We get it. At first glance, social media feels a little like Tokyo’s famous Shibuya Crossing: people scrambling in all directions amongst layers of conversation, topics changing with the wind. How are we supposed to find creative talent amongst the crowd?

Never fear, there’s method to the madness (we promise!). Dive in, and you’ll see how everything comes together. How this seemingly frightening mix of platforms and channels, buttons and reactions, is actually a welcoming, passionate community of creative talent: artists, filmmakers, photographers, designers, makers. And they’re not just surviving. They’re thriving.

Here are 4 ways to use social media to find the creative talent you’re looking for.

1. Use the right platform

What comes to mind when you think of YouTube? Or Instagram?

Although they try to do it all, each social media channel specialises in different types of content. Every platform is instantly recognisable, not just because of the format, but because of the style of content.

We bet you can immediately tell which social media platform these screenshots belong to.

  • instagram profile screenshot
  • pinterest screenshot
  • youtube search
Filmmakers, animators and videographers

Where? YouTube.

YouTube is where filmmakers come together to showcase their finished work, and it’s grown into a treasure trove of different styles.

Top tip: Once you find a filmmaker you like, click their profile and head over to the about section for the artist’s contact details.

Artists and Photographers

Where? Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Looking for the perfect style? Head over to Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest and scour the artwork and photography on offer. These are places of inspiration as well as aspiration, ideal if you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking for until you see it.

Top tip: You will probably need to be following each other in order to send a direct message. Instead, check out the artist’s bio for their personal website and find the contact details through there.

Writers, makers, even candlestick makers (and all of the above)

Where? Facebook.

Facebook is home to a network of creative organisations and interest groups. Everyone who’s anyone has a page, and this is great for you, because however niche a creative talent you’re looking for, you’re probably going to find it. We’re talking artists, photographers, filmmakers, ceramicists, graphic designers, fashion gurus, you name it…

Top tip: Unlike Twitter and Instagram, you can directly contact artists on-platform by clicking Message on their profile page.

So now you’re on the right platform (*virtual high five*), you just need to find the most efficient way to use it. Keep reading and we’ll show you how to find the exact creative talent you need.

2. Treat social like Google

Where? Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.

These platforms are built for discovery. Treat them like Google and use the search field at the top of each page to find what you’re looking for.

Top tip: Hone your Facebook search to groups and pages, as this is where the majority of discussion occurs. Once you find the type of creative talent you’re looking for, you’ll discover that everything is networked. Take advantage of the People also like and Liked by this page section, as you’ll be able to hop from one creative talent to the other.

pinterest search bar

Facebook will prioritise your search results to show the most popular conversations, pages and groups first, making it easier than ever to find what you’re looking for.

And Pinterest will go one step further, recommending the most popular search terms based on what you type, so you know you’re never far away from the best content. Start broad before narrowing your search with the suggestions that appear beneath the search field (as demonstrated in the image above).

Top tip: A great search term for discovering creative talent on YouTube is “showreel”, as most professional filmmakers upload an overview of their work with this title.

3. Embrace #Hashtags

Where? Twitter and Instagram.

Hashtags allow you to pinpoint specific topics of conversation; handy for clearing out some of the noise! Creatives use them to fuel conversation, build networks, and ultimately promote their work.

Top tip: Head over to Websta.me to discover the most popular hashtags by interest for Instagram, or Hashtagify.me for Twitter.

instagram hashtag search

When searching for hashtags, Twitter and Instagram are kind enough to show you the most popular content first, which is a brilliant way for finding the most relevant creative talent.

Instagram even goes as far as recommending the most popular hashtags associated with your search (as demonstrated in the image above). It’s a rabbit hole just waiting for you to get lost in.

Top tip: Check out #artoftheday on Instagram for final artwork previews and some great work-in-progress shots. #artistoninstagram is also pretty cool for getting straight to the talent.

4. Let the talent come to you

Where?  Facebook.

If you’ve got a little money to spend, why not put a call out through Facebook ads? You can target your audience by age, sex, location and interests, capturing the attention of the people you need most.

This is the most effective way to highlight your content to a new audience, and a great way to continue building your online community without the time-intensive approach of scrolling through social media searches.

Top tip: Within your targeting, Facebook will show your advert to the audience who engages the most. This is a great way to understand which demographic is most interested in your organisation and make it even easier to find creative talent in the future.

Find creative talent through open calls with Zealous.

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