How to market yourself on social media: 11 tips for artists

Social networking is a tool: it will give you nothing more than you put into it, and how you use it will determine your results. If social networks weren’t so great for promoting my artwork I wouldn’t partake in them, but since so many great opportunities have come to me via social media I’d be crazy not to use them to the best of my abilities. Here are some tips to getting the most out of social networking while working in an artistic profession.

  1. Friend and follow people who you think would make great professional contacts; everyone does it, and it’s understood that it can be mutually beneficial. It’s fine to connect with someone just because you’re interested in what they do. If they didn’t want you to see what they were working on, then they wouldn’t put it on the Internet. Some people accept friend requests depending on how many friends they have in common with the one making the request. It’s a sign that you’re a part of the same community.
  2. Promote like crazy. If you have an event, a sale, or any kind of project let everyone know about it with every means at your disposal. The key is to create a social media feedback loop where you post your various social media networks to every one of your other networks and hopefully they will all feed back into one another, leading viewer through a flow of all of your profiles and connecting them to your entire online system.
  3. Be respectful. Don't promote or spam yourself on the pages, feeds, and timelines of others without their permission; it’s rude, annoying, and you won’t get your intended result (unless you intend to have someone angry at you). It’s fine to invite them to events and ask them to like your fan page since you can only ask once and they can opt out of those requests and notifications. Post in your own space and don’t harass others in theirs.
  4. Separate your personal and professional profiles. It will hopefully help you organize your online existence and eliminate some of the chaos, and Facebook only allows you 5,000 friends anyway.
  5. If you’re working in the same circles as your friends and followers you’ll probably meet them in real life, so be yourself online and be aware of what you post. Be genuine while still being professional.
  6. Just because someone isn’t commenting, liking, retweeting, or reblogging doesn’t mean they aren’t paying attention. And you should be paying attention too, because your friends have a lot of great things to share with the world and you may get to collaborate with them someday.
  7. Like and follow your favorite galleries, publication, events, and organizations because it never hurts to be in the loop and you never know when, for example, a venue may send out a call for submissions.
  8. If the artwork you make features nudity of any kind, post a censored version of it because some social networks (especially Facebook) will give you the boot if they find breasts or genitals in your images. Don’t use black bars because that’s tacky, just manipulate how you photograph and edit your work to omit questionable content.
  9. Gauge the times when you post to ensure the maximum amount of views. For example, more people may acknowledge and respond to your content between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. as opposed to early morning hours when online traffic is lower.
  10. It is not necessary to sign up for every social media platform. While the more online resources you have the more you can use to increase your reach, all of those networks can be stressful, distracting, and time-consuming. Test them out, figure out which ones are most useful. and discard any that aren’t.
  11. This is an ongoing process. You can’t just do it once and assume everything will forever be in working order, but if you plug away hard enough the benefits will be fantastic.
  • An excellent article on how to market yourself as an artist through social media. - by Maxwell Potter Arts on Sat, 07/20/2013 - 8:23pm

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aminaharper's picture
Amina Harper

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Awesome!

Great list, #1 is hardest for me, I seem to be incredibly resistant to add people I don't know! One day i'll get over that fear and the gates will flood in but its just so tough haha!