How to Leverage Social Media for Artists to Succeed in 2022

In today's online world, it's easier than ever to reach your audience and sell your art if you know how to leverage the right type of social media for artists. 

And yes, it would be great if as an artist you had a presence in ALL social media platforms, however, that is not a realistic expectation. Unless you have a team that can help you manage all the posts, stories, and videos, you will eventually burn out.

So if you want to make any progress at all and stand out among your competition, it is best to stick to just 1-2 platforms and go all in on them.

In this post, I am going to go over the pros and cons of each social media platform so you can make an informed decision and choose the best one for your art business.

Best Social Media for Artists

social media for artists

What is the best online platform for artists and creatives?

These are some of the most popular platforms where artists and creatives share their artwork, engage with their ideal customers, and make sales: 

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Youtube
  4. Twitter
  5. TikTok
  6. DeviantArt
  7. Pinterest
  8. LinkedIn
  9. ArtStation
  10. Behance

But with so many options... How do you know which is the best one?

Plain and Simple... The best one FOR YOU is the one where your ideal audience hangs out in.

For example, if your ideal customers are people in their 50's and 60's, they are probably not hanging out in TikTok since that platform is geared towards a much younger audience. Around 60% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16-24.

And according to recent research from Statista.com, the majority (38%) of Pinterest users fall within the ages of 50-64

So for your particular type of audience/customer, you will have a much higher chance of success if you market yourself on Pinterest rather than TikTok. 

And if your ideal customer is aged between 18-34, then Instagram is definitely the social media platform you should be on since most Instagrammers fall within the ages 25-34 with the 18-24 age range following very closely behind. 

As you can see from the example above, the best social media platform will vary between artists because of the audience they are trying to reach. 

How to determine who is your ideal audience

ideal customer audience

First, you need to be crystal clear on who your ideal audience is. Ask yourself, "Who is the person that is most likely to buy my art?" Is it realtors, dog lovers, men, women, seniors, young adults, newly married couples, new mothers, entrepreneurs, people in charge of corporations, car lovers, computer geeks, or teachers? Do they love nature, rocks, outer space, or sparkling objects? Are they minimalists?  

Keep asking yourself questions about your ideal customers until you figure out what they like, where they hang out, their hobbies, their age, their living environment, their dislikes, etc. 

The more you know about your customers, the more likely it is that you will be able to engage with them in the right platform.

If you are having a hard time figuring who your ideal customer is, then it might be time to intentionally create art with an ideal customer in mind.

For example... I love fantasy movies, Halloween, magic, illusions, and anything gothic. So I create artwork that has a fantasy vibe to it. Therefore, my ideal customer is someone who also loves anything fantasy related.

Do social media demographic research

So once you know who your ideal customer is, then do some research about the demographics of each of the social media platforms that you are interested posting in. Choose the one that best fits the age of your audience.

Don't waste your time and energy on a platform where your target audience is almost non-existent.

Other things to consider when choosing a platform

Demographics is not the only thing that you should focus on when choosing a platform. You should also look at the type of content that you will need to post on those platforms, what type of content you are willing to make or have the ability to make, the organic reach of the platform, and the lifetime of the content you post.

For example, Youtube is best for long videos whereas Pinterest and Instagram are best for static images or short videos. Do you have the tools, knowledge, and time to make long videos, or would you prefer doing shorter videos that don't require much editing? 

Also, consider that Youtube and Pinterest both work as search engines, so the content you share on those platforms will be evergreen. On the other hand, the lifetime of your Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok posts will be very short lived.

If you are looking for community-building, then Twitter and Facebook are great options.

To help you make the best decision, I will list the pros and cons of 5 major social media networks down below.

YouTube for Artists

I personally love Youtube because I can use it as a social media platform but it also works as a search engine. Videos uploaded to Youtube can show up in Youtube's search results (or even at the top of Google searches) 5, 10, 20 or more years after they have been uploaded. The content uploaded is evergreen!!!

