Twitter is fertile ground for me to learn and expand my reach in the art world. Plus it’s fun!
1) Define your focus What type of followers are you trying to attract? Who do you want to hear from in your Twitter feed? What do you want to learn?
Twitter can help you exchange images and ideas, build a crowdfunding base, educate yourself about art opportunities and events, create online community and gather professional contacts. Narrowing your focus will help you build a fun and purposeful exchange. Sure, you can follow a few heroes, celebrities and news sources, but artists are primarily on Twitter to build an audience of like-minded art appreciators. So aim for that.
For example, I like my Twitter feed to inform me about current visual art events and ideas, and I want to attract artists who need my book. I started using Twitter by following art museums, I just typed “art museum” in the Twitter search bar. Then I looked at who the museums followed, and I followed some of them. I expanded to arts organizations and galleries, as well as searching out and following individual artists, designers and crafters. Day by day, I continue to find new and inspiring Tweeps.
2) Follow Follow Follow Go ahead. It’s easy to UnFollow without hurting anyone’s feelings. It’s polite to follow back the people who follow you (if they seem interesting and reasonably sane).
3) Share good content! “If you’re only talking about yourself, you’re doing it wrong.” Austin Kleon said that, on Twitter. Share info about your colleagues and the artists you admire. Tweet once a day, even if you only Retweet (RT). This sends the signal of an active user and it only takes a few minutes. Retweet good content. Sometimes, instead of just hitting the Retweet button, copy and paste the original tweet and then add your own introduction. Be sure to include the source of the original tweet – the @ – when you do this. Contribute. Reply. Be social. Mention your followers. Say thank you. Add value.
4) No Boring Headlines This is a boring headline: I posted a new photo on Facebook (link).
This is better: Just added a color wash. This series is progressing! (link)
Really useless: Tweeting a link with nothing else, why would anyone pay attention?
5) “Artify” Your Profile Your user name and profile should signal your art focus. Instead of @MaryMary, try @MarysArt. You’re an artist, look like one. Create an attractive visual representation of yourself. If your photo looks dark and creepy, so do you. Using a template background? Yawn.
6) Use Artsy Hashtags Include artsy hashtags in your tweets –simply place # before a word – such as #art #ceramic #encaustic #jewelry. Hashtags are a tool to make words more searchable, so they connect you with users who have similar interests and point you toward Twitter-wide conversations. Use them to search and make yourself searchable. Remember to hashtag your city if your focus is local. It’s generally advised to use no more than two hashtags in your tweets or profile.
7) What I wish someone had told me Make sure your Twitter password is cryptic and long, like a sentence with numbers: “Isawthegrandcanyon2003”. Without a strong password, your account will get hacked – spambots will start sending out their tweets using your account. Change your password if this happens, and change it periodically just to stay safe. Do not click on any links sent to your email as a Direct Message (DM).
Have fun building this, and follow me @artwritebook