Michelangelo & The Art of Social Media: Part 1

Today, I will be presenting on the “Art of Social Media” to more than 200 business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers at the San Diego American Marketing Association’s “Art of Marketing” conference. As I prepared the presentation, I realized the title couldn’t be truer: social media has become more of an art than a science. Measurable data is important but really good art will draw a crowd.

While reflecting on the topic of art, Michelangelo’s iconic Sistine Chapel came to mind and can be related to social media. Here are the first three tips from my presentation:

Planning is everything

When Julius asked Michelangelo to decorate the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling, Michelangelo was hesitant. Michelangelo considered himself a sculptor rather than a painter, and he had no experience whatsoever with frescoes. This required him to meticulously plan out the dimensions, colors, shading, perspective, and the core objective. Many marketers feel the same way with social media – it’s a new marketing medium that makes us feel uncomfortable. But if we want to be successful at it, we need to create a plan. Consider the objective, your audience, in-house capabilities, and budget to determine the best course of action.

Quality content draws a crowd

Many marketers expect social media to yield immediate sales – delivering hoards of purchasing customers. In reality, social media is most valuable when used as a branding tool – positioning your firm as a thought leader. Achieve this by providing valuable content for your readers so when a business issue arises, your brand is top of mind. Michelangelo’s first priority was to create a masterpiece and it now attracts 5 million neck-craning tourists a year.

Tell your story

The Sistine Chapel depicts more than 15 biblical stories that form together to make one cohesive fresco. While posting new original and curated content, think of how it relates back to your brand story. Your audience wants to hear something different than what is already out there, so provide useful content that narrates your firm’s unique value proposition.

Click here to read “Michelangelo and The Art of Social Media: Part 2” from my presentation as well as findings from Moz CEO Ran Fishkin’s keynote presentation.


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