How Social Media and Art Collide at Twyla

    October 09 2017

    Twyla is an art company based in Austin and their goal is to make it possible for people to access exclusive artwork from the most talked about artists in the business. They also believe that you don't necessarily have to know everything about art in order to buy it. We love their accessible and informative approach when it comes to helping "newbies" purchase art. Because of this - millennials and people of all ages can feel more at ease and less intimidated when looking to enter into the art world. We got to chat with Twyla's Social Media Strategist, Paige Smith about all things art, digital, and how she maintains inspiration when combining the two. Read on to find out more!

    Hi, Paige! Please introduce yourself. What is your role at Twyla and what does your day to day look like?

    Hi there! I'm Paige, the Social Media Strategist at Twyla —an art company that makes stunning limited edition art prints by some of today's hottest artists. Outside of strategizing social media campaigns and content for Twyla, I do the same thing for my fashion and lifestyle blog, @ashtonxpaige. My blog played a significant role in how I got my job at Twyla. Starting my website from scratch pushed me to go out and learn how to market on my own, and after months of picking up different skills, I realized I loved social media marketing. I had found my niche. Well, one of them at least! My day-to-day always changes (welcome to the startup life)— and I wouldn't want it any other way. Being in a small company enables me to get my hands dirty and experiment and test what resonates with our customers. My mornings usually start with catching up on emails (and yes, coffee of course), engaging with our followers and pulling analytics on posts. My afternoons are usually a mixture of planning, strategizing and creating fresh content.

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    Give us an overview of Twyla. How does the buying process work and how do you decide which artists to add to the Twyla family?

    The seed for Twyla was planted back in 2014, when the then CEO of HomeAway, Brian Sharples, and his friends, a gallerist, and artist, had an idea around creating an online art company with a mission of making incredible art accessible. Flash forward to October 2016 when the idea came to fruition, and we launched Twyla's team of established curators select artists to offer contemporary artwork in a range of styles including photography, abstract and pop a r t . My favorite piece on the site right now is: Nude (Point Dume) by Josh Elrod. I love this piece because of its bright colors, yet it's not over the top and adds a fresh, airy feeling to any room. The inspiration behind this piece only solidifies the good vibes I receive—being nude on California beaches! All artworks, which range from $300 to $3500, are available to purchase exclusively on Customers can even "try before you buy" with our 30 day/$30 trials. We know buying art is a commitment and we want to make sure our customers are happy.

    Tell us about your process when it comes to planning, creating and marketing content. Has Social Media played a big part in Twyla's success?

    When creating a new social campaign, I always start with identifying the goals and objectives. What are we aiming to achieve—engagement, clicks to the site, etc.? Next, I grab a pen and paper and start to brainstorm. I'm a visual person, so I write and draw out all of my ideas. I then sift through the concepts that best match my objective and goals and begin the execution process. Executing content is a team effort! I work in close collaboration with Twyla's head of marketing and creative director to produce a comprehensive social strategy. I then go into the fabulous Planoly app to organize and plan our posts! I feel that social media is an integral part of any business, especially an art company! Social has played a significant role in getting our brand in front of thousands of people and is at the forefront of defining Twyla's brand identity.

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    How do you think Social Media is affecting the art industry and how should artists take advantage of the digital age to grow their business?

    Social media has enabled not just artists, but anyone to create their gallery in the palm of their hand. Through social media, the masses have access to artists and art like never before, and I think that's a pretty incredible thing. How many times have you gone down the rabbit hole on Instagram and realized you were looking at something different from when you started? I know I have, and that's usually how I've found artists and various accounts that inspire me! Artists should take advantage of social media to share their portfolio and personalities while engaging with their followers, brands and other artists for collaboration. On Instagram, people can discover and connect with new artists easily, which makes art inherently more approachable and attainable. As a social media strategist, it's a powerful thing to be a part of.

    What can we look forward to from Twyla this year?

    We just launched our first collection with Pharrell Williams' creative agency, i am OTHER, which features work by M. Tony Peralta, Angelica Hicks, and Freegums. I love Frida Nipple by Angelica Hicks —"Free the Nipple" is an empowering movement supporting women's equality, and I like Angelica's witty and light-hearted approach to it. I've enjoyed getting know the artists in this collection, so I am looking forward to more of these partnerships that reinforce our mission of supporting artists and changing the way people discover and buy art!

    How do you stay inspired and what advice do you have for aspiring Social Media Strategists?

    With the ever-changing world of social media, I make sure always to set aside time in my day to research what's new. I keep up with my favorite brands on social media and make a note of campaigns that catch my eye and spark a fire—Instagram's "bookmark" feature has saved my life when it comes to this! I also make sure to ask myself with every single piece of content I post that if I were the consumer, would I double tap? The advice I would give to an aspiring social media strategist is to be fluid and always try new and different things. Social media moves at such a fast rate, so fresh content is imperative to grab people's attention. The only way to find out what your audience connects with is by testing various content and seeing what resonates. Ask yourself what catches your attention when scrolling through feeds and put yourself in your followers' shoes. At the end of the day we're all on social media to be entertained, so make it fun!
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