And Youtube is constantly evolving and expanding.

Why I think Youtube is a great platform for artists:

  • It is a visual search engine which allows artists and creatives to show the intricacies of their artwork and the process of how it is made. 
  • Short videos are a new feature inside of Youtube. This is great for artists that don't have the time to film long videos that require hours and hours of editing. Simply show snippets of your life as an artist, how you created a piece of art, how you package and ship your artwork, your customers receiving and putting your artwork up in their home, etc. Grow that trust between you and your ideal audience with short video content!
  • Video marketing is on the rise. People consume video day in and day out whether to be entertained, to learn a new skill, or to make an informed decision before purchasing a product. Artists and creatives can leverage Youtube by producing videos that will allow them to gain more exposure in the online world.
  • Community posts are now available inside of Youtube. These include polls, GIFs, text, images, and video. Using community posts allows artists to connect with their audience outside of video uploads. 
  • It is a free traffic source tool. By using Youtube, you can drive traffic to your website (if you have one), Etsy, or anywhere elsewhere where you might be selling your art.
  • Plus once your channel grows to over 1000 subscribers and has enough views, you can start making some additional revenue through Youtube's monetization program.

Downsides of Youtube:

  • Showing up organically on Youtube is getting harder and harder. It is not impossible, however, it is more difficult than it was in previous years. This means that your channel might see a slow growth and you might have a hard time getting video views.
  • It requires consistent uploading to keep Youtube's algorithm happy.
  • Will require a significant amount of time investment to film, edit, and upload videos.

Instagram for Artists

Instagram is also a visually-based platform just like Youtube. The big difference is that Instagram was designed for sharing shorter videos (called reels), stories, and images. 

This platform has been greatly used in the past by many artists and creatives. And even though it is getting harder and harder to show organically on Instagram, it is still worthwhile if you are committed and post consistently.

Here are some of Instagram's major benefits:

  • Direct messaging allows you to connect and communicate with your followers, making it easier to convert them into potential customers.
  • It allows you to sell your own products or artwork directly on Instagram.
  • Your feed can serve as an online portfolio where you not only show pictures of your artwork but also show videos of the creation process.
  • The short video format doesn't require hours and hours of filming and editing. Easily edit your videos using Instagram's built-in software.

Instagram disadvantages:

  • Links inside of posts or videos are non-clickable. Followers have to click the single link in your bio.
  • It's getting harder to get noticed by Instagram's algorithm. You might have to pay for ads if you want to grow faster and expand your reach.

Pinterest for Artists

Even though people use Pinterest as a social media platform, it is more of a search engine like Google and Youtube. Therefore, content posted on Pinterest is also evergreen. For these reasons, I love Pinterest!

Let's look at some of Pinterest's benefits:

Overall, the major benefits of Pinterest include:

  • Pinterest has grown to be a platform that draws in an audience with a creative mind. It is full of inspiration for photography, decor, art, DIY's, cooking, gardening, and many more artistic or creative niches.
  • Great for driving traffic back to your website or platform where you are selling your artwork.
  • Since Pinterest is also a very visual platform, it's great for showcasing your artwork.
  • Pinterest is now expanding it's reach by allowing it's users to use short videos and stories. And the recent release of Pinterest TV is also driving more traffic to this platform and allowing it's users to leverage this New LIVE VIDEO feature to grow even more and make more sales.

Now let's look at some of the cons:

  • It's not great for building a community.
  • Algorithm updates have wiped out copious amounts of traffic from some channels. 
  • Their software for editing short videos is not as versatile as Instagram. 

Facebook for Artists

Facebook is not what it used to be a few years ago, however, it is still great for building a community through Facebook groups and for connecting with other like-minded people. 

Other benefits of this platform:

  • Facebook allows it's users to share posts, videos, and stories. 
  • You can connect with your followers through Messenger.
  • Products, artwork, and services can be promoted and sold through Facebook.
  • You can find what type of artwork or products your ideal customer really wants by joining Facebook groups that have members that resemble your ideal customers. Use the search feature to do some research about what people are posting inside the group.
  • Create groups and a business page to establish a solid social media presence.

