Every artist, artist rep, and stock agency should be at least taking a look at getting started in social media if you aren’t present already. Here’s why: in March 2011, we conducted a survey, What Buyers Want From Photographers, of 500 creatives and art buyers in conjunction with PhotoShelter; as part of the survey, we asked about their use of social media to find artists.
In response to the question, “Do you search for photographers, or have you discovered new photographers using social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn,” 33 percent said they currently do. Although this isn’t the majority right now, you can be sure that this number will increase over time. Many buyers commented that they like to use social media to stay in touch with artists they have previously worked with. In general, it is a great avenue to at least stay in touch and further develop relationships.
We also asked what Social Media platforms they are using. 54 percent said LinkedIn, 36 percent said Facebook, and 10 percent said Twitter. As a first step, you may want to consider getting a profile on LinkedIn, as it tailors its social networking to be more business-oriented. LinkedIn also has groups that your target audience is actively participating in. Joining is a great way to learn and start connecting.
One other question asked was if they follow photographer’s blogs at all. 26 percent of overall respondents said yes, but 38 percent in the editorial sector subscribe to photographer’s blogs. The overall number might seem low to you, but again, it will change and grow over time. So if you have a blog, you should include it in your marketing materials if you want your target audience to find you.
Based on current and anticipated future buyer behaviors, you should not be ignoring social media. The proof is out there: a number of artists have experienced success with social media. Check out photographers Ken Kaminesky and Jack Hollingsworth, and illustrator Thomas James and see what they have to say about their success with social media.
Here are some things you can do to get going:
As a further and final point, participating in social media platforms and having an active blog will all contribute to your overall web presence and improve your search engine optimization.
Linda Whitehead is a passionate senior marketing professional with over 25 years of marketing, communications and brand-building experience at the executive level. With a diverse and well-rounded background in both B2C and B2B marketing, Linda has a proven track record of devising and deploying profitable and measurable marketing strategies as well as creating effective, inventive solutions to business challenges. Linda now serves as Agency Access' VP of Marketing.
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