Join the Conversation

Why sit back and wait to hear from a gallery, curator, arts writer, art center or museum when you can connect through Web 2.0?

Hagit Shahal, Woman with Nailclipper. Hard ground etching with aquatint

©2009 Hagit Shahal, Woman with Nailclipper. Hard ground etching with aquatint, 20 x 25 cm. Edition 25.

Not sure how to go about this? Let’s use galleries for these examples.

First, find a gallery’s fan page on Facebook and Like it. At the same time, follow gallery tweets on Twitter.

Granted, many galleries don’t use these social networking sites, so focus on the ones who do. In order to find galleries to follow, you must know that they’re a good fit for you. Don’t waste your time on galleries that show only Florida artists if you live in Nebraska.

I conduct a standard Google search to find people on social media. Here are two samples of my searches.

Search words: Translations Gallery Twitter
This led me to the gallery I was looking for:
http://twitter.com/translationsart

Search words: Sync Gallery Facebook
Success again!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sync-Gallery/262299831412

Since fan pages on Facebook are public, they’ll show up at the top of the search results if the pages exist. Ditto for Twitter accounts.

You can also use Twellow for Twitter searches within categories. (Thanks @PattyHankins for the advice.) Or there is TweepSearch for names and keywords. (Thanks, @cornerstoneva.)
Once you’ve found some good galleries to follow on Twitter and Facebook, you need to join the conversation.

Contribute your voice to the dialog when you have something to say. You want to add value to the conversation, not just Like a post. Also, instead of just declining or ignoring an invitation from a gallery on Facebook, write a personal note on the event wall—leaving your name there for all to see.

Do the same on Twitter by responding to questions posed by these people and retweeting the good stuff. Be sure to link generously.

Beware: This might take some effort! The results will be worth it.

FINAL WORD: Don’t lurk on Web 2.0 sites. Become a valuable contributor to the dialog. Join the conversation with galleries and other art world types through social media. Remember that social media is social.

Wanna hear a friendly voice? (Mine!) Listen to the audio version of this content.

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12 comments to Join the Conversation

  • [...] Action podcast–an audio version of the newsletter/post of the same title. Read the newsletter here. listen to the [...]

  • I’ve made a magazine connection on Facebook. We share a really deep and philosophical dialog about art and politics and what it means to be human. I’d ask for a review, but like you mentioned, we’re geographically incompatible. She’s on the East Coast and I’m on the Left Coast.

    It is interesting to note that many galleries that I’m connected to don’t know how to actually work the social networks. As I’ve read via many reputable marketing pros and advertising pros, it is a commitment (not a campaign).

  • I ended up with a feature article in American Artist Magazine because of Facebook. A FB friend saw my landscape paintings on my page & contacted the editor of Watercolor and American Artist magazines. The editor eventually looked at my work and ended up doing a feature article in the May issue of AA. The article talks about my transition from watercolors to oils. Sounds easy, but the whole process was 6 months or more in the making.

    I’ve met many artist friends through FB, Twitter & PleinAirArtists.ning & have even ended up painting with some & meeting others at shows. I’ve found out about art workshops happening all of the world by connecting through the 3 sites. One artist from MN came with his wife & son to my art opening in CO because he was going to be in town & saw the posting of my show on FB. All great connections & worth the little extra time I spend on the sites.

  • Alyson – point taken, one more lurker becomes visible! Hello! :-)
    A.

  • Thanks for this post. I have ignored most invitations of this sort, not really knowing how they could be of use and why are they even there! I’ll take another look and spend more time really reading and contributing. Thanks for the kick in the pants about this new avenue for dialog.

  • [...] wasn’t foolin’ around when I encouraged you to engage gallerists and other arts professionals through social [...]

  • Thanks for the reminder to be a part of the conversation! I spend a lot of time perusing sites… most of it “lurking”. This is great advice, as it’s a great way to connect without being in-your-face and spammy.

  • I’d say 80% of my sales come from when I post new work on FB, on my art page. I haven’t had as much luck with Twitter, but social networking is definitely a necessity. I sell 90% of my work out-of-state to people I’ve never met. I’ve also made super excellent connections and friends in the business purely by the power of FB.

  • Former Lurker as well! I needed that reminder :) I have not connected with any galleries as that is really not what I am looking for but I have connected with a lot of buyers for my jewelry.

  • dear alyson
    me more in my research on the many artists on their technique and style. of various art sites I visit to find something different from my work. because every time I try to create a work with a technique that I find there was not much over there already exist that use these techniques. and finally the search is successful I get, and shortly thereafter sold one of my work. thank you

  • I have met a lot of amazing Contemporary Artists whose work I admire and some die-hard fans of my Artwork through the Facebook Artist Page that I created after reading your book. I have foot traffic to my studio and have gotten to meet people and build relationships with them without having any gallery involvement. To me this is something totally awesome as I get to hear and see first hand as to how people are reacting to what I create and I get to share with them the details about my work as well that so far has helped me sell a lot of my paintings. Not to mention they pay a lot less [50%] for something they love and get to experience my studio first hand. Just today I went and had “High-Tea” with someone who came with her daughter after learning about my art exhibit on the Artist Page and we clicked [she is interesting as a person and her eight year old daughter connected with mine] and now she plans on buying possibly two of my pieces! So one never knows when and how a sale would strike, but having face-to-face contact with people about my passion most certainly helps. I could have not done so without my Facebook Artist’s Page that you recommended in your book. My family used to mock me before when I painted and spent hours locked up doing what I enjoyed but now they they have stopped especially after witnessing how many people appreciate Art and like to actually pay money for it. I also get to see what people have to say and contribute on my Facebook Page about my work and it is really great. My social circle has expanded a lot and keeps on expanding and I am enjoying every bit of it – not just the sales. Life is good.