Outline a social media mission

Not too long ago, I was using the Art Biz Blog to post short snippets of information. For instance, in an October 2007 post, I mentioned a blog entry by someone else and encouraged you to read it. I wouldn’t do that today. Instead, I’d use Twitter and tweet it. Or I’d write a longer blog post that went more in-depth about the original post: what was good about it, what I disagree with, etc. Social media has evolved and changed the way I approach blogging. Here is how I see the missions for the top three social media platforms I use.

1. My Blog

Judith HeartSong, Summer Pears. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 inches. ©The Artist
Judith HeartSong, Summer Pears. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 inches. ©The Artist

We used to call blogs online journals. While including personal details is certainly okay from time to time, it’s best to stick to your topic (your art and subjects) as much as possible. My blog, the Art Biz Blog, is about the business of being an artist. It’s where I write 300-word articles to help you build your career. It’s also the place where I might respond to a direct question from a non-client if I think others can benefit from the information.

The content from my blog and newsletter are almost indistinguishable, so I incorporated my newsletter into my blog, where you can read a new issue every Monday (which is what you're reading right here). I’m currently assessing how my newsletter can better complement–without duplicating–blog content.

How it works with other platforms
–> Almost every week I post the Tweekly on the blog, which highlights the most useful tweets I’ve sent on Twitter that week. No one can catch every tweet and some contain helpful tips and resources. I find the blog is a good place to post a roundup.

2. Facebook

Your Facebook profile is your chance to be as personal as you like. This is where you put the personal stuff that you might have previously posted to your blog. But remember not to add any information that you wouldn’t want a gallery dealer, art critic, or top collector to see. In contrast to the personal nature of your Facebook profile, your Facebook fan page is where you promote your art and business. I recently wrote a post about why you need the fan page, which includes how-to resources for setting it up.  See it here.

How it works with other platforms –> You can publish your blog posts on Facebook and update your Facebook status through Twitter. While this is duplicating your information, very few people would ever see the duplication. They’d see it on one place or the other, and you’re lucky when they see one! Consider it covering your bases.

3. Twitter

This is the platform to use for announcing new blog posts, sharing quick tips, and retweeting (repeating) interesting things you read from other tweeps (people on Twitter). I used to post announcements on my blog for various workshops around the country. My new policy is that I post to the blog only my own workshops or (infrequently) teleseminars/webinars that anyone anywhere could attend. If I’m asked to spread the news about an event that takes place in a bricks-and-mortar location, I use Twitter. More people will see it on Twitter and retweet it–causing the details to get around much faster than if I post it to the blog.

How it works with other platforms –> Use Twitter to update your Facebook status and to announce your blog posts (don’t forget to entice your followers to click and include the link!).

This is just a general outline. There’s much more to be added here, but I hope this helps you distinguish the various social media possibilities.

FINAL WORD: Creating a mission the social media platforms you choose will help you understand how and when you should use them. It will also keep you from going stark raving mad from overwhelm.



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16 thoughts on “Outline a social media mission”

  1. How does forwarding all of my tweets to my FB fanpage work with your suggestion of a few weeks ago that only about 10% of one’s tweets should be self-promotional? Does this mean that it’s ok to put a tweet about something else I want to share (like a new article about the space program, one of my other interests) on my Fan Page?

  2. Subject of differences between of blogging, Facebook and Twitter came up at our Art Salon meeting on Thursday – focus subject of the meeting was blogging. This article really helps to clarify why and how you would want to do all three, why they are different. Understanding how and when to use should also help with allocating our marketing time and energy to each one efficiently.

  3. I do just the reverse—I post to my Facebook fan page that is linked to Twitter and so my facebook status link is shortened into a Twitter line that appears on Twitter as a tweet.

    BTW, my Facebook fan page is new and I already have 240+ who joined
    One bad experience. Some guy wrote me a nasty email saying a Fan Page was “tacky” and that I was “spamming people.” He also used some profanity. So I reported him to FB which put a block in place so he cannot access me at all on FB. One bad experience in nearly a year that I have had a regular FB page and a few weeks with my fan page.

  4. Alyson, thanks for this pertinent info. Integrating social media platforms (and doing it “correctly”) is tricky, but oh-so important.

    One thought on your current newsletter concerns: You could use your newsletter as a “teaser”, featuring snippets of your recent posts instead of the full articles.

