More than that he is one of my favorite artists. He has a creative style, bringing a fresh perspective to pieces that transcend contemporary images. In fact, in my opinion, Vining makes simplicity come alive with a whimsy that seems a mix of Salvador Dali and Dr. Seuss.
The reason I mention Vining on this blog, however, has less to do with his art than it does with his skill as a marketer. As an artist Vining is exemplary, but as a marketer he also displays a deft touch and ability to correctly judge both his market demographic and the tools he needs to reach them.
Recently Vining embarked on a social media marketing campaign meant to increase his Facebook likes. He talked about this at his blog:
It has been a long time since I have tried to make any sort of big push to increase my online following on Facebook and in the last few years Facebook has made it increasingly difficult to actively build a following. In fact, running “contests” on Facebook runs a large risk of getting your page shut down unless you jump through a million hoops and follow their Terms of Service to a tee.
I do not want to jump through their hoops, so to put your name in the bucket for free art you don’t have to do anything on Facebook but if you feel moved to do so that would be awesome.
Participation is EASY – just sign up for my newsletter by simply putting your email in the box at this link: http://eepurl.com/gK-sH
Vining is also a law school graduate, which meant he likely had an easy time navigating the confusing Facebook policies regarding contests and finding a solution which his client (himself) could tolerate and which would deliver the results he was looking for.
After a week or so of this new tactic Vining released a Facebook post which detailed how his self-promotion program was going:
I pick the winners tomorrow! Interesting statistics: since I started this push to hit 11,000, my shameless self-promotion has produced an average of 3 "unlikes" per day and 8.7 "likes" per day with an average rate of 1,326 of the 10,925 people reached per post. Of the 1,326 people reached, there is an average interaction of 22 people per post for an average interaction rate of those who have been reached of .02% per post (which would be .006% of the 10,925). Based upon those statistics it looks like I can expect to finish the day at 10,931.7 "likes", not 11,000. I very much appreciate the support of the many who have shared my work with others, I seriously could not be a full-time professional artist without all of your support. However, I have committed to to give away a ton of art tomorrow, will you help me prove those numbers wrong? http://www.justinvining.com/blog/
It seems to me Vining, as an artist, is one heck of a social media marketer. He worked within the rules of the social media tools he was using and delivered the results he was looking for without resorting to "buying Likes" or any sort of Black White social media marketing tactics.
He also produced measurable results which he can use to determine how effective his marketing campaign was, without the use of complicated algorithms or questionable analytics.
Kudos to Vining. You can find his blog here and his Facebook Fan Page here.