As mentioned last month, my gallery online sales soared from 23% to 35% last year, so I’m living proof digital sales are increasing, like it or loathe it. Now you have a web sales platform set up (Website, ArtRehome/Etsy/ArtFiner account) you need to promote it.
Social media platforms are phenomenal for this but you need to be consistent and committed. Posting just once a week or posting irregularly won’t cut the ice. Only Consistent Committed posting will bring dividends. Oh and remain upbeat. No one wants to know about your problems!
Here’s a quick rundown of a few I use (follow the links below for an in-depth explanation of the terms and acronyms)
For an artist, I think Instagram is a must; it’s almost totally visual. The downside? No live links. To overcome this, add short ones in your post or occasionally change the one allocated profile live link and direct viewers to what’s in your new post.
Tagging and hashtags are important as they raise your profile. If you’ve painted something near a business (café, landmark) and they have an account, tag or hashtag them: they’d appreciate the publicity and, if you’re lucky, may crosspost yours, promoting you in return: it is social media, after all!
Lastly, interact with your public! If someone takes the time to comment, the least you can do is reply. This takes time, but not replying is like ignoring someone at an exhibition: a sure-fire way to lose followers.
Facebook is a versatile platform despite its setbacks. You need a personal account to have a business one, but I highly recommend you don’t use a personal one for business as there are strict rules that could see your account closed, losing everything you’ve built.
When posting, ALWAYS direct link back to your sales platform (website, etc.) otherwise the opportunity for sales and further engagement is lost. Again; tag and hashtag others so they can crosspost you, if they choose to.
Like on Instagram, videos are a great way of getting new followers, especially Facebook Live videos. Consider time-lapses of you painting, get someone to interview you, share a plein-air moment with your followers. These are great ways of increasing your following. Most of all have fun – the more you have, the more your followers will. (More here)
There are a lot of art-lovers in the Twittersphere, so creating an account there is very worthwhile. Again, always tagging and linking back to your ‘sales’ page with live links is essential. And always add images as they engage the Twitterers more than just words: you are a visual medium after all! (more here)
Although there are very few avid Google+ users, if you have a website, posting to a Google+ account increases your SEO profile. Is that right or fair? Maybe not, but it’s a fact, so do it, even if you don’t engage inside of that.
I think the above are the best. Pinterest is also good but I don’t like that pictures aren’t taggable and can be crossposted without accreditation, so if you use Pinterest, make sure you watermark your name/website into your images.
Instagram – Click here
If the above sounds daunting, I have a quick-fire solution for you: SMMs! (Oh no, not another acronym!) Social Media Management systems allow you to post to all your accounts in one shot! The downside is that many only allow you to post to 3 platforms for free.
Personally I post to Facebook, Instagram and Google+ through my Hootsuite account then do Twitter separately. It’s your call, of course, but using an SMM does make posting quicker and easier.
You’ll need to tweak each post afterwards as the tagging only works for one of the three platforms, but it’s a great way of shortening your workload and making sure all the important information is posted in one shot. The more you do it, the quicker you’ll get. I now do all 4 of my platforms in around 2 minutes, so not arduous.
Art is your business as well as your passion, so using all the platforms out there is only good business practice. Yes, you can shy away from it and leave it to your gallery/s, but if you’re serious about growing your business and want to make sure your work is out in the ever-growing digital domain, my advice is to buckle up and learn it. There are many artists I know who keep 100% of their sales because they’re great at it. Now, doesn’t that sound good?