With the world very much revolving around the internet at the moment, I thought it would be useful to talk about social media and how to make the most of it. This is more of a beginners guide, with an overview of my top 6 social media platforms, followed by some general top tips for social media marketing.
My Top 6 Platforms, Summed Up
Whilst the spam messages and non-chronological timeline can be infuriating at times, LinkedIn is a great way to find useful contacts and exciting opportunities. The key to LinkedIn is finding the balance between professional and human; some people can overdo the buzzwords and the professional pictures, and I've found the key is to remain approachable whilst highlighting your skills and experience. As a student, the worst thing you can do is say you're a student in your headline. Instead try calling yourself a Photographer, Illustrator, Game Designer, etc. After-all, it is what you do!
Now TikTok is very new to me, and at the risk of sounding old, I really didn't get it at first. As TikTok is so popular at the moment, it's the perfect time to get on the platform and get yourself out there. Whilst it relies on an algorithm, this varies much more from person to person, which gives you a higher chance of being featured on "For You" pages and being seen by more people. The tip with TikTok is to make imaginative and unique content, whilst also incorporating the latest trends, as this gives you a bigger chance of being featured. You don't always have to show off finished work either, play around with process videos and even consider a How To style. Lots of artists use TikTok as a way to show off the behind-the-scenes content of how their work is made too.
I know a lot of people have been laying off Instagram lately because of the algorithm but it is a very useful visual tool, which is key for getting yourself out there as an artist or designer. The key is to interact with other people in your niche as this will help you grow your network. What I mean is, instead of using hashtags like #interiordesign, try and be more specific to your content and your passions. Try to make use of the additional features, such as Reels and Instagram Live, as these can be ways to engage with your audience that don't rely as much on the algorithm.
I've noticed lately that a lot of you, especially illustrators, have been making the move to Twitter to showcase your work. The good thing about Twitter is that posts with images or videos are much more likely to get engagement, but the downside is people love to refresh their feeds, meaning your posts might get missed. One tip to combat your work not being seen is to retweet it a couple of times (for example, recycling old content that newer followers may not yet have seen) and making sure you post at times when people are most likely to be checking their feed i.e. lunchtimes and evenings.
Now back when I was on Tumblr it was mostly memes and activism, but it is also a useful tool for showcasing yourself. The good thing about Tumblr is that you can have multiple blogs on one account, meaning you don't have to mix content (which can sometimes hurt engagement) instead having a blog for different aspects of the creative process, e.g. a blog for inspiration, a blog for research and a blog for your work. Similar to a blog on Wix or Wordpress, you can customise how your blog looks which means you can make your blog style match your work for a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing look. One issue with the platform is people downloading and re-uploading work, so make sure to tag or watermark what you upload.
Now Facebook is a little outed and not many people choose it for art promotion, but it can be useful to have, and if built up well, can be very successful. Facebook is one of the easiest platforms to interact with people on, and the option to invite your friends comes in handy too. The insights and business tools can really help you determine the best content to post for the best engagement, as well as the time, day and even just basic information about your audience (which is useful to tap into if talking about current events, jokes and trends).
Some General Top Tips
Post, Post and Post Again
Don't be afraid to post the same content to multiple or all of your social media! It may seem repetitive but the likelihood is you will have different audiences of different platforms so showcase your work to them all. There are companies that can help you do this with ease, such as If This Then That. IFTTT is a web service that helps you post on various social medias at once with ease, rather than having to copy and paste the same thing over and over.
Pick Your Favourites (and stick with them!)
Pick 2 or 3 main social media platforms that you want to focus on growing your network and/or audience on, as trying to do them all at once can be a bit of a challenge, juggling them all might just result in a lack of engagement across the board. Use these as the main ways to showcase your work - my recommendation would be LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram and TikTok.
Don't Focus on the Numbers
Whilst it's hard to not let engagement get you down, it's important not to let the numbers get to you. If you're proud of a piece of work but it gets less likes or retweets than a 5-minute sketch, don't let it get you down. Instead, flip it on it's head and be excited that people like your content, regardless of the time or thought you put into it. Sometimes, a piece of work is just relatable or funny and that is what draws people in.
I hope this helps, and happy posting!
Best, Harriet Moore
Student Union President