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Marketing Art On The Internet, Part 2

by Brian Kliewer on 1/13/2012 9:14:21 AM

This post is by guest author, Brian Kliewer.  This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.  We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community.  If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 16,000+ subscribers,consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites.  This author's views are entirely his own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.




















Where does it end?  


In a "perfect" online marketing world, I wouldn't have to throw myself or my work at a seemingly endless list of other sites...or even one other site, for that matter.   But many artists are doing that in the name of "exposure," to get their work "seen."  In a truly perfect online marketing world, collectors would come to my site and find my work on their own without any prompting from me.  But without using any of the above listed options, what chance do I have of drawing that audience?  Can I really do it all here on my site alone? 



Yes, this is  a rather long post... sorry.  But after using "social media" for nearly three years, I feel I'm entitled to a small rant.  Keep reading and I think you will find some useful info.  And if you have read this far,'ve already gotten past the first 140 characters.   (One of my favorite "Geek and Poke" cartoons, used by permission.)


The Internet Is Getting Crowded and Crazy!


Have you felt it yet?  Have you felt the constant pull of the Internet?  The "whining buzz", the clutter, the must do it now, this very second mentality?  I have and I have to say, I don't like it.  I can't tell you how many times I've signed on to the Internet to look something up and gotten caught up in other things, forgetting all about what I originally signed on for.   That was especially true when I was using social media.  When I signed off, things started to calm down in my head and a sense of normalcy returned. 


What gallery offers art in a constantly moving display of text?  What gallery has work by hundreds or thousands of artists on display at all times?  For me personally, social media had become a mind-numbing, unwatchable blur.  That's what I was getting out of it.  (This is also my main reason for not joining "artist registry" or online gallery-type sites.  After a certain point, overload becomes a problem.  Too much of a "good" thing isn't necessarily "good.")


I don't want to send people to other sites (eBay, Facebook, et al.) to see my work.  I don't want to contribute to that "frenzy."  My work is special to me.  It's mine alone.  My feeling is that my site should stand alone and that it alone should be able to represent me as an artist on the "World Wide Web."  I want people who discover my paintings online to feel as if they have discovered something "unique," something "special."   My preference would be to offer my site visitors a "rest stop" or a sort of "oasis" on the blitz that is the Internet.  Without meaning to be crude, one feeling I often got from using "social media" to promote myself  was like "writing my name on a bathroom wall."  At best, it made me feel like a "huckster."  Facebook, Twitter, and social media in general are very popular.   The question is...are they necessary for my marketing purposes?


How Large An Audience Do I Need?


Do I need to try to build an audience of thousands? Millions?  Billions??  An artist friend on Facebook once told me..."It's a numbers game."  Is it really?  To my mind it's actually a"connection" game.  If you want people to follow your work, you have to do work that people connect with.  That's it.  But how do you do that?  The best advice I can give is to do work that you connect with yourself as an a human being.  Put yourself into it without fear of emotion straining the technical side.  Emotions are fleeting, they should be savored.  Do that in paint, or whatever medium you use, and people will respond.   


Seth Godin recently wrote a very good post about the Internet.   It got me I really want to offer my work to an "infinite" audience?   


"In the digital age, for the first time ever, most of us come face to face with the opportunity for unlimited.  No bakery can handle an infinite line, no orchestra could possibly have an infinite number of violins, no teacher in a classroom covets a classroom of infinite size...  But in the digital world, the pursuit of infinity isn't just possible, it's the norm. The question: What price are you willing to pay for that pursuit?"  Seth Godin.


From day one I've been sort of a rebel when it comes to the Internet  and my approach to using it for marketing and self promotion.   The one thing I've come to realize over the years is that I have to approach it in the way that works best for me personally regardless of what others are doing online.  What you see is what you get. 


Without Social Media?


But what about social networking?  After thinking long and hard about it, something hit me.  I realized I already have a "social network" that isn't "part and parcel" to someone else's whims... my readers. YOU are my social network.  You subscribed by YOUR choice and I thank you for it!  My opinion is, you deserve something of value in return. My time is highly valuable to me and I don't have enough of it to waste on re-tweets, #FollowFriday, games, status updates, and the "like".  :)


The Challenge Of Being Seen On The WWW


If you Google my name, you no doubt will find my website very quickly.  That's fine for those who already know or have heard of me.  But what about those who don't/haven't?  How will other art collectors find me?   When I came up with the title for this blog, "I Wish To Speak To You," I meant it in three different ways...


1. First of all, it is a blog.  That means writing.  2. Another intimation is that I wish to speak to you through my artwork.  3. But the third one is more direct.  I really wish to speak to those who are specifically looking for what I do.  This is where marketing art online can be challenging...and fun. 


My 2008 100 Paintings in 100 Days project is where I first decided to put the power of the Internet to use for marketing via, what turned out to be, a one time only "special promotion."   Eighty of those paintings sold without the use of social media at all.  I wasn't on Facebook or Twitter back then.  (I did have a Twitter account, but I hadn't started using it until after the project ended.)  That project started some "buzz," and it spread.  Word got around and before it was over I was picking up new subscribers on an almost daily basis.   It was a start.


The Secret Weapon


When it comes to marketing art on the Internet, every artist has a "secret weapon" which I would venture to say, as such,  the majority probably give little consideration.  It does sort of "hide in plain sight."   But it can be used to connect with the specific audience you want to find on the web...or more fittingly...those you want finding your art!  Your artwork is your number one weapon in the 'art of marketing' it.  The problem as I see it is that many artists are trying the "spray and pray" approach.  Facebook, Twitter and "friending" or following everyone in sight seems to be the norm.   I used this same approach until I got sick of social media.  It just interfered too much with my work, and my life in general.  So I shut it all down and left.  So now what?  How do I get people to discover my paintings without using these venues? 


Well, I proved that I could do that with the 100 paintings.  But that was just a special project, not really directed at anyone or working with anything specific.   If you're reading between the lines here, you might see where this is going.  I have specific work that I like to do and I sometimes work in series format.  Knowing that search engines like pages that are regularly updated (they still love blogs) I can put this knowledge to use with my artwork.  Searching for "Brian Kliewer" will give a list of links on the web, with my site at or near the top.  But what if my name were "Joe Smith"?   Well, in a sense it those that haven't seen my work yet and know nothing about me, it might as well be as "generic" as that (sorry, Joe).   So how do you get the needed exposure for your work if you're not widely known?  Here's a confession - up until a couple of days ago I had never heard of "Adele."  For those who don't know who she is, she's a singer.  In fact, I noticed one of her videos on YouTube has over 188 million views.  Wow!  She must be very widely known.  I read somewhere that she had the biggest selling album of 2011.  Big deal...she wasn't known to me.  


Making The Connection


When I was on Facebook, I "friended" everyone I could find who had an interest in art.  But that wasn't necessarily to my benefit  marketing-wise.   Sometimes it was but many there were other artists trying to find their audience.  Others were not interested in the particular work I do.  So I didn't (and don't) see social media as the "be all/end all" that many seem to.  (For the record...I'm not criticizing anyone who does use it and prefers to use it.  That's fine.  I just have to find my way, and social media isn't it. I did meet some excellent artists while there and made new friends, don't get me wrong.  I just needed to get away from the "time consuming monster" it had become.)


Here's  a problem with social media:  While it did broaden my exposure, it wasn't "targeted" enough for me.  My Twitter following was all over the place.  And Facebook just had too many issues.  Frankly, I didn't appreciate having the rug pulled out from under me after each major Facebook upgrade returned the default setting ... "view only those pages and friends you interact with most."   Boom!  In an instant  many people I "friended" were hidden from me and I from them.  Yes, that could be corrected.  But after a while, with all the FB changes and updates, I began to feel as if I were working for Mark Zuckerberg and company, and not myself. 


So without "social networking," how do I make that "connection"? 


As I mentioned, I sometimes like to work in "series" format.  This is a good approach to painting.  You can really learn a subject well by painting in this way.  (Does "Claude Monet" ring a bell?)  But I believe it's also a good approach to marketing art on the world wide web.  For those interested in your subject you've already made the connection and can add more paintings over time to build your audience further.   But here's what I really like about working this way as it applies to marketing on the www....  I don't have to "sell" it!  If a theme is developed well enough, search engines will send people to you!  After all, when a collector sees and buys your work in a gallery, hasn't he/she naturally gravitated to it?   Search engines can offer the same model.  This same process can and does take place on the Internet, naturally.  If things are managed properly, you can use this to your advantage.   How?  


Find Your Niche And Scratch It!


Let's go back to poor little "Joe Smith" for a moment.  What's he going to do to be noticed on the world wide web?  "Adele" has obviously benefited from a major marketing campaign, perhaps several.  People everywhere know of her.  Well, I didn't.  But "Joe" wants to paint a scene he likes using various angles, compositions and different times of day and year.  That's a built-in series right there.  But this scene is of a certain cove in Maine.  Who will ever see his paintings?  Only people who visit the gallery he shows them with?  He names his series of paintings based on the name of the place he's chosen as a subject and blogs about each painting as the series progresses.  "Joe" most likely won't be seen by the "Adele" crowd or any huge number of people like that.  But if you Google the name of that "certain cove in Maine," do you think you might find "Joe's" paintings?  My Facebook friend said it was "a numbers game."  Well, I say it's a "connection" game.


This is what I'm getting at.  You don't need a "huge" audience, just a good one... the right one.  To me, this is one of the best approaches to marketing art on the web...."niche" marketing.  It's the most "natural" I have found.   Working within a theme (series) and blogging about it provides the basis for finding the exact audience you want to connect with.  In other words, it can provide the best opportunity for putting your work in front of those who will most want to own it.  What better way could there be of being discovered online than being discovered by someone who specifically wants what you want to paint?  No more "wasted bullets" from "shooting in the dark"!  Is this approach for everyone?  I'm not saying it is.  I don't believe there is a "blanket" marketing approach for everyone, even though Facebook would like to think of itself as such and tries to present itself that way.   But this is one way of finding a specific audience, or...better yet...being found by that audience.


