What benefits do you receive from using social media?

Guest blogger: Michael Lynn Adams

There is a ton of information online about social media tools and techniques. But there is little information to help me know how effective my efforts have been compared to other artists. I believe that I have had reasonable success in achieving some of my goals. I have had sales and recently gained gallery representation as a result using social media.

Michael Lynn Adams, Watching the Tide. ©The Artist
Michael Lynn Adams, Watching the Tide. ©The Artist

But beyond some business success and the satisfaction of learning social media tools, I have received some unexpected gifts.

First, it has broadened my perspective of the world and has made it personal. Among my 3,400+ new Facebook friends a vast majority are not from the US. Their views, their kindness, and generosity of spirit have been an inspiration. People on all sides of terrible conflict have found common ground with art.

Second, my 1,700+ fans keep me honest.
I feel a greater responsibility to them to create at the highest level I can. Not as an obligation but because of the honor of their support. These are not faceless individuals but people who share their lives with an artist who can only give my work back in return.

We want to hear about you

So how about you? If you are using social media, please share your story.

When using social media to promote your art, what was your greatest success, biggest mistake, and how do you measure that success?

What unexpected benefits have you received from being involved with social media?

Michael Lynn AdamsMichael Lynn Adams is a realist oil painter working in Southern California. He focuses on still lifes with flowers, food and wine. Michael is participating in an upcoming forum on artists using social media. Friend him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

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13 thoughts on “What benefits do you receive from using social media?”

  1. Michael: Thanks for this inspiring article. I have benefited greatly from using Twitter. I’ve made some wonderful new friends, from around this country and world. I would never have met or known about them, if I wasn’t using Twitter.

    How did I meet them. By checking out who some of my friends were following. It didn’t take long until these people were sharing ideas with me, supporting me in my journey and I in theirs. I now have places to visit that include friends made on Twitter and Facebook.

    I’ve also been introduced to exhibiting opportunities, new resources for materials and services, and the list goes on. Social media has changed my life and my possibilities.

  2. I don’t have a ton of followers, friends or fans but I have definitely benefitted from social media. I embed my last 5 tweets in my tourism web page at http://kaleidoscopefactory.com/tours/ People like to visit my studio/gallery to see how kaleidoscopes are made and they tell me they appreciate it when I let them know via Twitter if I’m in or if I have wandered off.

    I also have a Facebook page where I give away computer and cell phone backgrounds at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pomeroy-IA/The-Kaleidoscope-Factory/218665000432 It has brought in several visitors.

  3. I’ve been using Facebook to announce when I post a new blog and to show thumbnails of new paintings I’ve completed. It’s brought a bunch of new people around to see my work, and has been even more useful to remind old friends and collectors I’m still out there and busy as a squirrel.

  4. It is nice to send invites on facebook. I have 880+ fans on my “fan” page ( http://Facebook/ZacharyBrownArt ) and 1200+ friends (on my personal page) and I know that everyone of them will see the invite. Unlike e-mail which they can delete before opening. Also, I recently discovered that you can “auto-tweet” everything you post to your fan page so I now notify everyone at the exact same time, fans, friends and tweeps.

  5. I find some aspects of social media cluttering and full of self promotion. That being said, I still enjoy it.

    I’ve found the most wonderful thing about FB is the side bar on the wall where items appear that my FB friends have liked or commented on. Often they are photos or links about people I don’t know or am not “friends” with. VERY often the provide a bit of interest, enlightenment or joy.
    As examples:
    1. I’ve discovered some wonderful artists I’d never heard of, and sent them comments and/or friend requests to get to know their work better.
    2. I recently found out a former colleague had a baby!… knew they’d been trying when I worked together but haven’t got much contact now so was thrilled to see him with his newborn in his arms on my FB wall.
    3. Yesterday I saw a photo of a young man in the service in front of a painting on that sidebar. It had been posted by his dad who is also serving our country. I don’t know either man, but after reading his pride in his son who will be shipping out again and his own pride in serving, I sent him a message with a simple thank you. His response brought tears to my eyes. I don’t know him… probably won’t ever see him on FB again, but I’m glad he knows that some of us appreciate their service.

    Along with those examples, I’ve joined some FB groups and participated with FB friends in activities and paint outs set up by the groups. I enjoy sharing my successes and cheering on others. I learn and grow as a result.

  6. I still consider myself new to Twitter, but see no downside, particularly. Facebook has real potential and makes me feel connected while most of my day is spent alone and working.

    Also, from one comment I posted on my FB status, I got several responses that led me to mention the young man that I have mentored since 1992, his birth defect Treacher Collins Syndrome, and my fund raising efforts to pay for teeth that Medicaid refuses to pay for (on the grounds that “teeth are cosmetic”). I was floored and really touched when two of my FB buddies overnight
    (one childhood classmate I recently reconnected with, the other a woman from another country that I have never met) sent donations to him through my Web page about my fundraiser. He now has $50 added to this account that he would not have had otherwise. Incredibly generous.

    But yes, FB helps me connect with other artists (always a good thing to be known in my own industry) and potential buyers. People are often positive and very supportive about new art and endeavors by a lot of people.
    We are in a fortunate time for promotion of our work!
    Thank you.

  7. I’m really challenged when it comes to social media – my computer skills are always behind. BUT, I’ve found that jumping in has been a terrific way to learn – little by little people give me tips, or mention something in their posts that make me go check something out and suddenly I find I can do more. I’ve actually posted some pictures on twit pic and flicker.

    But much more than that, just reading what other people share about their lives, their work, their inspiration makes me think in bigger and bigger ways. And as others have pointed out, there is so much benefit from the fact that the internet allows communication between people all over the world. That’s a great thing!

    Love the painting above, Michael. Having just come home from an island vacation, I can see, hear, and smell the air in that one.

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  10. Mixed reviews here on social networking. My biggest problem is the huge chunk of time it takes me to keep up with all of it! Maybe it gets easier – I hope so. The best thing about it is making new friends (especially artists), enjoying their work and learning from them, and being stimulated to try new approaches in marketing. Even though there hasn’t been any monetary profit so far, I think I’ve gained a lot of very useful information to make that happen eventually.

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Get a transcript of episode 182 of The Art Biz (Rethinking Mailing Lists for Artists) followed by a 3-page worksheet to evaluate the overall health and usage of the 3 types of artist lists.

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