I, like a lot of people put my work on Instagram. Instagram being a social networking app that uses pictures made it seem like an ideal platform for gaining opinions on my paintings. Then I started to wonder how useful Instagram really was.
After using the app for a while and getting very few useful comments I decided to test the app by putting up a work that was a little random and pointless. It was this:
What I wrote to go with it was “Something creative” (then a few hashtags) “Sometimes I like to just start and see what I paint. This one seems finished although I’m not sure what it is, spirits probably.”
I got four likes and disregarding the people that I know only three. There were no comments. One of these likes was a company for event decorating and the other two were artists accounts.
Compare this to the Harry Potter picture I did and that was seven likes that were people I don’t know. Two of these people had evidence of being Harry Potter fans and one of those was an artist.
Although beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder it is hard to judge the usefulness of social media likes for what people actually like, are they being genuine or just marketing themselves? I don’t think I’ll ever know the answer to that, maybe those people really did like the picture above, maybe the others liked my Potter.
The message to take from this which I need to remember myself is that slapping a like button is pointless, it doesn’t tell people anything. Instead comment or become a long term follower of that person liking multiple things to let them know they’re doing right. This goes for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, blogs or anything else so in future think about what information you’re actually giving an account holder.