You’ve got your website ready to go with all the plug-ins you need, your shop is well stocked with all your beautiful artwork, and you’re ready to sell! So, now what? How do you let people know about your incredible creations? Let me share with you what I’ve learned to be the Art of Social Media.
Having a website and online shop is not a “build it and they will come” field of dreams concept. You have to let people know who you are, what you make and where you are. You use social media to stay in touch with family and friends, and you need to use it to stay in touch with and find your customers. There are business accounts available for all of the platforms (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, etc.). Don’t use your personal accounts for business posts. You want to give a professional and branded feel to all of the platforms you choose to use.
What platforms should I be on? This is one lesson I learned early on, that I don’t need to be on every social media platform to reach my audience and customers. I stayed with the ones that I felt the most comfortable using and the ones that I had the most response and interaction. If you spread yourself too thin by trying to post on 7 or 8 platforms, you will really not be able to focus on what you’re posting and limit your interaction with your followers. I am currently active on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and that’s the order I prioritize them also. Some artists are very skilled at creating videos and post on You Tube weekly. Periscope and Blab are new live streaming platforms that are very popular, but it’s not something that interests me, maybe it’s because I’m not comfortable being on video. Plan how you want to use these platforms and realize that you do not have to post every single day or dozens of times a day. This will save you time and stress in the long run.
What should I post about? You want to follow the 80/20 rule, share 80% of things other than your work (i.e. inspirational posts, other artist’s work, information that would be an interest to your audience), and then share 20% of your work, events, and blog posts. People love behind the scenes and work in progress posts, let them know how that series is coming along. I would limit the number of family or personal pictures you share, leave those for your personal page. I keep a folder on my bookmark bar of posts and information I come across that I know I would like to put in my feed for future posting. That way you will have a resource full of ideas for content.
How many times should I post per day? This has taken me a little while to figure out, but I think I found what works for me and my time. Since my art business is driven by images and sharing images, I focus my time and pinning the most on Pinterest. Based on what I’ve researched and the high number of followers I have (close to 2K) on this platform, I pin at least 20 – 30 pins per day. On Facebook I post 1-2 times per day because of Facebook’s algorithm and limited views. I have done Facebook Ads for special launches or promotions and they definitely bring traffic, but that’s an option I use for a specific time and purpose. Instagram is my next in priority and I only post once daily there, I really wish Instagram would enable adding links to the posts! Finally, Twitter is my least in priority. I post there about 6-7 times daily. The lifespan of a Tweet is only about 15 minutes because of the speed of the feed, so finding the right time to post is crucial.
How can I find time to post to all these platforms? I use to post several times a day on the platforms I talked about and it would take me so long to make sure I had them all covered. Well, now there are several apps that will do the posting for you and all you do is spend some time once a day or once a week to schedule those posts. Apps such at Hootsuite, Tailwind, Tweetdeck, Latergram, Buffer and there’s more out there that I’m sure I missed. I have tried a few of these I just listed and I finally settled on Buffer. They offer posting to multiple social media sites at the times that you pre-select. They also have a browser extension that places a button (similar to Pinterest) on your browser bar so you can select pictures and posts that you come across to place into your queue for future posting. That’s how I manage to pin up to 30 images/pins per day. I am on the Blogger plan and it is only $12.00 per month and saves me so much time in scheduling my social media posts.
Should I be active on comments? Yes, yes, and yes. You should try and respond to each comment or interaction on your platforms. Talk to your followers, thank them for their interaction, give them feedback and maintain that relationship.
How do I know if all this is working? Keep track of your numbers through Google Analytics or the platform analytics page (each of them has one). Get to know these pages and how to read them. This will give you an indication of what’s working, what’s not and even give you information on best times to post. This will help you tweek your scheduling and what you post. One thing regarding numbers, don’t stress about how many followers you have, or how many followers someone else has. Be active with the followers you have that are loyal and interested in what you have to say.
I know this may sound like a lot of work, but trust me, a little work up front will save you a lot of time in the long run. Remember also to be flexible and adjust where you need to. Social media should be fun interaction with your followers and customers, it shouldn’t be a burden that you avoid doing. A little bit of work up front will save you a lot of time in the long run on your Social Media strategy
Pinterest has become my #1 referral to my blog and it wasn’t by surprise or coincidence, I definitely had a strategy. You can check it out here.
What are you doing with your social media that’s working for you? Share it with us in the comments.