April 14, 2017

Social Media Posting Like a Pro

Social Media is all about sharing and connecting! Channels like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest give you the chance to find your audience, tell them your story, find inspiration, promote what you make and even drive sales. The best part is that you can do all of this for free! An advertising budget is bonus. All it takes is time and planning. What should you post? Which channels are best? How often should you update your fans? There's no one answer to any of these questions, but there are some general rules to guide you. Social Media is a marathon, not a sprint, and here are some recommendations to help you run the race steady and true.

1. Relevance is Key
Make sure what you post represents your brand voice. Let people know about your medium, your inspiration, your technique. They'll follow you for a reason, because they are interested in your art, so you should know that they will unfollow you if you're not staying true to what they expect.

2. Maintain Professional Profiles
You should have business accounts on each channel you want to use to promote your brand. Don't rely solely on your personal profiles. Those are for connecting with friends. Business profiles are for sharing your Art. There can be some cross over when relevant, but be considerate.

3. Prioritize Your Presence
Don't try to share everything on every channel. You don't have to be active on all social outlets. Pick the ones that make the most sense for your handmade brand and the audience you want to reach. If you only have a limited amount of time, focus your efforts on one or two platforms.

4. Variety Keeps People Interested
Pay attention to the different types of content you can share on each channel. Facebook for example allows for photos, videos, links, events and more. Pinterest and Instagram are more focused on images, but you can vary what's in the pictures. Just make sure you stick with your voice.

5. Engage & Interact
If you want Likes, Comments, Shares, Reposts, Pins, etc. invite people to interact. Ask questions. Your Fans will appreciate the chance to give feedback and even possibly take part in your process. Consider hosting a naming contest for a new piece or asking people to vote on new scents for your bath bombs. Interaction goes both ways. Make sure you are also out there engaging with the content of your dream galleries, retail stores, art festivals and more. Social Media is two way communication.

6. Consistency, Not Copy / Paste
When you are active on several different channels, you should plan to have a similar voice across all, but don't share exactly the same content. Then people have no reason to follow you on more than one. Be true to your brand, but change things up and tailor your content to the channel.

7. Moderate Promotional Content
You can and should tell people about what you're selling on social media, but don’t let that be all that you post. For every promotional post, share several more engaging and relationship style tid bits.

8. Show Gratitude & Reward Loyalty
Artists need fans and supporters. Make sure they know that you appreciate them. Thank people who visit your events. Call out people who buy your work. Give love to other artists in your community. Offer special discounts to loyal customers and fans. Social Media is about relationships.

9. Watch Your Results
If you have a business presence on your social channels, most of them offer insights to show you the reach and engagement. However, don't get hung up the results for individual posts. Know what matters, and look at the overall trends. Impressions, Engagement, Traffic to your website or online store.

10. Take Advantage of Efficiencies
Posting, Commenting, Interacting and maintaining a presence on Social Media takes time. Some of this is inevitable, but you can minimize the effort while still doing a good job. As mentioned above, the first thing you can do is focus on just a few channels. Don't spread yourself too thin. The second thing is to plan ahead. You could spend one hour once a week instead of a 10-15 minutes every day and accomplish the same things. Facebook allows you to schedule posts. Interaction can happen while you're waiting in line for something, just 5 minutes here and there.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your strategy, let's connect. I can help you figure out the ideal approach to Social Media for your brand.