Tag: social media

Sneak Preview of Dive into Social Media….

Social Media… two simple words that when used together often initiate fear and frustration in small business owners. Now a days not having a presence on Social Media isn’t an option since it is expected that 2.5 billion people world wide will be using social media by 2018 (STATISTA).Thumbs up, like button on white background.

It’s also not difficult then to understand the importance of Social Media as a marketing tool… It’s where the people are.

Nonetheless, I am constantly approached by artists and creative workers who struggle with social media, don’t want to use it, or are daunted by where to begin. I hear questions like:

  • “I have a Facebook, but no one is following me. What am I doing wrong?”
  • “Do I really have to pay for Facebook Ads?”
  • “How do you use Snapchat?!”
  • “No one is RSVPing to my event.”
  • “Why is no one following me on Twitter?”
  • “Can you please explain a hashtag?!”
  • “Do I really need a separate business page on Facebook?”
  • “What do people use Snapchat for?”
  • “Should I buy supporters/followers?”
  • “Do people even still use Twitter?”
  • “How do people sell art through Instagram?”

All of these are important questions which most creative entrepreneurs struggle with. This is why C4 Atlanta has developed “Dive into Social Media”. My hope is to answer questions associated with the major social media platforms and their audiences while providing tips for effective (and authentic) engagement. Below is a sneak preview of a few specific topics which will be covered in this 3 hour class hosted by C4 Atlanta at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.

How to use Snapchat:

Snapchat can no longer be ignored. With 57 million American’s using it, 70% of which Millennials,  Snapchat is the largest growing social media platform on the market (MEDIAKIX). Unfortunately, many people find the user interface less than friendly. During this course we will do a deep dive into how EXACTLY to use Snapchat and the many features associated with it. We’ll take a look at “all-star” users such as Shonduras and GrubHub and see what they are doing to grow an audience. Trust me, you’ll be a Snapchat pro before you know it.

Which audiences are using what platforms:

The PEW Research Center recently released new information showing that 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites. This is good news! More people are on more social media platforms, but identifying which ones can be difficult. Each platform is unique in it’s offering and therefore also unique in its users. During “Dive into Social Media” we will take a look at exactly what demographics are using which platforms so that you can target the right audience for your business.

What platforms are right for my creative business:

With all the different platforms out there it can be daunting trying to figure out which ones are right for your business or practice. No single person can manage them all, and the last thing you want is to waste time and energy on a platform that isn’t reaching your audience. For this course we have designed an activity to look specifically at your marketing goals/audience and match them to the RIGHT platform.

How do I best utilize Facebook:

Lets face it, almost EVERYONE is on Facebook nowadays. Friends, colleagues, Grandma, and even your anti-social cousin are on Facebook. It is still the most widely used platform in the world with over 1.35 billion people using it monthly… that’s almost equal to the population of China (Washington Post). Because of it’s large user base Facebook rivals other platforms in regards to the marketing opportunities available, but not everyone understands the differences in these opportunities. For this class we will look at Ads VS Boosted Post VS Organic Reach as well as a Pages VS Groups VS Events in hopes that Facebook will no longer be a marketing mystery.

What is branding and how can social media make it stronger:

The word branding is tossed around a lot in small business. As if it’s some magic key that when found will open up all the doors for making money. But what is it really? If we take a step back and look at the origins of the word branding it comes from the labeling of livestock. Branding is the literal mark made on animals so that others can identify who it belongs to. “Branding” is often used interchangeably (and incorrectly) with the term marketing, and even though they can work hand in hand, Branding is really the established presence your business has. For this class we will look at how to build a stronger brand using social media so you’re not simply pushing content but pulling your audience into your offerings to keep them coming back for more.


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Want to learn more? Enroll in “Dive into Social Media” today! 

When: June 25, 2016 from 10:30am to 1:30pm

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia 

Cost: $35 Non-Members; $25 for C4 Atlanta Members

Content Marketing for Creatives or #CreatingTribes

As our next round of AIM is coming fast upon us, I thought I would take some time to talk about marketing. One of my favorite ways for creative professionals to increase their market and visibility is through content creation and content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as the following:

“…a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” 

Quite simply, content creation and curation allows your audience to interact with you based on the content you share through platforms like social media, YouTube, websites and blogs. The goal of content marketing is therefore not to sell, as in traditional marketing, but to cultivate a relationship with your stakeholders and find the “tribe” that is interested in what you are doing. It is that greater sense of loyalty that helps to build your customer base in the long run, by providing a destination for the folks with which you are looking to interact. Through content marketing, you can develop greater brand awareness, help build your customer base, provide added value to your work and services, and establish yourself as an expert in your field or discipline. Another plus is that content marketing is generally a very cost effective form of marketing and even more advantageous to artists and creative professionals working on small budgets.

