The reason we all feel overwhelmed … And to think that Pinterest is missing … (via Social media marketing landscape complicated - Business Insider)
This is a brilliant graphic on WHERE to post your STATUS UPDATES.
And for those looking for a good social media blog to follow, Simply Zesty, who posted this, is a blog I subscribe to in my Google Reader.
I’m a huge, unabashed fan of Christopher Bailey - the Creative Director of Burberry. He has been brilliant in bringing the British brand back to life but even more than this, he has made Burberry a Media Company through utilizing and innovating with social media. A recent Mashable article shows his most recent brand and online community building exploits.
I adore the collections that have been hitting runways, especially over the last 3 years. Bailey’s story in fashion and especially what he’s done for Burberry is inspiring. I’m very inspired by what he’s done to make Burberry the #1 social media savvy fashion company in the world. Beyond this, he truly has made Burberry a media company.
He’s done this by being the #1 user of the social media platforms (he’s always tweeting, no ghost tweets for Bailey) and for championing the use of these channels and technologies to create even more brand loyalty.
What I love about what he’s done with the brand loyalty aspect is that he’s opened the brand to it’s customers and followers. Burberry has activated the community around the brand by involving the community, literally opening it up to these people - he stages shows on Twitter and releases images and information on that platform before even the press gets that information. This is so different from how things usually work - usually, brands send exclusives to press, letting them be the deliverymen of news to the rest of us. Instead, Bailey makes Burberry’s collections and special events for absolutely anyone, and this has been paying off in huge dividends, both monetary and in brand loyalty.
Building online community isn’t a linear exercise. There are no hard and fast rules, and no cookie cutter formula. What it takes is a genuine desire to share what you are - your brand - with your followers, and make them a part of it. Here is a quote from Christopher Bailey, which so aptly expresses what online community in brands is all about:
“A brand is not just about product, it’s about experience as well, and experiences need to come from the center of a community. I get excited about using all of those platforms to communicate to all of our different communities around the world about what we’re doing.”
Now that you’ve got your objectives clear and you’ve promised yourself you’ll regularly update your page, it’s time to set the page up. I’m not an expert in Facebook, and if you want to learn all the ins and outs there are many companies and courses, and also free resources, like the Facebook Pages Resource Center. But I do want to share some of the more vital things I consider for the fan page:
- When opening the page try to have at least a few photos, and some information ready to fill the page a bit, even when it’s brand new. You can show images of your previous work so that anyone can immediately SEE what you do. This also gives you a nice row of images across the top (now that Facebook has modified its look).
- Facebook gives you all kinds of options for the kind of product, service or celebrity you are when you set up your page. Pick the one that most closely represents you.
- Take advantage of Facebook’s “custom url” function. This means that instead of your page being: www.facebook.com/page/1887593651836 it can be: www.facebook.com/camilladerricoart, for example. I love this because it means that when I give this link to someone, or put it in any bio, resume, or other public or private document, the impact is totally different. You aren’t a number, you are YOU, and you are your brand. Your name, or your brand’s name, is right there. And it also helps with your search engine rankings.
- Use an interesting and eye-catching image for your page’s profile picture.
- The fan page is going to be one of the many online points of contact you will have. The most important of is your own site, so make sure that your site is clearly listed. We put the website url in the little note box that shows up on the Wall page, as well as listing it in the websites section.
- List all your online sites where you have a strong presence or portfolio, ie. Deviantart, Twitter, Behance, LinkedIn, etc.
- Fill out the information section completely, including some personal facts about yourself where possible, if you are an artist promoting yourself. I love reading little personal and quirky tidbits; it gives you personality and it’s the only way to transmit that in the Internet medium (unless you post an intro video of yourself, which would be even more fun and impactful!).
- Get interested! List and like pages, products and friends. When you are on another fan page, you have the option (bottom left of the page) of adding a page to your own page. Doing this makes the page show up in your fan page and it’s a great way to cross-promote. When you add another page to your own page, write to them and let them know that you’ve done this! There’s no instant notification saying your page has been added to another fan page.
