Social media may seem like a fad or something only teenagers are interested in, but these websites have become an important and useful tool for any non-profit organization or business person. Social media are defined as any media that exist on the internet "that allow for the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Furthermore, social media depend on mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content." Social media are used to relay information between individual people, organizations, and businesses. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vine, Pinterest, and Google+ are all examples of social media.
At the Saskatchewan Craft Council, we utilize three of these social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Currently, we share almost all posts between these three websites, but there is a move towards creating different types of posts for each of these individual sites, as it creates a reason for someone to follow all three accounts. However, it is up to you how you would like to best utilize social media.
Facebook is useful for a business or non-profit in that almost everyone is on it. This is no longer just a young person’s tool. My 92-year-old grandma uses Facebook! Facebook can be used to post photos, status updates, videos, events, and links to other websites. You can also share your Tweets and Instagram photos with your Facebook account.
|An Instagram photo shared to a Facebook page|
As an individual business person, if you are hoping to use social media to raise awareness about your art, you should create a page for Facebook, and not an individual personal account. This means people can like your page instead of friending you individually, and they will still see your updates in their news feed.
It's difficult, but important, to find a balance with how much you post on Facebook. Too much, and you run the risk of being annoying. Too little, and people may not know or care that your page exists. A business’ Facebook page is about sharing a product, sharing where to get said product, and sharing how the product is made. Feel free to share personal photos of you in the studio, but avoid those photos of you and your friends at the bar or of your grandchildren at the lake. Save such posts for your personal Facebook. Although social media feels casual, you should still conduct yourself in a business-like manner.
There are many lists of tips on how to conduct oneself on Facebook. Most say you should be yourself, but also be professional. Post things that you would be interested in as a reader. Stay positive about everything you post. Promote yourself confidently and respond to people's questions and comments quickly and succinctly. Use proper grammar and punctuation and don't try too hard to be "cool" or "trendy." Facebook is definitely something used by people of all ages, so don't fall into the trap of attempting to speak or write like a teenager. Social media is all about sharing information and creating an online community.
For more tips about using Facebook, check out these webpages: