Probably the most important Social Media platform for people in the art sector is Instagram.
Check out this Artsy article from 2014 which saw it all coming: https://www.artsy.net/article/newlin-tillotson-smartphone-exhibitions-why-galleries-are-taking-their
Many young people only consume their art on Instagram – not relevant for you, because your customers are 40+? So who will be buying 10 years from now? That’s right – you have to engage the young generation right now or lose grip on them forever
It’s said that 30% of under 30 year olds consume their art exclusively on Instagram. We have one artist on glarify.com (probably more we don’t know about) who make serious sales off of Instagram. She claimed that as soon as she puts up her work it’s sold within hours. There are actually many artists who report equal success.
However it’s not like you just put your artwork online and somebody will come along and buy it straight away. That doesn’t work on any online platform or in real life. You have to put in quite a lot of effort. It’s not 2014 anymore where competition on these platforms and in that segment was still pretty low. In 2017 growing an online audience became increasingly difficult. At the same time people who joined early became more professional. So if you want to succeed on Instagram or on Social Media your need to have the right strategy and should be willing to invest at least an hour a day into your Instagram account.
It’s been said that receiving likes on Instagram is like getting high on heroin – it get’s really addictive. So bear that in mind and don’t get freaked out – put everything into perspective.
How to grow your community
So how do you start? Well after creating your account you will start uploading content. Make sure you only use your best pictures. A good guideline for how often to post is 3-5 times a week, we wouldn’t recommend more than one a day. Make sure you use emoticons and good descriptions. Maybe even tell a little story about your artwork. Most artists (like in museums) just put size and name of the piece online – personally I think this is a waste of opportunity to drive engagement.
In order to grow your audience you need to put at least 12-15 hashtags below your post. Make sure you use a mix of popular hashtags (those used at least 500.000 times) and not so popular hashtags – again let’s use the sculpture example:
If you post a picture of your sculpture use #contemporaryart (around 9.3 million posts) and #contemporarysculpture (89.000 posts) and then use the really popular ones like #photooftheday (408 million posts) – use 3-5 of each category and only those that are relevant to your segment or niche. People will browse these hashtags and will find your content.
This is the passive measures you take, the active measure would be to go out there and like other peoples content. Depending on what your profession is liking content of other artists is something you shouldn’t do as an artists. So if you are an artists like and comment content of galleries, curators, museums or art lovers because those are the people that can actually help you. Remember we are not growing an audience for the growing of an audience sake but with very precise business objectives in mind. Growing an audience for the sake of growing an audience is something Influencers will do in order to get more money for sponsored posts, which at some point might become relevant for you as an artist or curator – for instance if you are promoting a new line of colours for a manufacturer.
The most important thing you have to do is direct messaging other people like potential buyers of your artwork or service. The goal is “be relevant” and helpful.
People to follow
So for example the US artist Loes van Delft is becoming quite a thing on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loesvandelft/
She is also using her looks among other things to market her art. Well of course that’s not for everyone. You have to find your own unique style.
Tim Bengel is one of the first Glarify Users: https://www.instagram.com/timbengel/
recently his fame grew enormously on Instagram, because his unique style of creating art is of course extraordinarily suited for online channels:
I also really like to follow people like Elia Locardi (Photographer): https://www.instagram.com/elialocardi/
Eric Wahl: https://www.instagram.com/erikwahl/
Hans Ulrich Obrist: https://www.instagram.com/hansulrichobrist/
Erwin Wurm: https://www.instagram.com/erwin.wurm/
So again if you want to dive deeper – I think you got the principle of googling and youtubing tutorials by now. 😉
Hope this helps!