It’s no secret that social media has taken the world by storm. It has created thousands of superstars from singers such as Justin Bieber to athletes like Havard Rugland to models like Kate Upton. No matter which field you’re in, social media can catapult your career to levels that would otherwise take decades to reach—if ever. This especially true when it comes to fine artists.
For fine artists, social media savvy is a must, especially as you begin to promote your work and yourself. In this modern day of photo sharing, status updating and “Liking,” it’s important to realize that you are no longer simply an artist—you’re a brand too. And like any big brand knows these days, when you’re not sharing, you can bet someone else is! That’s the beauty of social media.
So if you want to jump on the social media bandwagon to start promoting your best works and building your brand, the following are a few tips and strategies that can help you effectively promote your art in the online world.
And It All Begins with Facebook
If you’re one of the more than 1 billion Facebook users worldwide, then you’ve already taken one of the biggest and most important steps in promoting your art to the world. Built specifically to share thoughts and photos, Facebook also offers the advantage of a built-in audience through your friends list. Sure, not all your friends may be interested in your work, but Facebook makes it easier for fans (or anyone else) to find you.
There are a few things you can do, however, to keep your friends and fans separate. Consider creating a new page separate from your personal account. This way, you can feel comfortable connecting directly with your target audience. To keep them engaged:
• Share new or works in progress, often.
• Post updates on any upcoming shows or exhibitions, regularly.
• Share your thoughts daily, especially if you don’t have any new works or upcoming shows to share.
In a nutshell, stay active. Frequent lulls in activity could actually hurt your brand, leaving your fans to fill in the blanks. This is never a good thing. In essence, your artist Facebook page should be a hub for fans to gather and interact with you regularly—much like your personal account.
Other Viable Options: Artist Blog or Website, Twitter and Tumblr
At the end of the day, no matter what you decide to post, it is your art you’re ultimately promoting, and it’s what your audience want to see. Fortunately, there are a number of different social media outlets on the menu, most notably, the photo sharing phenomenon known as Instagram.
Instagram allows you to upload photos for all your followers to see. They can give any favorite photo a quick double-tap to “Like” it and the more Likes, the better. We can’t imagine a more perfect promotional tool for artists. You upload your work, and just like that, you log dozens of responses. It sounds simple enough, but with a little creativity, you can use Instagram to gauge fan reactions through Likes and comments.
So here’s a tip: Consider posting images of works in progress with captions that will highlight the work and entice your followers to keep checking back for progress.
Try something like this:“Hey everyone, check out the first layer in my new project. It’s not much yet, but keep checking back for updates on its progress!”
Little things like this can make followers feel like they are a part of the creative process from beginning to end.
Don’t Forget Video!
Videocentric social media applications have become more and more prevalent over the years. This growing popularity has opened the door to a large number of opportunities for artists to promote their work and connect with their fans.
The trend likely started with Vine—a smartphone application that allows users to upload six-second videos to their account. While this may sound like a short amount of time for a video, it’s more than enough to give your viewers a glimpse into your creative process. More importantly, it just might leave viewers wanting more, so they might continue to seek you out on other social media platforms.
Other viable options include:
• Viddy, which allows users to create 14-second videos, max.
• Montaj, where users can take a series of five second videos to create a Hollywood-style montage.
• Snapchat, where viewers can view photos or watch videos for 1-10 seconds (as of 2014)
So here’s a tip: Film yourself painting or prepping a canvas and give a shout-out to your followers thanking them for their support. You can announce a new show or project or give them a brief tour of your studio/work space. The key is to give your followers new and interesting content.
While there are many strategies you can use to promote yourself and your art through social media, the tips above should help you start on the right foot. If you find that the options are overwhelming, simply pick a few sites/apps that you are most comfortable with and stick to those. And remember, the key word in social media is “social.” It’s an opportunity to interact with your fans and connect with others in the art world—so keep it light, keep it interesting, and be consistent.
You can find us on social media too!