We all have all heard that social media is changing the way artists sell and patrons buy. While I think that in theory this is true, in practice I am a firm believer in the Art Festival model of bringing patrons and artists together to create an environment of connectivity.
To foster and maintain these connections, social media is the most effective tool available to help maintain client relationships, receive feedback, keep an open line of communication, and advertise to new and existing patrons.
One common struggle for all of us is that there are many ways to connect on social media and finding the balance of designing a strategy requires an understanding of the key differences between the platforms.
This social media comparison infographic (created in December 2017) will help explain the differences between the platforms.
Social Media Comparison
For most artists and show directors the most useful platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and more limited Linked-In. Below are the key factors that will help you connect your art to social media.
Ability to target who sees your posts
Advertising on Facebook is undervalued right now
Patrons are on this platform - all ages represented
You need to be active and post consistently to build a following
Divide your work into well-organized categories or series
Galleries are paying attention to artists with large followings
Drive followers to your website
Post photos or short videos (no text)
Post from Instagram can be seamlessly posted on Facebook
Advertising can be linked through Facebook
Drives younger patrons to your sites
Hashtags are searchable
Use 3-8 hashtags for every post - medium, subject matter, location
Artists can follow and interact with art dealers / curators
You need to be comfortable with a smart phone or tablet as you cannot post from a laptop
Best site for displaying art
Over 5% of all referral traffic to websites comes from Pinterest.
Only platform that by clicking on an image you are linked directly to the artist
87% of Pinners have purchased something they saw on Pinterest
72% of Pinners use Pinterest to decide what to buy
Overall engagement (like clicks and view) is 3.5 months - about 1,600 times longer than a Facebook post.
Build a professional network
Posts from other social media platforms are easy to post on Linkedin
Artists can connect their art blogs and websites on their profile
There are dozens of art groups on Linkedin providing professional resources
We have the advantage for social media marketing. We already know that social platforms are visual and we have for years been building up a library of images to use. It's time to open your treasure chest of work and share it.
There are several free and easy-to-use tools out there that allow you to post to different social media sites at the same time. Buffer and Hootsuite are both popular options, allowing you to auto-schedule posts and shorten links. That way you can take care of an entire week of posts (across all your social media platforms) in one sitting.
If you find social media is too cumbersome and diminishes the ability for you to have creative space, do your process, or personal time, then hiring a third party might be beneficial. Outsourcing your social media strategy to a social media coordinator might be the best option for you.