Have you ever halfheartedly started posting to social media and given up a month later? When your friends ask you why, you tell them that you did not get any art sales out of it so you don’t see the point? As tempting as it is to give up, it’s not necessarily the right way to go. Social media is not an overnight win, not even if you advertise. In order to reap its benefits you’ve got to be in it for the long haul.
We all have a Facebook page or Instagram account and generally our friends and family are kind enough to like our posts, even if our posts are on the boring side. But when it comes to using social media to promote their art careers I sometimes hear from artists that they don’t like to use social media because they feel like they’re bothering people.
Let’s clear that one up once and for all. Social media is all about opting-in. That means that your followers actively choose to stay informed about your art career by liking your Facebook page and following your Instagram account. You’re not bothering them. And the beauty of social media is that if people no longer want to hear from you, they’ll simply unfollow or unlike you.
Why, you ask, would they want to unfollow me? Well, there are many possible reasons. They may have lost interest in art. Or they like your art, but they don’t like your posts. This is where trial and error comes in: time to get out of your comfort zone. Try out a bunch of different things: close up or installation shots of your art, photos and video’s of you working in your studio alternated with cool images of art events (ideally your own gallery opening). Check out these artist Instagram accounts for inspiration.
Social media has the potential to enhance your online presence, support your offline marketing efforts and perhaps even allow you to sell a painting or two. But you’ve got to try it in order to see what sticks. Stay tuned as we'll discuss the best strategies for #hashtagging in a following post.