Using the Social Network to Advance Your Art Career







Do you know how to effectively use Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkeIn? If not, you might want to read this excerpt from the book.

Once this was simply a way to keep in contact with friends. But now social media has become a useful tool for any artist who wants exposure on the Internet. There are a variety of options. Select the ones you prefer and establish a presence on each. Sites like Facebook and Google Plus not only offer personal pages but fan pages and group pages. Setting up a fan page is easy and allows you to connect to a community millions strong. It also allows you to share events, shows, and other relevant information with your fan base.

If sharing information or keeping up-to-date with others in your milieu is important to you, then Twitter facilitates this to a considerable degree. This form of microblogging allows you to reach out to your fans with minimal effort while boosting interest in your work. You don’t have fans yet? Just keep working on it. They tend to follow people with talent.

If you start a blog, this can also drive traffic to your site and help develop interest in your work. Unlike tweets, blogs tend to be more in-depth and article-based. That allows you to discuss any aspect of your work in depth or provide commentary on galleries, shows and various controversies.

Of course, the end goal is to develop exposure to your work, so it’s important to link all of the tools you use to your website and vice versa. Quite often people will find a blog, Facebook page, or Google Plus page before they’ll find your website, so make sure the user has an obvious pathway from your website to your Facebook page or blog and back again. If you set up an Artist Page on Facebook, naturally you’ll want to encourage Likes–the more the merrier, especially if they’re from potential collectors.

All these little steps might seem tedious (they are to me), but they do add up, and will become increasingly relevant as technologies evolve. But some people do have a tendency to get sucked into the vortex of social networking, somehow believing that if they’re active enough on Facebook, this will provide a major boost to their career. My opinion is that it’s just a minor aspect of your career, and what really counts is the work, how active you are with galleries, and especially with collectors.

As for the whole social network phenomenon, I consider it an overrated technology that sucks up too much of our time, tends to encourage narcissism, and separates us more than it brings us together. Oh sure it has its uses in business and with social activism; I mean look at how effectively it was utilized to help organize the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. That’s admirable. But when it comes to my friends, I’d rather meet at a midtown bar or on the bike trails, where we can converse, than read about each other on Facebook.