Artist DOs and DON’Ts of using social media

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imgres-1Instagram and Facebook have become very important tools for the art world. For artists, dealers, collectors, writers, and patrons, they can be very helpful in finding out what is going on in other cities as well as your own. Social media has become another type of office for the artist, in particular. You can post about your upcoming shows and curate your identity from anywhere now. It is crucial to understand that anything you post about—whether your personal life, opinions, job, or artwork—becomes part of your public image. You are always promoting yourself.

Here are some tips on how best to use social media, and what to avoid:

Don’t overdo it. Although you may make fascinating art that many people enjoy, posting about anything and everything is too much.

Don’t post an announcement of what you’ve sold and who you sold it to. Congratulations on your sale! I’m sure you are excited for the extra cash, but to put it on the Internet can come off as boastful to some people, and tacky to most.

Don’t post images of your whole show before the opening. It’s a spoiler, like a movie trailer that reveals all the good parts.

Do post images of the show after the opening. For those who can’t make it to your show or might need a nudge, it’s very helpful to see it online.

Do announce your opening with tact. The extra !!!’s and exuberant hype can be off-putting.

Don’t post your opening announcement every day for a week before the opening. Make an announcement a few weeks ahead of time and again the day before or the day of the opening. Two reminders should be enough, especially if the gallery sends out its own announcements via mail, email, or social media.

Don’t talk shit about other artists or their work on social media. It reflects badly on you and invites criticism of your own work. Thoughtful and considerate commentary are fine.

Be professional. Take the high road. The world outside your studio, whether social gathering or social media, is like your office. The professional artist is always aware of how they are being perceived.

Do post relevant articles about topics of interest. It creates a dialogue with other artists and shows that you’re well-informed.

Do support your artist friends work online. Repost work, reviews, articles, and opening announcements you feel are important for others to see.  It’s very important to demonstrate that you are an active participant in the community outside your own studio.

Do not post about giving your work away. If you are at a point where you’d rather give the work away than throw it away, don’t advertise it. The post will send mixed messages about the value of your work.