Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter and the list goes on. There are so many social media platforms out there these days, it can get a bit overwhelming. And if you’re an artist who’s trying to share, advertise and market your work, you might have a hard time narrowing down your options. Your time and money is precious, so choosing which platforms will give you the most visibility (and eventually sales) is something you’ll want to carefully consider.
Sheldon Payne is the President of Newfound Marketing and has been providing small, medium and Fortune 100 companies with sound digital marketing campaigns for over 15 years. He will share his expertise during his workshop “Social Media Marketing” on March 6 at MUN’s Signal Hill Campus. We recently caught up with Sheldon to get some tips in advance of his session.
Business & Arts NL: When it comes to those working in the arts, is there a specific social media platform that would be more beneficial, or would that depend upon their medium, etc.?
Sheldon Payne: Certainly a mix, and it goes back to what they want to achieve. The best platform for artists right now is probably Instagram and again, it depends on what type of arts they’re involved in. But I think almost any type of art really can live on Instagram more than anywhere else. It’s just the connectivity – being able to connect with people locally, but also globally, using hashtags and finding other people that are somewhat similar to you, because no two artists are the same…(Instagram) would be number one. YouTube would probably be the second one.
Business & Arts NL: There are so many options out there. For people who are wondering what’s the best investment of their advertising dollars, how can they decide?
SP: It has to go back again to the type of artist it is (and) what it is that they’re trying to sell. So if it’s an actual piece of artwork versus if you’re a pianist or a band, then what you’re trying to promote are two different things. If you’re selling, say, a physical painting, in that particular case, again, Instagram is a nice place to reach people who have an interest in certain types of art, for example. Facebook and Instagram would probably be the number one-two punch, just because you can target people who have an interest in a certain genre or type of art…and you can build your audience and find like-minded people who want to buy from you.
But with that, the important part there is that without a good website or the ability to sell your art, it doesn’t matter where you advertise. And that’s where a lot of people drop the ball; they think, “I can go spend some advertising dollars on Google, Facebook, Instagram,” for example, but the reality is that the process of actually making the purchase of the art, whether it’s to book a show or to buy a piece of art, they haven’t thought that part through…so it makes it a challenge for the person who’s doing the buying.
You can go and you can build your following, but at the end of the day, if you’re there to make money and you want to support yourself, the website is the cornerstone – or at least, if it’s not your website, having some marketplace where you can go and the transaction can be processed.
Business & Arts NL: For those who want to up their digital marketing game but may not be the most social media savvy, or who might not really be interested, what would you say to them?
SP: Well, a couple things – the first would be you have to start somewhere. Pick a channel if you need to and start with that channel and learn how to do that channel.
The one thing that I’ve found when it comes to the arts community is that most people are very supportive of each other. So what I would recommend would be to find some kind of a co-mentoring/mentoring opportunity. So if you don’t like to do social or you’re not comfortable on the technical side, find another artist or someone else that might be comfortable on the technical side, and maybe you can mentor them on other aspects.
Workshop: Social Media Marketing: Google AdWords, Paid Advertising and More
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 6 from 1-3pm
Location: Emera Innovation Exchange, MUN Signal Hill Campus
Price: Free for Business & Arts NL members, or $10 for non-members (includes a free 1-year Business & Arts NL membership)
Registration: Click here