- Facebook now gives you the option of creating ‘favorites’ amongst your page’s “likes”. These show up on the left of your wall, and will rotate regularly. It’s the icon that looks like a megaphone, called “Featured”. We use this feature to showcase companies, artists, sponsors or partners.
There are also lots of great applications that you can add to your fan page. Some are free, others cost a couple of dollars.
- Notes: You can use this app to write a note that stays on Facebook. You may write a blog post that doubles as a journal entry on Deviantart and can double as a note on Facebook. If you do this, then the text you’ve written gets lots of mileage, and it requires a couple of minutes of time to cut and paste, then to post. We mainly use Notes when we want to write something specific for the fans on Facebook.
- RSS Feeds: With the RSS imports, you can have your blog post directly imported to your wall. This saves time because it is an automated process but you have no control over the formatting and often it comes up as a bland and ugly link. We don’t use this option for that reason. We prefer to either LINK from Facebook TO the blog (recommended) or cut-paste the text into a note. If you want to automate, there are apps that do this, or you can set up your feeds from the Notes app.
- Photos: This is self explanatory but what you can do with Photos is decide which to post to Facebook, and which to post to an external photo service like Flickr. You might want to use Flickr as the ‘bucket’ where you bulk upload lots of photos, and then select only the best to post to Facebook or vice versa. You may want to have the same album on several platforms, and that’s fine too! The advantage of using the native Photos app is that those are the photos that people see immediately when they get to your page. Those photos live on Facebook, and are easier for people to share and comment on. So I recommend always posting at least some photos to the Facebook albums. *Similar consideration for Videos & Youtube.
- Events: We all know about events on Facebook. It’s the only way I know how to keep track of what’s going on. We use events on Facebook for everything – from art shows to conventions to signings. Even if few people sign up, you’ve still created an event that you can link to from your blog, journal notes, emails, etc. You can add photos, links and comments and send updates directly to people you’ve invited.
- Youtube App, Flickr for Pages App, Twitter for Pages App: We installed all three of these apps on the fan page, and they show up as links on the left hand side of the wall when you first land on the fan page. These apps automatically feed IN your content from those sites and make them available to your fans. There’s also a Tumblr App that has the same functionality. Once you’ve set up these apps, you don’t need to do anything else other than update the other sites. Nice!
There we have it, Part II is all about setting up the page, and installing apps that allow you to have tons of interesting content streaming into your fan page without much extra effort on your part. It’s starting to come together now and next and final post about Facebook fan pages will be about tips on posting to the page, updating fans, and engaging your audience. Thanks for following along so far!
Here we go with a series of posts about how we use the various social media sites to promote Camilla’s work. There are literally hundreds of sites out there, and everyone will have their favorites, especially because there are many niche sites for every imaginable kind of art or creative endeavor. Surely anyone reading these posts already uses at least one social media site, has a blog, and/or a website, so you are familiar with the landscape.
When thinking about social media, the first, and most important step is to BRAND YOUR ACCOUNTS. This goes for both personal and brand/creative social media accounts.
Even if you are an individual artist, you may decide to have separate social media accounts. For example you can open a Facebook “Like” page for your art. We use Camilla d’Errico Art and in addition Camilla has her own personal FB page.
Usually an individual artist will only open accounts under his/her own name. But if you find yourself posting things that aren’t relevant to your art or you don’t want fans seeing what you do in your spare time, then open separate accounts. Social media sharing doesn’t mean you have to give up your privacy. Branding and separating accounts gives you a degree of control and privacy over what you do and whom you want to share things with.
If, as an individual artist, you do open separate accounts, make sure that you are using your (artistic) name for the branded accounts, so that you create name recognition and increase your rankings on the search engines. Basically, you use your name to promote your art, and a ghost name for your truly personal accounts.
