Artiquette: Social Media Etiquette for Artists
Its a Brave New World...
Love it or hate it, Social Media is now a part of daily life (facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest...and the list keeps growing!). It can be a huge distraction and requires some self-control if you want to have a productive day, but Social Media is also a great tool for artists to reach out to their fans, students and collectors.
With social media, however, there is an intermingling of professional and personal life. I know that this is the case with my own Facebook account. I am connected with artists, collectors and students as well as friends and family. While this is a great tool for keeping everyone in the loop, you also have to be more aware of what you post because it will be floating in cyberspace (almost) indefinitely!
We've all heard about the cases where someone was fired from their jobs for something they posted on their Facebook page – or were turned down for a job because of something in their personal life published on Facebook. Publicly complaining about your boss or posting illegal activity can result in a less than favorable outcome, yet people still do it.
Companies have openly admitted to checking an applicant's Facebook and social media account to see what it reveals about their personal and professional life. It's probably safe to say that Galleries, Art Reps and other professionals in the art field do too.
The B-Word: BRANDING
So how does this relate to you and your Art Business?
All of the business gurus talk about the importance of branding. Many artists hate the word but the fact is, you are a “brand” if you sell goods (art) or services to the public. Every brand has an image that they want people to associate with their product. This includes lifestyle choices too. As an artist, YOU + YOUR ART = YOUR BRAND. But where do we draw the line? How do we know what is good or bad for our brand? I've tried to come up with a few guidelines on what might be appropriate for posting to social media and what might be best to avoid.
Lets start with...
TOPICS TO AVOID:
Of course, there are a few exceptions to the list. For example, if you are a political artist and politics are a part of your brand, then it might be appropriate to post political commentary. However, generally avoid those topics if you don't want to turn off potential clients. And remember, Politics are often heated discussions. If you open yourself up to that, be prepared! Keep it civil and professional.
Now, lets explore...
GREAT TOPICS TO POST:
These are just scratching the surface. There are so many possibilities not listed here!
In Doubt? Here is what you do...
If you're in doubt, here are some questions to ask yourself before posting or commenting on any Social Media platform:
If you don't want your personal life and professional life to mingle online, there are some options available to help keep the two separate.
Now I want You to do Something...
Look through your recent Facebook Page posts, comments and things you've shared.
Consider it seriously and ask yourself:
What content am I putting out to the world on Facebook? Instagram?
And then ask:
Is this how I want my clients, students and other professionals to see me?
Comment below and tell us what you learned or discovered!
I hope this helps some of you who have had questions about social media branding.
Please leave any insights you've had reading this in the comments section below. Do you have any topics you think are inappropriate? Even better, any Good Topic Suggestions?
I look forward to hearing from you all!
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