This ArtMakers introduction to using Social Media covers the following topics:-
What platform is right for YOU
Scheduling posts, pins etc.
The humble hashtag
Instagram or Facebook?
A description of all the different formats each social media platform requires
The first point to make is that it is much better to be consistently posting on one or two platforms, rather than being inconsistent whilst trying to post on all platforms.
Which platform is right for me?
If you are unsure about this, then filling out a branding persona/type of customer worksheet would be a good place to start. A branding persona worksheet allows you to figure out who your perfect customer is, or might be, and how they may best interact with your content/business.
By looking at branding personas you may find that you have more than one type of customer. If so, it is worth thinking about how you can aim to engage each persona/type of customer in different ways.
For example, you may identify a customer who is not on social media but does have an email. You may also have another customer that interacts via Instagram. So, you need to make sure you cater to both, i.e., sending a newsletter regularly, as well as posting regularly on Instagram.
HERE is a persona worksheet for you to fill out. https://www.artmakers.uk/knowledgebase/branding-persona-mapping-2/
You may find that you have already leaned toward the platforms where your customers interact/engage with you. It can still be interesting to fill out a branding persona to double-check that you are branding yourself in line with your target audiences. This worksheet can help with all sorts of decision-making, from the design of your website to the products you use to make work and packaging you use to send your work.
People have different values and it is important to recognise this. The language you use can also be informed by this worksheet. For example, the language used in engaging a large organisation is going to be very different from engaging a 20 year old looking to purchase their first piece of art.
Whilst getting to grips with what platform to use you may also want to look at what matters to your values and also what you can realistically achieve within your work to life balance.
For more information on Marketing for Artists please see – Marketing
The difference between main content and content that is more fleeting.
By using a combination of both stories and main posts you can build up professional content whilst also allowing your audience to see behind the scenes. Use your main page and profile content to build your brand, use stories to show behind the scenes.
Social media has got a reputation for only showing the perfect polished posts, however, being authentic and real can get you a lot of engagement. People are pushing back after being sick of seeing perfection. Stories are a great way to show other sides of yourself. If there are stories that you want to save, with Instagram you can add them to your profile page via highlights and they will be seen as small circles above your main profile grid Win, win!
The Instagram grid balance and does it matter?
The beauty of balance, because Instagram shows your posts in a grid, think about the tones, colours, and the balance of content that you are putting up. And it’s OK to evolve and change this as you grow your content and business. Social media is great for reflecting upon your progression and realising how much you have achieved!
When to Post Content on your Platform/s?
Scheduling posts can help with creating a space and time within your busy week so that you can create a consistent content release.
There are several scheduling platforms with varying degrees of free options.
Hootsuite, Later and Facebook scheduling are just three.
What you get for free:
• 1 User
• 2 social accounts
• 5 Scheduled messages
What you get for free:
• 1 Social Set (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)
• 30 posts per social profile
• 1 user
This is free and is located on your business page under publishing tools.
You can schedule Facebook and Instagram content. Can be glitchy.
When is the best time to post?
I think the best thing to work this out is to post at different times of the day and see what engagement you get via the insights and statistics that the platform shows you.
Here is a link to some thoughts on the best time to post: https://discoversocial.co.uk/2021/01/21/the-best-times-to-post-on-social-media-in-2020-by-platform/
In my experience, although you can download apps to schedule from your smartphone, I have always found scheduling from my desktop to be easier.
The humble hashtag
Hashtags or tags are used on platforms so that people searching for specific words can find your posts. How important are they? Read this blog about the importance of hashtags.
You can use hashtag generators, such as Task Ant, Flick, Metahashtags.
You can search popular hashtags for free. It’s still worth keeping a few more local hashtags, which may be less popular but can connect with your local target audience. For example, #northdevon #northdevoncoast #southwestart
To compare or not to compare, what is the answer?
It is all too easy to compare yourself with other creatives and wonder why you aren’t getting the same number of likes and interactions. All I can say to this is that the more social you are the more social people are back. It’s called social media for a reason and creating conversation on posts also helps with the dreaded algorithms.