Just Do It!


So that's where I'm going with this.  I have a project planned to test my ideas.   If all goes well, I'll be developing it in the coming months.  If things go according to plan, I'll be able to expand my audience....without using eBay, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and the "like."   Yes, I'm challenging some "behemoths" here, and am well aware of it.  Really, though, what I'm challenging is more the idea than the sites themselves.  That said... these sites have their own Terms of Service, but then, so do I, and mine weren't being met.  I for one am sick and tired of being told what I have to do, how I have to do it,  and where I have to go to do it while putting up with incessant site changes and updates.   I can do whatever I want...isn't that what art is about?  Why do I "need" social media to promote it? Why can't I take the same kind of creative thinking I use in my work and apply it to my online marketing as well?  Why should I have to "schlep" along on what someone else's idea of "social networking" is or should be?   I don't.


Will this work?  I could fall flat on my face.  But if I do, I'll at least have some paintings to show for my efforts.


As with any marketing endeavor, this one also is.... be continued.


© 2012 Brian Kliewer


(Note:   If you have an interest in my larger, full-sized work, you can find it through my galleries or you can contact me directly for more information. )



Editor's Note:  You can view Brian's original post here.

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Related Posts:

Marketing Art On The Internet, Part 1

Topics: advice for artists | art collectors | art marketing | exposure tips | Facebook | FineArtViews | Guest Posts | sell art | selling art online | selling fine art online | social networking | Twitter 

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Bettye Rivers
Brian, this article had a strange effect on me. I felt a calmness run over me. It soothed my frayed nerves and relaxed me because when I had finished reading it I felt that I no longer have to do things like everyone else. I can .....paint..and do what I think will work for me. Thank you.

Barbara Reich
Brian - I like your approach! Did something similar on a small scale with a series (as well as specific names for paintings) and it paid off. I also like the idea of bringing interested collectors directly to me. I've known for some time that "blogging" would be in my future, guess 2012 is the year. Good luck with your project. I'm looking forward to using some of your ideas...thanks in advance!!
Barb Reich

Marsha Hamby Savage
Really enjoyed your thoughts on this about social media ... and the series stuff, too. I have started a series about waves, which I love watching and standing in at the ocean. The paintings almost paint themselves.

The social media stuff, well, I am still doing them, but try to only pick and choose when I do stuff to gather new "people" to look at my work. I do most to help a couple of the organizations I belong to, and also to bring people to my blog and web site.

I don't twitter and don't intend to do so. I don't have a smart phone, though I will be getting one soon just to keep up with a few e-mails when I am out from the computer -- business stuff because of being a strong soapbox for artists helping artists. And to be able to take credit cards!

Went to your blog and read the article again, and the comments. Good stuff and worth thinking about.

Sheila Tansey
Brian - Wow, ditto to what Betty above says...In fact I liked your reference to social media to "writing my name on a bathroom wall" LOL!! Too funny. When I read that I felt like Charlie Brown shouting "That's IT!" to Lucy!!
I've always had this uncomfortable feeling about social I'm crashing someone's party... and I realise that its MY issue entirely but for ME its affirming to realise that I can just get on with making art. I no longer feel that I'm missing out by not spending lots of time on FB. etc.. My art making, my website and blog will have my devoted attention. And I've been humming and hawing about the series thing and the 100 paintings a day thing...a commitment like that sounds like a good start for me! Thanks again.

Also, I'm new in posting to comments here...I've taken a big leap the last couple days...Just the content this time has really had me thinking and wanting to share. I think this sight will be one of the highest on my list to keep coming back to.

Sandra R Cutrer
Loved your article! I will admit, I do not read a lot of long articles- well,not every word, but I loved yours, and can hardly wait to read Part 2! Great ideas, and written for those who are trying to improve, not only their marketing, but save more time for painting,and great ideas on improving one's work- without trying to sell us a book.

Kathy Chin

Really liked your article, understand exactly where you're coming from. Agree that there should be some kind of medium ground although I think the social media can be used well...but it can be so overwhelming!

Will stay tune to see how your project develops! Thanks!

George De Chiara
Interesting, but I don't see why you can't do the series like you planed and also promote them on social media. If you can stop yourself from wasting hours on there (which is easy to do if your not careful), you can still expose your work to a lot of people that have some interest in what you do.

Good luck with your next project! I really enjoyed the 100 paintings one.

Brian Kliewer
George, you can do that...if you like social media. I don't! And I particularly didn't like realizing that I was in violation of FB's terms of service by "mass friending." Promoting business through a personal profile is a no no. Yes, there are many artists that do it. And accounts are being deleted for it without notice as well. But with 800 million users, a person could remain in violation for a long time without being spotted. But rememebr the "mind numbing unwatchable blur" comment? That's what it is to me. I really and truly don't like it.

While I was there, some complained that I posted too many youtube videos (rock music) and comical status updates. What I was doing was using my profile as sort of a "place holder" while I developed my Fan page. That way FB couldn't really say anything. But then the upgrades came...and with each one, FB became more of a waste of time for me than anything else. Mr. Zuckerberg and company turned me off to it completely.

I won't use if for marketing again.

Brian Kliewer
And I'll add this one point while I'm at it... the 2 and a half years I was on using it, I made 4 or 5 sales that I am aware of that are attributable to social media. My focus is on my site, though... and through it I've sold well over 120 paintings. These were mostly small because that's also my focus online.

This project is fir larger work and geared toward directing an audience to the gallery that will be showing the paintings. I told them I wanted to try it. So we'll see how it goes.

Social media does have its place...for those who like it. It's just not for me.

Brian Kliewer
Thank you for that, Bettye. Where's the "like" button?? :)

Barbara..Yes, isn't it great?! It does work! Or can. You just have to be selective. It only stands to reason, though, that if you're painting a particular subject, THAT is the audience you want. It's not foolproof, but I know it can work. And this way, I eliminate all the sm nonsense I don't care about.

Thank you, Marsha. Much appreciated. I wish you the best!

Sandra, I noticed that in myself when I was on social media. Long articles can be boring, but when I saw links to them on SM, I quickly bailed and wouldn't even think of reading them. SM seemed to worsen that trend in me.

And thank you, Kathy. I know some people do very well with it.

One thing about it, a year or so ago I read an article that said only about 10 percent of FB updates were seen by friends or fans. With FB "hiding" everyone from each other, that wouldn't surprise me. But even if you 'fix" that, add to it the fact that so many people mindlessly "like" pages and it gets only worse. Once you "like" a page, it too will come up in your newsfeed when it's updated.

I remember sitting and thinking to myself... "how can I follow a ripple in a stream?" And now that the stream is a river???

Donald Fox
This is an interesting post. I know several people who've had similar experiences with social media. They are of the more mature variety, so maybe there's something about us older dudes not liking changes - if it ain't broke...

Niche marketing rankles some artists who seem to think the public should buy what they paint simply because they painted it. Marketing gurus always tout niche marketing as a way to succeed. Looking forward to more.

Some of my art associates are telling me to
join some of the online social networks. I did join one, and they bug me with updates. Friends tell me that they've sold paintings that way. I
am resisting, partly because I don't need
anymore things to take up my time and, also
I have privacy concerns. I think I'll go a
more traditional route.

Barbara Reich
Niche marketing for me is almost the same as general marketing. I have never painted for anyone except myself. I find that I am attracted to certain subject matter more than others, and although I have painted a variety of subjects, I keep returning to the things that I am most passionate about in an attempt to learn more. This naturally creates a body of work - maybe even a series - that might be grouped well and marketed as a Niche. Do I restrict myself...never, nor do I jump about willy nilly. I explore all that interests me but I do find that sometimes a concentrated focus in one direction actually leads to better paintings since they tend to be (for me) thoughtful, examined, and filled with the freedom that prior knowledge can impart.
Barb Reich,

Brian Kliewer
Thanks for the "older dudes" comment, Donald. :) That thought had crossed my mind when I wrote this. But I have been into tech for a while, so it doesn't really bother me. (said while pulling out some gray hair!) LOL What really bugs me is having upgrades I don't like or want forced down my throat, and that's most of what I was feeling on FB by the time I left.

"Niche marketing" does work, or can...and I know some artists do find it distasteful. I would myself if I thought that was all I could or was forced to do. But I agree with you, Barbara.. if what I'm actually doing is something I already want to paint anyway, then why can't I use that to my advantage? That's really what I'm getting at.

Some will see this as me suggesting "painting for the market." That isn't what I'm talking about at all. In fact, the series I have planned is something I've been wanting to do for years. So what I'm really talking about is more like 'building my own market' more than anything else. And my guess is there will be an audience for these paintings. That's my hope anyway. I'll be doing them either way, so there will at least be an audience of one.

As I mentioned in one of my earlier comments on my blog, what this approach can do is to sort of duplicate online the experience of being watched while painting on location. Artists who do that often have an audience... But in the real world, a connection with only a few people who happened to be in the same area that day might take place. Putting it online can keep it going...for those that showed up long after you packed up your easel and went home.

"spray and pray" LOL! I certainly felt this way a few years back when Twitter and FB were new and I felt obliged to join. Looking at my analytics however showed they were a waste of time in terms of bringing people to my site to look at my work. Good photography, good and clear descriptions/titles and regular blogging have helped much more. SN is nice for staying in touch with people, but I too felt like a huckster to try marketing my work with it, very uncomfortable. I enjoyed this article!

Lori Woodward
Brian, this is one of the best blogs I've ever read. It's like an ebook, and it spoke to my sensibilities and heart at the same time.

I'm so relieved to hear that I can market my work without social media. Never having sold anything from Facebook or Twitter, I don't use those things yo market my work, but to link to my blog. However, I'm getting weary by thinking I need to use those things. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas

Your experiments are brilliant.

Brian Kliewer
Thank you, Andrea! I'm glad you did!

