woman holding paint brushes wearing painting apron and hatMy teenagers were mortified to find me on Twitter. First blogging and now this! But, don’t allow yourself to underestimate the power of social media and micro-blogging services. Twitter is one of the quickest ways to build brand recognition for you and your art business.

What do I mean by branding? The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand:

“…name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”

A strong brand is invaluable and serves to communicate credibility to your prospective customers and business associates.

You want your brand to reside in the hearts and minds of your clients, collectors, prospective customers and competitors. Twitter is the perfect site to begin branding yourself online.  It’s true that some people do use (or misuse) Twitter as a way to share their mundane lives with us. However, many intelligent minds are sharing links, news, photos, websites, blog posts, videos, podcasts and more. Finding and networking with like-minded individuals is a great advantage.

Here are important branding tips to think about: Please add your suggestions by commenting below…

1.    @Name: Your name is the first thing that people will see on Twitter. Use the name you wish to represent your artist brand. When I first started on Twitter I used @lorimcnee, but quickly changed my name to @lorimcneeartist and gained followers rapidly. It is easier for people to associate me as an artist this way.  Also, when people search ‘artist’, my name appears.  Once your Twitter page is complete, I suggest you consider adding yourself and your interests to the free Twitter Directory, WeFollow.  This way, you can track your ranking, status and influence on Twitter.  Currently, I am ranked as one of the most ‘influential artists’ on Twitter according to WeFollow!

2. The Profile & Bio: Choose your profile wisely. This is a great opportunity to brand yourself on Twitter. These few words will say a lot to the world about who and what you are. Make it ‘catchy’, this description says a lot about you which helps people make the choice to follow you or not. A custom page is a good way to immediately grab attention. Read this > How to Write a Bio that Gets Read

3. The Profile Picture: Remember you are building your artist brand. It is noted that most people relate to and want to see a friendly face. If you are not comfortable with this, then pick a great image of your art that represents you and grabs attention.

4.   Your Website: Do not forget to add your website to your profile. Make sure your portfolio is visible. Twitter will drive traffic to your site.

5.   When to Tweet For Impact:

Tim Ferriss tracked and measured ‘tweets’ and came up with the following best times…

12 midnight – 4am PST: 6, all between 12 midnight and 2am = 3 per hour
4am – 8am PST: none (partially due to the fact that I am sleeping)
8am – 12 noon PST: 8, all 10am – 12 noon = 4 per hour
12 noon – 4pm PST: 11, 9 between 1:30 – 3pm = 6 per hour
4pm – 8pm PST: 9, evenly spread = 2.25 per hour
8pm – 12 midnight PST: 3 = 0.75 per hour

Guy Kawasaki states: I find it’s worth repeating important tweets up to 4 times in about 18 hours. Typically, that would be evening, late evening, next morning and then the afternoon. Hopefully, that will catch the different audiences. But that’s enough, I don’t want to turn anyone off.

Guy generally  pre-schedules his tweets 8 hours apart at  7 pm PST, 3 am PST, 11 am PST, 7 pm PST…

6. Be a Good Follower: Next, follow people and organizations that could help your art career and are of value to your business. I suggest you follow galleries, museums, collectors, art coaches, fellow artists, and others you would like to be seen by. Do not underrate the average Joe or the newbie tweeter…he might be your next big collector! It is good to learn how to be a better follower and follow interesting people from all walks of life.

7. The Tweet: Tweet, re-tweet or post high quality content that adds value for your followers. Remember,   is micro-blogging. People are looking for something of value to read and share or “re-tweet” with their followers.  Each ‘tweet’ has a limit of 140 characters.  Make sure to keep your ‘tweet’ to a maximum of 130 characters in order for others to easily re-tweet your tweet! Save extra characters by shortening links by using a URL shortener like Bit.ly or  TinyURL.

Download and use Smqueue (I use Smqueue), Tweetdeck, BufferApp (I also use Bufferapp), or Hootesuite . These are efficient and time saving personal browsers used to manage your Twitter & Facebook accounts. These applications are intuitive and easy.

On Twitter, at times I will share a a photo using Twitpic (on my Tweetdeck)  to post a newly finished painting or one that is  in progress.  This is a great way to get feedback and spark interest in your work.

I like to share my knowledge with #finearttips, social media advice, my art, and some favorite quotes.

Keep in mind what kind of personal information, links, resources and promotional materials you plan to post.

I read somewhere that a good rule of thumb for tweeting is – one personal tweet for every 10 informative tweets. That said, you will find the right balance that works with your following…  I average around 2 per 10. (This does not include all the re-tweet ‘thank yous’!)

Sometimes it is tempting to get something off your chest or share some exciting news as I did when I taught a plein air workshop in France or when a black bear jumped in front of me on a dark trail. A little of this goes a long way, but it also important to show a real real human side.

Also, tweet frequently to build your following and brand recognition. This way, you can grow a small community of people with similar interests and who recognize your name and your brand. Having said that, don’t bombard Twitter or Facebook with numerous tweets & updates. You will find what works for you…and your followers will let you know if they don’t like it.

8.  The Retweet/RT @: Re-tweeting is a great way to capture the attention of an art organization, gallery or someone you would like to have ‘follow’ you. The re-tweet shares valuable information with other like minded individuals.

9.  Etiquette: Don’t forget to thank people for Re-tweeting or replying to your ‘tweet’. Oh, and don’t worry if you lose a follower or two…this happens every day and is the name of the game.

Be a human being, not a marketing drone. Otherwise you will be considered a spammer if you are constantly direct messaging to your URL or product line.

And finally……….

10. The Golden Rule of Twitter: “Tweet others the way you want to be tweeted.”

~ Lori 🙂

If this article was helpful, you might enjoy:

5 Reasons Why Artists Need Social Media & Eye Opening Stats to Back it Up

Simple SEO Tips to Rank Your Twitter & Facebook Pages Higher on Google

How Artists Can Use YouTube to Improve Marketing