Guest blogger: Rebecca Coleman
Other than your computer and Internet connection, the dollar cost of using social media for marketing is zero. What it will cost you is time. Here are the primary social media marketing methods and a sample time investment for each.
Blogging is the greatest time commitment, but it may also be your greatest asset. In order to have success as a blogger, you need to commit to a certain number of posts per week, and you need to interact with the blogging community–commenting and posting on other like-minded blogs. Cost: 2-5 hours per week, 2-5 posts per week
If you haven’t already, you should set up a Facebook fan page for your work. Include the button that links to your Facebook page on your website, blog, or anywhere you have a Web presence. Upload samples of your work, start discussions, and give people the opportunity to interact with you. You can also post ads for your exhibits and events on this page. Cost: 15 minutes/day
Twitter is all about reaching a new audience. Every time you put up a new blog post, Twitter it. Twitter other, interesting articles or blog posts you have read. Respond to your followers’ comments, comment on other’s conversations. Cost: 5 minutes/3 times per day, 15 minutes total. 3-5 Tweets/day
Flickr is a photo-sharing utility where you can upload a gallery of your work. You can link these images to your blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Cost: Initially, this takes several hours. Frequency and time spent here depends upon your output and the amount of work you want to share online.
Create your own YouTube channel! Ask a friend to videotape you talking about your work and your process and also making your art. Upload these videos to YouTube, and link them to your blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Cost: 3-4 hours
Being an artist is tough. Not only do you have to create your work, but, in order to be successful and make a living, you have to market and sell it. I encourage you to integrate social media into your marketing plan. Your investment of time will be well worth it.
Rebecca Coleman is a Vancouver, Canada-based freelance arts publicist. She writes frequently about how artists can become better business people on her blog, The Art of the Business. <August 2017 update: Website no longer available>