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6 Solid Social Media Platforms and Tips for Cartoonists in 2019

What I'm doing in 2019 to keep the social machine running at full steam.

Social media.

Love it or hate it, the stuff works with getting our work out there if done right.

I know it can be frustrating as well with it changing so rapidly.  One day it’s amazing, the next day you’re like, What the…You’re horrible, social media!

That being said, here are Six Social Media Platforms and Tips for Cartoonists that I’ve put together that currently works for me.

  1. Instagram

Instagram is my new best friend.  We’re getting along pretty well right now.  If you’re a cartoonist and you DON’T have an Instagram account, NOW is the time to set one up!

I started to take Instagram seriously back in late September of 2018. Back then, I had about 400 followers. As I write this now, I have over 5,300. Not too shabby. (That’s actually changed. Update coming up a few paragraphs from now).

I know, I know.  I’m no Kardashian with MILLIONS of followers, and my numbers might seem a bit lackluster.  The takeaway is that it’s growing.  Daily.

The key?

Engage, follow, regular post and hashtags.

Engage by commenting on other cartoonists, artists or whatever other pages you enjoy.  Give em’ a “like” and comment.  Yes, it can take a bit of time, but it all comes back around.

Follow pages you enjoy and lots of times they’ll follow you back (you’ll notice I follow TONS of pages, and I have no shame about it).  I’ll eventually weed out some pages that I don’t find worth having around.  Still, follow away, my friend.

Post your comics regularly! I’d say AT LEAST once a day.  I keep mine at about 3-4 a day.  Yes, like a bad cable network, I have reruns – but so what?  A lot of people haven’t seen old cartoons and the upped posting schedule has brought in more followers.

And space em’ out, too. I usually post them every 4-5 hours.

Hashtags are these things #.

They’re not only used for cussing in the comics, like this #$%*, but they’re also a way for people to discover you.  I put a hashtag for EVERYTHING relevant.  Oh, and here’s the trick:  do this in the COMMENTS section.  I’ll be the first to comment on my own post and that comment will be nothing but hashtags.  Everything from #cartooning, #webcomic, #comic, #etc.  Stop by and see for yourself HERE.

And one last thing: make your profile picture YOU.  A good (or bad, like in my case) drawing of yourself is great for a profile pic.  Keep it noticeable.  Avoid logos or a boring printed name.

UPDATE: 4/14/2019

I originally posted this blog about four months ago. As you can see, my followers have more than DOUBLED from originally writing this. So, yeah, it continues to work. See screenshot below.

2.  Imgur

Strange name, but boy – people love going to this site!

Lots of views happen here. This is like Reddit (which I’ll mention next) where people vote on what they think is good or not.  Tons of stuff I’ve posted gets downvoted (boo!), but lots gets noticed and upvoted (yay!) as well.

Here, it’s important to add a catchy title to the top, your link to wherever it is you want people to go (I usually just put ‘Read more at www.nfakes.com’.  Simple and sweet.)  Also, use Tags (not name tags, but the thingies you use to indicate what kind of subject matter your comic contains).

After I post on Imgur, I share it directly from here to…

3.  Reddit

Reddit is a site that has just about everything.  That being said, they’re actually pretty big on comics and cartooning.  You can post a comic there and get lots of love (or hate). In general, it will bring quite a few eyes to your work.

You can see the huge variations of upvotes/downvotes on my comics below.

If you post your work to Reddit, be sure not to spam them.  Post about once a day.  That’s all. Just be cool there or you’ll get blocked, booed and become unpopular.

I’ve had some comics get tens of thousands of views and a lot of upvotes (the voting system on what’s popular or not is up and down votes).  I’ve had some comics get negative votes (a big goose egg).  I still haven’t figured out the key to what comics will be popular or not on there.  Sometimes, a VERY popular comic on Instagram gets torn apart on Reddit. It’s weird.

Be prepared for haters on here!

This is a vulgar crowd. People will be very direct of what they think of your work.  My advice is to ignore the haters and just laugh about it (and resist the urge to comment back).  It might just be a twelve-year-old kid on his parents computer who is excited about the opportunity to cuss incognito.

