As you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m a big proponent of artists using social media to promote their art, but I know that many of you are skeptical. I get it. You see it as a giant time suck that will stop you from spending time doing what you love—making art. And that certainly could happen if you don’t have an effective plan. But I’m suggesting that you can make social media work for you in 30 minutes or less per day.
That’s right, I believe that with a focused plan you can promote your artwork on social media in 30 minutes or less a day!
Let me lay out a plan for you:
First, understand that you don’t need to participate on all of the different social media platforms available to you. Instead, pick only those two or three platforms that are used by your target audience. Here are two examples: If you’ve identified women in the 30- to 60-year age range as your target market, then get involved in Facebook and Pinterest, which are the two most popular platforms for that target audience. Or, if you’ve identified 20-something art enthusiasts as your target market, then you might want to focus on Instagram and DeviantArt.
Next, decide how often you want to send out messages about your art and your life as an artist to your target audience on your selected platforms. I’ve heard people say that you need to post four and five times a day. Really? Personally I think that’s too much. Think about your favorite artist and ask yourself how often you would want to hear from him or her. Once a day? Three times a week? Use that as your rule of thumb for how often you post.
Now start posting. Since you’ll have a different group of followers on each platform, you can post the same message on all platforms—write/photograph once, post on multiple platforms. With a little practice, it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes total to shoot a photo of some kind (images are a must!), write a post (including a couple of hashtags!), and post it in two or three places. Even if you’re posting once a day, that’s 5 minutes total each day.
On those same platforms, you also want to make a point of skimming over your older posts to see if anyone has responded to you. It’s best to return a response within 24 hours, so spend 5 to 10 minutes a day checking on and responding to those messages from your followers that require a response.
Okay, so now we’re up to 10 minutes. What do you do with the other 15 to 20 minutes in my 30-minute plan? Invest it in establishing and nurturing relationships with members of your target audience. Think about where they’re congregating online, and go there. Join their conversations. Get to know them, and let them get to know you. Then eventually let select individuals know you’re an artist whose work may interest them, and invite them to like your Facebook business page or become one of your followers.
Let me give you another example: I recently reconnected with an artist who paints still lifes involving vintage textiles, china, and toys. Her target market is obviously all the people who are interested in and collect those items. So where are they congregating and talking about their mutual love of vintage collectibles? On Facebook groups? On discussion boards? On blogs? Yes! Once this artist has identified a handful of the best online forums attracting her same target audience, she should spend 15 to 20 minutes each day participating in these group conversations.
Next week I’ll talk about furthering these newfound relationships through your website, but for now, there you have it—social media in less than 30 minutes a day. If you work at it steadily and consistently, your smart investment of time will pay off in the form of more sales of your work.
What are your thoughts on this simplified plan? Let’s connect!