Besides making and showing my art I also run a small design and marketing business to help small organizations (and artists) maximize their marketing resources. Often I bump into people that are overwhelmed by the choices available to them these days to reach out and connect substantively for their personal use and for their businesses.
A forum like this one we're on, ArtFairInsiders.com is an awesome starting point. Because it's user friendly and enriched with all sorts of useful content. I find it to be an invaluable resource for my art fair business. But what about all the other tools we have available to us for connecting? There are so many social networks these days for us to use to connect with each other and our customers and associates. Are there too many? There are if you don't know how to choose which social network are going to do the best work for your different projects. Over the years and in some cases just months, I have become more familiar with the pluses and benefits of each of the following social networks.
What The Other Social Networks Can Do
Perfect for all your personal connecting. Does comments and other media pretty well. Fairly easy to connect via smartphone and tablets too.
I use the Pages for the more personality driven of my main businesses and projects. I think at this Facebook is superb.
Interacting with my mini horse's fans has taught be so much about how best to leverage Facebook pages for other organizations. It's amazing how little interactions can build a real presence for people.
Not sure where this is headed. While it seeks to be a Big Giant conglomeration of everything you do, search and shop for on the web - it's got a sort of Big Brotherly feel to it. Also it's harder to cross connect with other media and networks. Not too many of my personal connections have adopted the G+ lifestyle so it's a bit of a deserted island for me and my posts.
That said, there are plenty of well connected seriously Googled people who LOVE it's connectivity. For example, I'm not big into connecting socially on Google+ I use their GoogleDocsfeature to collaborate with almost all my clients. I love the way we can all edit the same document at the same time or when we're not working together.
I'm new to this picture sharing app so I'm still defining for myself how best to use it. I started out by taking pix of my art and posting those - but isn't that what my Facebook page and blog are for? So I'm switching to have it be more of a distinct project 'personality' of its own and am starting up a #DogTrotHill (Instagram is BIG into using hashtags to organize content feeds) series where I will limit my pix to just be about the few acres I live on. My user name is: HappyArtMarti
My hope is that this will offer its own unique perspective and opportunity to differentiate and engage my eventual followers. A friend of mine has honed her offerings down to what looks like being just about the Bluegrass region of KY. She's AlpacaLindyand does a wonderful job of convincing me I live in heaven.
You must be here if you're to be taken seriously as a contender in the job market these days. If you're not here, you're a known dinosaur. Some people really work its Discussions, Questions and Groups features. I don't. I don't have time but have a nagging feeling I should be doing more with it. Oh well, that's why God invented winter, right?
I run hot and cold on Pinterest. I'm not sure how I feel about people having access to all the cute things I find on the web - does posting my finds make me less unique? But then again - seeing what others share is fascinating and helps me navigate the wealth of creative flow out there in the Big Wide World - so I keep coming back to it. I work a little for my own art projects and Etsy store - but I always feel a little cheap doing so. That's partially why I invented a series of quotable and sharable images for people to share, some of which I cross post on Tumblr and Facebook for maximum exposure and share-ability.
As a blogging site it's a bit redundant with my own self-hosted blogs - but what it offers is an easier connection betweenTumblr 'bloggers', a little like Pinterest and Instagram - but allows for video as well strictly text based posts. Here's how I use it:
Fantastic for immediate connection! Right now the Olympics are being played in London and millions are getting their news from twitter feeds. What's so great about this is you can hear what your favorite athletes have to say as the games are unfolding for them - as well as get up to date results from major network players. Twitter users are ok with non-immediate gratification for things like pix and vids. They're used to seeing miniURLS - but your use of the 140 character limit had better be tight, engaging and irresistible!
Your Own Blog
Like this one, running your own blog is a great way to keep things from you in an uncontaminated environment- but of course it ever so much more difficult to share and garner attention with. You have to cross post linkbacks to your posts using these other social networking tools.
I use Youtube as an excellent resource that ties in with all my other networks. A well edited or otherwise fascinating video can really connect with people and they've made it so easy to embed videos throughout many of the above choices - you have to consider creating content and setting up your own channel. You might surprise yourself with what it can do for you. Here's a video I made for a client's book trailer. He's a dog, AND he's an artist!
It's worth it to create and maintain an active channel for your organization. There are many tips to help create content that's memorable and boosts your projects.
Comment below if you'd like some feedback on what might work best for you!