We hear more and more about the advantages of being on social media, success stories and how one can promote their business using just that: social media. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn within everyone’s reach, targeting a wider audience is just a click or touch away. However, many artists dread the interaction as they prefer to be in their studios creating and not in front of people, talking about their art. So how can they use it to their advantage without compromising their precious time creating?
Tip 1 Making time
We know that not all artists are full-time artists, many have day jobs too, but putting some time aside for social media, shouldn’t be impossible. It doesn’t have to be an everyday chore, but if you find in your busy schedule a couple of hours a week, it should be enough to get you started. Share your work and tag the galleries or platforms that you are selling through so they can see you. If you get tagged, take some time to comment and share.
Check if you are tagged in galleries’ posts and make a comment, thanking for the share.
Share other people’s work, not just your own.
If you like other artists’ work, you can comment with just a simple heart if you can’t think of anything else to write. The more you share and comment, the better the chances are for that gallery to be seen and you and your art could benefit from it, too.
Keep an eye on the websites that you are selling through and notice any changes. Give feedback on the changes and share these with others. Read and share their blog posts, interviews with artists and gallery news as often as you can. Galleries work hard to reach as many people as they can, organically, but they need the artists’ help, too.
Do send updates about your work regularly as galleries want to know about your successes. Did you have a famous customer who gives you permission to share it with the world? Please tell. Did you get published in a magazine? We want to know about it. Do you have a nice studio or working space? Please show it to us. Do you have an interesting hobby? Please share.
Don’t post your own paintings when galleries share other artists’ work. They normally have a high number of sellers so they try really hard to be fair and share as many artists as they can. So instead of posting a link to your art when other artists are promoted, simply post on your own page and tag the gallery as this way it is more likely that the gallery will share your post.
We know this is a hard one, but try not to tag two or more galleries in one post as the chance of them sharing or commenting is almost zero. Instead, you can create two or three posts for each gallery (even when you share the same work) to increase the chance to be shared by that gallery.
Tip 2 Treat each social media platform differently
Instagram is a visual platform and it is worth having a page there to share your work. Please tag us in your posts and please share any news you might have. Instagram is a great platform to show your work in progress photos, your studio, your tools and you at work. Invest in a camera and learn to take your own photos, but the phones have good cameras nowadays, too. Give it a try and in no time you’ll be an expert.
Facebook exposure is still one of the most popular choices for artists so it is worth creating an artist page and share your work there. Galleries try to tag artists as much as they can in their posts, but please note that personal profiles can’t be tagged. The advantages of having a page is that you can keep your art and your personal profiles separate.
YouTube channel could be a great way to share your work-in-progress videos, exhibitions, techniques or any news you might have. If you are not camera-shy, this could be a great promotional tool. If you make videos, please tell us about them so we can share them on our social media, too.
Twitter is another great platform to share your work and if you have some time to research it, there are many events happening on twitter that you could be part of such as art exhibitions, handmade gifts ideas or ‘made in’. This is a great way to promote your art, make new friends and be part of a community.
Tip 3: Research #hashtags
Instagram and Twitter are mainly hashtag-based. On Instagram, you can add as many as 30 hashtags so make sure you make the most of it. All hashtags need to be related to your post but it is worth putting a few minutes aside and research a few hashtags like #art #fineart #handpainted #artcollector and see what images come up. See what other tags are used and try to incorporate them in your posts, too.
This article is not exhaustive so if you have more tips, we want to hear from you. Equally, if you have a success story using social media, you can write a short guide for our artists and we are more than happy to publish it on our online magazine. If you have created a hashtag, please tell us about it as well as any other tips you have on using hashtags for each platform.