And thank you, Lori. It is kind of like an ebook. Took a long time to put it together and almost as long to read! :) Appreciate your comments.

Brian Sherwin
I worked for a social art site -- Myartspace. I was their Senior Editor for several years. Social networking sites, in general, can be very helpful for gaining exposure online. However, I have always said that one must be careful in how they spread themselves out online, if you will. An online empire can vanish over night.

The creators of Myartspace recently decided to pull the plug on the project -- which means they pulled the plug on any artist who put in hours of work building a presence on MAS. Imagine the surprise of waking up to discover that you lost all of your art contacts on a site that you had invested time in. (Which is why you should always keep a contact list in physical form -- and why having your own newsletter is likely the best route to take for staying in contact in the first place).

You can have the same thing happen with websites that remain 'alive'. Take Myspace for example -- I once had a group of 50,000 artists on there. It was extremely useful, at the time, for spurring debate and sharing ideas. I had Facebook as well when it launched -- but at that time it was restricted to college students. So I thought Myspace was the way to go.

That same group is useless today because it suffered from the mass exodus to Facebook after FB opened its doors to the general public. The irony being that Facebook is doing so many things at this time that pushed people away from Myspace. Another BIG social networking empire may be on the horizon. You just never know.

I use Facebook knowing that in the future their online empire may eventually crumble. That is why I keep a physical notebook of important contacts that I've made.

Brian Kliewer
I agree, Brian. It can disappear just like that, as you know.

Your point about Myspace is right on target, too.
I had an account there, too, and left because it was getting crazy. I had the same feelings this time around as well, when I left Facebook. It felt like Myspace all over again.

Casey Craig
Brian I too am not a big fan of FB (it is the only social media I'm involved with), but I do use it. I did a fan/business page first and then my son accidently hit "create a profile" on my page so now I also have a personal page. I market my work on my business page and use my personal page to keep up with family and friends.

I feel FB has put my work in front of people that I otherwise would not reach and many of them have signed up for my newsletter where which is my goal. It is also currently the biggest source of hits to my website. But I understand completely your dislike.

I also work in a series and when I look at my website stats I get daily hits from people searching for abstract tree paintings, longhorns, sometimes even colors I've used in my descriptions. And while these word searches are putting people on my website, I've never had anyone contact me from it or sign up for a newsletter. I'm not convinced art collectors find art this way. I think Clint did a post on this ???

I'm looking forward to reading your part 2 as I've thoroughly enjoyed part 1.


Carol Schmauder
Thank you for the article, Brian. I have tried the social media thing for my art work and am about fed up. It is too time consuming with little pay back. I found myself working on the internet more than working on my paintings. I am ready to concentrate on my art work and increase my blogging on my main site and eliminate the other internet sites.

Brian Kliewer
Craig, this is part 2. What will come next will be my project which I don't really intend to discuss online when it's underway, but just do it. As each painting is posted, I'll write about them but that's all.

I might highlight some points as it's moving forward but, I'm not even really talking about "selling" these paintings. The goal will be to put them in the best possible position on the web to be the right audience. And then, if all goes well, I'll be able to direct people to the gallery where they'll be shown.

Here's one point that might surprise you...I'm not targeting "art collectors." The hope however is that when and if these people do see these paintings, they will be interested.

Brian Kliewer
I agree, Carol. It can get absolutely crazy. Some people love it and swear by it. I was at the point of swearing at it! :) Just doesn't fit my personality.

Brian Kliewer
via! Craig, here's an interesting little sidepoint for you. I just got an email by one of my "targeted group"! I did a painting on the subject but only one...and this man just found it online and is asking about it. Blog, here I come! Blogging can do it.

Casey Craig
Sorry Brian, I knew this was part 2, I meant that I was looking forward to the follow up.

I understand, I think the key to marketing your work is making connections...not necessarily sales, that can come later. Good luck with the project!

Brian Kliewer
Thank you, Casey. Sorry for the typo on your name. I was caught between reading your comment and that email. Pretty cool stuff.

If I can get a good search engine rank on these paintings, I will share that. But it will just kind of happen, if it does at all. Not really much to talk about other than the paintings themselves. It will be interesting to see how it all comes out.

I'm thinking about going the blog route too.
It's a great feature of FASO, and I can see
where your customers may stay tuned in to see
what you're doing next, may be time worth
spent I've read a few myself, and enjoyed them. This is a good discussion, thanks Brian

Brian Kliewer
Marsha, I missed your comment about your "waves" series. If you want to use this method I've outlined for getting noticed on the web, I would have them hitting a particular beach and blog about them.

But nothing is foolproof and that includes this approach. When I say "niche" I mean it.... I wouldn't try it for a subject that's been heavily traveled. Not with the goal of getting good results on search engines anyway.

When I said "No more "wasted bullets" from "shooting in the dark"!..." I was referring to posting on social media. Why? Several reasons. First, if a person is following thousands of people on twitter your odds of being seen aren't good. And I read a report about Facebook that said only 1 in 10 posts are seen by friends or fans. With all of the page "likes" and so on, this doesn't surprise me in the least and it's only going to get worse as more businesses and people sign up.

And then there are the Facebook "tricks" as I like to call them. While I was there, many artists were using the "Networked Blogs" app. It wasn't too long before FB began to aggregate those posts. So you no longer had individual status updates but several all tied up into one. This made things "tidy" and easier to go unnoticed. But then FB would do that as well as restoring the "default setting" because they don't want you there promoting things on your own...they want people to buy their ad services.

I'm sure I could have been very successful on FB if I'd stayed. I stopped sending friend requests about six months before I left. But I kept getting them left and right. Many people commented on my sense of humor and it was on display most of the time. But I reached the point of determining that it was not for me. You just have to decide what's really important in your life and I needed to cut back on my web time. And Facebook made that easier for me to do with all the upgrades/updates that I couldn't I left.

Marsha Hamby Savage
Thanks Brian, no problem on missing that little part of the sentence about my waves series. So, I do understand, I think. We need to really think about who to target with the "niche" we are working on. I probably need to post on my blog more often about the series, and I need to send newsletters. Trying to get up to speed on a new e-mail company for my newsletter...I hate the learning curve with something new and the set up time. But, as you mention, I need to substitute that for my social media time! :)

Thanks for the post about the series. It made me re-read your article and think more about what I need to be doing!

Brian Kliewer
Well more or less, Marsha...yes. I'm using marketing lingo here because that's what it is. But Barbara Reich's comments put it in a more "palatable" sense (bad pun, sorry.)

I'm really targeting a subject. But I do want to get the most bang for my online buck that I can. So when I work this way, I try for a subject that I think might bring a good audience with it, and that will give me something to blog about, besides just the paintings. I've wanted to do this series anyway, so I will. (I've actually started it.) But this one seems like it could do very well on a blog. As soon as I'm ready, I'll start blogging about it and then we'll see...If I play it right, these people will find my website.

I'm very selective when working this way. It has to be something I love and really want to do anyway, or else it won't work. My disgust would show through if it wasn't a subject of my choosing or one that I didn't feel connected with.

And I agree about the newsletter. I was neglecting mine for social media. Then it hit me.

Go for it, Jane! :)

deborah younglao
It's so good to know that others are as fed up with social media as I am! I started twitter, linkedin and a FB fan page a couple of years ago because some marketing gurus said all artists 'needed' to, but it's such a time-sucker that I don't do it well so will probably never get the potential benefits. I've been wanting to leave the whole SM thing but have been afraid to (again, because I feel i 'need' to be on these sites). Your article has given me good food for thought and maybe the courage I'll need to 'just say no'!

Brian Kliewer
Thank you, Deborah. It's a growing number. The SM drumbeat is building resentment. There are alternatives to it. There are ALWAYS alternatives. It's just up to each of us to figure out what works best on a personal level. And for me, I know this approach can work. It already has. Will it work with this specific series of paintings is the question.

Hang in there!

I never did get around to Facebook, and it sounds like it may be passing its peak. I guess I just like a simpler existence, and I was wary of social media just making life more complicated and stressful.

Brian Sherwin
And everyone is on a Google kick. I tried it out... and honestly -- there is not much 'conversation' to be found there. I know some tech heads predict that Google will be an important tool for spreading links (and gaining exposure for your website) simply because it is Google and they have hinted that it will play a role in site ranking -- still, I'm left thinking "what is all the fuss about?".

People often mentioning establishing an online tribe -- I do think it is important to actually keep record of contact information instead of relying on the social site to do all the work for you. As mentioned... a social network can vanish without warning OR simply become obsolete compared to other services. Keep a hard copy of the contacts you have made that you wish to grow upon.

Marsha Hamby Savage
Thanks Brian. Your last comment has spurred me to go get the contact information. Good advice. And I too like Barbara Reich's comments. I only paint what appeals to me and what makes me want to paint it. Then I expand on that. I believe that is the only way to work as an artist. Then go do something about marketing that work. Find the people that also feel good about it and want it.

Teresa Tromp

This is a most helpful post.
I've tried social network sites, and do not like them.
Our best bet is to utilize our own websites.
I've come very close to doing what you are suggesting, but never made it over the hill.
Now, I get it, and I will give it a try.

Thank you

I too weary of the Social Network stuff...and I'm only on Facebook. I'm sick of it. It's like trying to "keep up with Jones'". I have sold several paintings through FB. but wading through peoples favorite salad dressing and local nightclub adventures, is increasingly tiring.

I think maintaining contact with buyers trumps all. But I'm just learning.

BTW whats the name of that cove in Maine that Joe Smith painted...I want to Google it. ;)

Brian Kliewer
Thank you, Teresa and Parish.

Social media works for some. I just tired of it, too.

Regarding Casey's earlier comment, "I'm not convinced art collectors find art this way." I didn't really address this as I could have. I sort of discussed some of itin one comment but here are a couple of other thoughts...

