Why Social Media is important

Today again I was reminded why Social Media is so important — especially to organizations/people who work with visual content/products. Ever since I set out to intensify the social media presence here at sculpture network — people tend to ask me why I am putting so much focus on this aspect of communication. I’m gonna tell you why..

(sculpture by José Palá on display at the Malecon in Havana, Cuba during the biennial 2015)

A couple of weeks ago my girlfriend and I where traveling to Munich. Along the way we picked up a hitchhiker — not so common anymore. We had a pleasant trip and a vivid discussion. He was in his late 20’s physics student who wanted to became a teacher some day, just married (his wife was a medicine student) with a little boy a couple of months old. We dropped him of at some parking lot just before Memmingen, pointing out he shouldn’t leave anything behind. Despite our warning he left his pretty pricey PEAK outdoor jacket. All I had was the information I gathered in our conversation — so I posted in the Facebook group of the Physics department of his university — it took a grand total of three hours to get a response from him.

Without social media I would never have been able to return the jacket and again today I had this “wow thank god there is Social Media moment”.

One of my favourites of the Bienal de la Habana 2015

When I was traveling to Havana, Cuba last May for the biennial I probably took 2.000 photos. Naturally (and this is a common disaster) not all art in public space is marked, well I probably just might have missed it, but anyway I couldn’t figure out who the artist was. However I am pretty active on Instagram and while engaging with a new follower of our channel I stumbled across the artwork I had taken a picture of more than nine months ago. The guy who posted it linked it to the artist so I found out it was made by Jose Parla Studio.

What can we take from this experience?

Well first of all (and I get this questions frequently when people find out what I am doing) when you are an artist make use of social media — create what is called a “Social Image” of yourself and work on it (don’t expect instant results it will take at least a year!). Don’t see Social Media as a way of posting content and looking at it. Most people miss the social character of Social Networking (online and offline alike, especially artists seem to struggle with this), so you want to interact with people. Comment their content, like it, share it, engage in conversations. Remember every channel serves it’s individual purpose. Facebook is for friends — Twitter for professionals (with a focus on people who write) — Instagram is for the creative and so on. Be open about it, especially on Instagram you will constantly find stuff that is really interesting, but otherwise you would not have found.

So you should figure out what it is you want to achieve with social media. Currently I am working on a comprehensive guide for artists (and anyone else really), which will be free for download. I will keep you updated on the progress.

Have you got anything to add, some tips for my guide? Please share it in the comments or send me an e-mail andre.kirberg@sculpture-network.org

Text and photos by André Kirberg

sculpture network Dialogue at Kunstmuseum Winterthur with Richard Deacon — a networking event
One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.