Social Media Marketing for Artists

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    This post is by Dave Geadaa strategic adviser to FASO and a marketing expert with over 20 years of experience in brand management, product marketing and product management. Through his consulting company, DBS Marketing, Dave helps technology companies develop valuable insights into their customers and what matters most to them. Then he helps turn these insights into marketing and product strategies that drive sales. As a regular contributor to this newsletter, Dave helps explain latest trends in online marketing and how artists can tap into these trends to help boost their art sales.


    Social media can be a powerful tool in your art marketing toolkit if it’s done properly. Very often though, we find artists making these common mistakes:

    • Using too many social channels. There’s a lot to choose from, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Using too many social channels can be a drain on your time and being good at all of them is hard.

    • Focused on the wrong number. Generating a lot of likes and shares can feel good, but if that’s all you're doing then you’re missing the point. Marketing is about generating sales, and the quality of your followers matters more than the quantity.

    • Posting too often. If you’re posting 2 or more times a day on social media for your art business, then you’re posting too often and are likely causing many of your followers to ignore your posts.

    • Posting too infrequently. If you’re only posting once or twice a month, you’re posting too infrequently and likely not get great results.

    • Not telling their story. We’ve all seen artists that only post images of their artwork and how to buy them on social media, and don’t really tell a story. More often than not, these artists sell very little online.

    Based on my research, I’ve found that two social media channels seem to work best for artists.

    • Facebook is the most popular platform used by collectors, and a common way they keep in touch with the artists that they love. Use a combination of compelling imagery and/or video along with great copy to tell your story.

    • Instagram is a rising star and the other platform that we recommend. Because Instagram is about compelling images, you should use it to showcase your artwork and share memorable photos that tell your story.

    Social media is like water cooler chitchat in an office. It’s meant to be short and sweet, and keep you lightly connected to people you otherwise wouldn’t see every day. Here are the tactics you should use to guarantee success:

    • Post 2-3 times a week. Any more and you’ll run the risk of alienating your audience. Any less and you run the risk of losing touch.

    • On Facebook, focus on telling your story and the story of your art. Use images to grab people’s attention, and use copy to give people a window into your journey as an artist. Keep it short and keep it authentic.

    • On Instagram, focus on posting captivating images. Examples include images of your artwork, a picture of you in a gorgeous plein air setting, you with fellow artists, or you with collectors. The only limit is your imagination.

    • Make sure you use hashtags when you post. A hashtag is a search term preceded by the hash symbol (#). For example, #FASOsites. Using hashtags makes it easier for collectors to find you.

    • Get your audience to interact with you. From time to time ask your audience to take some action. It could be to give you feedback on a work in progress or to share your post with their friends. Then reward them for taking that action by giving them something for their efforts. Perhaps it’s a sketch, or postcards with their favorite work on them, or VIP tickets to your next event. This type of interaction makes it much more likely that they’ll take action when it comes time to buy one of your artworks.

    • Up your game by posting videos on Facebook. Videos give you far more reach, are much more engaging and more likely to get shared by your followers. They are also a lot easier to produce. All you need is a smartphone.

    • Whenever you meet someone in the real world who is interested in your art, connect with them on social media. That’s the secret to building a high-quality audience on social media. Don’t be shy about it. When you feel it’s the right time, just ask them to pull out their smartphone, take them to your Facebook and Instagram page, and have them follow you right then and there.

    One of the questions I get asked a lot is whether artists should use a personal page or a business page for their art business. You should always use a business page, and here’s why:

    • You’ll be able to have unlimited followers (and let’s face it, who doesn’t want that?).

    • You won’t be mixing your personal and business posts, which means you can keep the focus on your art and your art career.

    • You can add a prominent link to your artist website on a business page, and you can’t with a personal page (you’ll see why that’s important in a minute).

    The only downside to using a personal page is that it will cost you money to reach a majority of your followers with your posts.

     

    Here’s one more Facebook tip for you, and arguably it’s the most important. Whenever possible, don’t link to anything outside of Facebook (like your artist website). I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but hear me out. Facebook hates it when you link to external sites from your posts, and they will penalize you for this by limiting the number of people that see your post. So whenever possible, link to another area on Facebook like your Facebook business page. Facebook really loves that and will reward you for it by helping your posts reach more followers.


    Given this feedback, you’re probably wondering how you go about getting people over to your website so that they can buy your art or take other actions like signing up for your newsletter. Here’s how you do it:

    • Add a button on your Facebook business page that links back to your website.

    • Add a link to your Facebook business page in your post.

    By the way, if you’re a FASO customer click here to learn more about our marketing integrations with Facebook.

     

    Finally, if you’re not a FASO customer, you should give us a try free for 30 days.  






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