Using this approach, who can I "connect" with? Let's say that "certain cove in Maine" was real (currently "under construction," Parish). Establishing a presence for it of my own online I can now be found by people who might have camped there, those who want to camp there, people who lived in the area, or people who get married there or want entire audience. I'm only limited by my own limitations.

As I mentioned before in one of my earlier comments, I might connect with people who were there watching me the day I was painting on location, but the web changes the whole dynamic...or has the potential to. It's just up to me to figure out how to connect with my audience. This is one way of doing it.

Brian Kliewer
Parish, I forgot to wink. Sorry. ;)

Brian Sherwin
You have to make those connections online. So many artists think that they can just upload there artwork and the job is done. The job is only starting at that point. If you are going to use the Internet to market your art you must do what you can to build on that presence.

For example, I know artists who do well at specific art fairs each year -- yet if you go to their website or blog you won't find the art fair mentioned. They have not written about the experiences they have had at the fair and so on.

If a specific art fair has been a good way for you to unload some artwork you might want to write about the fair so that perhaps you will show up on searches for the fair name. (Obviously that task could be very difficult depending on how 'famous' the art fair is -- but it is worth a shot. On the other hand, if it is a local fair that is not really known outside of the community you may end up ranking high in searches of the fair name relatively easy.)

Another thought -- make friends with art bloggers (as in the type who write about art news and so on)... I think articles about your art look more impressive when people are searching your name compared to just art community profile listing after art community profile listing.

True, you might not be able to get the big art mag bloggers to write about you -- but there are many independent art bloggers that have a large following online. It doesn't matter if the writer is known by the larger art world per se... if you can tap into his or her readership... do it.

Brian Kliewer
Agree again, Brian. It's a "process." I think too many artists are looking for a "magic bullet" and that doesn't exist. I wrote an entire post once on how to comment on blogs and use them effectively to build a following.

It's been suggested that this approach I've outlined here can't really work. Well, I have a larger following thanks to it...I have collectors on my waiting list now because of this approach. So I know it can work.

One artist friend of mine who is very hard working and posted religiously on social media wasn't getting nearly the results he should have. "Spray and pray" isn't as effective as "targeted." And what I'm saying is that I want to harness what I already do for use on the Internet and get better results...and that is possible.

Charles Kaufman
Isn't a blog social media?
There is really not much difference between a blog and a Facebook "Like" page. Except I prefer the Facebook "Like" page. (I have both blogs and Facebook - dropped blogs.)
My Facebook "Like" page:

You mention your experiences with "Friends" on Facebook. I think perhaps you were using the wrong Facebook for your art business. Set up a Facebook "like" page. Works fine.

Twitter - I do it, but just for getting my name out there. And I use a scheduling service so that I spend a half-hour setting up most of my PR tweets for the next week or so. Waste less time that way.
But as far as getting any business, Twitter is bordering between completely and totally worthless. (Most of one's Twitter followers are just other artists trying to sell their art.)
Do not do Google - seems another worthless endeavor of artists following artists. Same with Linkedin (I have an account there. Worthless. Artists talking to more artists.)

My best success on the internet is my website.

Brian Kliewer
Charles, I had a "like" page. When I closed my FB account, I had 300 fans. I simply have no interest in these "services" as I mentioned. I can do better without them.

And, yes, my blog and newsletter are SM outlets. That's what the post says. ? That's the point I'm making.

But I agree with you about the artists "patting each other on the back" syndrome. Much of it is just that. If that's what a person wants that's fine. I'm not interested in it.

Brian Kliewer
My last comment got shortened somehow...anyway...

When I first started my page, the first thing I noticed were all kinds of page owners balking at FB ditching FBML (Facebook Markup Language.)

Then they change posting options, with only the "most popular" posts being highlighted. What about "time sensitive" posts? Those got buried. You can't play around with business pages that way...but they sure did! They only went back to the old format once they heard enough complaints.

Nope,Facebook is not for me and I haven't even discussed the security issues they have. I really don't appreciate the thought of being "followed" when I log-out and having my web movements sent back to FB when I'm not even signed in! But that's another issue. Now the recent FB "worm" is in the news.

I can do better without it.

Brian Kliewer
Again....something wrong here. It's telling me I have javascript turned off, but I don't. Anyone else seeing that? more point to be clear. I don't need "social media" as social media is predominantly known, ie, Facebook and Twitter. My blog does that well enough. This is what I meant by...

"I realized I already have a "social network" that isn't "part and parcel" to someone else's whims... my readers. YOU are my social network."

Anyway, if you like it, Charles, that's fine. I don't.

Charles Kaufman
Congratulations on all your success! You seem to have selling via the internet figured out.

I looked a bit through your blog. I see that you use it to sell your art via auctions.
What is the average price that you get for one of your paintings via the auctions on your blog? The 8x6" size?

Social networking can sure be a time stealer and it is very questionable on the return for all the effort. I suspect more and more artists will slowly come around to the same conclusions as you.

Brian Kliewer
Thank you, Charles. I've only tested the idea so far, but I think it will work and plan to do it again soon. I was averaging above what I would take if they sold through a gallery.

Ronald Gillis
I hear you,Brian.I just cut most of my ties to Linkedin because it was becoming a mutual admiration society ,people were selling their advice,products to each other,people were endlessly chatting about what they did,how good they were,etc,etc.Add to this,that frenzy of attempted,broad base exposure and you have that "whining buzz"that you mention.
I know its an addiction and I know I will make it.
Is there a Social Media Anonymous ?

Brian Kliewer
I don't know, Ronald but I always thought SM (SandM) stood for something else anyway. :)

Bobbi Baltzer-Jacobo
As an Artist who sometimes paints streetscenes aka: "cityscapes", if I happen to use a business in there, which way does that go? If a recognizable name, lets say "Coca Cola" appears in a sign ( in the painting ) and is also somewhere in the title of the painting "Coca Cola Sign Reflections on a Rainy Night" does that take it to a site of people looking for Coca Cola? What if I do such a series? Is it a "name-game" thing? I think that I understand what you are saying...but I am still alittle fuzzy around the edges on this one!-Bobbi Baltzer-Jacobo

Bobbi Baltzer-Jacobo
'By the Way' I really liked your comments and suggestions on this one. I have wondered about the wisdom and the successes of the social-media for Artists, in selling their work, or hoping to, through that/those venues. Thank you so much for that advice!--Bobbi Baltzer-Jacobo

Brian Kliewer

I don't think you can be that "generic" with it. I say generic because Coca Cola is everywhere, heavily advertised and all over the web. What I'm saying is if you have a place that you like specifically, or a subject...go for it. But I wouldn't try it for something like the Eiffel Tower, for example. If I wanted to do a series on it I certainly would, but not with the goal of placing well in search engines. In your case, maybe a particular restaurant and street corner? I don't know but that might work.

The point is, if you can place well on a particular term, search engines will direct people searching on that term to your site, or blog. That's the idea. A regularly updated blog with multiple pages on a particular theme is the goal. Fresh content is what you want on a theme or subject that isn't all over the web.

Someone mentioned to me that they liked Monhegan Island very much. If I were going to try to place on that subject, I'd probably try a series based on a particular part of the island. Another subject might be Maine Lighthouses....if I tried that, I'd probably do a series based on a specific lighthouse and so on. But here you are getting into a potentially heavily trafficked area with many, many web pages on the subject. Not good for this approach. This is why I would tailor it to a specific lighthouse.

This approach isn't foolproof. However, when it does work (and it can) to me it's so much better than SM. No "pushing" just a natural connection on the web.

This is only one approach to using the web. There are many others. I've had success with this one, though. That's why I wrote the article.

I wish you the best!

Brian Kliewer

I got thinking about my response and that I could have been clearer. Yes, it is about "names." If you do use this approach, I would title at least some of the paintings with the location name and each blog post would get the location named in the headline. I'd also "tag" each post accordingly.

Does it really work? I can give the perfect example showing how well blogging can work. On my "about" page you'll see a painting of some sheep. A woman found that painting in an image search on the web. The painting is of "Mosquito Island", but the painting itself wasn't named after it. However, I wrote a blog about the painting describing the island and how I came discover it. I had never met nor heard of this woman before but she lived on that island in her younger years. Without that post, she never would have seen my site.

"Search" is an ever evolving thing and maybe someday soon blogging won't give this kind of benefit. But for the time being at least, it's still relevant.

Jana Botkin
Brian, this is most reassuring. I thought I was the only Facebook resister left in the art world. I've toyed with eBay, LinkedIn, Etsy, and Google . What a waste of time! It all comes down to connections, relationships and who I know. As people get to know me and my work, as I get to know them and enjoy their friendship, they recommend me to others. I've said for years, "It's all my friends and relatives who keep me going". So, I keep making new friends, real friends, not that 1/4" deep and 4 miles wide virtual type that Social Media seems to be made of.

Jennifer Ressmann
Thank You Brian! Great article - thanks for taking the time to write the series - this perspective isn't often discussed. You are my people. And, your work is lovely, too. Looking forward to following on your blog.

- Jennifer

Brian Kliewer
Thank you, Jennifer, Jana.

I still think it's about integrity...and will always be. You have to work with what's necessary and that's number one in my book.

It's true that a blog is the entire hub of social media. But I would so love it if I could change your minds about social media as a whole. Throughout the ages, when new technology has come along, marketers have embraced it and made use of it - newspapers, telephones, the radio, TV, fax machines, the internet, mobile phones ... and social media is no different. It's just another way of marketing. It probably started with town criers or before.

Who cares if it disappears in a few years? Town criers did. The only person I know who uses a fax these days is my 87 year old dad. Things come and go.

I was thinking about all the comments here and realized that ALL (literally) our artwork success to date has been due to social media. And for those who say that it isn't worth the time, I can promise you that we have sold fourteen or fifteen artworks in the last four weeks by using social media for less than thirty minutes a day. (And no, I'm not selling one of those 'make a fortune out of social media' books!) Setting it up takes a little time but once that's done, it's quick and easy, especially if you have a blog.

