5 Reasons Artists Should Delete Their Social Media Page
Yea, I said it. Delete it. Okay, okay before you send me hate mail or leave a highly critical comment hear me out. I didn’t say delete all of them. Be honest with yourself. Do you like spending a large chunk of your time managing your various social media pages? Does it actually pay off for you? Are you tired of always having to adjust to the new features and updates to each social media platform? I was. What about all the podcasts and articles telling you to advertise here and there, and that each platform has a secret to success? Okay I went on a rant there but seriously the more we have to spend our time online the less we have time to create. Here are my 5 reasons why you should delete your social media page…and keep the ones that work.
Let me preface this by telling you that I have deleted my Instagram account and my Facebook profile, nearly three months ago now. At the time my followers on IG were at about 10k, and my friends on FB were close to 2k. Think I’m crazy or stupid? Since my exodus I was keen to watch my Etsy and website traffic expecting to see a fallout and the damage I would sustain to my sales. I waited, and I waited only to see that nothing happened. I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth. I didn’t lose money or see less traffic. In fact they both stayed the same and eventually grew! What I did gain was time and my sanity!
1. Don’t follow the crowd
Like most artists I was lured to social media by the idea that I could make a great living selling online. And that having several social media pages would play in my favor. I read as many blogs and watched as many Youtube videos that would show me the secret to success on social media as I could. In fact for a while I was pleased with the followers I gained. FOLLOWERS. That’s an interesting word. We think that followers on social media means the same thing as Moses having followers in the desert. Willing to follow him for 40 years through drought and famine. Eh, wrong. Those are not the followers on social media. We equate having followers with making sales. Ever go to an artist’s profile and see that they have 100k followers or more and then automatically think they must make millions? That’s not always the case. The more we subscribe to that notion the more we become obsessed with chasing that goal. Trust me when I got to 10k followers on IG I thought I would be making some money at least. Even after trying the best tactics taught to me, I still saw no sales. Meanwhile Etsy was going well and so was my website. The lesson here is to measure your time against the return you are getting for it. Assess where you are and adjust according. Cut the fat! Your time is important. Don’t follow the crowd. Find the place that works best for you.
2. Focus on the 10%
Okay but you may argue that my followers shared my work and spread the word about me. Also I could be found on IG by someone new. All true but that doesn’t mean those followers are my true loyal clients. Want to know who those people are? The folks that purchases my art on my website and Etsy. And according to those metrics none came from IG. So my focus needed to change. I needed to move my time from IG to Etsy and my website. Lesson: figure out which customers add the most value and provide the best opportunities for sustained growth. If that means you need to ditch your Snapchat then ditch it! There will be some cognitive dissonance. Like quitting smoking or drinking. Some of the value we get from social media is validity. Getting a like or RT or love from a random follower for our art releases a quick shot of endorphins to our brain. But until that equates to paying your water bill I’m here to tell you it’s waste of your time. Put your time into building value for the 10% of your followers that actually buy your work and make them lifelong customers!
3. Less is more
From a purely psychological standpoint we crave the need to create. I found that when I reduced the amount of time I had to dedicate to keeping up with social media and all the other stuff that came along with it I felt less stressed, less anxious, and less distracted. Instead of checking my social media over three different platforms every 10 minutes and agonizing over why one post got more likes than another I spent more time focusing on my art. By canceling out the noise I was able to listen to whose opinion mattered most, mine. Find specific time for social media, I’m not saying to abandon it completely. When you find the right balance social media can work in your favor but when you have 5-6 accounts you may want to ask yourself if you are creating for social media or if you are creating for yourself?
4. Save $
Each social media platform now has the ability to take your money in exchange for ad placements. Even if you’re only spending $5 per ad, across 5-6 platforms that can add up quickly. Are they effective? Are you measuring metrics across all platforms and creating a strategy? Doubt it. Instead of putting money into ads think about how to bring value to your current clients with that same budget. For instance I was spending $50 a month on ads on FB but instead this month I decided to run a contest giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card. I’ve gotten more shares, and traffic to my website off that $50 than I ever did with ad money. Think of creative ways you can spend your current budget and add value. You may close 2 social media pages and reallocate your money to a social media page that is already seeing growth or spend that money on art supplies! Drool!!
5. Build more value through content
Think about the time spent taking mediocre photos of your work and sharing to social media. Add that time up in your head. Now add the time you spend checking on those posts. Now think about how much money that made you. Go ahead I’ll wait. Not much? Now think about using that time to create a beautifully edited Youtube video that shows your work progress, gives tips to young artists, or speaks about you as an artist. Which would you prefer reflect your art online? Photos are great don’t get me wrong. But let’s look at the crowd. Currently IG and Snapchat hold the youngest audience demographic out of any of the social media pages. Can they afford your art? My daughter lives on IG and Snap but would I target her and her friends to buy my art? No. FB, Pinterest, and Youtube however holder a much wider user base. Where can your content hold the most attention and give you the ability to build more value for your customers? This may take some time to figure out but if you ask me Youtube and Pinterest are what works best for visual artists. Youtube is able to capture someone’s attention much longer than any other platform. Pinterest is basically an art curation tool. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten sales directly from Pinterest. Focus on the platforms that can allow you build value with the customers that are able to purchase your art.
So that’s my list of reasons why you should delete your social media. In all honesty this is about managing your time and resources effectively. Some artists thrive off having half a dozen social media platforms, and I applaud their success. I however value my time in the real world. I don’t want half my life spent looking at my phone. The people I love deserve me to spend my time more wisely than that. Yours do too.