4.  Tee Public

This is actually a website where you can create print-on-demand products, like t-shirts, buttons, etc.  So, why the hell am I including this in a social media post?

In my opinion, TeePublic is the perfect segue into another social media platform…

5. Pinterest

I’m comibing Tee Public and Pinterest because they work as one.

I upload new images/cartoons on TeePublic for free.  It’s all free (free to setup an account, use, etc.).  I like Tee Public, because my work goes on sale instantly.

As soon as it’s “live” (which again, is pretty instantaneous), I share it to Pinterest.  THAT’S where the magic happens.

Pinterest shows just the image.  If people enjoy the comic, they share it.  If they explore further, it links back to TeePublic, where I might make a t-shirt sale or two.

Pinterest is VERY popular.

I’ll be honest, I don’t use it myself for any browsing purposes or anything.  In fact, I don’t know a bunch about it (except I guess there are a lot of good recipes on there).  I DO know that I have over 111,000 monthly viewers that I really didn’t do anything to get that number besides mostly sharing material off TeePublic.

I will say that I used to share a lot of content from other sources on there as well (you name em’), but it’s been mostly TeePublic the past year.

6.  Facebook

Facebook is kind of an oddball these days.  The algorithm of it all seems to change almost daily.  One afternoon, my cartoons are seen by tons of people and gets lots of views, and other times, not so much.  I personally have slowly been drifting away from my Facebook page.  I just don’t like the way it currently operates.

To keep it alive and well though (for those good moments), I have it so when I post on Instagram, it automatically posts to my Facebook Page as well.  It’s almost like out of sight, out of mind.  It keeps people that want to stay on Facebook in the loop (if they even see my comics) and it’s no effort on my part.  How do you do that?  Here’s a link (click here).

I do try to engage and chat with people on my Facebook page still.  After all, it doesn’t matter what platform a fan or follower is on, it’s cool to chat with them.  I also slightly nudge them to join me on Instagram — my happy place.

I will mention my Facebook page has over 10,000 followers.  That’s a pretty big number to just ignore, so I plan on hanging in there with Facebook in hopes they change how viewers see content.

Some general rules of thumb with ALL social media posting is this:

  • Add copyright info.
  • Links.  Add your freakin’ links.
  • Your name and features name.

Also, try to share other peoples work.  If you do, let them know about that.  Tag them or something.  Chances are, they’ll appreciate it and possibly share your work as well.  Just NEVER share someones work without a link and credit to the creator.  That’s a big no-no in my book.

What all of this boils down to is being noticed, getting your name out there and entertaining an audience.  From that, I’ve gotten clients, sold merchandise and so-forth.  Most importantly, it’s helped develop a growing fanbase.  I consider my comics that I post on social media minature ads for my work.  It’s all FREE, too!  Just takes some time out of the day.  I think it’s worth it.

Before I blink and it’s 2020, that’s all I’ve got for now.

I’ll adjust accordingly social media as the year goes by, I’m sure.

In the meantime, get those social media fingers ready and get out there!  Let me know how it goes, you sharable cartoonist you.

And if you haven’t already, be SURE to sign up for my FREE 3-part cartooning course to help in all areas of comic creating.  CLICK HERE

Comments

  1. Lori says:

    Tried out Reddit, posted my current cartoon and it got deleted within 4 minutes because I apparently violated the guidelines of the sub reddit. The rule, “out for personal gain”. Yeah… like a cartoonist is looking for some personal gain other than a laugh 8-( Bye Reddit….

    1. Nate says:

      Hi Lori! Where did you post in Reddit? Was it under the ‘Comics’ or ‘Webcomics’ section? I know when posting in the Comics section, you have to put an ‘OC’ (for original creator) after the caption. I’m just curious why they would remove it otherwise. I’ve had material removed from sub-reddits like ‘Humor’ and ‘Funny’ for the same thing you did. Each area has their own rules to posting…

      Reddit can be finicky, but it does bring attention (good or bad) to your comics if the post sticks.

