Four Ways To Master Social Media Basics For Your Creative Project

In a time where YouTube tutorials and WikiHow lists reign supreme, you don’t need to be a marketing genius to promote your creative project online. Thanks to the malleability of the Internet, anyone can make an official band page on Facebook, claim a website URL or use hashtags on Twitter with little to no stress. It’s awesome, and although online platforms are more accessible than ever, how we use social media has a direct influence on how people receive our work.

While mastering social media is a forever bending and changing road that drives marketers up the walls, learning its basics will help you succeed beyond first impressions to create longlasting connections with people. From curating visuals to organisation, our four tips are a great launching pad for your creative project and the inspiration that flows from having people interact with your work.

A press shot of Dan Vogl, the first recipient of the Collarts Music Career Start Scholarship. As part of his scholarship, Dan had a number of press shots taken!

Smile and get ready for that press shot! First impressions matter online.

Have you ever gone to a band page after a gig and clicked on their profile image, but it was from 2012, 10 pixels wide and only three of the five original members remain? It’s not uncommon, and while there’s many social media best practices you can wrap your head around, there’s a few key basics that are easy to implement and keep on top. Best of all, it will make your work look professional, even when you’re first starting out.

The most basic and fundamental of all tips would be adding a high-res display picture and cover photo where possible. If you’re an artist, invest time into getting press shots, and if you’re launching a project, create visuals that communicate your ideas. There’s no harm in hitting up that photographer mate of yours or touching base with that designer who is a friend of a friend of a friend. First impressions online matter and help long-term to create connections with those who seek you out.

Here’s our student Lana sharing a behind-the-scenes shot of her audio engineering session.

But you have to let people know your personality or brand beyond those pretty pictures.

While you can spend all the time in the world on perfectly manicured visuals, it all comes back to connecting with people. Getting the perfect press shot means nothing without your work, art or voice behind it; just as using Facebook or Instagram to promote gigs is useful, but it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your activity online. People want to get involved with your work, way beyond the “transactions” that are required from them. As artist Mallrat noted on a panel at Face The Music this year, “You shouldn’t just use social media accounts to tell people when you have shows. You should engage with them… you shouldn’t just tell them what they can do with you.”

A great example of this can be seen through our own channels, where we regularly update our Instagram and have now joined Snapchat to share Collarts life beyond the glossy posters. When communicating with a branded voice—be it your own or for a job—one of the best things to remember is honesty. While you don’t have to embody a product or style 24/7, finding a middle ground between yourself and your work can be beneficial.

If you hate having clutter, using online tools to schedule or plan your posts is a great way to relieve you.

Familiarise yourself with free tools that will power-up your social media and organisation skills.

When it comes to being organised, it sometimes feels like there’s two kinds of people: people who are gifted to become organised, and those who are not. There are a few healthy habits to get you organised, and surprisingly, it doesn’t always have to include making a billion sticky notes. While you can hit up WikiHow for tips, learn to declutter regularly or eat your way to better study habits, it all comes down to not relying just on your memory. It sounds strange, but your short term—or ‘working’ memory—can only handle five to nine pieces of information at any given time, and everything else ends up in the brain bin.

So to avoid forgetting, write things down in a journal or in a place you can return to at the end of the day. If you prefer to work online, there’s a heap of online tools that are free and accessible to help you master your schedule (or scheduling social posts), including Trello, Asana, Google Apps, Bitly, and Tweetdeck. Of course, finding free tools that suit your own workflow are super important, and you should research what platforms could work for you.

If your working to promote your art, your art should always come first. Having every social media imaginable is unrealistic.

And most of all, ask yourself what social media you should care about in the first place.

When starting a new creative project, social media is an incredible tool for sharing your ideas. There’s an expectation that comes with taking your ideas online, where success is measured by follower counts and firing out an endless stream of content that lacks meaning. However, this is problematic: social media should be used to engage communities, and if you’re creating content without meaning, things get lost in translation. So our final tip is: contemplate what media your project champions and focus on creating content and ideas around that.

Signing up to every single social media account imaginable is not only unrealistic but a waste of energy and time. The best way to work out what social media you need is to observe yourself and how you consume similar work. It all comes back to the classic Who, What, When, Where, Why and How when researching what social media would best suit your project and your time restraints. When you find a platform that works for you, your time on social media will always be meaningful.

Liked these tips? Get inspired by how we use social media and join us on Snapchat this summer. We’re always posting on Instagram too, of course. If making content around your creative project is your calling, don’t forget to check out our courses—2018 intake is happening now!