Why Twitter is Cool For Artists

About a month ago, the team at Creative Pinellas, where I hold the position of Executive Director, sent out a survey to over 4,000 artists and members of the arts community. We asked, “How do you use social media?” and were not at all surprised to find 76% said they used Facebook regularly or considered themselves expert users. We were surprised that only 19% said they used Twitter regularly, with similar results for Instagram and Pinterest.


Why were we surprised?


Because Twitter is a terrific platform for visual and performing artists to show their work! With millions of people using Twitter – everyday – it offers a proven way to build a local, national and even international audience, to reach people who want to engage with you, but who would likely not know you any other way, and to build connections and relationships.

Isn’t that true with Facebook?

Yes. Sure it is. But in some ways Twitter does it better. Or as Nic Roberts from Jaden Social puts it in the DIY Musician, “Twitter is just a far more interactive and personal experience…When stacking the two platforms up against each other, I would say that Facebook is a great way to mark the important milestones in your musical journey – a proverbial ‘pool room’ of sorts. Twitter is more of a real-time journal documenting the day to day struggles & triumphs the kind of insight that allows fans to know you – not only as an artist, but as a person.”

Who wouldn’t want that?

As Nic points out, being on Twitter is more like having a conversation, or as my friend Lee Silverstein says, “it’s like a cocktail party.” You meet and have fun with lots of people. Some you stay in touch with and get to know. And from there, anything is possible.

Also, because of its “in the moment” nature promoting yourself on Twitter has a sense of ease about it.  It allows you to promote yourself and your work in what (when done right) feels like a friendly, conversational manner, to find and connect to people with like interests, and to share (aka market) your work.

Twitter is a great way to tell people where to go.

You can drive them to your website or blog, your show or gallery opening, performance or event. You can send them to your Facebook page or YouTube Channel (more on that in a moment).

Twitter makes you look.

If the words on Twitter are bite size – and they are – then images on Twitter are giants. That makes it a great canvas to share your finished work, show work in progress, tell your story, teach, reach, inspire.


Twitter also has a great search tool that allows you to find people who are likely to be interested in what you have to share / show, or who will be of interest to you. Also, if you reach out to someone on Twitter, they will likely reach right back. It’s a great way to build relationships.

As Natasha Wescot writes in her article 10 Twitter Tips For Artists “Using Twitter for networking is the best part. Find people through the Twitter search function who would be of value to a business relationship or people who are interested in art. Build relationships through conversation about anything. Not just about art. Twitter allows for deeper, more meaningful business partnerships and relationships with your audience if you can converse with people on their level.”

Ask any heavy-duty Twitter user and they will have a story about how they met someone on Twitter and it was “huge” and often unexpected. It’s a whole world of possibilities waiting for you to jump in.

If Twitter is so good, why aren’t I using it?

I don’t know. But we can help you change that.

Creative Pinellas is offering a Twitter Workshop on Saturday, June 11. It’s a hands-on workshop taught by Antony Francis. Come at noon for lunch, and leave at 5 ready to be an expert Twitter user. Registration is $25 and includes lunch and a $10 coupon for the next workshop of your choice, including YouTube in July 30. Click here to register.

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About Barbara St. Clair