Social media is a form of communication that achieved through the use of an information technology know a social network. A social network is an internet website that allows users to create a personal or organizational profile that other users can interact with or that can be used by the creator to interact with other users. User interaction is generally achieved by either posting content in text, image, video or audio format to one’s profile or commenting on the content that has been posted by other users.
In addition, to allowing people to communicate with others, social media is also useful for spreading news, informing the public and reaching out to others. In fact, social media is one more common used promotional tools for artists to promote their work.
Twitter s a social network that allows users to post or “tweet” short messages of up to 140 characters in length to other users who are either followers of the user or learn of the tweet from others. Once posted, a tweet can be re-posted by other users without continuously. Accordingly, an artist can use Twitter to announce an exhibition or direct users to the artist’s website.
Instagram is a social network that is mainly focused on allowing users to post photos and short videos that the take. User can make use to the network’s filters and photo editing function to change the look or feel of the image. An artist using Instagram could take photos or video of there are and create a virtual exhibition for users to enjoy from the computers or smartphones.
Vine is a social network that has a similar focus with Instagram on images. Vine unique aspect, however, is that it allows users to post self-repeating videos or “vines” of lengths longer than is available with Instagram. Accordingly, the artist can use Vine to post video of their work or perhaps of them working on a project as a means of promoting their art.
Periscope is a social network where users can post video in real-time with the additional functionality of being also able to add commentary. In other words, users can create their own internet audio-visual broadcasts. In terms of art promotion, Periscope allows an artist to produce their own online real-time art exhibition with their own comments about the artwork, thinking on art, or other personal commentary they deem relevant to the work.
Perhaps the most effective way of using social media to promote one’s artwork is to build on online community of followers that can access the art online and spread, “by word of mouth” their reason for thinking that the art or artist is worthy of attention.
One way to accomplish this is for the artist to create an online virtual community centered on a multi-user dungeon (MUD). Despite its name, MUDs, in essence, refer to an online destination that anyone with a computer can access (Turkle, 1996). Moreover, it is a place where users can interact with one another. For the artist, a MUD can be created around specific piece of work or groups of works. MUD members can observe and talk about the art just as if they were meeting at a traditional exhibition.
Facebook, which is one of the largest social network in the world, offers many of the same online community building functions of a MUD, but with more reach and ease of use. Using Facebook, the artist can create either their own profile, a profile dedicated to their art or piece of art or both. Once a profile is created, the artist can invite others to join their personal network or “like” their art page. An artist can then use his personal page to specifically about his art, art philosophy or other relevant information, and point followers to see more on his art page. Fans can post comments to either the personal site or the art page as well as “repost” one they like to their own accounts.
Snapchat one of the newest and most popular social networks. Like other social networks such as Instagram, Vine, and Periscope; Snapchat’s focus in on images. Unlike, other social networks, however, Snapchat’s unique element is that its post are temporary. In other words, after a user posts a “snap”, it will disappear at a specific point of time in the future. In addition, Snapchat allows for the user to extensively edit the image or video they post with text, audio commentary, and icons. One way that Snapchat might be used by an artist is to provide a “sneak peak” of an upcoming work or exhibition. This could be used to increase community interest without revealing to much about the artwork that would adversely affect actual attendance at the exhibition.
Accordingly, since the basis of social media is to allow people to communicate, the benefit of its use by an artist is that it provide multiple platforms and methods to reach a global audience efficiently. In other words, social media not only allows the artist to promote or advertise his artwork to many in the community that would otherwise not have the ability to know of the artist, but also allows the artist to build a community of followers and patrons that can increase support for the artist through their own efforts.
Facebook. (2016). Facebook. Retrieved from www.facebook.com
Instagram. (2016). Instagram. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com
Periscope (2016). About us. Retrieved from https://www.periscope.tv/about
Snapchat. (2016). Snapchat. Retrieved from https://www.snapchat.com/
Turkle, S. (1996). Virtuality and its discontents: Searching for community in cyberspace. Retrieved from http://web.mit.edu/sturkle/www/pdfsforstwebpage/ST_Virtuality%20and%20its%20discontents.pdf
Twitter. (2016). Twitter. Retrieved from www.twitter.com
Vine. (2016). Vine. Retrieved from https://vine.co/