So, go out and like, comment and share the love, be cheerleaders for others and they most likely will return the favour. It’s not always a bad thing to compare your content to others, in fact following some people with lots of followers can give you insights into how they post, hashtag, and even the times they post. Comparing needs to stop when it causes stress, anxiety, and the feeling of hopelessness. I can tell you, that even if you have a good number of followers it can sometimes still feel as if your post goes down a black hole. Notice which posts do well and do more of those types of posts. Do not let comparing yourself to others stop you from posting. When has comparing yourself to the point of not wanting to do things ever helped? If a post doesn’t do well, move on to the next.
Have fun, especially with the content that stops being seen after 24 hrs. You can learn a lot by exploring, being curious, and playing around with different content. Having fun is a great way to combat the perfection gene most of us have!
As said at the beginning of the PDF, don’t get overwhelmed. Figure out where best to target your audience and stick to that whilst beginning. As you continue to build content and confidence you can branch out to more platforms or even more aspects within the main platform you use. For example, post onto Instagram which you can share to Facebook. And when you feel more confident start to look at including stories and reels.
More information on running a Social Media Campaign can be found HERE
Format of content to upload
Facebook Image Content:
Images for Facebook are the same as the video format, see link below.
If you are adding more than one image in a post, it can be nice to resize them all to be the same ratio.
(Ratio = size of image)
I was always told that at least 4 images should be used per post to get better engagement.
Facebook Video Content:
A regular video post has a limit of 240minutes.
If you film on your phone, think about whether you want your film to fill the whole screen when being watched – Portrait. Or if you want it to be the better-known landscape aspect.
Get used to what you like.
Facebook Stories generally look and are more engaging in portrait mode. Landscape can appear quite small in stories.
Instagram Image Content:
Images are either square or for portrait images, they will become the 4:5 ratio and landscape images keep their original 16:9 ratio.
Take a look via this link: https://later.com/blog/instagram-image-size/
If you want to add more than one photo to a post, this will create an image carousel. This means your audience can swipe left on your post to see the other images.
Instagram Video Content:
Hold on to your hats this is about to get complicated!
For main profile posts, the ratio is the same as the above, however, for videos longer than a minute they become an IGTV post. These are 9:16, as you can see via the link above this is then changed in the news feed to become 4:5 and then changed again in your profile page to become 1:1. So if you have any writing in your video, keep this in mind as the writing may get cut off. Remember to choose a cover for all of your videos, otherwise, it will usually take the first frame of the video. Further to scheduling via Facebook, I have found that you cant set the main cover photo and it seems somewhat random to which frame it chooses.
Stories and Reels are 9:16 a little more simple! You can of course share your main posts to your stories.
Twitter Image content:
(Taken from the link below) The ideal image size and aspect ratio is 16:9. The maximum file size is 5MB for photos and animated GIFs. You can go up to 15MB if you’re posting via their website.
You can tweet up to four images per post. Two images will appear stacked side by side, both with an aspect ratio of 7:8.
Twitter Video content:
Either square 1:1 or 16:9 (landscape) Length up to 2min 20 seconds and 512Mb.
Vero image content:
Square photos, if the image is over 3000×3000 pixels Vero will compress.
Vero video content:
720p which isn’t full HD and is Landscape.
Pinterest image content:
• Standard Pins 2:3
• Square Pins 1:1
• Long Pins 1:2.1
• Infographic Pins 1:3
• Carousel Pins 2:3 or 1:1
• Collections Pins: 2:3 for first image, 1:1 for additional
• Story Pins: 9:16
Pinterest video content:
• Standard Video Pins 2:3
• Square Video Pins 1:1
• Vertical Video Pins (Portraits) 9:16
• Long Video Pins 1:2
TikTok and Snap Chat are similar.
Tiktok Video content: https://boosted.lightricks.com/tiktok-video-length-video-formatting-guide/
Snapchat Image and video content:
Portrait, so this is 9:16, the size of your smartphone screen.
Hope you found this useful.
Guidance for using Social Media - Detail