After ‘tech savvy’ it is the ‘social media savvy’ that has become synonymous with today’s generation. About 2/3rd of online users spend time on different social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. Even the trend of sending personal emails seems to have become obsolete as compared to the usage of social media. But why is this media becoming so popular ? Interaction, live chat, status updates, image – as well as video-sharing are a few of the major aspects that play a role in the popularity of social media. Social media is defined as “forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content. Customer responses, interaction and brand awareness is the reason companies are using social media and across the globe. Its multiple roles played by social media beyond its core role of mere communicating information are leading to its popularity. India has the world’s largest number of Facebook users and the third largest internet users in the world after the US and China. In the modern era, everything is online. “Social media are primarily Internet-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings.” Linked In, a professional business-related networking site, allows companies/ promoters of events to create professional profiles for themselves, and their business to facilitate networking and connecting with others. Social media is not only helping artists, institutions and galleries to improve outreach and audience engagement, but its effective use is also becoming an invaluable marketing tool to engage with new audiences and create new sales channels.

Till the advent of social media mouth publicity, the use of media (TV, Print media, advertisements) was the most resorted means of popularizing art and cultural shows and bringing fame to artists. But gradually they have lost credibility and have become too time-consuming and with their limited reach are getting out fashioned. Today’s youth wants everything “Now”. They are in a hurry and can’t wait for the next day’s newspapers or news bulletins to convey to them what they want to access in a real-time scenario. They want to probe more and more about issues, and topics of their interest and so turn to the use of the internet which makes social media so popular. C o m p a n i e s promoting art and artists are diverting resources into social media and ret h i n k i n g their traditional outreach strateg i e s . E v e n artists have understood the importance of social media and they do promote their products through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and so on. It is the right time for every artist, promoter of art and art lover to adopt social media as the key tool. Fans and artists are connected through Social Media platforms, which offer them the chance to comment, like, and share content, and they may even speak with their favourite artists. Artists using Social Media can develop stronger relationships with their fans as one of the strongest benefits of using it.

Today, artists and businesses use social media to g e t c l o s e r to their audie n c e s and meet customers where they are – regardless of geographic location. Being present on social media allows creative minds to express themselves with more liberty, frequency, and intimacy, and eventually promote their work and generate sales. While each social media platform, and each expert, has its own standards on how often to post, what’s important is consistency. Recent surveys show that an ever-growing percentage of the g e n e r a l public discovers art primarily through social media, rather than by visiting museums and galleries, especially among younger demographics. Instagram is arguably the most important social network for contemporary art today, Instagram’s incredible success is due to people’s need for interaction, archiving, self-expression, escapism and peeking- this makes it clear why the visually-driven platform seems to be art enthusiasts’ favourite place to share artworks, and it is also becoming a legitimate contemporary art medium of its own. True, quality content matters but it can only shine through a proper medium. There are some negative aspects of social media it is time-consuming, requires constancy and dedication, work of artists available for comparison in open fora and can be discouraging for young emerging artists, doesn’t guarantee success and finally, the quantity and quality of stuff on social media platforms can be overwhelming and may not be so authenticated. Nevertheless, the advantages of social media platforms outnumber the disadvantages. These are:- its easy accessibility, almost free or with the least expenses, easy to connect to an audience no matter where an artist is located, gives an artist a chance to showcase the amount of work which happens behind the scenes: the trials, the attempts and the dialogue necessary to create art. Social media makes it easy for artists to get noticed and viewed by their peers and the public grows and fosters uniqueness and creativity.{TFS[BS]}

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