Downsides of Facebook for artists: 

  • Growth and visibility might be a little hard to achieve since Facebook is limiting more and more the organic reach of posts.  
  • If you want more exposure, you might eventually need to invest in some Facebook ads.

TikTok for Artists

Surprisingly, TikTok is a great avenue to promote your artwork. Let's take a look at some pros:

  • Since TikTok is relatively new compared to Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, it is easier to grow and go viral on this platform.
  • You can promote your art and creations in a fun way while getting more exposure in the online world.
  • You can reach younger audiences.

TikTok cons:

  • Since TikTok has younger users, you'll need to verify that your ideal audience is really hanging out on this platform. 
  • You must be comfortable with sometimes doing out of the box or cheesy videos to grab attention.

Why You Need Social Media as an Artist

social media for artists

Most of today's business' exposure and sales are driven through some sort of online connection... whether that is by finding a business through a Google search, an online review, a post from a friend, an online video, a viral post on social media, an online referral from a friend, a blog post on a website, etc. 

Nowadays, more people are online than ever before (specially after the 2020-2021 pandemic), consuming video and purchasing online. This trend will continue to grow in the upcoming years. 

So as you can see, having an online presence is even more important in today's digital age where all sorts of media are viewed on iphones, computers, tablets and more.

Being online means that you are no longer limited to selling your art locally. Now you can reach anybody anywhere in the world. 

Plus selling online has never been easier! You now have social media platforms, websites, and ads to help you reach your customers. And if you are ever stuck and don't know how to navigate these resources, there's a phlethora of Youtube tutorials that will teach you whatever it is that you need to learn.

If you are not online, you are missing out on tons of potential customers from all around the world. 

Benefits of Having a Social Media Presence

By having social media presence, you and your business can establish credibility in Google's eyes and gain your customers' trust.

This credibility and trust will open up many opportunities that you probably had not thought of before. 

Let me list some of these opportunities:

  • Getting free products for your artwork in exchange for a review
  • Making income from sponsorships from big brands
  • Teaching opportunities
  • Selling online courses
  • Commissions
  • Collaborations with other artists

Best Social Media Practices For Faster Growth

Here are some of my best tips for faster growth on social media.

  • Be unique. There are plenty of people that post their artwork online, however, think about what makes you and your art unique.

    For example, my paint pouring art, resin crafts, or DIY projects all have some sort of mysterious flare to them. My love for fantasy and magic reflect on my artwork and my videos. I want my followers to be transported to a fantasy world where anything is possible. 

    What makes your art unique? Post videos, images, or posts that reflect that uniqueness.
  • Make your content engaging. When people interact, comment, and like your posts, the social media platforms push that content to even more viewers. 
  • Expose the real you. Don't just share your art online. Share the real you. What are your struggles, dreams, failures? Share when you mess up on a project. Show what it looks like to be you for one day. People love to see the life of the artist behind the screen. It will help build trust and likeability.
  • Start slow. Opening and posting on ALL social media accounts at one time is a big mistake. You will quickly burn out and will not make much progress. Start by opening only 1 (or 2 max) social media accounts. 
  • Be consistent. Social media algorithms love consistency, whether that is several times per day, once/day, or twice/week. Just make sure you choose a schedule that you can keep so you can stay consistent. 
  • Analyze your data. Many social media platforms let you view your analytics for your posts. Take advantage of this if it is available. Analyze the data to find out what are the best posting times, what your audience likes, the demographics of your audience, and areas where you can improve.

Here are some extra very helpful tips from Sam Does Art and Kelsey Rodriguez.

Conclusion

Choosing the right social media platform is very important if you want to be successful. 

I hope that you were able to learn a little bit more about how to choose the best social media platform for your business and how to best leverage them to grow faster and make more sales.

What is your favorite platform?


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