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Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Friday, February 12, 2016

10 Tips for using Social Media to Market Your Art or an Art Event

Here are ten ideas to help you get more people aware of your art and art events.  You'll want to start five or six weeks before an event to gradually entice people to attend, just be careful not to over do it. 

If you are promoting an event, be sure you post or Tweet about other things so your audience won't get over-saturated and not want to attend. You must mix it up by sharing items by other artists that you admire, share Calls for Artists, share anything art related that is not yours that you think others might be interested in.  

Well that might have been the first tip, but let's get started and consider that a bonus that applies to everything that follows.

1) Leverage your blog if you write one
Create blog posts about your art and post about some of the art you will include in an upcoming exhibit or in an open house. The text could cover any of these topics and your readers will be fascinated.

  • Your inspiration, the story behind the artwork
  • The creative process you used
  • Step-by-step pictures of the creation
  • What you learned while creating a piece
  • Mention if the piece is in an exhibit and received an award
And if this is part of marketing an event be sure to mention the event and where it will be located in the post.  Be sure to share your posts to other social media: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.  This creates link backs and makes your blog more visible in internet searches. 

If you write a newsletter about your art, include a link in your post to the site where people can signup to join your mailing list.

2) Define some hashtags related to your art event
Most social media can use hashtags (e.g., #figurativeart) to help locate posts on that subject. If there are standard hashtags that you know apply to your exhibit, use those.  For example, the area where the exhibit is located or where you live and create art may have some standard hashtags in use, such as #HoCoArt and #dcart.  Ask the venue where you are exhibiting if they have specific hashtags they use. For example, Touchstone Gallery in Washington, DC uses #touchstonedc. Maybe you want a special hashtag for your exhibit, but if you do make sure it's cleaver so people pick up on it and know to search on it.

Try to avoid using too many hashtags in the same post. Twitter is loaded with hashtags, but the standard recommendation is to use up to three hashtags in a single Twitter post.  You can go back later with a comment and add a few more, but don't overdo it.  I'd suggest only one hashtag in a Facebook post. Another warning is to avoid using hashtags in Pinterest; that community is not a big fan.

Here's a trick if you write a blog: you can add hashtags in the blog post but make the font the same color as your background so that are not visible to the eye, but are still picked up if someone searches on them.  
3) Start posting in Facebook/Google+ No less than 5 to 6 weeks before an event (2 - 3 months before wouldn't be too soon, but need to continue to create posts up until the event. 
The material for these posts could be a simple as sharing what you write in your blog.  If you don't have a blog, share images of your artwork on Facebook and say something briefly about them.  If your art is in a new gallery, mention the gallery and include the address. Mention if the art shown in the image will be in an exhibit, at your open house, was just delivered to a gallery, or received an award.  Be sure to mention where and when the art will be.  Not too many words, and you might want to include "Copyright year your-name All rights reserved."

4) Create a Facebook event 
Holding an open house?, have an upcoming art reception?, or participating in an artist talk event?  Then create a Facebook event and invite people who live near it.  Periodically add images to the event or update status about the event, so it will circulate and more people will become aware of it.  Share your event to art groups.  In my area there are groups like "DC Area Art" and "Baltimore-Washington Artist Collective" where you can share your event. Find these types of groups in your area.

5) Leverage all the artists in a Group Show
Create a Facebook group with all the artists in the exhibit. Ask them to share the group with their friends on Facebook so they can join the group and become informed. As each of you adds status updates to the group you can create a buzz about the exhibit.  The posts can then be shared to your Facebook page or to other art groups to help create interest in your show.

Just like creating events for your own event, group events can also be created and all the artists can share these more broadly.

It's not all about Facebook.  You can also set up a shared board in Pinterest where each artist in the Group show can add samples of the art that will be in the exhibit.  As always, if the art is located on your own website or in a blog post you wrote, then Pin it from those sites so those who see it in Pinterest will be able to click back to your sites.  If you're pinning from a blog post with the story behind the art, then mention that in your pin description.

6) Engage with Other Relevant Sites
Follow art group pages and artists pages, then like and share their content. They will generally do the same as for you.  This spreads the word and becomes a win-win for everyone involved. The more active you are, the more you will be noticed.  

7) Share sample art on Twitter 
Be sure to share the image of the art with a 140 character or short description. Something as simple as "New #acrylic #painting by @YourUserName" is all you need.

8) Advertise your art event on Twitter

If you are holding an event, start tweeting about the event  1 to 2 weeks before.  For example, you can share information about your art reception about a week before then retweet the event with a little more detail or a new image a couple times per day up through the day of the event.  
Twitter is an "instantaneous" environment where tweets have a life of a few seconds. Now if you use some popular hashtags (e.g., #dcart, #HoCoArt, #mdart) people can search and find your posts, but in reality that don't survive terribly long.  People on Twitter don't frown on seeing the same event multiple times, because they likely didn't see it before.  

And it is worth repeating, you should be tweeting on other topic or retweeting other tweets so your marketing tweets occur 1 out of every 10 tweets that you share.

9) Use Instagram to drive traffic to your online sites or to advertise events
Instagram may  be helpful in driving readers to your blog posts, to a website, or to an online store.  Instagram is image based, so have good quality images and link them back to somewhere people can read more.  This can be helpful for promoting sales or for promoting events.   

10) Don't forget art production

Of course don't forget to balance your time on Social Media with creating your art.  It's easy to get carried away, so set a time limit (e.g., 20 - 30 minutes) and enforce it.  Do what you can in the time allowed, then get off.  If you don't get too distracted by all those cute puppy and cat videos, or your favorite panda bear, then social media can help you grow your art business, while you still have time to create that art you feel compelled to do.

There are other Social Media channels such as Flickr, Tumblr, Stumbleupon not covered here, so learn what is unique about each social media channel and see whether it applies to you.  

Interested in learning more about April's art inspirations, tips about her painting process, or art business tidbits? Want to know when her art is in exhibits? Consider joining her friends and collectors by signing up for her twice-monthly email.

Copyright April M Rimpo 2016 All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.


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I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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