Tzedakah © 1999 Collection of The Jewish Museum, New York
Would you mail an envelope without an address? Would you invite a customer over to your studio and not even tell them the city? How about "Come over for lunch," but not give them an address!
Artists and craftspeople are doing this over and over! I see it all the time. They put their images on Facebook, Crafthaus or Flickr and don't have a title, description, or keywords with their images. I have even found images for sale in online marketplace sites such as Etsy with grossly incomplete information. This is like mailing an envelope without a stamp.
Every image should have a title, copyright symbol and date, detailed description including materials, dimensions, and perhaps a little insight into the inspiration.
Flickr, Facebook and Etsy for different audiences. All sites allow a title for the image and a description. You can reuse this information over and over. You don't have to reinvent the information every time. Copy and paste, then make changes as necessary for each forum.
Tags are important too.
Your tags should reiterate the information in your title and description. The redundancy between your title, description and tags are reinforcements for search engines to indicate credible information. This information is like the address on an envelope.
INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TITLES, DESCRIPTIONS AND TAGS
TITLES are important to keep your inventory straight and for search engine optimization. Watch with 5 minute tip titled, "Image File Names for Better Search Engine Optimization."
DESCRIPTIONS vary from site to site. Flickr will not allow overt selling statements. Etsy and Facebook will. I always include materials and dimensions (and frequently include a story about my inspiration) just for interest. Pinterest images will benefit tremendously from an interesting, and complete description about your work.
TAGS or KEYWORDS repeat the information in the title and description usually in one word snippets separated by commas. Use as many tags as needed or allowed on the site. Use every tag you can think of for a particular situation.Think about any variation of words that a person might use to find your work in a search. Try all different possibilities.
PAY ATTENTION to how to add tags effectively. Some sites need quote marks around multiple word tags to keep the words together as one tag (e.g. "Harriete Estel Berman".)
Sometimes testing and experimenting are the only way to find out what works, but to habitually not include titles, descriptions, and tags are like making your work invisible on the Internet. Like an envelope without an address, no one can find your images in search without titles, descriptions, & tags.
Go back to every one of your photos posted on social networking sites and edit your photos as time allows.
Photos of your art or craft should be part of your online profile on every site. Don't just segregate this information to a "Fan page" or online marketing site. Your friends might be your first customers. They love seeing what you do!
P.S. Tags and descriptions on your web site are handled a little bit differently than social networking and online marketing sites. Learn more about this in other posts.
In the meantime, send me your questions. I'd like to hear your perspectives and areas of interest.