How to Market Your #Art & #Photography on Social Media

Secrets to Promoting Artwork on Facebook, Instagram, and Google+

Nobody has to be a starving artist. That’s a choice. Online — specifically on social media — you have an unfounded opportunity for visibility and promotion of artwork that didn’t exist 20 years ago. Whether you’re a seasoned gallery artist, an amateur portrait photographer, or anything in between, this guide will help you setup your social media accounts for selling success. Let’s take a look at how to market your artwork and photography on Facebook, Instagram, and Google+.

This is What You Need to Think About First

Before you get into the tactics that the most successful artists are using online, I want you to think about one thing: visibility. This is the key to your success. Having your personal profiles setup for visibility is going to save you quite a bit of energy otherwise spent on outreach. Your entire list of friends and followers — your most likely fans — can have access to your art and photos if you only allow it. So, here’s how to make sure your profile is setup properly for optimal visibility.

  • Make your personal profiles public.
  • Create professional, branded, artist pages aside from personal profiles.
  • Link to your professional pages from your personal page.
  • Make sure you’re not accidentally linking to a generic topic like Photographer or Artist in Facebook.
  • Use hashtags.
  • Post artwork to your professional pages first, then share to personal profiles and groups.

Cross-Promotion is Your Best Friend

Share your Instagram posts and Pin boards on Google+, your Google+ boards in Facebook status updates, and keep the traffic moving. When you visit one of your own social media pages, ask “What do I want visitors to see next?” and do what you need to keep the traffic moving.

On Facebook, I found Lolita Ronalds Artistic Photography. This page has over 16,500 likes. As you can see, she links directly to her Instagram profile in the “About” section:

Market Your Art Online | Link to Instagram from Facebook via @illumaglass
Screen shot sourced May 16, 2016

On Instagram, @lolitartisticphotography‘s page links back to Facebook in her bio:

Market Your Art Online | Link from Instagram to Facebook via @illumaglass
Screen shot sourced May 16, 2016

This keeps the traffic between the two profiles circular, limiting the probability that a potential customer will move away to something else before having a chance to spend some time on the profiles. It’s a great way to increase the likelihood that a visitor will either like or follow one of the pages.

How to Organize Your Galleries on Facebook, Instagram, and Google+

On both Facebook and Google+, in varying ways, there are options to upload albums of artwork to serve as online galleries. Instagram, in itself, is a gallery. But, how can you let your visitors know that you’re selling something, and maybe even entice them to purchase? Try this:

Even though she has artwork available in the range of $6k and up, Kelli Bickman uses Facebook as a way to let people know that they can get a piece of her work for less than $275.

Market Your Art Online | Showcase Your #Artwork by Price via @illumaglass
Screen shot sourced May 16, 2016

Showcase less expensive artwork with links to your more prominent galleries.

This is the Proper Use of #Hashtags to Market Your Art Online

Everyone’s using hashtags on social media, with varying degrees of success. There are some hashtag tactics to avoid and some that you may not have thought of trying yet. Use this section as a mini-guide to get you started.

Hashtag Tactics to Avoid

  • Hyper-tagging: This is where you #use #hashtags in too #many #words throughout your #social #media #posts or follow-up your original message with a long list of tags: #hashtagging #usinghashtags #howtousehashtagsonsocialmedia #promotingartonsocialmedia #artworkonsocialmedia #professionalartist #buyartwork
  • Irrelevant Tagging: Don’t add hashtags to words that have nothing to to with your artwork. If it’s a digital drawing of Ganesh, and you use the tag #elephant, this is irrelevant. People looking for elephants are looking for elephants. People looking for a piece of art are looking for #artwork, #photography, #design, etc.

Hashtag Tactics to Try

  • Use Hashtagify: When you want to market your art online, and are serious about it, you’ll do whatever you can to make sure your work is getting the attention it deserves. Hashtagify.me takes the guesswork out of hashtags, helping you find relevant terms to use in your posts.
hashtags data by hashtagify.me

Simply enter your hashtag — in this case, I chose #macrophotography — and see what other related terms might be the most popular. Choose 2-4 related tags to use in your posts. You can use the same ones for every social media platform, or change them up.
  • Run a Campaign: If you are going to be sharing art in high volume, you can run your own campaign. With this campaign, you will essentially make up your own hashtag (we use #illumaglass). When you’re just starting out, you won’t necessarily see a lot of engagement, but as time goes on and you begin to share more content, your social media traffic will become more circular. Here’s how you do this.
  1. Choose a hashtag for your brand.
  2. Register your hashtag on Twubs (optional).
  3. Start using this tag on all related artwork shared on social media.
  • Piggyback on Trending Topics: All social media platforms will have a list of trending topics and hashtags. There is no shame in piggybacking traffic from these trends, as long as they’re relevant to your brand, so make sure you are up-to-date with what’s trending every time you post. This way, you can can monitor whether something comes up that is relevant to your art or photographs, and ride the wave.

Conclusion

When you are marketing art on social media, you need to keep your artwork visible. Direct traffic in a circular motion, letting visitors see how to jump from one profile/ gallery to the next. Organize your galleries in a way that allows visitors to see what you’re selling, and entice them to purchase. Keep your hashtags optimized and relevant. This advice will get you started on the road to successful online art promotion, but stay tuned for more advice and techniques. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates to this blog.

If you’re ready to take your work to a new level, check out the ebook below that will help you transform art and photographs into archival quality glass prints.

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