OPEN HOUSE: What's It Good For? How Artists Navigate Social Media

WHAT AND WHERE? I’m a filmmaker, I live in Crown Heights, [Brooklyn, NY].

PLATFORM? FREQUENCY? I post about my work maybe 2 times a month on average? It’s hard to know what’s normal because I feel like I’m still adjusting to social media in a big way and how I use it is always in flux. I prefer Instagram for sure.

ENGAGEMENT VS GLIMPSE? The latter – I’m not great at engaging followers, and I have no idea how to “include” them successfully. I post mostly to have some kind of presence if someone happened to look me up. The most successful “engagement” I had was on FB mostly, and was about a week and a half of posting about 6 times a day with very short and enthusiastic messages and really colorful in-your-face gifs. I was trying to get people to vote for me for a competition, and it worked!

RESEARCH? Not much, although I’ve realized more recently that Instagram is a great portal for finding working artists, so I might find myself using it for research or (more accurately perhaps) discovery increasingly. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone or had a particular opportunity solely because of SM… but it has occasionally helped me connect with people/ groups and given me and my work some amount of limited exposure. The first film I made got over 60k views in a few days after a cellphone company posted it to their FB page (in connection to their film festival).

LIKES? I have to admit that getting likes feels good, and not getting any/ getting “too few” feels bad. Not getting a response to artistic things I post can discourage me from being more proactive about posting. It feels like you’re trying to communicate with a brick wall.

NECESSITY? I don’t think its wise for artists to count on much of anything besides themselves. If you can find a way to get yourself out there, do what you want to do and get the recognition you want for it without SM, that’s fucking awesome. If SM is how you do you, more power to you. I think getting your work seen has more to do with you than what tools you choose to do it with. I don’t think I know any artists who are completely off of SM, but I know many artists who aren’t ardent about their SM usage. Myself included.