The Artists Guide to Social Media Part 3

In this series, I look at easy pitfalls to fall into when using social media as an artist to promote one’s work. Click here to read the first installment.

Tip #3: Beware Becoming Topical

One of the greatest tricks to expanding your digital footprint, making more people notice you and therefore gain more followers/readers/what-have-you, is quite simple: find bandwagons to jump on.

Instead of working yourself to death trying to say something blazingly original with every post, look at what’s currently trending (and who’s already talking about it). Then all you have to do is find some way to reference that trend or highlight what one of those trending people is doing.

It’s an excellent strategy, and I highly recommend it.

The downside is once you’ve learned to do it and made it a routine, it’s easy to just do that. You can easily fall into the trap of only talking about what’s currently trending, be that the newest TED Talk or the newest Christian living book. Now becomes the only thing you’re concerned.

Ironically, it often turns out that whatever’s trending isn’t as life-changing as it initially seems. Even in fields like social justice where the new system/strategy people are talking about will literally save lives, there are fads which come and go.

Not only that, but from it’s amusing to see how often a tending new idea turns out to just be a variation on an old idea. Read a selection of dystopian novels and then read George Orwell’s 1984. Then read Plato’s descriptions of an ideal society rigidly controlled by a ruling class in the Republic. Nothing much new under the sun, as the writer of Ecclesiastes might say today.

As important as it is to stay up to date, it’s vital to have a balanced view of the present. We must remember to repeatedly look at old ideas to see where the new ones come from, and and strive to talk about things that will still matter years from now, not just whatever is currently making headlines.


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