Oh, and for the 'older dudes' Andy and I are in our fifties, it's not just for young whiz kids. I do wish you'd all give it another try!

Brian Kliewer
Interesting that you should comment here and now, Jackie, considering that I just announced on my blog that I'm back to using Twitter.

The reason I am is due specifically to Google . I won't touch Facebook again for a whole multitude of reasons, and Google is much too much like it...whether it's a "ghost town" or not.

But as I have mentioned here, I've sold over 120 paintings on the web without using "social media," twitter and Facebook. I did most of that through my blog and newsletter alone.

But if Google is going to start strong arming people to "upgrade" to just to give a thumb's on a Youtube video, then you know where things are going. And SEO experts everywhere are saying sign up for Google or else. Well, for me, "or else" is twitter and twitter alone. I'm not about to have 7 or 8 accounts all over the web like I see so many other artists doing. Not a chance.

Now here's an interesting marketing concept...

How about a "Leaving the Internet" collection of paintings where the artist adds to it one by one until a certain number of paintings is reached and then, signs off from the web for good? Don't think I haven't considered it because I obviously have. With Google stealing passwords and emails via wifi thanks to their "Street view" campaign, it's getting close to reaching that point.

No...I don't like the way things are going on the web...not one bit. It used to be spammers and phishers we had to worry about. Whatever happened to the anti trust laws? No, I'm not leaving yet...not yet.

Brian Kliewer
Some of the Google references were supposed to read as "Google plus", but evidently a plus sign doesn't work here.

Hi Brian,

I don't think anyone likes the way things are going on the web. This morning I was trying to explain to my dad how, if i go to Amazon for example, I see 'Welcome back Jackie. Here are some books that might interest you' and they usually do, because it's based on my buying history.

And that if I search Google for 'pizza restaurant' I'd get results for restaurants in Fort Lauderdale whereas if he did, he'd get results local to him in Yorkshire. He said, rightly, that it's all a bit 'Big Brother'.

But my philosophy is that someone out there is going to be writing about you, if they haven't already. And by having a strong internet presence due to blogs, the dreaded Facebook (which I hate, but use), LinkedIn, Pinterest etc., it means that I control, as much as possible, what people find about me on the internet. By using social media, I am protecting my internet reputation.

Unfortunately, I share a name with one of Michael Jackson's brothers! So internet presence is difficult but by adding the modifier of where I live, the results in Google are 80 percent controlled by me.

Google is a strange one as it really is a ghost town but that being said, if I add a blog post to one of my Google accounts, it's in Google's search database within minutes - something I find valuable. Every time I write a blog post I add it to Twitter, Facebook and Google definitely and other social media sometimes and see hits coming in immediately.

As we are new to art marketing and have no gallery representation as yet, and a zero promotion budget, social media is the only way for us to go. But when we do get into galleries, we'll still use social media to promote them in addition. That will be a win-win.

I had to write my first message above because for established artists who have a customer base already, social media can only improve things, with the codicil that people should look after their personal reputation online and not play daft games on Facebook! I don't mind showing the 'real me' on social media, warts and all but I know that other people are more private.

As for 'SEO experts' I was one for many years and the profession of SEO is dead. Search engines and social media change every day and unless people are very diligent, it's hard to keep up with. But with a good blogging routine, enhanced by a social media system to enhance it, results can be remarkable, as you have shown.

Brian Kliewer
Yep, remarkable...

Most of these sold without any involvement in social media (Twitter FB) on my part and I ranked number one on Google for years. So you can see where this post came from.

But Google has "jumped the shark," in my opinion as well. Now they're penalizing sites for being good at SEO? SPAM yes, but not quality. They are in effect admitting that they have lost it.

So I am backtracking. I admit it. That's what my next post was supposed to be about. If they had any sense they would have just focused on what they do best, but no... Google Buzz, Google Wave, and a whole host of other flops and now Google plus...which they are forced to strong arm people into using. I've had so much Google that I need to gargle!

Web search isn't dead, anyway, but trying to work with Google is. One of my most ardent Belted Galloway fans found me through Bing.

As for your search results, I don't sign in when I do a search...and..I sign onto the web via proxy. Google lists me as being somewhere between Chicago and Boston. Neither of which is true. Maybe it's time THEY gargled as well.

That's what I like to see, a page full of red dots. Same thing here Brian, regarding the plus sign. It makes my post more than a little confusing!

Just to clarify, when I said that SEO is dead, I meant as a profession. A lot of people made a lot of money (often ripping people off) in the days when we had less control over the web. I don't mean that search itself is dead. But Google is changing its algorithms every day. In the old days it was easy to cheat Google but not now. What matters now is content - plenty of it and preferably updated daily.

This is obviously best for the search engine's customers - us. If I search for a specific terms, that's what I want to see. If I don't I go elsewhere. I actually want Google to know where I am. I don't want it to tell me about pizza restaurants in London. We are all obliged to be pretty transparent these days, aren't we?

Brian Kliewer
Sorry if I've seemed rude, Jackie, but this has been weighing on my mind for a while. A gnashing of teeth has been taking place.

One more comment before I leave...

The reason I started my new Twitter account was to keep an eye on social media. I signed up for Pinterest just to see what the fuss was about, and I did it through Twitter. AND...I found my things there. So I agree with you about social media on that score.

I still fail to see the value to me in Cold Brew Labs thinking they can do whatever they want with my "pimped" images, however. And that's exactly what they're doing. They have in effect hired prostitutes to work for them...saying, if you get sued, it's your ass, not ours:

But the web is getting out of control. Period. And it's only going to get worse. It's becoming a meat grinder. That's what I was getting at in this post. It's getting stupid!

As for G, I know how to do very technical Google searches. Many don't. So being followed around by "big brother" might work better for them. I don't want it. Not interested. I'm sure the government likes it, though!

And you bring up another point I was going to make in my next post...content. Plenty of it...updated daily! They think we're machines. Nope. Can you hear the meat grinding?

To one of your earlier comments...You seem to be suggesting that I was "established." I wasn't when I started selling those paintings. Locally, maybe, but not on the web. My email list was very small. Blogging built it. But as it is, I mostly sell only small paintings through my site. The larger things are meant for the galleries. We'll see how long that continues.

Anyway, I've had enough. I'll just blog, tweet, gargle and spit (AKA "say to hell with Google") from here on out.

Hi Brian,

I didn't think you were being rude at all. I have had a lot of success with social media and I guess I'm a bit over-evangelical. You are using it to your advantage, which is great. I was really aiming my comments at others who were saying that they'd given up on it completely.

It's my belief that properly used, it can be a great benefit and I was urging people to have another try. I know that for people who don't understand it, it can be overwhelming and, as I have had so much valuable advice from the people here, I would love to 'give back' if anyone had any questions.

Regarding 'established', everyone here is more established than me. Andy and I gave up our jobs earlier this year to devote ourselves full time to art - and it's only May!

By the way, I love the photograph of the 'supermoon' that you posted on Twitter earlier this evening.

Brian Kliewer
Well, you can follow me there then. :)

My biggest gripe about twitter right along has been the 140 character limit. That just gets stupid after a while, but I can live with it.

What I can do without are all these "gurus" who follow thousands upon thousands of people there and then have the nerve to call themselves "gurus." Anyone who follows 40K, 50K, 60K plus people isn't a guru! Gurus are followed by thousands...they DON'T FOLLOW thousands!

So here's atwitter tip..

I'm currently following a lot of Maine organizations...just to get a look at their follower lists. Then I go and personally select the best looking Tweeps to follow myself...the most active there with RT's and such. That should pay off, eventually.

But this is also one reason my current follower count is low...because I'm not following many artists. I don't really want a "stream" full of paintings that are available on Etsy! :P

C Kaufman
The reason Gurus follow thousands and are followed by thousands is because of restrictions Twitter sets up.
If one's follow/follower ratio is not similar in size one cannot get more followers.
If you find someone who is following very few, but has a lot of followers it is because they played the twitter follow/follower ratio game to get a lot of followers, then deleted most that they were following. (But now they can't add more followers.)
If you do not get more followers, sooner or later you will notice that Twitter won't let you follow any more. Twitter even puts a 1,000 follow limit per day.

Brian Kliewer
Thanks for your comment, Charles, but I'm an old twitter pro, I know all about it.

In fact, when they first developed their RT button, there was a flaw in it, which I reported on to my followers. Anyone who used it with a locked account was putting themselves at risk. Some I was following with locked accounts had them locked because they were trying to avoid stalkers...old boyfriends, ex husbands, I tweeted on the subject.

Using that button opened a hole that could allow ANYONE to see their tweets. To test my theory, I unfallowed friend with a locked account and asked her to block me. So not only could I not follow her tweets, I couldn't even ask that she accept me as a follower. That's what blocking does in addition to not allowing tweets to be read.

Well, I got on her page through one of those retweets and not only that, I subscribed to her RSS feed! The significance of that? I was able to follow her tweets from her locked account which I had been blocked from WITHOUT even being logged into to Twitter! Her tweets kept showing up in my Live Bookmakrs feed with no limits at whatsoever.

While I was there, I was also following a web security expert and he commended me for reporting the issue to my friends. He saw it too and started tweeting on the subject as well.

All the "locked" aspect was doing was "closing the front door" if you will, while the security flaw with the RT button was opening a back door or side windows.

Following thousands is a "spray and pray approach. I will follow selected tweeps, thank you.

C Kaufman
On Twitter, it's not who you follow, it is who follows you.
And you can not decide who follows you.

You currently have 29 followers. When you Tweet that is all your Tweets go to - 29 followers.
And the odds that any of the 29 even read your Tweets (among the thousands of other Tweets people receive daily) is slim and none.
(My question would be why aren't all the 120 that you follow following you?)

Not sure what your goal is in using Twitter. If you are just going after Maine-type people, why not just find them all on Twitter (and elsewhere), do a bit more digging for emails and send a regular newsletter to them.

Trying to sell via Twitter? Forget it.
According to this research Facebook and Pinterest make most social media driven purchases.
Twitter = 0 percent.

Brian Kliewer
Well, I have 30. I've been using it for only a few days. But, Charles, come on... I'm not an idiot. Did you see my latest tweet? It's a photo I took this morning and it's embedded with
@KliewerArt with appropriate hashtags, etc.

And in case you haven't noticed, I'm not trying to "sell" on twitter. I don't do that. I didn't before. I'm, looking for newsletter subscribers BEYOND JUST ARTISTS! I haven't even announced my Twitter account to MY newsletter list yet!

And to answer your question, it's already been answered above... I'm currently following a lot of Maine organizations more than just people so that I can get a look at THEIR followers. That is in one of my responses to Jackie. The first one YOU responded to. Try reading something why don't you? Many of the organizations I'm following are news feeds. I wouldn't expect them to follow back.

You can try to antagonize me all you want. I don't care. There is a method to the madness. If you fail to see it, that's your problem, not mine. End of discussion.

C Kaufman
Brian, I have posted on this thread before. Check about 4 months ago.
I do read what others write - why do you think I responded to you?

I am not trying to antagonize you, but from what I have been reading you write some things and make judgements that don't jive with my experiences with Twitter.

(Over 2,000 Followers here...and I am not a "guru".)

Good luck with your efforts on Twitter.

Brian Kliewer
OK, Charles. Fair enough... and I did read your comments from 4 months back.

When I was on Twitter before I had a lot of followers, then, too...but mostly other artists as you pointed out. That's because I wasn't targeting...just following willy-nilly. This time I am targeting.

My "guru" comment was aimed specifically at those who "follow" myriads....I mentioned 40K and up. No one is "following" 40 thousand people! That's a sham. That was my point. I have no intention of trying any of that. If Twitter is about "conversation," well you can't have a real conversation with 40,000 people! I intend to be conversational.

As for things I've said about Facebook... it's just too sleazy for me. That's the way Zuckerberg does things. But now Google appears to be doing much of the same things.

So, I'll use Twitter and my blog and leave it at that.

Just a comment about the 'numbers game' and followers: Brian, as you said in your original article, it isn't a numbers game at all. But people get obsessed by numbers.

Ask someone who has a traditional email list "Would you rather have 1000 people on your email list who deleted your emails or 100 who read them?" The answer is obvious. It's the same with social media and just about everything else in life - quality counts not quantity.

One point though - one one account, I always follow back genuine people. This is because I often run contests. For example, a local cinema will give me six tickets to a film premier to give away in a Twitter contest. I then direct-message the winners asking for their real names and email addresses. They DM them back. If we weren't following each other, we wouldn't be able to have a private DM conversations.

Cute squirrel by the way :)

Brian Kliewer
Yep, it's about "quality." That's the point I made in the post and that's the point I'm making in my comments. I couldn't agree more, Jackie.

As to your comment on following back "genuine" people. I agree. But genuine doesn't always mean a "live" human. There are people on Twitter I would never follow back. But I do and will usually return a follow. I have a few to return yet. But even then...I will check to see how they use twitter first. If it's just links and now replies forget it. They might as well not even be there at all.

On email: I've read before that a good email open rate is in the 25-30 percent range. Mine has consistently been hovering around 54 percent and I can't measure text only subscribers. So it has to be higher than that.

But the real measure is results...

A friend tried the auction on blog approach that I've been using, sending email alerts, etc., and he didn't get much of a response at all. Nothing sold. Whenever I do put a painting up for bid, I send an alert to my list, too.

So far, the only painting I put up that didn't sell is one I did last year. Everything else has moved.

My focus right along has been about building and maintaining a quality email list. In fact, I might even do things that others would object to or think wrong.

For example:

I recently ran a "Fleet Week" promotion and sent an email each night for a week. All the paintings sold...and I lost about ten subscribers. But that was also part of the plan. Those who aren't going to respond or do anything I consider "dead weight." My email list has a subscriber limit, so I want as many "quality" subscribers as I can get...even if it means taking measures to weed out those who really are not interested.

Alyson Stanfield recently wrote about this. I, like her, used to get upset when I saw unsubscribes. It used to bother me quite a bit. Now I see it as healthy email list maintenance. If they really don't want my messages, I don't want them on my list. Simple.

But this is the same with my blog. I try to respond to comments whenever they come in. For me, it's all about interaction. This is one reason why I don't want huge numbers on social media. I'm not looking for that in the least. I'm looking for MY audience.

Brian Kliewer
I want to clarify one thing...

When I say "dead weight" I mean just that. They don't have to respond. They just have to be willing to receive. Anyone who doesn't respond can always share. It's those who really don't want my messages in the first place that I refer to as "dead weight."

If they're not interested, then I'm not interested in having them on my list.

Agreed Brian, the ultimate test is that of results. What works for one person may not work for another. That could be because of their style of art, the communication preferences of their collectors, 'tradition' or any number of other factors.

For example, despite my ranting about - and enthusiasm for - social media I am a firm believer in printed newsletters. Yes, printed and mailed by the regular post office. Old-fashioned!

But people love to get REAL mail these days. I make a point of hand writing the address on the envelope so the newsletters look as though they are a personal letter. We print the newsletters on our cheapo Office Depot printer.

It costs more than emailed newsletters, that's for sure, (paper, envelopes, postage) but it seems a lot more personal (and professional) than an email.

Sorry! This topic is about internet marketing ... I know I go off on tangents!

Brian Kliewer
Well, it's interesting to me about the other artist I mentioned. I think he's quite good, actually, and he paints and posts all the time...on Facebook!

But he complained to me about his lack of sales. That's why he tried the blog auction idea. Didn't work for him at all...and I think I know why. Just like what he was doing on FB, he was "selling" to other artists. He needs a better email list. Or maybe he should just join "Tagged"?

And, yes...I'm being sarcastic. ;)

Brian Kliewer
Sorry, didn't mean to ignore your snail mail topic, but I was bringing it back to the web. :)

Yes, I've done that too.

Brian Kliewer
I have to add one more comment...

It's true that I do have sort of a "guerrilla" mentality when it comes to marketing on the web. And it's thanks to this that I got mentioned on national radio, not once but twice. Both times it included my name, a description of my work and my website. This was broadcast on over 250 radio stations throughout the US. I'll take that.

My belief is, if you just do what everyone else is doing it's easy to get lost in the crowd. You have to stand out some way. I'll do it my way.

Brian Kliewer
via info didn't load properly on that last no icon of me. Maybe that's not such a bad thing, though. :)

Brian Kliewer
Hey Charles, you can follow me on Twitter if you want. Jackie did. I'll even RT your tweets. ;)

I did, and I'm glad :) You see Brian, I now feel as though I 'know' you. Much more so that via our conversations here. I even know what your favorite film is! That might sound unimportant but your followers are following you because they are interested in your art. It only takes one of them to think "I love Maine too and this guy's artwork is terrific. Oh look, he takes great photographs and wow, our tastes in films are the same".

If he's in the market for artwork, who is he going to buy from? You or me? He might not be ready to buy artwork yet, maybe he's waiting for a tax return or needs to buy a painting later in the year for his parents' wedding anniversary or when he's moved to his new house.

But it's those personal connections that count. He'll remember you. Being evangelical again for a moment, if ten minutes a day on social media sold one painting a year it would be worth it. (IMO). And I also think that most people use social media when they're taking a break, or eating a sandwich for lunch or during an ad break in a TV show they're watching so it needn't cut into creative time.

Remember too that Twitter is searchable and archived.

Brian Kliewer
I know all of that, Jackie. That's why I said I intend to be conversational. But you cannot carry on a real conversation with 40K people. Period. That's just asinine. But if Google is going to pull FB sh-t, I'll go to twitter.

I had two twitter accounts in the past. One for my work, and a private one for fun. I got so many followers on the "fun" account you wouldn't believe it. They just kept following.

But this account is going to be tied to the "NUMBER ONE TOOL for artists on the web" blog. And I do intend to have fun with it...

Did you check out the Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy video I tweeted yet? Do it! I split my gut laughing every time I see it!

Brian Kliewer
I just tweeted this from Mashable:

"Your Brain Can't Handle Your Facebook Friends" makes my point.

C Kaufman
I agree with Jackie, there are lots of different ways of promoting.
What works for one artist, does not work at all for another.
Every artist's production, location, pricing, method of selling, etc., are different and while the email-newsletter-blog-auction combo works for one artist - it would not work for most.

Just like the art they create, every artist can only do it their way - there is no one sales or marketing trick that works for all.

Regarding auctions to sell art.
Brian they seem to be a favorite for you, but for me, I think auctions are not a good way to sell art. To me there are lots of problems with it; such as, art patrons never know what is the correct worth of an artist's work.
They buy it for "$X" via the art auction, visit a gallery and see a similar painting at a higher price, "$X ". They tell the gallery owner they just bought a similar painting from the artist for a fraction of the price in the gallery.
The gallery is not happy.
(Or vice-versa, the person paid more at the auction, than what the gallery is selling it for.)
Not good.
With an auction, everyone is looking for bargain. Should the main selling point of the art be that it is sold as a "bargain"?

But if an artist likes auctions, and it works for them, whether it be their own or via eBay, then go for it!

And while the email newsletter is a nice tool to have in the art selling tool kit, it is just another sales tool.
Having an art auction via a blog or emailing once a month or every few months selling 2 or 3 paintings starting at a modest price are nice sales, but it would not pay the rent for most artists. Correct me if I am wrong, I haven't visited your blog in a while, but wasn't your last blog auction in March?

Brian, could your email/blog auction technique sell more art, more often, and at a higher price?
Say, 10 paintings a week, every week, at least 2-3 times the price you are currently getting? (I couldn't tell what the auction art sold for, you don't post the prices.)

Again, like all art is different, all artists are different and each has to find her or his own way to sell their art...there is no best way that fits all.