If you have your own brand (product, line, services), then you must open social media accounts in your brand’s name. While it is ok for you to personally promote what you do (and you should always promote your work on your personal accounts), it is absolutely necessary for your brand to have it’s own accounts. It may be double work, double postings, etc. but the best way around that is to make the initial post come out of your BRANDED ACCOUNT and link back to it from your personal account. If you have people helping you, they can post to the brand accounts (and make sure they are posting to their own private accounts too – colleagues, assistants and interns who promote you give you credibility).
Another element to help differentiate accounts is to use a logo for your branded accounts and a professional headshot (photograph) for your personal accounts.
Now that you’ve got yourself sorted with branded vs. personal social media sites, it’s time to think about what sites you want to work with, and to set a strategy and goals for each site (also known as channels). Like I mentioned in my last post about setting strategies and goals for social media, it’s equally important to decide what you’re going to use each channel for. There are some evident differences between social media sites, so using each one for its strengths will help you get the most mileage out of them.
The sites that Camilla is set up with, and that I recommend as ‘staples’ are: Facebook, Twitter, Deviantart, and Tumblr. These are the social media, social networking sites. Then there are other sites – portfolio and artist community sites – but those fall under a different category so we’ll talk about those in later posts. There are also business-networking sites like LinkedIn (very important), and there are bookmarking sites and services, forums, etc. There are also some fun aggregator sites where you can feed all your branded social media accounts into one main, branded page.
Starting next week, I’ll go over how we use Facebook, which apps we have on our page, which ones you might like, and give you some tips on how to find the most effective way to engage your audience. Then we’ll move on to the other social media/networking sites. If you have any specific questions about these – or there is something in particular you want to know – please write to me and I’ll try to include answers and information in each upcoming post.
Remember: your community has value, in the same way that a customer list has value. And social media and social networking sites ARE your community.
I’m going to take this post to talk a bit about strategy and goals, to prime us for the following posts where I’ll address the sites we use to promote Camilla’s art. I can see some people cringing … strategy and goals?! Absolutely! For you artists, for you creative types, it’s as important as for the CEO of a multinational. So let’s get to it!
Before launching into your social media site search, and signing up for all the sites under the sun, the first thing to do is to set a strategy. The strategy has to be actionable, reasonable, and as far as possible – easy. If it isn’t easy to execute and becomes a burden you’ll give up. It’s what happens to everyone when they get overwhelmed, frustrated and bored.
1. Your first task is to set a strategy and to make sure the strategy won’t weigh you down.
Your strategy could consist of signing up to 3 generic sites, 3 niche sites, and allocating a set amount of time per day to updating, checking, responding, to those sites. You may decide to work across only 1 social media hub, 2 sites where you sell your art/products, and set up a newsletter. You may decide to write your own blog, etc. The strategy has to fit YOU, and it will change, so don’t get stuck in it – the social media landscape changes so quickly, and your strategy will have to adapt to those changes.
2. Your second task is to set goals.
You’ll hear an awful lot about setting goals and the reason for this is that – they work. They give you an end-point to work towards, direction, and a reference to everything you are doing. Goal setting for your social media is as important as for your career or for yourself personally. Your goals can be strictly marketing based, revenue-related, or a mix of quantifiable and abstract goals. Here are some questions that can help you come up with goals:
• What kind of client/fan/follower do you want to attract?
• How much time can you (are you willing to) allocate to social media?
• What field of art do you want to be active in?
• How many fans, comments, followers, etc. do you want to see on a daily, weekly, monthly basis?
• Do you want to be seen as an authority in your field?
• How do you want to position yourself?
• Do you want to sell more?
• Do you want to get more press/blog coverage?
3. Your third task is to understand what social media is all about and why you are doing it.
This is what ties together strategy with goal setting. We are talking about social media in the context of marketing and promotion, so that is our starting point. Forget the photos of your dog or cat; we are now focusing on your business, your art and your creativity and how to get as much attention on it as possible, through social media.
The good news is that we are all interesting and have something valuable to offer, in one form or another. Especially when it comes to your art, creativity and skills, you must always remember that you are showing and sharing your gifts. In terms of social media, this is one thing that can become advantageous. Everything that you pass along via social media must be something that indicates you are an interesting person who provides useful information. This is how you will build your own personal artistic brand. This means that you will gain fans by creating valuable content. This quality content can be anything such as videos, images, or even an audio taping. As artists, you have TONS of quality content to share! As long as you still give others quality content, you will be capable of building a personal artistic brand that will make people like and desire to connect with you.
