Marketing in the Arts, Part One

 

Though many don’t think so, art and business go hand-in-hand

I have recently finished up a project doing social media for a my department at my University . If any of  you were wondering, I am a Theatre Arts major at Boise State University. My main tasks were to keep their Twitter account up to date and make promotional videos for their upcoming shows.

I’ve learned a handful of things from this project. I am assuming quite a few of people viewing this work in the arts in one way or another, and I thought I’d share some of what I found with you. Please remember, this is what I have learned. Your experiences and insights might differ from what I am about to share.

 

  1. It is okay to have your “following” outnumber your “followers”.

Art as a whole tends to be a very tight-knit community. There is not really a competitive nature to it, and if there is, it does take a dominant role in the scene. I work in and promote theatre that my musician friends are into, and I see my writer and painter friends at concerts all the time.

In my experience, there is not really any exclusivity in the arts, and I was able to use that to my advantage. Reaching out to other types of artists and groups proved to be incredibly beneficial to the number of followers I got over the course of the semester. I basically followed any artist or art enthusiast I could find on Twitter. For a while, the number of people I was following greatly outnumbered the amount of people that were following me. I felt a little embarrassed about that for a little while. The page looked desperate.

But I kept with it. In addition to following new people, I made sure to favorite and interact with what they posted. I let them know that I was there and I was paying attention. Suddenly, they all followed me back. My posts were getting retweeted to tens of thousands of people on a regular basis. The people that saw those retweets started following me. It was awesome.
Don’t be too proud with your social media profiles, especially in artistic fields. Often, other artists are interested in your work no matter what they do in particular and are not too proud to like and repost what you have to share. Just make sure that you are doing the same. Don’t follow a hundred people all in the same day and sit back and do nothing. Be engaged. Make them know that you’re there, make them know that you’re paying attention, make them know that you appreciate what they are doing, and they will, soon enough, follow you back and do the same for you.

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