Brian Kliewer
All good points, Charles, but this post wasn't about using "auctions." That's just part of what I do. That's all.

This post was about "niche" marketing. Through that method I've been able to build an audience for my Belted Galloway paintings...which I don't put up for auction. The auctions are solely meant as an introduction to my work. Nothing more. Can't remember if it's been mentioned here or not (I'm not going to read down through my comments to see) but I've limited these to paintings 6"x8" and smaller, which are not shown with galleries...unless by special request. I have done that on occasion, but it's rare. I also no longer show Belted Galloway paintings with galleries. If people want them, they have to come to me and buy at full retail.

The "niche marketing" idea is well known and time tested, even if not in "art." I don't really care about that aspect. This is the web and that's the point. Building an audience through search - niche has been the best way to go. Seth Godin recently wrote on the subject.

In fact, if you read Godin's post, take a look at point 6 and then remember what I said about my Belted Galloway paintings.

And as for what works for one doesn't work for someone else....of course! I wrote this piece specifically with those in mind who view social networking as I do. That's the point! Whether that number is small or not, it's a growing one. There are some of us who can't bear it.

I'll take it further...Facebook threw me into depression. I'll never go back to it. In fact, I just deleted my twitter account because I started having some of those same feelings. The "powers that be" might say social networking or else, but if it brings out the worst in me, then it's quite obviously NOT for me.

Online, it will be my blog and newsletter or nothing. Indeed, "There is no best way that fits all"...that applies to social networking as well and that really is the point I was trying to make.

C Kaufman
Your comment:
"I just deleted my twitter account..."
That was sure quick. Didn't you early tell us going back on Twitter was to be your new way to get more subscribers to your newsletter and help your newsletter/blog auction sales?
Why, after about a week, did it become so bad that you deleted your account? Did your plan not pan out like you thought it would?

I'm interested in the 'niche marketing' aspect, if anyone has more to offer on that subject?

Although in theory, many people are potential buyers of art, we are aiming towards a particular niche. This wasn't really planned out, it was an idea that just developed so I'd be interested to hear the views of other people.

Ronald C. Gillis
What you are feeling,Brian,is the ache of the lie.We deal with the truth,much as a writer or musician does.Little truths about a scene,a face or a body.Jotting down what pictorial truths we are privileged to witness.I awakened awhile back and realized I was spending more time on this damn machine then in my studio.I am surrounded by people mumbling into their phones while we are talking,Linkedin groups that endlessly introduce themselves and want me to "like"them or lookie at my work,Facebook time that means nothing.The last thing I want is to show off my work to 1)artists who really want confirmation of their own work and don't have any money anyway,2)friends,who mean well but are just boosting my ego when I need critique and everyone with no intention of buying my work

The ache of truth,Brian.We are among the keepers of the truth in a culture that is crumbling under the weight of technology that speaks lies and political correctness and everyone is equal and art is anything and everyone can do it and all is good.
It is a terrible shock when you wake up,followed by great joy when you are back on track.

Brian Kliewer
Well, that was the idea Charles...until my teeth started grinding again, and my temper started to flaring around the house... again. My brother saw it and so did I. It was Facebook "part deuxe" all over again and I simply won't have it.

When I deleted, I felt a great weight lift off my shoulders. I will never do any of this stuff again. Period. Whether you like how I address the web or not is completely irrelevant to me, however...

The reason I started it again is because of a discussion I heard between Google and Bing execs. Well, they can have it! I simply won't sell my soul over to this stuff.

A friend just revealed how he deleted his Facebook account...for the same reason.

Agree completely with you, Ronald.

When you see parents at Little League games consumed with their smartphones, completely ignorant of what their own children are doing on the field, then you know what it is. Defenders will abound, but addiction is addiction and those most addicted are those who will be first to defend. I will not because I cannot. It is the GREAT LIE that is consuming the world.

Another friend (an artist) commented on the subject to me. She said:

"FB has depressed me because I'm not an addictive personality, and yet, I get addicted to Facebook and have trouble getting off of it. It makes me feel like I "belong" and have friends, when in fact, if they're just "virtual" friends, those friendships live only as long as I stay active online. Social media feels real, but it runs fast - not deep."


"I think FB is also making art into a commodity... you know, you see too much of anything on a daily basis, be it TV commercials, violence, or any other constant visual stimulation that requires attention... after awhile the mind becomes numb. When we see something we enjoy or get attention from social media, dopamine is released, and we feel good.

But after awhile, it takes something really significant online to get the same dopamine hit. Social media is addicting... and anything that is addicting can lead to depression when the expected result isn't met... in other words, no excitement.

Add the fact that FB is a never ending stream of links and pictures, and you've got the perfect set up for "too much information". Even hilarious movies don't seem that funny after the first half hour of jokes... so we just keep trying to get the excitement back from being connected to people online... and that excitement wanes."

I couldn't agree more with her. No one is going to "sell" it to me. I did it for three years. I know it too well...And I don't care if it even comes from Google or Bing execs. I'm done with it. Never again!

Brian Kliewer
I left out one comment I wanted to make.

Stamping the word "social" on it is equal to putting "lipstick on a pig." When you can't look into the other person's eyes, hear their voice inflection, read their facial expressions....or TOUCH THEIR HANDS...there is nothing even remotely "social" about it. We are being stripped of our humanity and "social media" is at the forefront of this debacle.


I truly do appreciate that social media isn't for you. I'm just a little concerned that you'll put people off using social media when it COULD be right for them.

You are a respected writer here and in the earlier comments I seemed to see remarks which I interpreted as "Phew, Brian says I needn't use social media and I don't really understand it anyway so that's good to know".

I know that you and I agree to disagree on this subject! And there's no way that I'd ever want to change your mind, especially as it seems to be truly painful for you and no-one should ever do anything which gives them negativity if they can avoid it. Especially artists. And I'm not trying to 'sell' it to you as it's not right for you.

I know that I'm 'preaching' again but what your friend said about Facebook being addictive is, with respect, the comment of someone who isn't using social media as a professional but as an individual. And social media isn't Facebook and Twitter (as you pointed our originally Brian, in the list the preceded your article). For example, I post our artwork to Pinterest to see which examples are popular, who they are popular with and how they are categorizing it. To me, that's just research. And LinkedIn - in the last few days I've had two very positive trade inquiries and again, I research by asking questions about what type of artwork interior designers are finding popular at the moment. To me, anything that is a) quick to do b) gives me useful information and c) brings good inquiries - is worth doing.

It's okay, I know I'm not going to 'convert' anyone like yourself Brian, who has tried it and found it disturbing and I very much respect your (and everyone's) opinion but I felt an obligation to show the other side of the coin.

Oh, just another thought. It's a good idea to at least register with the important social media to protect your name. Brian, I believe that your Twitter name was KliewerArt?

Let's say, purely hypothetically, that in your particular niche, you have a competitor. Now that you've deleted your account, that competitor could start a Twitter account with that name. If nothing else, you should protect that.

I have accounts on many social media in the name of Tropical Sun (the registered name of our business). I don't really use them but I am protecting our brand. We have a YouTube account. We've never used it, ever. But no-one can ever take our name and it's there whether we choose to use it or not. I know this might seem a bit paranoid but, like you Brian, I am a social media veteran and have horror stories.

I honestly recommend to my social media clients that they register with every social medium possible, if only to protect their name.

I know that mentioning horror stories will make the people who hate social media all the more cautious but it's a fact of life and I have your interests at heart!

Brian Kliewer
Well, Jackie...I never told anyone not to use it. The point from the start was that they have an alternative. I know how effective blogging can be:

But many won't even do that. If not, then by all means, create a Facebook page, Google Plus, tweet or get off the Internet. A dead site with little or no interaction won't cut it.

(This affords me an opportunity to dispel a notion some may have. Am I really anti social? Hardly. People who comment on my blog know that I am quick to respond.)

Perhaps I could have titled this post better. But if I called it, "How to Market Your Art by Blogging," how many artists do you think would have read it? I'm sure plenty who do blog would have. But how about those who don't? I doubt that many would, they want it fast and easy and that doesn't exist. It takes work.

Anyway, I have to get back to mine and I've made myself clear enough I am going to unsubscribe from this post. I have it bookmarked. If I see anything worth commenting on I might appear again.


It's a shame you're unsubscribing Brian, because I think that your original article, and your comments, are valuable. (But of course, you won't read this if you've unsubscribed).

Blogging is incredibly effective. And no-one is saying that you are anti-social, In fact, in the few days I was following you on Twitter, I had a great time. (Putin on the Ritz!)

I feel as though I have alienated you. That was far from my intention. I wanted to encourage you but maybe what I wrote was misguided. My intentions were genuine though. As a newcomer to FASO I was only trying to help. Maybe I got it wrong. (It wouldn't be the first time, that's for sure!)

I wish you all the best, Brian, Your artwork is fabulous and I love your sense of humor. I do hope that this isn't our last contact.

Brian Kliewer
Well, I clicked on the box to unsubscribe but it's still checked. So I did see this. But these comments can go on forever and I've said what I have to say on the subject.

You didn't alienate me, Jackie. The subject you support does.

I could go deeper on it. In fact, I was involved in a discussion on "social networking" on Facebook last year and people didn't really like hearing what I had to say. I haven't discussed it here (only hinted). It isn't a pretty "picture," that's for sure! And I won't discuss it publicly. For many, it's a very scary scenario. (No, I'm not talking about facial recognition, though that could very well be involved at some point.) It's something else. I only started to hint at it here...and that's as far as I'll go.

We have no issues between us, Jackie. I can tell that you're a kind-hearted person. People can always agree to disagree and that's fine with me.

Thanks for your comments on my work and I wish you the best also!

C Kaufman
A couple of comments:

Brian, it seems like internet social networking and you are not meant to be.

(Directed @ FASO - guess the author was not the best choice for writing about: "Marketing Art on the Internet".
Kind of like having someone write an article about drinking beer, then later the author flips out about the evils of alcohol and admits he is an alcoholic.....all a bit odd and unprofessional.)