So how do artists create and curate content? Consider the things you do as part of your practice that other people might find interesting. How you create work, how you run your business, areas or techniques of expertise and thoughts or articles that pertain to your career, core values or industry are all great sources of content. Even posts and pictures that tell more of your story or share your personality are great for getting your market more interested in you as an artist. Likely, if you find it interesting and it relates to your core values or your business, your target market will find it interesting too.

Wanna see how I curate content? Follow me! Twitter/Instagram: @allthatsmash
Wanna see how I curate content? Follow me! Twitter/Instagram: @allthatsmash

From there, consider your market and how you might best deliver this information to your audience or customer base. Your distribution channel should match where your stakeholders go to find information. For instance, concentrating your efforts on Facebook and Twitter might not be your best option if you are a children’s book illustrator (and this depends on what market segment: children, parents or teachers). Performing artists might do better with mediums that allow their work to be experienced more closely to how it is performed.

Content that creates exclusivity is also highly advantageous. As much as I am an advocate for accessibility to the arts, who doesn’t love the feeling of a backstage pass or a members only exclusive? The ability to create exclusivity helps to drive overall demand.

Keep in mind that this is about creating a relationship with those that consume your content. Relationships that are totally one sided don’t usually work very well. Dialogue between yourself and your target market is key to content marketing. So re-tweeting, using hashtags, answering fans’ comments, and being consistent (!!!!) are all important to making content marketing work for you. One more note about consistency – the moment you stop blogging, podcasting, or tweeting regularly is the moment you lose your audience completely. In any relationship, as soon as you break someone’s trust, you’ve usually lost their loyalty. So commit to the things you can keep up with. I have long thought a video series on how singers practice would be great for young singers and professionals. However, having no video production equipment or skill, it would be ridiculous of me to try this. There’s no way I would be able to keep up a regular, quality output.

If done correctly, content marketing can even lead to additional revenue streams. Services like Patreon allow patrons to donate directly to artists for the content they consume based on an amount they find sustainable. It’s also possible that as you establish your expertise in your discipline, others might approach you with opportunities to share you curated content as much as your artwork.

A new Atlanta startup will soon be offering a very innovative form of content marketing. VISIT is a new platform in which makers, artists and creatives can offer exclusive access to themselves through a limited number of phone call or Facetime interactions. Conceived as a limited edition, add-on purchase experience, each fifteen minute visit allows the maker and customer to share in whatever way they wish together. Still in beta, it’s worth keeping an eye on this new model as they launch their full platform soon.

Learn more about marketing strategy with us! Classes start October 20!
Learn more about marketing strategy with us! Classes start October 20!

And finally, content marketing is just one piece of your overall marketing strategy.

Concentrating on just one area of marketing can decrease your overall reach ability. It’s important to understand all the tools available to create a better marketing plan. Which is why we offer AIM, our three week course in Arts Marketing. In addition to content marketing, we also cover lean marketing strategies, social media, traditional marketing and so much more. Classes begin October 20th! Sign up here.

 

TechsmARTs Follow-Up: Social Media at The Weather Channel

Note: The audio of April’s TechsmARTs discussion can be found at the bottom of this post.

If I were to split out the world of social media professionals into two camps (for the sake of this post), there are those who like to refer to social media as a conversation, and those who don’t. Mark Elliot, an on-camera meterologist with The Weather Channel falls squarely within the pro-conversation camp.

Mark is a TWC meterologist who is specifically charged with keeping the conversation going. A quick check of his Twitter feed at any time offers a glimpse into the conversation. His latest tweets generally tend to include replies, questions to his followers, and updates on weather events. Mark also maintains a Facebook page that doesn’t cross-post to his Twitter feed (thank you for not cross-posting, by the way).

A few months ago Mark approached us with an offer to speak at a TechsmARTs session. We decided this was a good opportunity to try something new, and see what wisdom we could glean from his experience and apply it to the arts world. Many thanks to those of you who showed up to indulge us. 🙂

Mark offered a wealth of information on who is using the various social media platforms, and how each of them tend to be used. But he began by making the point that social media is a conversation — and it’s a conversation where you (as an arts organization) want to be involved.
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