I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Marketing is a numbers game. Marketing is all about building awareness of your art among your target audience, and the more members of that audience you reach, the better. No matter who you are or how great your work, only a few of all the people you encounter will be interested in your particular subject and style of work, so you need to start with a really big number to wind up with the right amount of collectors.
So it just makes sense to harness the power of the Internet, and particularly of social media, to reach as many people as possible. These days, there are two ways you can reach potential collectors through social media. One is by paying for ads, and the other is by building up your following organically, or through your own efforts. Your choice is based largely on which you’d rather spend—your time or your money.
If you think advertising is out of reach, think again. You can buy advertising on most of the major social media platforms, and setting up an ad on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest is really quite easy. All it takes is an account, jpegs of your best work, and some inviting words to drive people to your website. You’ll be surprised at how affordable it is. Even a modest investment of $50 or $100 a month can yield some solid results in a short amount of time.
But if you don’t want to invest your money, you’ll need to do it entirely the slow way, by participating in social media as often as possible, preferably on a daily basis. As I’ve said before, however, you don’t need to participate on all of the different social media platforms available to you. Instead, pick one or maybe two platforms that are used by your target audience. Facebook is a great choice for almost every artist out there because such a broad cross-section of people are using it, but you could just as easily try Twitter, Instagram, or even LinkedIn.
If you really want to organically build your following on social media, you should post about your artwork fairly often, especially on Facebook. Many people aren’t aware that Facebook does not show all of your posts to all of your friends or followers, so you’ll need to post about twice as often as you think you should in order to reach your followers at the frequency you think is right for you. Make your posts engaging and entertaining, with plenty of great images and messages that reflect your brand. And if possible, identify special interest groups within each platform where you’re most likely to encounter people in your target audience, join those groups, and engage in conversation with them. Once you become a regular in a group, you can start introducing your art to the other members and inviting them to visit your website.
Some of you may have noticed that I didn’t mention Pinterest as an option. Don’t get me wrong—I think it’s great, and I have pinned all of my clients’ works onto pin-boards within Pinterest. The reason I didn’t list it is that I no longer think of Pinterest as social media. This site has become one of the largest search engines around, up there with YouTube, so treat it as such. Pin your works from your website to your public boards, add some keywords into the descriptions, and let Pinterest go to work for you all on its’ own.
I know I’ve presented this as an either-or proposition, but probably the best approach is a little of each. Combine advertising with person-to-person interactions on social media, and watch your following grow!
What are your best tips for using social media for art marketing? Let’s connect!