Social media marketing is an inexpensive and effective way for artists to showcase, promote and sell their artwork and reach new audiences. The social media platforms keep growing… once dominated by Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, today artists use many social channels to promote their art including Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, and SnapChat. If you’re a painter, photographer, writer, playwright, musician, fashion designer or any other artistic field, social media is an ideal opportunity to promote and sell your work.
Marketing your art on social media is about growing a following and building relationships: it is not a numbers game. It’s great to have 1000 Twitter followers: but if not one of those followers are interested in you or your art, what’s the point? It’s better to have 150 Twitter followers who are interested in your viewpoint, who appreciate your art and who want to interact with you online. Most social media networks are free to use: but there is a significant investment in time to research, design and implement a social media marketing strategy. When you decide to market your art online, invest time in creating a marketing strategy that will maximize your time investment in social media and get results.
Here are 6 Must-Do Social Media Marketing Tips for Artists
1. Optimize your website
It’s not enough just to have a website: an artist’s website must have a strategy so that your website is found by search engines and your audience. A mobile-friendly website using with a content strategy that appeals to your target and is optimized for search engines will help your website rank higher and be more easily found by art buyers.
- Images on your website should be optimized for size so they don’t take too long to load (and discourage viewing) and be labeled with descriptive ALT tags that search engines can read and rank.
- Your website should have social share and social follow buttons so your visitors can easily follow you on social media, and share your art, your stories and your news with their networks.
2. Start a blog
The easiest way to get ranked higher in search engines and create content to share on social media is to start and regularly update a blog. Its not enough to just start a blog: you need to regularly update your website with new blogs to get people to keep coming back. Building your online following with good stories and visuals turns followers into fans, and fans into art buyers.
Blog ideas for marketing your art include:
- newly completed artworks including your inspirations
- behind-the-scenes peek at an artists life, such as your studio, preferred art supplies,
- share your favorite artists
- talk about yourself and why you became an artist and your artistic goals
- your exhibitions
- honors and awards
- art exhibitions you attend
3. Make your social visual
Viewers prefer visuals to words on social media. Instead of announcing your new exhibition on your social channels, post your announcement online with an image, link and text.
As an artist, you have an incredible advantage in social media marketing:
show your art, instead of telling about it.
- Visual social media marketing is the most effective type of social media marketing. Virtually every social media network encourages and supports visuals.
- One size does not fit all: it’s critical to know what size works for each social media channel, otherwise you may discover your artwork is cut-off or compressed. This article by Buffer discusses the ideal sizes for social media images.
- Video social media marketing is the fastest growing form of online marketing. Readers love to click, watch and listen. Instead of Smart phones and social media tools like Periscope make it easy to take and share short videos to showcase your artwork, exhibitions and inspirations.
4. Know which social media networks your ideal customer prefers
Different demographics prefer to use different social media channels. If you understand which demographics are your current customers, make sure you are using social media channels where your current customers live. If you want to expand your reach to new audiences, research which social channels your target audience is on.
- Millennials live their lives online. Online meeting scheduler Eventbrite reports, Millennials rely on digital platforms to find events and engage with the arts. It’s key that arts events employ digital marketing efforts, host event information online, and sell tickets online.
- 56% of internet users over 65 are on Facebook
- 53% of adults 18-29 are on Instagram – 49% of these users are on Instagram daily
- 42% of women online use Pinterest
- 52% of online adults use more than one social media channel
~ stats: PewInternet.org
5. Consider social media ads
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media channels offer inexpensive paid advertising which artists can use to promote and sell their art. For as little as $1/day you can grow your following and advertise your art on social media.
- Marketing Your Art with Facebook Ads
- Using Twitter to Promote and Sell Art and Design Work
- The Pinterest Guide to Selling Art Online
- How to Sell Art on Instagram
6. Engage with your followers
- When your social media post is Liked, your profile is followed, your photo is shared or someone subscribes to your blog, remember to thank your follower.
- Don’t just post on social media, interact with the people on that social channel. If you don’t bother to compliment other’s art, re-share posts on upcoming art events, or comment on other artist’s posts why would they interact with you? Social media is about building relationships, not just post your news and your art for sale.
- Be polite and social. Being authentic – you’re real you – online is important, but not the point where
It’s not necessary to be on every social media channel to market your art. What is important is to choose 2-3 social media channels that your audience uses, and market your art thoughtfully and creatively on those social networks.