Social Media “Netiquette” for Successful Artists

by John R. Math on May 11, 2011

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Are you marketing and branding your art through social media and getting the results that you desire? Have your efforts in social media so far been worthwhile? Do you feel comfortable in establishing your presence in this new medium? Are you up-to-date on the effectiveness of this media? If you said “no” to any of the above questions then it may be time for you to brush-up on your social media “netiquette” as your effectiveness may be improved by adhering to the unofficial rules of social networking.

In social media try to develop connections and relationships with people rather than advertising, promoting, selling something and by spamming people. People want to be educated, engaged and informed by you, rather than being “sold” by you.

When reading an interesting post about your art share it with your followers, friends and in your networks. By doing this, your followers will remember you, follow you more closely because of your attention and begin to connect with you.

Always be upbeat, positive and helpful with your followers, friends and networks. Remember that “social networking” is a tool that is used to develop relationships and contacts that are related to you in the art business. Do not just send posts and announcements about selling your artwork to your followers as this may be considered as spam and it will cause people to drop you, unfollow or eventually block you. Send interesting posts related to the art world and people will look forward to your posts, Tweets and updates.

Do not send negative or offensive posts, Tweets and updates. You are trying to meet people and build a following. Remember, this is called social media and people want to follow an upbeat and positive person. In addition, whatever you say, write or post will follow you forever, so think twice before you post!

If you are using Twitter, do not forget to give the original person credit for a Retweet. Remember, it is social media and by giving credit you are being helpful in promoting the other person’s business too. Turnabout is fair play and others who are social media savvy will do the same for you.

Do not ignore direct messages or emails from followers or from others in your network. Try to answer them promptly, otherwise it is similar to not acknowledging that person. Also, do not use the direct message feature to spam, sell or solicit business.

Do not send out and post personal information about yourself or about other people. Social media is a tool for trying to develop relationships, not to spread gossip. Do not ruin your reputation by revealing personal information and or details about yourself.

Do not post that you have just stopped following or “unfriended” someone. Or post something that indicates that you will not do business with “so and so”, because of. People do not care about this information and social media should not be for that purpose.

Try to fit in and be a part of a crowd. Someone once wrote that to be effective in social media that you need to think of it and approach it as if it were a cocktail party. When you attend that party you need to introduce yourself, get to know that person and then mingle with the other guests. In other words, be sociable and get to know everyone at the party as much as possible.

I have always thought of social media as an incredible tool that provides you an opportunity to meet, interact and get to know people who you would otherwise not be able to meet in any other situation. Think of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media as a regular networking event where you will be meeting new people and you will need to be on your best behavior in order to make a good impression on someone, who can further your art business. Just remember that whatever you do in person at a networking event, you also should do online too.

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