't actually follow their own advice they're giving, but benefited from the growing popularity of the platforms themselves and grew as they grew. It wasn't really their savvy that turned them into successes at all, but time and circumstance...
It seems that nowadays, artists have to have a much clearer idea of exactly what they want from engaging on those same Social Media platforms. Is it one-way or two-way engagement--simple dissemination of information or invitation for criticism/critique? Is it about communicating participation in shows or the state of specific projects? Is it about engendering conversation surrounding specific topics? Is it converting followers into sales or support for a specific endeavor?
I do disagree with part of what was said, though... I personally don't know a single person who follows anyone on any of the Social Media platforms who actually says, "I'm going to follow this artist because they post consistently." If they like their art, they follow them. It seems binary to me--yes or no. If they happen to catch one of their posts after they've explored their page for a bit, how fortunate. If not, meh. It sounds a bit ridiculous to say someone would stop following an artist they like because they've only done two surprise gallery openings instead of one on the 15th of every month. Some of my favorite authors haven't published their WIP books in years but I don't give up following them. How much of posting consistently is actually about the interested public and how much is about playing into a platform's algorithm just to be seen at all? Because, seriously, no one gives up on an artist they like because they don't post like clockwork every three days. And if they do, those aren't the kind of people that are going to be purchasing one's artwork anyway, are they?
Anyway, great episode!! Thanks so much for sharing--you three are awesome, and I'm really glad you keep doing this. It's all so much good, juicy food for thought!! At least it makes me think. And thinking is always good!!
@Coreyartus great point on the posting consistently. I been doing that since the beginning of the year taking this advice and it has not helped me at all. All it has done was add a level of stress like now i have to get something posted and rush to get it done. It was my new years resolution to do that, and this past week I failed at it. But that is ok, life took over. I got a new puppy and my kids are in summer camps. I don't have the time right now to paint and get work out on social media. Am I going to lose any of the small amount of followers I have? Who knows.
The other aspect, and not sure if this was mentioned since I have not had the chance to listen to the podcast yet, but with posting to social media the artist gets a sense of acceptance. If an artist (like myself) is not getting enough feedback from other peers on their work or even their family, by posting it to a bunch of strangers that then "Like It" or even comment on it, it makes one feel better about their art. Is is the right sorta "Like"? Prob not but it still makes one feel better about themselves. And I guess that has to do with ones self esteem or lack of. Yes I struggle with the demons in my head all the time that my work/art is not good enough.
I really like your character design here @Pamela-Fraley! Nicely done!
Geoffrey Gordon last edited by
Really enjoyed this episode, I love the approach of pick a channel that you show up and engage on rather than trying to be everywhere.... Quality over quantity.
Also my two cents regarding the book.... it is a great way to formalise and disseminate the sage advice given in bitesize chapters and actionable tasks.
Julia last edited by
@Jon-Anderson me too!
ArtofAleksey last edited by
I’d like to share with anyone interested in learning how to use patreon affectively, I recommend the “ComicLab” podcast. It’s great and very informative. And @Jake-Parker was in a few episodes too. It’s also really funny.
StudioLooong last edited by
@Aleksey One Fantastic Week has some good discussion on the patreon topic too, like in this episode: https://youtu.be/Zfc3XnifuVM?t=2972 (this starts at the patreon chat but the rest of the discussion is great as well if you have time)
Samu last edited by
I someones is interested in learning about Social Media, Gary Vaynerchuk is the man. It really depends on how far you want to go.
I haven't listened to this podcast yet (I am so far behind), but would like to comment while it's timely and suggest something that might be helpful to some people who want to post to multiple platforms. There's a website called Zapier that can cross post your stuff for you. You can set it up to do all sorts of different stuff. That way you can just put in the effort of writing a post once and then it gets put up everywhere you want to have a presence. However, the follow up and replying to comments on each is still up to you.
reddprime last edited by
Great episode. I had not thought about using Linkedin to post-work before. I mostly avoid it.
@Aleksey I’m listening now. Good content . Thanx for sharing
ArtofAleksey last edited by
@burvantill they're amazing, im supporting their patreon and getting their "pro tips" too.
I found this one very useful. thanks
Tom Shannon last edited by
This was very helpful and informative. Thanks guys!
Great timing as i just finished watching the SVS classes on personal branding and social media! All 3 combined and i feel like I've got a really solid grasp!! Thank you!
Any thoughts on separating your art accounts? I am thinking about making a separate instagram solely for my children's book illustration, since my current account is mostly plein air landscape painting. I'm not sure if it would be a negative to have two different areas of work on my account.
On the plus side its more professional facing keeping them separate, but on the downside its a lot to manage two accounts, and i would be starting over just to keep my "art identities" neat and tidy.
@Sean_H That is an age-old question and the answer varies depending on who you talk to... There are plenty of advocates that are successful on both sides of the "separate/combined" debate. It seems to me your decision depends more on how/why you use your Instagram account.
"Professional facing" depends on who the "professionals" are... There are plenty of highly successful artists who use Instagram for everything and the kitchen sink--multiple styles, industries, WIPs, candid shots, etc-- and instead of being considered confusing it is considered endearing. Others use their Instagram feeds as a sort of portfolio collection, continually trying to post portfolio level work only. Personally, I think it all depends on the type of "professional" you're trying to attract. Different people in different positions and different companies or projects will be looking for different things, so it seems like there's no definitive "right answer".
If you're seeking people who are looking at your Instagram as a portfolio representative of your style, then maybe having separate accounts is a good idea. It has been pointed out repeatedly that Art Directors tend to seek evidence that artists can do something repetitively and consistently and they can be relied upon to do what they've demonstrated without taking risks or turning in something outside of the perceived box. Those types of ADs are not looking for variety but a singular style they can bank on, and become confused and hesitant when artists do more than one style or cater to more than one industry. It's frustrating, in my opinion, but AD's aren't paid to take risks more than they're already taking.
But not all users of Instagram are that type of Art Director. Some are companies who are looking to fill positions with artists who have a wider range of generalized skills. Some are authors looking for illustrators on their own. Some are editors looking for spot illustration. Some are just fans looking for fan art or fellow artists looking to add to their own collections, or people looking for something that matches the color scheme in their kitchens.
In my opinion it really really depends on who you're trying to appeal to.