Social media workshop: 18/10/2016

How to use the TMA web site and social media

If you are not familiar with using Facebook and Twitter to publicise your work, or need a hand getting started with your own page on the TMA web site, Lois Wakeman and Tricia Scott are planning a workshop on Tuesday 18th at the Town Mill Community Room, at 7.30pm for an hour or two.

With a few notable exceptions, hardly any TMA members really make the most of modern publicity methods, so if you are keen to get your work out there, why not come along and find out a bit more?

Bring your smartphone, tablet or laptop with any images and text about your work you want to use. You can set up your web page on this web site , publicise an event or new work of your own; find out how to make use of Facebook events and groups etc.

RSVP please – we can only handle 6 or 8 participants so first come, first served. If there is a rush of interest I’ll do another one later in the year. 3 places already taken!

I’ve reproduced the last mailing on the subject below for reference.

Making the most of TMA publicity avenues

These days, it is important, if you want to get your work out there, to take advantage of the internet for publicity. Some TMA members already make extensive use of social media to promote their work, but you can start gently by using the facilities provided on our own web site. A lot of this info has already been sent out once or more – but not many people take advantage, and it would be to everyone’s benefit to get more engagement!

You can:

  • Publicise details of your own arts events (e.g. open studios, courses, workshops, new work you want to highlight) in the Events section.
  • Have your own artist’s page on the site, to give contact details, show a gallery of your work, link to your own web site, show work for sale etc. These appear in the TMA Artists section.
  • Keep a record of your exhibition – there are often repeat sales from gallery visitors who want to know how to contact previous artists to buy work. If your exhibition page has contact details (or better, links to your own page) and photos of how the show was hung, people can more easily find you. These appear in the Exhibitions section, which currently has 2016 details, and which will be archived for reference once the year turns.

Here’s a bit more detail on what you need to provide if you want to take full advantage of the site. Details of how to upload info yourself is summarised in the members’ 2016 handbook, and also available for download from the Members Area of the web site – remember, you need to log in to access that. The password will change again in December once the new membership year starts, so look out then for member emails with the information, or contact lois@lois.co.uk if you need to make changes and don’t have the new password.

If you want the upload done for you, you need to provide:

  • Arts events: email details of opening times, venue etc., plus at least one decent image 800 pixels across – preferably 1038+. Don’t send a leaflet or brochure please – the images won’t be of good enough quality and I’m not prepared to type in all the text for you.
  • Artist’s page: a banner image 1038 pixels wide for the top of the page. If it’s more than 576 deep, it will be cropped, so you may wish to do that yourself. Text in an email or Word attachment with what you want on the page, plus any images you want on the page:  these should be 800 pixels across for best effect. Hint: if you photograph your own work, don’t leave strips of crooked wall each side, as it looks unprofessional. There’s a limit to how much fixing up I am prepared to do!
  • Exhibition: you will get an initial enquiry from Karol Kulik for information used to make the basic page. Most people provide a scant minimum, but you can do much more to publicise and record your show. You need to send an image for the banner at the very least: again, 1038 pixels wide and if it’s more than 576 deep, it will be cropped. Also, more images at 800 pixels wide create a good impression so I can set up a gallery.

Once the show is hung, why not send images of the walls in the gallery to add to the page? Then people who saw a work and didn’t buy it at the time can track you down later. If you video it, upload to Youtube or Facebook and send a link.

More on image editing:

Generally, you’ll want to save images off your camera and then make copies for the web, as JPEG images. Straight off a camera, they are far too big for the web, so you’ll need to work on them before sending them for upload. (If you upload huge images directly to your page on the site, I will delete them as they eat up our space quota!)

To take full advantage, you do need to know some basics of photo manipulation. Most photographers already have the know-how, but if you are an occasional snapper and you use Windows, Irfanview is a lightweight free editor that allows cropping, rotation, resizing (that’s why I give pixel dimensions above) and auto adjustment of colours. Download from http://www.irfanview.com/ . Your camera software may also help.

If you are using a tablet or smartphone, you are on your own I’m afraid – there are 100s of apps to try.

Social media

TMA has Twitter (@tmalymeregis) and Facebook (@townmillarts) accounts you can use to publicise things; all events you add to the site (see above) will automatically be posted for you. You can find these listed on the left side of each web page: click the links to find the details. TMA members are also encouraged to join the TMA Facebook group – a private space where you can ask questions, post images, ask for help with publicity etc. Until this reaches critical mass it isn’t much use, so please join! Find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1256691524342537/

You can post direct to the Facebook pages, but make sure your photos are set to “public” or they won’t show up except to your friends.

I do try and share TMA related things that I see on social media – but unless you draw it to my attention or I am friends with you already, I won’t necessarily see it. Lois