Thursday, June 25, 2015

Social Media: When is enough, enough?

I feel like a traitor right now.  I studied journalism, marketing and worked in advertising conceptualizing and writing ad campaigns that were placed in a variety of media from newspapers and magazines to radio and TV. So, I'm no stranger to mixed media marketing.

Too much in the mix.

There was then, and there is now, people who specialize in media placement.  These people studied the demographics and psychographics of the marketers target audience.  Target audience was a specific group of people that fit the product being marketed.  The advertising was then, conceived and produced and placed to appeal to the target.

Hello shotguns.

Now, with social media added to the above media mix, there isn't a target really.  Because everyone, everywhere is the target.  Get out the shotguns, people and forget about aiming at all.   Just plaster your message everywhere and, well, who cares who would really want and need your product, it's better to just get as much attention from everywhere and everyone.  And hopefully someone in the mix will want what you're selling.  Right?

Wrong. In my heart, I know this is not the way to go even if I have gotten sucked in.

I went to a studio sale this year and an artist was giving out a beautiful marketing packet, actually.  Inside was a lovely paper that I couldn't resist as well as instructions to go to her website for a guide to making a small art piece using the paper.  Genius. Really.  

But here's where it goes south.

On the back of this wonderful, artful piece was a list of where to find this artist.  The list was 3 inches long...yup.  All the social media sites, listed line after line after line after line.  I was overwhelmed and, actually, offended.  

I was surprised and, well, embarrassed.

Because, I had to admit, if I listed all the social media and websites with my name and work on them, it would be that long.  Wow. I had to pause to get a grip on what this means for me.  And what do I feel works for me.

Yes, I want to market and sell my work.  But at what price?

I do feel an internet presence is necessary.  My work deserves a professional presentation like a website with professional photos.  This is my online resume and as I've always known and found, good presentation is required.  But do I really need all the rest?  Let me just list here what all the rest had grown to be... Blogger, Facebook, Web galleries, Organizational websites,  Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, Etsy, Instagram and Snapchat. Then, there are the push notifications from each and every media site to follow, like and share.  Plus there's the content needed to keep all of this going, that I need to generate as well as responding to other content in order for my content to be seen.  


Who in their right mind actually follows everyone on all of these media?  And if they do, what do they do with their own lives?  And bottom line...are they really seeing me and my art or are they too busy snapchatting and facebooking and instagramming about their own stuff to give a hoot about mine?  

This is not marketing.  This is not targeting.  This, perhaps, is a way to feel busy and maybe not only a waste of time but a waste of my life. But most importantly...maybe a way to feel more important.  And do I need to do that?  

The Bigger Question:  What do I like to do? And...what really, really works for me? And my art?

I don't have all the answers, yet.  I confess to being sucked in as much as anyone.  But, I am now committed to becoming un-sucked.  I am committed to figuring out what I like, what I feel works and choosing.  Choosing to connect and therefore to sell my art.

Targeting from my heart...for me and my art.  Whatever that may be...stay tuned. 

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