Social media is storytelling

I’m a former newspaper journalist, currently a magazine editor, and an artist. So my work and creative play are about telling stories—in writing as well as in imagery.

As I think about social media and continually explore it as part of the presentations I make to artists about using digital channels, I can clearly see that social media really is all about storytelling.

I strive to approach social media as an artist in the same way I do as a writer creating a story, asking and answering the most important questions for gathering content and presenting an interesting narrative: Who? What? When? Why? Where? How?

Who am I telling the story about—myself as an artist, as a mother, as a professional? What story am I trying to tell, what is interesting about it at the moment and what is the best way to tell that story? When do I want to tell it; when does it fit info my schedule? Why am I telling it (for collaboration, to invite opportunities, to showcase what I do, to rant about a cause)? Where should I share it? How will I know that I’m succeeding in my goals (by the number of followers, by the interactions and engagement with others, by the resulting opportunities, lots of sales)?

As artists we have a lot on our plates—creating work, designing and managing websites, writing blogs, pursuing exhibition opportunities, marketing, teaching, procrastinating, fighting off the inner critic. Social media is one more demand on our time, but it is a valuable tool for telling our own story and for supporting the work at hand. The trick is not to let it become overwhelming by developing a social media strategy.

So make a plan. Ask and answer the questions. That will help you narrow down and shape which digital platform is best for you—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Figure out how much time you want to devote to it and when you can to fit it into your schedule, and decide what your goals are.

My story unfolds one post at a time on various platforms and websites—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, RedBubble, Etsy.

How do you use social media and how has it helped you in sharing what you do and pursuing opportunities? Share your success tips by leaving a comment.

The art of being social

1361828260I had a great day today! I spent the morning and part of the afternoon as a panelist at a workshop on social media for artists at the Dorchester Arts Collaborative.

The internet now offers us so many platforms to share our work and connect with each other–Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, where you can upload a portfolio of your work. However,  sometimes it can become overwhelming to figure out how to effectively use it all (or any of it), while still finding the time to actually make art.

I remember before I joined Facebook I wondered what the hell it was for. It seemed silly. Now, I don’t know what I’d do without it. It is one of the most effective, efficient and inexpensive ways to engage and interact with people (other artists, gallery representatives and potential clients). And, no, Mark Zuckerberg is not paying me to say this. 🙂

So, what an honor to talk about the issue, share what I’ve learned so far, and to hear the great ideas of other artists at the workshop.

My main points for using Facebook as an artist:

  • Dive in and try things out; you will learn as you go.
  • Keep your audience in mind (is this for business? just personal? both?) and post accordingly.
  • Be authentic to make stronger connections; people want to see the real you. (Check your privacy settings; you might not want your mom to see the real you.)
  • Treat social media relationships like any other—be nice, smart, funny, giving.
  • Post often—once a day, if possible–but not too often. (Promote your events; celebrate your victories; share tips as well as your creative process; support other artists; collaborate.)

I would love to hear from you. What’s your favorite form of social media? How do you use it? Any tips on what you have found to be most successful? And I’d be happy to “friend” you.

The art of Facebook


I’ll admit it; I am guilty of using Facebook for it’s most sacred purpose–to look up old high school friends to see if they have gained as much weight as I have, and for procrastinating. I can get lost for hours viewing pages and looking at the photos of other people I barely know in person but feel intimately involved with from afar.

I do also use Facebook for important reasons like sharing the art and jewelry that I have available for sale on Etsy and RedBubble as well as for inviting people to events that I will be attending. Social media has so much potential for us as artists because it puts audiences (and potential clients) within the reach of a keyboard. We just have to know how to tap into that.

In March, I will be part of a panel discussion about how artists can use social media to their benefit. I would like to invite you to share how you are using social media. Do you use your personal Facebook page or prefer a business/artist page? How often do you post items? What do you post? What’s the most significant thing that has come about because of your use of Facebook? Are there any downsides to using it?

Send me your tips for getting the most out of Facebook  and your Facebook links, too (and I’ll send you mine). I would love to “friend” you. I’ll share your links with my audience during the panel discussion and presentation, and help spread the word about your wonderful work.