My two-cents about Twitter, Facebook, etc. I think perhaps people expect a bit too much from them. Many people get involved with the internet, blogs, social networking thinking it is going to bring them fame, fortune, friends or whatever.
It rarely works.

Just because some think Twitter, Facebook, Google and all the rest are the devil reincarnated....well....they are tools....use the tools wrong and they are going to cause some pain and trouble....

Twitter, Facebook, etc. can have a good value if understood and used right. Some people just do not know how to use them properly.

I use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest and think they are fine.
I have over 2,000 followers on Twitter and I use it as a source of promote my art and chat a bit with people (lots of automated tweets).
But new information is key to me. I find out about new software, new techniques, art contests, calls for artist, etc, etc. Actually surprised how much art, internet and computer related news I glean from Twitter.

Facebook? I have a Facebook "Like" page for my art.
I use it to put more behind-the-scenes things about the making of my art. A totally different group of people see the art on Facebook.
It works for me. I like to experiment with it.

Pinterest? Just started it. I am using it a bit differently than others and is kind of a fun game to me. It has increased traffic to my website.

Regarding the rest of the social networking options; I decided to limit my efforts to those three for now. But it is a time limitation thing, not that I think the others are bad, misleading or big brother like.

All in all I am very glad for the many opportunities that social networking offers and looking forward to testing any new ones.

There are a bazillion artists out there and bazillion different ways to market and sell one's art. What is bad for one is great for another...and one of the hardest things to do is admit the entire art thing ain't really working and hang it up, move on.

Brian Kliewer
Hmmm, well, kissis kissie to you, too, Charles.

You know, I played the role of "internet troll" with Yankee fans years ago. But then I grew out of it. I realized I was just wasting my time and since I had no regard for them, I moved on.

You're so sympathetic. Well, I don't think that's the word I would actually choose.

To everyone else...

21 year ago I went through a year of suicidal depression. After someone on Facebook "tagged" one of my FB friends in a photo album from the middle east, I had to stop watching the newsfeed. That album featured a little boy with half his head blown off and his uncle with his chest ripped open. There wasn't much else left of him, actually. Mostly upper torso. These were among the bloodiest images I have ever seen in my life...totally uncensored.

They came into my newsfeed from someone I wasn't even connected with! All of a sudden, I was back to where I was 21 years ago. No, I wasn't thinking of killing myself, but those emotions were stirred up, thanks to Facebook. This unwelcome intrusion into my life showed me just exactly what this stuff is!

But here's an interesting side point about blogging (not really a side point at all). We have the Farnsworth Art Museum in town. Through my blog I was able to connect with people who had visited it years ago. This is what's possible with a blog. You're only limited by your own thinking.

Know of an artist who's hot with collectors? Write about him/her if you feel like it and see what happens. I did. This particular artist showed here in Maine back in the 1990s. Now she shows in New York and Paris. And I was able to gain a couple of loyal newsletter subscribers out of that. It is about "quality" not quantity...and that's why I'll have nothing more to do with SN.

Thank you Brian. I know that 'friend' is an overused, 'social media-ish' word these days so I won't use it but I'm glad to have made your acquaintance / connected.

Charles, I'd be interested to know how you are using Pinterest in an unusual way?

Just to clarify Brian, I was saying thank you about your words in your earlier post, not the one above. I so much agree with your last remark. I try to get the names of artists similar to Andy onto our site - in a natural way, of course.

You're right, it works. I study our site's stats and I'm particularly interested to see what search terms people are using to find our site. We do come up in the search for an established artist who is well known in a similar genre.

Yesterday I wrote an article that included Picasso and Jackson Pollock - not because our artwork is similar but simply because it made sense in the context. But it will still be interesting to see if we get any hits from those mentions. Plus, connecting Andy's name with Picasso and Pollock in the search engines' 'minds' might not be a bad idea. I always liken search engines to a huge file cabinet and the mention of those two names might help Google to put our site firmly in the 'art' drawer.

Brian Kliewer
Glad to help, Jackie. I sent you an email, by the way.

As for "niche" marketing, I'll tell you something... out of those Belted Galloway paintings I sold, a few were fairly large. I sold $20,000 worth directly from my studio to a breeder in New Hampshire. So it does work.

$20,000 - that's fantastic, Brian! I love to hear success stories. We're not having many ourselves at the moment so it's great to know that art SELLS. Have you any additional tips on niche marketing?

Brian Kliewer
Not specifically though that email I sent has a pretty good tip in it. But you can find plenty on "niche marketing" online. You just have to figure out how to make it work within what you do.

Got your email - thanks!

Brian Kliewer
For the record...

That depression I went through in 1990-91 was brought on by a condition I have. I won't discuss it deeply here but my sister and I were both born with it. Only she's been operated on 16 times. I haven't but instead, I've been forced to live like an old man since my teens. I had to quit playing baseball when I was 15. At 27, I thought I was dying of a heart attack. Just a false alarm but, a result of the condition. Please don't for details, I prefer not to discuss it. However, since I brought up the subject of the big "D" I wanted to at least explain this part.

My art and my sense of humor have been what got me through and keep me going.

Brian Kliewer
*don't ask for details.

I don't know how that was left out but it was. Sorry.

No details required Brian. What better than your sense of humor and your art? Two necessities of life, I think.

Hi Charles,

I was wondering if you'd seen my question about Pinterest and the way you use it? I'd love to know more. Thanks!

Brian Kliewer

It looks like you're barking up the wrong troll.

What I'd like to know is, how do you use twitter these days? I used to like it, but then I had REAL FOLLOWERS. For the short time I was there, I got swamped with too many followers using auto feeders and just flooding my stream with garbage. I had to keep unfollowing. One idiot following me was also following 162,000 and he expected me to return that?! I don't follow spammers.

It's supposed to be about conversation, but these clowns are turning it into rubbish!

Hi Brian,

Love your first comment :)

The way I use Twitter is this: I have several accounts but I have one 'secret' one. The secret one never sends messages but follows various people of interest. It's sort of my daily paper, if you like. Or research. (That's not the account I used when we were talking on Twitter). I only follow people with genuine information that's useful or interesting to me. I don't play the follow back game. It's the only one I ever look at and if anyone stops being interesting or spammy, I unfollow.

So let's call my secret account A. If I see something that would interest followers of account B, I post it to B. I use Tweetdeck which is a free service and lets you run many accounts at the same time. It also has a column called 'me' so any mention at all of any of my accounts show up there. (That's how I found your messages to BritFlorida). It's a lot easier than it sounds!

The great value to me is that I usually write a blog post daily. When I tweet it, it instantly (and I mean that literally) gets hits but even more than that, it gets into search engines. Because the Tweetdeck shows any mention of any of my accounts, it's easy to have conversations with people too.

So, and I'll end this epistle in a minute, promise, you could set up a secret account that just follows interesting people and subjects. If you see anything that would interest your followers to your business account, simply post that message to that account.

Brian Kliewer
Thanks, Jackie...

I have a secret account, too, and that's how I use it - for research. I don't follow anyone or anything I'm not interested in. I use it to look for possible blog content. When I said "never again," I meant in a public way.

I also used Tweetdeck and seesmic in the past. But then I got thinking, if I can filter out people, I can also BE filtered out.

The problem with me is that I'm too genuine and prefer it that way. That's not a slam against you. That's just the way I always used and prefer twitter.

But this is neither here nor there since I won't use it in any "official" capacity again. The reason I started to this time is because of that podcast I heard. That thing was over an hour long and I didn't catch it all. If I had, I probably wouldn't have started using twitter heavily again.

The main point they were making is that a static site relying on SEO isn't going to work. The search engines now are looking for engagement. They want to see interaction to determine legitimacy, or trustworthiness. I get that.

A blog can do that, too. You just have to figure out ways to make them more interactive. That's what I'm working on.

Some of my posts have as many as 40 or 50 comments...even more. But it's usually the same kind of post. I just have to figure out ways to spread it around...and that's what I'm working on.

Sounds good, Brian. It's great that your blog is so active with so many comments. I decided a while ago not to have comments. That's because a) I don't have time to respond to them b) some of them are comments that I find it hard to reply to and c) I tend to write daft things sometimes!

Brian Kliewer
That "genuine" crack came about differently than I meant. It wasn't meant as a "crack" at all. Sorry.

I just meant "old school." I don't really like being forced to use filters, apps or anything. But I's the spammers that have brought it to that.

One thing I'll say about Twitter...I do view it as more trustworthy. At least they have taken up the "Do not track" policy. But this will be the end of my social media discussion, I think.

Ronald C. Gillis
Just a bunch of crap,Brian.I think it's aplot to keep you away from your work.

Brian Kliewer
I agree with on social networking, Ronald. Though I know there are many who think that foolhardy. But there are many who are giving up blogging in favor of it, and THAT is a BIG mistake!

Blogging is what "put me on the map" online, and it's what will keep me there. And I set the rules, I don't live by someone else's.

This is sort of a sarcastic piece.

It actually points to the reasons to stay with a blog. Really when you think about it, if you're building content on someone eles's site, your building reasons for people to visit someone else's site or stay there and not your own.

Here's something interesting...since I left Facebook, I get more visitors from it now than when I was using it. A fact. In fact, I recently got a couple of new newsletter subscribers...and they came from FB.

Hard selling doesn't work.

I'm very surprised to hear that people are giving up blogs in favor of social media. Why are they on social media if they don't have a blog? I don't see the point of social media at all without a blog.

I find that most of our site visits (from referrers rather than search engines) come from Twitter. Facebook is second, Pinterest third and Google Plus fourth. There are only a few weekly visits from other sources but I consider them worth doing for search engines.

So it's really easy to find out what works for you. Write a blog a day. Every day post it to the social media of your choice. All of them, every day. At the end of the week, see where your site's visits have come from. Then you'll know which are worthwhile.


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