Episode 183 – New Markets for Artists / Facebook and Twitter for the Complete Beginner

Chapter 2

Facebook and Twitter for the Complete Beginner

This chapter is for both those who are new to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media and those who use Facebook sparingly and reluctantly. More advanced social media users can skip to the next chapter. I write a weekly newsletter, and one time I was writing about managing all of your social media accounts. I received this letter from one of my readers.

Dear Brainard,

Yes, there are artists who have never used Facebook! (More time attaching me to my computer screen.) I thought it’s enough to have a website. Please tell those few of us, what should we put on our Facebook page? How does this reach the people I need to reach? And would it link to my website? And then, how does Twitter get me contacts? Who do I send it to, or does it just go out to the whole world? Does Facebook go out to the whole world? Yeah, I know this is embarrassingly basic. Thanks, Stephanie

I will answer Stephanie’s questions here in detail to cover the basics. Even if you decide not to use social media tools at all, the information in this chapter will familiarize you with the language associated with these tools, which we encounter more and more often in movies, on television, and in print. These words have entered our daily slang, sometimes taking on new meanings and even becoming verbs; for example, to “like” a page or “friend” someone are now common expressions. All of this and more will be discussed in this chapter, which deals with the very first steps to using social media and your website to promote your artwork.

Artist Websites and Their Purpose

Artists have been building websites (or having them built for them) for over a decade now. For many, the purpose of their website isn’t clear. Is it a showcase? A virtual gallery? Or is it a commercial site through which to sell one’s prints or original work? Most often, it ends up being a sort of archive of an artist’s work, in which pieces completed by the artist in the past are organized according to year. What we have learned from artists’ websites is that they are largely ineffective. This is not to say that they can’t help artists in many ways and even help them to sell their work, but the idea of a website that needs to be updated frequently comes with two problems. One is that, in most cases, it actually doesn’t change much or get updated too often, so there is little incentive for anyone to visit it more than once.

Two, it is often the case that the artist cannot change the website by themselves; they need to pay someone to do it. Those are two big problems, and even if you can update the website without a professional’s help, number one is a big problem unless you are updating the site all the time. This does not mean you should give up your website, however; it just means that it needs to be linked to your social media pages.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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