Guest post: Going global with social media


This post was contributed by artist Vicki Boatright (aka BZTAT).

She specializes in contemporary artwork of dogs and cats. She is known worldwide for her unique and colorful pet portraits. I helped to create her website BZTAT Studios after meeting her in the Twitterverse.

The author of this blog is a British gal living in Canada. I live in Canton, OH in the USA. According to Google Maps, we are 1,254 miles and two countries apart.

How did we meet?

You guessed it. Social media.

The beauty of social media is that it knows no borders. It brings people together from all parts of the world and it allows us to develop relationships globally.

One year ago, I rarely communicated with people outside of my local geographical area that were not family or close friends. Now, I communicate with people from all over the United States, the United Kingdom and other European countries, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, etc. on a daily basis.

Through the use of Twitter, Facebook, my blog and other social media networks, I have been able to develop my “brand” as an animal artist, and I have a following from all over the world.

People not only know me, they enthusiastically support me and celebrate my artwork internationally.

Some of my best friends and fans are half a world away. How did that happen?

All I can say is, it just did.

It can happen for you, too, if you want it to.

My experience has been that people who do not feel successful with social media have somehow imposed limitations on themselves that restrict their networks. If you get too hung up on limiting things instead of allowing things to unfold and develop, you won’t have much success.

Twitter has changed my life, as that network more than any other has given me a global reach. It took awhile for me to understand it and to develop my niche with it, but once I gained some confidence, it opened up an infinite number of possibilities. Allowing those possibilities to develop, I believe, is what distinguishes me from others who have given up and said, “Twitter is too ADD for me!”

My suggestions for maximizing Twitter and other social media networks

– Be yourself, be creative, and tell an interesting story. Share things about yourself that are unique and intriguing to others. For me, the story is told by my cat @BrewskieButt who lives with an artist @ in an emerging arts district in downtown Canton, OH. He shares about his life as the cat of an artist, connects with other pet oriented people, and he tweets about the Canton Arts District.

– Be social, friendly and helpful. No one likes a one sided conversation. Respond to the tweets of others and get to know people. Offer to help folks who have questions that you can answer. Ask questions when you need help. Twitter is a very Pay-It-Forward kind of community.

– Share interesting photos via Twitpic. People love pictures! I post photos of my artworks in progress, so that people can watch the piece develop. This, more than anything has “hooked” people on my artwork.

– When at a loss for words, post an interesting quote or link. We can’t always have a clever one liner in us to post, but followers love to find interesting quotes and informative links from others.

– Find people that you admire and learn from them. Watch what others do and see what works for them. You don’t have to copy them, but find ways to incorporate their ideas into your own personal style.

– Be real. Authenticity is important. The more genuine you are, the more closely people will want to follow you and your brand or ideas.

– Use an application that allows you to group your followers. I use Tweetdeck because it allows me to group followers that I want to follow more closely. With groups, I can be more liberal about who I follow back without getting overwhelmed by zillions of tweets that drown out the ones I want to follow the most.

Have fun! Enjoy the adventure that social media can bring you!


  1. chrisburrows says

    Hey, Liz wet hree in the front row of todays talk/lecture about blogs agreed it was the best! So I had to go home and play at blogging. Thanks for all your helpand motivation.

  2. Hey Christine! Lovely to hear from you. I look forward to hearing about your blog when it's up and running.

  3. Really informative tips on using Twitter. I had never even heard of Twitpic before. Have to check it out.
    It is amazing how we can meet people who are countries apart using social media..

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