As we gear up for the holiday season, we take this time to reflect on the year and decide on the inevitable New Year’s resolutions that follow. Whilst most will add, “Take better care of the plants”, “Do more exercise,” and “Finally get my life together,” to the list, some of you might be thinking about how better to get some eyes on your webcomic.
The past two weeks I talked about the benefits of updating your comic on mirroring sites and the platforms available to creators. With your mirroring list whittled down and your updating schedule decided upon where do you go to find Senpais to notice you?
The first place you should be looking to is social media; namely, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. The temptation with these marketing tools is to have the same approach across all four, or to favour only one or all of them, but in truth, a solid strategy is to pick your favourite three and do them well.
There is a robust community of comic artists, writers and publishers connecting and chatting on Twitter; from veterans to new starters, these communities are there to offer support and advice as well as a chance to promote your work. Each week, accounts such as @ComicArtistsUnite, @ComicBookHour and @WebComicChat give creators a chance to not only promote their work, but also comment on various aspects of creating comics. Keep in mind, that the goal of this platform is to provide quick and snappy updates on your project or how you might be progressing. Many use Twitter as their primary means for fans to get news on their favourite projects as the content is shorter and easier to consume, even with the increased character count.
Facebook works slightly differently depending on your marketing objectives. You can either join webcomic or other like minded groups to help connect with others and promote your work, or create your own Facebook page. Groups offer the advantage of having active members who, much like you, wish to bolster not just their work but their sense of being part of a community. This aspect can be noticeably absent from a Facebook page but that is not to say that it is without its benefits. Much like Twitter, a Facebook page can be used to provide updates to your fans with the capacity for longer, potentially more personal, posts. You also have the ability to target wider audiences by paying for posts to be seen, referred to as “boosting”. With the opportunity to set smaller, more affordable budgets, Facebook can be a powerful tool in your social media belt when it comes to building an audience.
Many artists use Tumblr as a personal gallery or blog, utlitising hashtags and accessing a wider art community. With a strong focus on sharing content, it allows for your work to reblogged by fans and reach a different type of audience than that on Twitter and Facebook. Despite this, however, it can be hit or miss. There is no clear strategy when using Tumblr to promote your work in comparison to Twitter or Facebook. This can impact whether or not is eventually seen and shared amongst users. Given that reblogging is a major factor of Tumblr, attempting to gain a following by sharing others’ content can make it a challenge for potential audiences to find your work, muddying your page.
Instagram, on the other hand, is somewhere between these three platforms. Highly image focused, Instagram can be a powerful way to raise interest in your work, particularly if you are strategic in the way you utilise hashtags. Now that Instagram has the album function, users are able to showcase multiple frames or panels of their comics, especially useful if you are a short form or “gag of the day” webcomic. There is, however, a strong “follow back” culture, more so that that of Twitter or Tumblr as Instagram is very “follower-focused” as well. Do not be surprised when your follower count appears fluid day-to-day. If you are worried about followers leaving the moment you subscribe to their account you can download apps that allow you to see such accounts and unfollow them.
What has your experience been with social media marketing? Is there a platform you prefer or is there one that I haven’t mentioned that’s worth a shout out? Leave us a comment below! Remember, DrunkDuck also has an active Facebook page, group and Twitter account so be sure to check in and find out which of your favourite comics are out there trying to get you to notice them.
Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Dec. 22, 2017
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