If you’re a new artist, new to Social Media or just trying to increase your business we’ve put together 20 useful tips to help you get started. We’ll help you navigate through the ways to increase your audience and some tips on what not to do as well!
1 Consistency is Key
Be consistent across your social media platforms. Present a consistent, professional face to your audience. Have separate personal and professional accounts and a consistent artist statement and ‘voice’ across all of them. By all means share the cat memes and political jokes on your personal pages but keep them off your professional pages, unless your professional work is Cat memes or Political cartoons, in which case go ahead and share!
2 Branding, Branding, Branding
This relates to using the same name across your Social Media accounts, similar wording, same logo or avatar. It also goes back to being consistent. Establish the name and use it everywhere, so people can find and recognise you and your work.
3 Post Frequently
Keep on posting! Post daily for maximum effect. Post more than once a day to build your presence. Keep posting. There are tools out there that allow you to schedule posts. Use them to their full effect, and schedule posts at various time of the day and night. Your audience may be in another country so post in their evenings, their mornings as well as in your own time zone.
4 Share and Share alike
Social Media is a form of networking to connect with other artists, share ideas and inspirations, and share support for each other. However, also be aware that quantity of followers is not necessarily the goal. Follow people whose work you truly admire, not just like for like. Follow some well-known artists, and see what they post about, the frequency of their posts and the message they send. This site has some nice info and articles about best practise for social media for artists.
5 #Hashtag #Highlights
Hashtags should be used to draw attention to the key themes or points of your post. So for art related tagging you can use the theme of the work, the colour scheme, the title of the work, your name if it is different to the name of your Social Media account; try not to use the same tags all the time, some platforms will penalize you for that.
6 Hashtag Tools
There are tools for finding trending hashtags and this can be very helpful to get your posts in front of a new audience. However, it’s only really effective if your posts align with the theme of the hashtag. Don’t go posting a bunch of unrelated ‘trendy’ tags to draw in people, it will look spammy and work against you.
7 Be Vocal and Unique
Have your own style and voice. This will develop over time with most people but it’s something to be aware of from the start. You want people to see a post and instantly recognize it as your voice, your work from the moment they see it come up on their feed, even if they don’t notice who posted it.
8 I tube, YouTube
If your work is highly visual consider a YouTube channel. You can use it to showcase skills, demonstrate techniques or simply show time lapse of your work being created. People love to see video ‘behind the scenes’ and with a half decent cell phone and good lighting you’d be surprised how easy this is to do. If you don’t want to talk to the audience use copyright free background music with some simple editing software to package your video.
9 You Teach
Some artists take their YouTube channel and branch out into teaching others how to paint, draw, and create. This builds their brand and many people have become quite successful in their fields from starting on YouTube.
10 Free Tools make good sense
Make good use of free tools online to assist with managing Social Media posting and content packaging. Hootsuite is one that offers a basic free account for 3 Social channels. There are several others out there also, Buffer, TweetDeck for Twitter users, and more!
11 Become a Blogger
A blog is an opportunity to share more than your art with others. Many people use it to share aspects of their day, things that inspire them; all the unique things that make YOU stand out. This helps build loyalty with your followers. Again, use discretion on posting personal news and views that may offend your audience.
12 Connect with your community
Local knowledge and local support cannot be underestimated. Sure, your friends and family are there for you, but you need to build new connections also. Reach out to your community pages on Facebook; check their rules on promoting your own pages, blogs or sale sites.
13 Give it your best shot!
It really is important when sharing pictures of your completed work to have the highest quality images online. Invest in a good camera if you can. It doesn’t even have to be a new camera but one that can take high resolution pictures is best. If you are a painter it’s good to take pictures of your work outdoors under natural light. That gives the best colour resolution.
14 Make a Statement
On your Social Media sites there will be an About Me section. This is where you should put an Artist’s Statement, introducing yourself, your motivations for making and creating, your recurring themes, current works and enough about yourself to pique the interest of your audience. Keep it up to date.
15 Self Promotion is good for the soul
Get out there on Social Media. Promote your art, your upcoming showings, and your next big thing. Are you changing direction in your themes? Moving from one medium to another? Tell your audience; generate excitement in your brand. We enjoyed this article on 10 ways to UNSUCCESSFULLY market yourself as an artist 🙂
16 Get out of your rut!
Sometimes it’s too easy to get into a pattern of formulaic posts. Shake things up from time to time. Post at different times of the day. Increase frequency of your posts for a week to generate more engagement with your followers. Add video to your posts. Try new styles. Challenge yourself and bring your followers along with the journey!
17 Your product is your focus
Sure, it’s easy to be distracted when creating a new social media channel, making backgrounds, choosing fonts on blogs, creating logos and adding buttons! But is that what you are actually promoting? Your focus is your product. Don’t distract your audience with a bunch of unnecessary bells and whistles; you want them to look at your art.
18 Analyse This
Use tools available on the web to analyse your Social Media reach. If you are using a Social Media scheduling program they include reporting functions so you can check engagement, likes, comments and determine things like best time of day to post, who is reading, who is commenting. There is also Google analytics that can be added to many sites to see where people are visiting from, what pages they look at and how long they visit your site. It will help you immensely to see what is working and what is not attracting and keeping people interested.
19 Connect the dots
Make connections. Grow your network in real life and bring them online to your pages. Ask friends to share and invite like-minded people to your Social Media presence. Put your art out there in appropriate locations to sell and to promote your brand. Have it framed and have your Instagram, Facebook or YouTube channel on the matting in the frame, on a card attached to the frame, or some visible place. Run contests for followers who bring new fans to your sites. Keep sharing and showing your work online and in the real world too.
20 Make Art
No matter how many posts you make across every Social Media channel there is, you still need to take time out to actually create Art. Use a planner, make a schedule, or use phone reminders to set limits on your Social Media time so you don’t get sucked into the abyss of time-wasting online. Get on, do what you need to do and then get offline and go make something!
We hope you’ve found some of these tips helpful. The key to all of this is to get yourself out there and get involved; and most of all have fun doing it!