In large group social situations it's not always easy to connect with others and let them know about the awesome art that you create. It's not much different when sharing your art on social media, there is a pressure to interact with others which makes it hard to be yourself and can cause general awkwardness. I like to look at social networks as a big party that is overflowing with people who don't know each other. If you want to have a meaningful experience and leave a good impression you need to meet new people, find out more about them and have a bit of fun at the same time. So when you set out to interact with others via social media you should remember the following 2 party rules: Don't be a bore and don't forget to mingle.
1. Across a smoke-filled room.
You may need to leave the comfort zone of the people who are similar to you (other artists) and already follow you in order to meet some amazing folks that could become your life long patrons. This means that you engage with people who are interesting to you but seem to be a little outside your regular community or "bubble". This doesn't mean casting the net as wide as possible and demanding interaction from complete strangers - that could be the fastest way to freak someone out! Respond to their posts and try to build a rapport where and when it seems natural to do so. This will take time, so enjoy getting to know them little by little.
2. What a bore!
Nobody wants to talk to the bore at the party who insists on only talking about themselves. Social media is no different. As my mom would say "You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar." Sharing information that might be of interest to people is a great way to gain an enthusiastic following. I personally like to see photos that show where artists live or where they travel to...it's easy to engage with them and ask - where was this photo taken etcetera. Talk about things that inspire you and connect with people who are also interested in those things. Think about the ways that you can show that you are a friendly and approachable person. Use a tone in the way you write that is warm and engaging. Asking questions either to your general feed or to a few individuals is a great way to start dialogue and get people engaged and having fun.
3. The life of the party.
Nothing attracts followers and gains their trust faster than giving them the opportunity to see the positive and fun interactions you have. Let's go back to the party metaphor. If a crowd of people are laughing or seem to be fully entertained by another party-goer you will naturally be curious about why they are having such a good time. What could they possibly be talking about? You may edge closer to the group in order to overhear some snippets of conversation. This is exactly how you can gain trust and interest from strangers in a passive sense. I know that if someone follows me I got to their social media feed to see if they are interacting with others regularly and see what types of conversations they are having. This let's me know what type of interaction and conversation is possible with this person and if they have something to offer. Will they be entertaining to follow? Will their posts be funny or informative? Or will they just post all the time about their art being for sale? You get the idea!