Facebook and Twitter are the two main places I contact the companies. On Facebook for the U.S., the Sakura site is at https://www.facebook.com/SakuraofAmerica/. I think that’s also the site for Canada, but I’m not sure. If you can’t find a link for either Facebook or Canada (for any company), find their website. Don’t worry if you can’t find the right country. Contact their help desk, tell them what country you are in, and let them know you are trying to follow on Facebook and Twitter. They’ll get you to the right place. I’ve ended up asking companies on their French and Japanese sites how to follow them in the U.S.
With any company on FB, the first step of course is to like them. I don’t necessarily respond to every post they make, but I try to comment occasionally, share their giveaways or about new products coming up. After a while, I’ll post a work I’ve done with their product(s). By commenting first, you won’t be coming in cold.
Most of the sites have a place where you can comment, usually just before their posts begin. When you post, it won’t show in their main feed or may not show at all, but they see it. Sometimes, they’ll have a feed off to the right where outside posts show up, but either way they usually like to vet what is coming in so nothing inappropriate gets posted.
If you can’t find a place to comment, message them. I just say that I’ve done this piece with such and such a product and really liked the result that I got. Some sites now have a chat window that pops up, and that’s a good place to post your work.
If you can’t find a place to comment, or can’t message them or they just never respond, it means they aren’t interested in marketing that way. It can take a while for a response, though. Usually, if you don’t hear anything within 2-3 weeks, you won’t. Sometimes, you might have to post several pictures before they’ll respond.
It also helps to follow them where ever you can and comment. You want them to know you are active on social media of more than one kind. They are looking at you as someone who can market their work.
When you decide on what to share, consider your followers too. It’s a balance. If you retweet or repost every ad or sale, your followers will tune you out as a spammer. Try to determine what your followers want to know, and retweet/post accordingly.
For instance, I retweet almost everything I see that has to do with Stillman and Birn. They don’t do a lot of advertising, so I retweet their posts, and I retweet when anybody else post work they’ve done in a Stillman & Birn notebook. This helps both Stillman & Birn, and increases my followers because the artists appreciate that I retweet their work. Zebra pens, I don’t retweet as much. They tend to do a lot of advertising that I think would annoy my readers if I over do it. I retweet their giveaways, when they are doing a special promotion for charity, and any work that I see another artists has done with their products.
That’s another thing too – do searches on the company name in both Facebook and Twitter. If you see an artist, especially one who posts a lot using the products, then follow them too. That way they’ll show up in your feed. I use Hootsuite to manage Twitter and have lists where I add these people and the companies, so I don’t have to weed through the ones I’m not so interested in.
I recommend setting up an Instagram account even if you can’t post your paintings. You can still follow the companies and other artists and connect with them there. Later, if you get where you can post you are all set to go and will already have followers, because lots of people will follow you back when you follow them.
Okay, that’s probably enough to confuse you with for now. Ask away with any other questions you have.