Utilising social media channels is a really important tool in not only promoting your creative work, but also in keeping informed and up to date with important opportunities and information.
Social media is perhaps the most powerful way to build engagement with your creative practice. We’ve put together a guide taking you through three major social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). It also includes great tips and hints to maximise your reach and share your news and stories.
Social Media Golden Rules
To make the most of your social media channels, there are some golden rules to remember which will help you boost engagement and interest in your own work.
- Be Social. It’s surprising how many people treat their Facebook and Twitter pages as a newsletter, constantly posting their own information rather than sharing other peoples’ as well. If you share and engage with other peoples’ news, they are more likely to share and engage with yours.
- Be Visual. Share and post images – in a fast-paced online world, people are drawn to imagery first, text later.
- Be Savvy. Social media isn’t just a place to promote your work, it is a place to network too. Join groups and follow people who you are interested in. Don’t be afraid to message people about their work and projects too – they are more than likely to be happy with your interest and might give you useful hints, tips and connections.
- Be Relevant. Post and share information with relevant groups, tag people who your are sure will be interested. If you join a group and ‘spam’ it with constant updates, people will either unfollow you or ignore what you have to say.
- Be Concise. Less is more on social media – people are much more likely to read a short post than a really lengthy one!
Utilising social media will really help to build engagement with your creative work and projects. There are a lot of social media channels on offer, but the main ones you should consider are Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Use Facebook to Promote Your Work and Events
Facebook is the best social media channel for building a really personal exchange between you and your followers. We find that two thirds of social media traffic to www.madeinplymouth.co.uk comes through Facebook, even though we have a lot less followers on Facebook compared to Twitter. This is because Facebook allows us to share in-depth information and stories very easily, and it’s really easy for people to comment and engage with your posts. A viewer to your Facebook page is far more likely to visit links to your website/blog than they would on Twitter or Instagram.
A really effective technique for sharing your posts is to join a few Facebook groups who are interested in your subject – for example, an artist might want to join Plymouth Art Network. Once you’ve joined, you can then share your posts with this group, but make sure you’re only sharing really relevant information that the group will be interested in! Joining relevant Facebook groups is also a great way to network and keep up to date with other news, opportunities and information which might be useful to you.
As you probably know, Facebook also allows you to create events which people can join. If you have a show, opening or exhibition coming up, a Facebook event is a great way to engage people with your show – you can also share extra information, see who is coming, and post pictures and videos.
Twitter is a great tool for sharing news and information. Twitter allows lots of people to follow you and keep up to date with your general developments, and also enables you to share stories from different people and organisations. It’s Twitter’s ability to share information which makes it so powerful – if you are retweeting and sharing useful stories, more people are likely to follow you and keep up to date with your news too. Also, more people are likely to share your stories as well!
Our top Twitter tips include:
- Retweet, Comment and Follow. A rough rule of thumb is that a good Twitter profile should be 80% retweets from other organisations or individuals. If you don’t follow people and share their news, they won’t share yours! You can always support people through your comments – a few kind words go a long way.
- Use Images, Tag People. When you share images on Twitter, you can tag people in the image if you want someone in particular to know about or share your tweet.
- Make Lists. You can create lists of specific Twitter users to keep up to date with their news more easily. This is especially useful if you follow lots of people.
- Keep An Eye On Hashtags. Hashtags are a way to collectively share information. Rather than making up your own, it is best to use hashtags which other people are using and sharing information with. This can be as simple as #Plymouth but often there may be a high-trending hashtag which might be useful for you, or a really specific hashtag that closely aligns with your work. For example, there was a recent #LoveTheatreDay trend – a wonderful chance for theatre practitioners and companies to share what they do with a wide audience. Check your Twitter main feed to see what hashtags are being used today.
Use Instagram to Post Images and Videos
Instagram is the tool for sharing images and short videos. With some great editing tools, it’s a really good way to make your phone photos look amazing as well. I often edit and post a photo using Instagram, then share that photo on Facebook and Twitter. Like Twitter, you can tag people in your photos but there isn’t a facility to share other people’s images. However, if your creative work is very visual, it’s a wonderful channel to share your images. The use of hashtags is very prevalent on Instagram – use the most appropiate hashtags to promote and share your work.
There is a function to post your images directly to your Facebook and Twitter accounts – we find this works OK on Facebook, but not so well on Twitter.