Today we want to chat about Instagram to market your art. Instagram is a seriously sweet social media platform for artists because it’s all about the visuals. So without any further ado, let’s jump right in!
USING INSTAGRAM TO MARKET YOUR ART
“Instagram overtakes Facebook as the preferred social media channel for the art world. Instagram has emerged as the most important social media channel in the art world, with 57% of art buyers surveyed saying this is the most frequent social media platform used (up from 48% in 2016 and 34% in 2015). In contrast, 49% said that Facebook was their preferred social media platform, down from 54% in 2016.” – Hiscox Online Art Trade Report
In December 2016 Instagram had over 600 million active users. While that may be low compared to Facebook’s 1.86 billion active users, studies show that Instagram users are actually way more engaged than users on any other platform, meaning they like and comment on posts and regram (share) posts far more often. Moreover, Instagrammers tend to follow not only their family and friends but also their favourite brands and artists.
Instagram also has a whole slew of new tools that allow you to promote posts, run ads, create Instagram stories, bookmark your pins and customise your posts. And since Facebook bought the company, you can now run ads simultaneously on Facebook and Instagram. This offers a great opportunity for you to get your work out there in the world and connect with a much wider audience of potential customers.
So how do you pimp out your Instagram for maximum reach?
FIRST THINGS FIRST, GET YOUR INSTAGRAM PROFILE UP TO SCRATCH:
Your name and username are the only fields that Instagram uses in their search queries so make sure you have these populated to reflect your name or art business. First, make sure the ‘Name’ field is actually your name, but you can also be a little more creative by using a significant keyword that reflects your style of art (painter, fabric artist, designer etc.)
Create a killer Instagram bio! Tell people who you are and what you do, use this 150 characters to get your potential followers interested and don’t be afraid to get creative. You can use emojis or symbols to make your content pop. Need a little help? Check out our post that tells you all you need to know about writing an artist bio.
Website Link. Instagram only allows one link in your bio, so make sure you link to your website, or if you want to promote multiple pieces of content, you can check out Linkt.ree which allows you to choose the specific links your followers may want to navigate to. For example, you may want to give your followers the option to link to a new product, your online shop, your about page or a digital download.
Contact Details. Don’t forget to give your followers a way they can contact you, or if you’re on a business profile then that should already be in your profile.
THINK ABOUT YOUR VISION
You’re a creative gal with a unique vision for your art business, and that should come through on your Instagram feed. Rather than just posting a random collection of photos from your day-to-day life, try to streamline your photos so that they match up with your business. For example, if you’re a landscape painter, you may want to limit your feed to photos of your work and the amazing landscapes that inspired your pieces. Make it cohesive, consistent and let your unique style shine through.
If you’re not sure how to bring your vision to life, take a look at some of the gorgeous Instagram accounts you love following. Do they follow a particular colour theme? Do they use the same filter on all their images? How would you sum up their tone? What exactly is it about those feeds that you find so appealing? Try to figure out what exactly is it that draws people in and makes them want to follow those feeds.
I think that we are in a new era of being an artist and social media is the reason why. It used to be that we had to rely on galleries to help us get our work out to the world. They were the gatekeepers and if they didn’t like you, well too bad. To me, it’s very empowering that we now put our work right in front of the eyes of people who appreciate what we are doing without that filter. I would still be selling my art to just my mom if it weren’t for social media. – Amanda Michele
INSTAGRAM POSTING TIPS
Use High-Quality Images. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Instagram is all about the eye-candy, which means you really want to put your best images out there. Not only do you want to use high-quality images, but you also want to make sure your images are unique and intriguing. Try using different backgrounds, taking shots from various angles, or even asking a photographer friend to do some professional photos for you. Who knows, they may even be interested in doing a few hours of photography in exchange for a piece of your art. Ladies, it never hurts to ask!
Tell Your Story. Storytelling is so important for engaging your audience, so you want to make sure that each image you post sends a message about your brand. The goal should be to elicit an emotional response or connection with your audience. Some interesting ways you can do this include showing behind the scenes shots, posting pics of your fans with your work, or sharing each step of a process.
Make it Personal. People want to feel like they connect with you and your art, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in your photos and in your captions. Share the story behind a photo in the caption, respond to comments that people make on your photos, and remember that Instagram is a community and a great place for networking, so be sure to like and comment on other people’s photos as well.
Hashtags Matter. Hashtags are important because they not only help to describe what your images are all about, but they also put your images into categories that can be accessed by people from around the world. This gives you a much broader reach to gain followers and likes and links you to like-minded people also making cool things.
We’re assuming you’ve already downloaded our Ultimate Instagram Hashtag Guide, but if not, then definitely check it out for tons of effective hashtags you can use for your niche. Mix and match and figure out which ones help you get more likes on your posts and gain followers.
Hint: Looking for a few more articles to read on Instagram styling? We love using Pinterest to search for content. Head over to your Pinterest account (if you don’t have one already, defo sign up!), type in “Instagram Styling Tips” and you’re sure to find some great inspiration. While you’re there you can check out our Creative Founders Pinterest boards for loads of great creative business marketing ideas.
I have been very lucky to have Instagram as the main showcase of my work. About 90% of my clients have found me through Instagram and 10% through word of mouth – Hayley Wright
Download the Planoly app (they offer a free service for up to 30 posts per month) and schedule 2 posts per day for the next 14 days. The beauty of Planoly is that it allows you to move your posts around so you can see how different images look next to each other. Not sure you have enough images to post twice a day every day for two weeks? You can also regram (repost) other people’s images as long as you give them a shout out in the caption. If you’ve checked out the Creative Founders Instagram feed, you may have noticed that we regularly re-post photos from amazing artists and creative entrepreneurs.
Make sure you follow us on Instagram and use the hashtag #creativityinspired so we can check out your work. We hope you enjoyed this post on using Instagram to market your art!