Sell More Art: Social Media 101 for Artists

Even though Social Media has been around for a decade, the best of us fail to understand the quirks of the game. There are formulaic reasons why artists fail social media and why social media fails artists. Are the creative minds and technology caught in between a Cold War? To all my fellow artists, here is what success on social media looks like and this is what you can do differently.

1. Platforms

Caitlin Turner is an Instagram goddess. She built an entire career around posting pictures of herself doing Yoga at exciting locations. She has 220,000 followers and needless to say she has a job as long as Instagram is popular. Imagine if she had tried the same on Twitter, or Facebook, she might not have had such a fan following and so quickly. She has, of course, extended her social media reach. As is the nature of Yoga, Caitlin strategised her approach from photos to videos, thus, YouTube was another successful platform for her. She made the platform do half her job. As should you.

Finding some peace in the jungle. ☮ – ?: @aubrymarie Thanks for the inspiration for this photo @jkrocket! ?

A photo posted by Caitlin Turner (@gypsetgoddess) on

 2. Value Addition

Your profile should read better than your resume, not only must everything be complete and easy to access, but there must be an emotive value to all of your work, even if it’s a brief explanation of challenges you faced while painting it or what it represents in your life. If you can make an ordinary person feel for your work, the same way you do, you might just be contacted for a sale online. Check out Moz, a platform that helps you value-market your work on social media. Best selling Bluethumb artist, Miranda Lloyd, talks about her experience during her artistic process and makes it personal. You feel like you know her as you follow her progress, so she really connects with buyers. Wouldn’t you now like to see her final product?

3. Engagement

Social media is social, do not be a bot. Responding to comments, initiating a conversation about your work and indulging the questions of your followers is very important. Try to know the ‘influencers’ of social media in your field. These are the people who have generated a massive fan following from ground zero. ‘Influencers’ make the most online sales. Get them talking about your profile. Their followers will find you eventually. Loui Jover is also an influencer. His posts are very methodic and his focus is ‘sales’.

4. Follow to be Followed

Unless you are a high-profile public figure, following someone on social media is a strategic game, much like collecting points in a video game. You need more to win. By following your fellow artists, you will learn to appreciate the competition and not resent it. Additionally, they are more likely to follow you and perhaps give you a shout out. Check out Gina Liano, the Real Housewives of Melbourne star. She follows Bluethumb on Twitter and we follow her.

5. Social Media Quirks and How to Beat Them

Facebook operates on the EdgeRank algorithm. This means, the more you engage with your friends, the more relevant your posts and will be ranked high on their news feed. You can also pay to have a business page and externally link to your other online profiles.

Twitter’s best and worst quirk is the 140 character word limit. Twitter, however, has no algorithm and external linking is not a problem. However, learning to get along with #hashtags will extend the reach of your posts greatly.

Instagram is a visually driven medium and is very interesting in terms of its phone app use restriction. Also, one cannot externally link their online work to the post which can be challenging for exposure and sales. However, this platform has no ranking algorithm.

Random People Project_SnapchatSnapchat Random People Project by Geeohsnap

Snapchat is another visual medium to explore. The user interface may put you off in the beginning, but before you dismiss it, it’s worthwhile to check out as it wasn’t long ago people thought Instagram was just for kids.

Extra Tip for Bluethumb Artists

Another way to get more exposure on social media is to use its EMBED function. You can upload your art and then embed the post in your personal website/blog. Bluethumb artists can now enjoy the benefits of this. The little symbol that looks like (</>), can be used to embed your upload. After clicking on the symbol, you can access a code that you need to copy and paste on your website/blog and the result of that will look like the embed below (check out the social media embeds in the article above).

When buyers find your embed, they can click on it and be transported to your Bluethumb sale page, which is what you are aiming for; more sales.

Follow Bluethumb on Instagram.

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  1. This is very useful information. I love the way you guys explain everything it is so helpful. I feel like I’m standing in front of a person and your u are talking to me! It’s very personal and keeps you interested so a BIG THANK YOU!!!!!!

  2. Julie says:

    Just discovered Blue Thumb and am very interested in investigating it some more!

  3. Pip Phelps says:

    Thank you so much for the great tips!! Actually really enjoying this marketing process especially the Bluethumb and Instagram!

  4. I have attempted to sign up for your newsletter, but it will not accept my email address. It asks me to enter a valid email address.

  5. Hey there, how do I tag Bluethumb in FB???? Ta Deb

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