    This will offer readers an overview and drive traffic over to the blog (which, I believe, should always be the main objective) to read the full post.

  5. Like Marie, I linked my face book fan page to twitter, so that with every post to the face book page, a dupe appears automatically on twitter with a link. I haven’t figured out how to do the reverse yet. I like this way, because I can upload photos of art on the face book page which i can’t do on twitter. It can be overwhelming though, that’s for sure!

  6. …actually, I have it both ways. If I post to Twitter the line will appear in my Facebook status line, but kind of too abbreviated. So I like to post to Facebook and that appears on Twitter automatically abbreviated w/link, which makes more sense there…

  7. Allyson, good info on getting an artist in front of the public. I would like you to talk a little about connecting this info on our websites, a big investment is made in a site and some duplication on your site is needed to these 3 streams. The site is where we can capture the viewers in an asthetic presentation, rather than the quick and dirty–not so aesthetic blogfacebooktweet. thoughts?

  8. I am catching on to the use of Twitter and Facebook, to grow a dedicated group of followers, also establishing a recent Facebook fan page, however the blog seems to languish in a virtual no-man’s land. The links posted on twitter & facebook seem to go unheeded. Still trying to find that connection, but I love the information, thanks Allyson!

  9. Alyson, in this and recently related posts, you haven’t mentioned LinkedIn. How important is this platform, how does it connect with the “big three”, or is it simply more overwhelm?

  10. Pingback: Outline a social media mission « Cherished Solutions Blog – “Solutions to Cherish”

  11. Once again, this blog and the artists who comment here have taught and encouraged me! I’ve been wading in social media waters for a few months now and it was good to reminded of the overall mission. Favorite part was your words re: going “stark raving mad from overwhelm”… we are not alone!

  12. I have to respectfully disagree about the blog… I love to read an artists blog that isn’t only all about work. I feel more inclined to buy something from someone who I feel more connected to via their blog and sharing their journey as an artist and person. Thanks for the great article.

  13. Alyson Stanfield

    BJ: Not sure about that. I think too many tweets can be annoying on any Facebook page. They work on Twitter for a reason, but Facebook behaves differently. I’m particular about which tweets I add to Facebook.

    Marie: It’s too bad that one person has to spoil the fun. Sounds like you took care of that. He didn’t have to be there!

    Nikolas: Thanks for that. That’s kind of the direction I’m heading.

    Dale: In other words, “How does the website play into all of this?” Ah, that’s another story! I’ll put it in the queue, but let me know if you can elaborate on the question.

    Sharon: I haven’t become a big LinkedIn fan or user. I don’t think it’s near the top for artists. If you were looking for a job, I might send you there to network. But I’m no expert there. (I’m not an expert on FB or Twitter either!)

    Laura: Glad you can hang out with us!

    Dana: Notice that I said to stick to the topic “as much as possible.” The personal stuff is okay, but I don’t think you should put a lot (a LOT!) of personal photos on a blog that is supposed to be about your art. That’s for Facebook. For most artists, the blog needs to be acceptable to collectors, gallerists, curators, etc.

  14. This post is a reminder of why I installed a plugin for my wordpress that posts links to my blogs on both twitter and facebook every time I create a new post.

  15. Coming from the world of interactive design and SEO as I do, I recommend adopting these strategies for all social media.

    Ultimately, point everything to your blog – this should be your anchor because the blog builds value to the search engines in a way that even the most aggressive Tweeter can’t. Even though Tweets are being returned by Google in search engine results more and more, 140 characters hardly allows for a proper discussion and there’s no way to manage the archive of Tweets for most people.

    Really think out the categories you use in your blog – make sure these are terms that mean something to you &, more importantly, are terms that people are searching for on the net. Blogs allow you to categorize topics so that they are searchable for Google, e.g., “Latin American Artists” versus “Local Painters”.

    Make your blog posts social. Drop a social sharing icon/link on every blog post ( addthis.com ) so that visitors can bookmark you, blog about you, facebook you, republish you.

    Back to Twitter – if you love this medium and find it’s getting traction for you – do the research! Find out how people are thinking out the topics that matter to you by searching terms in the search field. Once you find out that people spell it: social-art instead of socialart use that form so that more people find it – then get used to using these in your tweets by using the hashtag: #social-art . This makes it searchable for everyone.

    Hope this helps.


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