Ep 86: An Artful Approach to Social Media (with Robin Cembalest)

nonprofits are messyRobin Cembalest has more than 48,000 followers on Instagram (and growing). I just got started pretty recently on Instagram, so that feels like a lot of followers to me.

And so I was very interested to learn how Robin has built such a following as a social media and editorial strategist “for the art world and beyond.” She has a great feed!

But even more so, I was especially interested to find out how my fellow nonprofit leaders (that’s you!) can learn to bring a more artful approach to your social media outreach, to the huge benefit of your organizations.

We discussed the most important elements for a successful social media strategy, how to best use social media to tell great stories, and how the various social platforms differ in their messaging and audiences.

I sure learned a lot. I know you will too.

About Robin Cembalest

Described by artnet as “one of the leading lights of art-world social media,” Robin Cembalest is a journalist and editorial strategist. The former longtime executive editor of ARTnews, she has published widely in The Wall Street Journal and many other publications, and maintains her popular @rcembalest feeds on Instagram and Twitter. In her consulting business,

Robin Cembalest Editorial Strategies, she works with art-world clients to design and implement editorial and digital content. She also founded and directs the Niboristas, a mentoring and networking group for art-world professionals.

In this episode

  • Often, a picture has to tell a story by itself
  • Instagram as a diary of events
  • Building a huge following requires more than content alone
  • How to work within people’s attention span?
  • What language makes the reader want to know more?
  • How to design your message so the piece is demystified and inviting
  • What do the printed page and digital media have in common? Where are they truly different?
  • How do you get people to click on your link?
  • If you are not in the art world but instead you run a homeless shelter, how can the story of your mission be told through social media?
  • Who needs to be on Facebook? What is it useful for? Is everyone leaving?
  • The followings you build in one career will stay with you – keep that in mind
  • How far ahead of a launch or event do you need to build your platform?
  • What is the role of the board in social media?