Now that you’ve started thinking about your strategy and your goals, and you know WHY you are getting into social media ‘marketing’, here are a few tried and true suggestions. This is based on our own experience, trials and errors.
My first suggestion is to GO WITH WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. By trying out new sites, you’ll discover whether the community within that site is right for you. Even if, after time and dedicated effort, a particular site doesn’t work out, let it go. Don’t beat a dead horse. On the upside, at least you’ll have another link-back to your own site.
Experiment with the sites and their functionalities. I know it takes time, but figure out all the features and use them. Most importantly - BE ACTIVE. It isn’t good enough to just sign up, post some art, and then disappear. Not if you want the full benefit. So if that is what you’re going to do, then don’t bother, don’t sign up to dozens of sites you can’t possibly keep updated and that you can’t keep up relationships with the other members. It’s better to choose fewer, more targeted sites to be truly active on, rather than dozens just for the sake of having your name on there.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, Social Media and Community sites are about creating meaningful relationships and two-way communication, so keep that in mind because it is the absolute key to success.
Please ask me any questions about setting those goals and strategies. I know it can seem daunting, but once you’ve done it, you’ll feel better, clearer and more determined than ever.
Being proactive with your promotion will not only help you build a larger audience or customer base, it will also help build what I call social assets, which will give you a leg up in negotiating deals with potential partners.
If you want to work with galleries, manufacturers (licensees) and publishers especially, the more social assets you bring to the table, the greater your chances of nailing a deal.
What are social assets? They are quite simply your audience – quantified. They are the sum total of your friends and fans on Facebook, followers on Twitter, website visitors, Deviantart pageviews/watchers, Etsy Circle and Followers, Behance Inner Circle, Newsletter or Youtube subscribers, LinkedIn connections, Tumblr, Livejournal or Blogger followers – and every other countable statistic that shows how many people are “into” you. This data comes with a caveat – beware of focusing strictly on numbers, i.e. quantity over quality – analyze those numbers to sift out the active and engaged fans and followers, as this data gives an extra boost to your statistics. For example unique visitors to your site is a better indicator than all-around pageviews or hits.
The reason why social assets are so important and helpful is that if you bring to the table a calculable audience and statistics you:
1. Prove that people like what you do
2. Prove there is a potential audience to sell to
3. Minimize the other party’s risk in investing their time and money into you
4. Prove you understand the importance of audience and customers
5. Show you are thinking in terms of what is beneficial to both yourself and to your potential partner
What this comes back to is our pond, or rather, our ocean. There is a ton of competition out there and they are all trying to get ahead and get their art noticed over yours.
There are a limited number of galleries, of retailers, of licensees, etc. and a seemingly never-ending stream of artists.
But you’ve been promoting yourself, cultivating your audience, nurturing your relationships, and building your fan base. All that hard work can be quantified with easy to find statistics which, trust me, will make you look like a smart, savvy artist with his or her finger on the pulse of business. When you show and explain your stats, you are turning the tables in your favor during a negotiation. You will have their full and undivided attention.
Beyond the social assets as a way to show a partner/company/contact what kind of audience you have, make sure you are checking up on those statistics frequently for your own information. You’ll learn tons from your statistics and they will help you modify or adjust your strategy – you must measure your progress in order to know how and when to apply changes.
I truly hope the idea of social assets will give you an added incentive to push forward with your promotion. Now you have, at your fingertips, really EASY ways of measuring statistics about your art’s followership. And those stats are great to have available when you’re talking business about your art.
Every single artist or creative is unique and there is no standard for determining success – everyone’s is different. I’d love to hear whether you believe that the measurable statistics you can pull from online are accurate indicators of your art or creative business’ success. Do you measure your social assets? Do they reflect real life success and popularity and sales?