I went to a super kickass conference called Giant Steps last Friday. It's basically group therapy for creative entrepreneurs artist types, and I love it.
If you couldn't be there, or if you were in a different breakout session, here are my top learnin's from Levi Weinhagen's session on social media. (Apologies to Levi for my summarized, probably inaccurate quotes.) It was a good opportunity to zoom out from being up to my eyeballs in social media and remember what it's all about.
When you don't know what to post on twitter:
THINK OF A QUESTION. BUT NOT ONE ABOUT YOU.
Remember this when you're staring at that 140-character box and freaking out. A lot of people I talk to (especially dancers) feel completely confused and overwhelmed about what to do with Twitter. What will I talk about? Do people just tweet about what they ate for lunch? Don't worry. Start a conversation. About anything.
On how much you should talk about you/your product:
This is actually a relief because I feel like a jerk when I try to sell my stuff. So I'll keep on talking about other stuff. See above.
Caveat: I do think it's important to let people know what you are up to. I actually need and want people to tweet about their shows, so I don't forget about them. Keep most of it off-message/general interest/non-salesy, but let people know what you are doing.
On the ROI of social media:
BE PATIENT. IT'S A LONG CON.
In other words, no, there are not going to be many direct and immediate benefits to tweeting about cats. Your social media strategy is to show up authentically every day and engage with people and ideas. So, really not that different from, say, your actual real life goals. As you continue to create and share real, awesome experiences online, people will begin to know and love you. You have an online track record and that will pay off.
On feeling like no one's listening:
RIGHT BAIT, WRONG POND.
If your audience isn't on Pinterest, please, for Pete's sake, DO NOT SPEND ALL YOUR TIME OPTIMIZING IMAGES FOR PINTEREST. The world wants you to make your art, okay? They just also want to be able to find your art while they drink coffee in the morning. So figure out where they're looking and BE THERE.
Thanks, Levi, for the insights!
p.s. Not sure what "optimizing for the pinterest" is? Wondering about Ello? Don't stab your own eyes out. Let me know and I'll do my best to sort it out for you.
p.p.s. Here are more of my thoughts about why performance artists should be on the internet, already.