Category: Guest Writers & Artists
This week, Write Vault introduces Katy Goldapple, a freelance photographer and writer from Florida. She shares her experiences with Social Media marketing and offers up tips for successful self-promotion.
Promoting a Business through Social Media
by: Katy Goldapple
Social media is a valuable resource for freelancers and business owners. It is a great way for businesses to build a brand and connect with clients. It is no quick fix, though: It takes trial and error to determine who your market is, and how to effectively reach them. Here, I will discuss various opportunities available through Facebook and Twitter.
Many organizations, individuals, and films successfully promote through Facebook. In addition to personal accounts, they feature promotional tools, such as fan pages and page/post “promotions”. Members create fan pages to advertise any skills, products, or services they offer. A fan page will reach Facebook “friends” and show up in search engine results. I have had some success selling art through fan pages; I know of others who have as well. There is no cost to create one.
Facebook offers to “promote” fan pages and individual posts for a fee. The idea behind this is to increase visibility: “Promoting” a page puts your contentin front of more members, many of whom would not see it otherwise. I would hesitate before choosing this option, though – those who purchased it have mixed reviews. The main concern is who actually sees your promotion: Will it reach buyers, investors, and distributors, or only those with a shared interest (such as a mutual friend, or other artists promoting their own work). These are questions worth answering before paying to promote.
Twitter is an increasingly popular site. Known names in entertainment, literature, and fashion use it to promote projects and connect with fans. This direct fan interaction is a big part of Twitter’s draw. The downside: It takes time for unknowns to gain followers and fans on such a large, active site.
You can build a Twitter following by “riding the coattails”, so to speak, of those who have an established fan base. Interact with fans in “Tweet Out” events, and start your own discussions about favorite TV shows, books, celebrities, etc. Marketing to specific groups of fans is effective, as there is already a built in audience. The trick is converting someone (or something) else’s audience into your customers. It helps if your product/service relates in some way to the fans’ interest; it should feel like a natural extension of their passion. Those in the visual arts have an advantage here: Actors, producers, and authors will often “Retweet” fan-created artwork and merchandise. I have seen actors from “Supernatural” (and other such shows) post links to T-shirts featuring their character. This exposure usually results in sales for the artist/designer. Worth noting: Fans of the Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror genres are an enthusiastic bunch. Not only do they Tweet about their passion, they support it financially. They buy books, art, comics, collectable items, and attend conventions to see their favorite actors, authors, and artists. It is well worth tapping into this market.
Remember to “Hash Tag” Tweets when necessary – this lets the post show up in Twitter searches. Hash Tagging is a great for connecting with consumers, as well as networking with in an industry. One such example is #amwriting. Search “#amwriting” on Twitter – it will show everyone who included this Hash Tag in their Tweets. You will find writers promoting upcoming projects, and publishers announcing calls for submissions. You may also see resources for indie authors, including ebook promotion services. It puts resources, opportunities, and consumers under one roof, so to speak.
Building a following will not happen overnight – it is a gradual process. Putting yourself in front of the right people can speed up that process.
“I believe the best art tells a story, and captures the beauty often overlooked in daily life.”
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