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An Artists’ Guide To Social Media

Based on 5 years of running a show and 2 years of working as a professional social media strategist, this is a guide to why to use each main platform, how to do it, and artist-specific tricks for having them grow and receive decent engagement. It’s stuff I wish I knew 5 years ago. Hopefully it’s helpful! 

Audience building is SUPER important, even if you’re just an independent artist without content. As an employer, when I’m shown that an artist is doing well on social media and they get decent views, they stand out — it’s an indicator of quality, of affability, of resourcefulness, and of commitment. 

Let’s lay it out flat: if you’re not on every major social media platform, you’re not doing your job. Even platforms you don’t like or understand. Your job’s 50% audience building, 50% content creation. That goes for authors, filmmakers, artists, musicians… everyone. Of course making great art is the best advertising there is, but statistically speaking you’re probably not creating great work yet. So your fans are out there, you just need to find them.

With the exception of maybe Pinterest, you want to be on every platform. That means Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, even Google+ has its audience (and G+ actually has a higher hit rate for getting people to do things than any other platform, esp for Youtube content)

For examples of how you could do this, here’s how ours look:

Youtube

Instagram

Twitter

Tumblr

Facebook

G+

For Youtube, try and release regular videos. It’s a no-brainer, yes, but some people don’t. We’re actually guilty of this, so we’ve got production videos in the pipeline. Keep in mind, though, that cheap-looking content will cause subscribers to unsubscribe, so ensure that you are working to a schedule that allows for a certain level of quality.

In addition, check your community analytics (on the left there, Youtubers), click subscribers, and arrange your subscribers by “Popularity” — bam, you know who is well-followed and loves your work. Our top ten subscribers have a combined viewership of 12 million subscribers and we had no idea. It’s a resource whose door we may one day want to knock on.

On Instagram, aim to post daily, and use hashtags where relevant. If you’re using more than 5 hashtags put them in a comment rather than your text body — instagram stops reading/linking hashtags after 5. Make sure if you get fan art (NSFW) you make a big song and dance about it and encourage more (that goes for all platforms). If you want to grow quickly, make fan art for the shows you like and use appropriate tags — we don’t do this, but it does work effectively.

For Twitter, post daily and interact with people. Make friends in the threads leading from tweets by people you admire. If you make comedy, retweet Twitter comedians. This tweet’s my favourite at the moment: 

In this way you can make your feed a go-to for people who like to laugh. 

I enjoy Twitter the most, personally, because it gives the kind of feedback that keeps me motivated in the year(!) it takes to make one of our episodes.

We use Tumblr strictly for self-promotion and animation tips, with the odd exception. That seems to be our most successful content on here. As you’re reading this on Tumblr I’m sure you have no trouble with Tumblr basics. Go you. High five. 

If you want to convert Tumblr followers to Instagram followers, share your Instagram posts to Tumblr using the share function of the Instagram app — it creates a frame around your Tumblr post that links to your Instagram account, like so:

Facebook punishes you for posting often, classes deleted posts as posts that achieved 0% engagement, and if your comments aren’t liked or replied to they count as shitty posts (I know, they’re evil) so save your posts for big news, and if you have 1000+ fans you should promote your big chunks of new content with paid spend. We only spend maybe £2-4 for video releases. When uploading your video content directly native to the platform you get much, much higher viewership. As a rule you shouldn’t expect your platforms to communicate with each other, so translating Facebook to Youtube typically doesn’t work.

For Google Plus, simple updates do fine as content. But keep an eye on it!

I think that’s all. Hopefully this helps! Ask questions directly and I’ll attempt to answer them.

What is some advice you have for new writers?

“When you’re first starting out, you have a lot of work that you need to do. You have to transform yourself, from someone who cannot write a book… into someone who can. It’s more than just having to write a book. You’re going to find yourself on a journey of change. And that means you’ve got to identify all those parts of yourself that make you a person who cannot write a book. Whether that’s skills, or having new ideas, or procrastination; whether it’s time management or lack of resources. You have to clearly identify each of those parts, and then change them.

So if you’re someone who—like I was—who wants to write but shies away from writing, or spends time procrastinating or surfing the web, then you’ve got to fix that. You’ve got to find a workaround, a tangible solution to each problem.

If you’re someone like I was, because I came out of fanfiction, I wasn’t very good at generating my own ideas. I had to train my mind to think in those ways, at first. And you have to do actual, tangible work, to brainstorm how to do those things and how to plot and how to write exposition and do all those things to write a book.

—  C.S. Pacat (The Geekiary)

How to make candles.

Making candles is a lot easier than you might think! Here are instructions on how to make your own all natural, safe, and magickal candles.

Supplies:

Anything to hold your candles in. (Moulds, tea cups, sea shells, mason jars…)
Wicks or Wood Wicks
Soy Wax  
Dye Chips
Any herbs of your choice (Recommended: Any mints, lavender, sage, or small cuttings of fruit skins.)
Essential oil(s)

Make sure that your essential oils and the herbs you use smell similarly.

Instructions:

First you will need to gather all of your ingredients and lay them out neatly.

Take your candle holders and fill them with soy wax and as many colour tablets as you desire. The more you add, the darker your candles will be.

Put them in the mircowave (as long as they are not metal - if your holders are metal, melt the wax in a pot over boiling water double broiler style) and melt everything together. You will need to add more and more wax as you go along because melted soy wax yields much less than the flakes. Stir until mixed.

Add your herbs/fruit peel pieces and your oils. Mix again.

Add your essential oils, as much as you feel is necessary. Mix again.

Drop in your wick, making sure to place it in the centre of your holder. You can balance it and hold it in place as the wax hardens by laying a butter knife over the top of your candle holder and balancing the wick against it. (If it is a bit off centre, though, no one will be able to tell.)

(Optional) You can line up whole herbs against the edges of the mould and they will dry along the edges and make lovely decorations.

Let the wax harden. 

Trim the wick.

Ta da! Your candles are ready! Make sure to make them with good intentions and feel free to carve sigils into the top.


The Wiccan’s Glossary