      1. Anonymous says:

        In filling out the “fields” when making a post, I put my URL in it and apparently that is deemed self-promotion. Its a sub-reddit for the sport that I have been covering via cartooning online for almost 20 years 😎

        1. Nathanael Fakes says:

          Aa, gotcha. Yeah, I DON’T like how some sub-reddits delete things they deem “self promotion” when you’re the source. Trust me — I’m not a fan of a lot of it. I include it in my regular social media routine though due to getting my work out there more. It’s helped with bringing in clients who’ve discovered me on Reddit, so it does have its pros.

          I’d suggest trying to post in the comics and webcomics section, if you’d like. See how it goes. Or maybe there’s a different sports sub-reddit where it would be relevant? Hard to tell until you put it out there.

          Keep me posted!

          1. Lori says:

            I appreciate your insight and advice very much – thank you!

  2. Will Dudla says:

    I agree Reddit is uh…different. But there are a lot of awesome comics on there to read and be inspired by. \r\comics has a really decent set of rules as well as moderators. If someone is an ass in your comments, aka trolling, the mods are very responsive to feedback from creators and the ban hammer is put to use. I’ve only done this one time to a comment that was way out of line and it was refreshing to see moderators who actually care for the well being of creators. I haven’t posted to \r\webcomics yet as I heard that they are a bit odd in their posting rules.

    Have to try out that Teepublic to Pinterest idea. I have a Redbubble store, but it confuses the hell outta me. It seems way too complicated for what it’s worth.

    @Lori: what comic do you do? I would love to see it 🙂

    Will Dudla

  3. Jim Shoenbill says:

    I recently revisited reddit/r/comics thanks to Nate’s mentions in the videos. I basically gave up on it a year or so ago after getting frustrated with the inexplicable popularity of certain comics which dominated the feed. I used to try to use it to see traffic back to my tumblr or facebook pages, with limited success- most of my comics gained a few upvotes, but nothing much. But when I went back, I abandoned that and simply directly posted images once a week or so. This has been much more successful, with these comics typically receiving hundreds of votes (and the one I posted yesterday lingering on the ‘hot’ page for a while and getting 1000 or so votes). I think it is easier and quicker for readers to see your comics when you direct-post. Of course I get nothing direct out of it other than hopefully, eventually, becoming a recognizable creator on reddit and gaining some following that way.

    One side note: The first online ‘success’ I ever had was when, unbeknownst to me, a college friend’s 18-year old son made an imgur page of ten of my first comics and posted under r/funny with the title “My dad’s friends draws cartoons- here are some..”. That made the front page of reddit briefly and wound up with 300+ useful, mostly positive, comments and 100K+ views. It was really encouraging for me when I was first getting started.

    1. Nate Fakes says:

      That is true — links don’t work well with Reddit anymore (they used to do alright with me, but that changed several years ago). An image file directly uploaded to the site works best.

      Imgur is really good sometimes as well. It’s all such a strange platform — both Reddit and Imgur. Some comics that I’d consider a success on GoComics or Instagram get DOWNVOTED on those sites big time. Others, that I feel aren’t that swell, become immensely popular. I haven’t quite figured out what’s great on there and will work. Sometimes puns really skyrocket, other times they’re “lame dad jokes” that get a ton of trolling comments. At any rate, I’ve always been one to say that as long as you’re getting out there as much as possible, it’s not a bad thing. Reddit and Imagr is similar to throwing a comic against the wall and seeing what sticks (if comics really did stick, that is). Sure, you can get trolls, but you might get a viral comic as well the next day.

      When you have an audience (people that kind of know what to expect) on Instagram, it’s different because they’re used to it. Total crap shoot though otherwise on other social platforms like Reddit and Imgur.

      Thanks for sharing!

      1. Nate Fakes says:

        I will add to my own comic that RELEVANT comics do better, so it’s not a TOTAL crap shoot. I’ve mentioned that in my videos. So, for example, a comic about July 4th would’ve been more easily popular yesterday. Relatable comics tend to do well, too. However, even in those scenarios, you never know the outcome for sure of upvoted or downvoted.

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