How to Begin Using Social Media to Reach More Art Buyers.
Let’s face it, Setting up your art business on social media is important to reach new clients but finding the best platforms and learning to use them can be confusing. Although Embrace Creatives is a fabulous, business networking platform to easily connect with your peers and opportunities, we’re certainly not as large as the long-standing social sites, YET so build your Embrace Creatives profile AND use social media sites. In fact, you can copy and paste your social media posts for Embrace Creatives (and visa versa).
BEFORE YOU BEGIN, make sure that your brand images and verbiage are consistent across each platform so your clients recognize you easily. Have your logo and marketing materials handy.
STEP ONE: Choose two platforms to start with.
The biggest names are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. We’ll use Twitter and Instagram as examples.
Twitter is a visual and verbal social media platform that uses hashtags (#) to boost content. You may type up to 180 characters per post, maximum, including hashtags. You can share links to outside articles or websites, easily. You follow accounts but the ONLY way they will see your content is if they follow back. You can upload an image of any dimension and it will show up easily in the “feed”. You can “like” and comment on other people’s posts to get them to notice you and/or get a discussion going. Twitter allows users to publish “Moments” as an alternative to regular posts. You can advertise on Twitter.
Instagram is owned by Facebook and is a visual-first social media platform. The images MUST be square. Rectangles will not work. Hashtags are imperative but if you’re large enough you don’t need to add them. There is no character count maximum but you cannot have more than 30 hashtags per post. You “like” other people’s posts and can comment. You cannot easily share links via Instagram. Your profile link is the link most people will click on. Instagram allows users to publish “stories” as an alternative to regular posts. You can advertise on Instagram.
STEP TWO: Make sure your business name is available for your Profile Name.
For Embrace Creatives, we were able to use @EmbraceCreatives on Instagram but it was taken on Twitter so we had to settle for @EmbraceCreativs. Both platforms will ask you to have a password available. Make sure you write down both your account handle and your passwords. Keep them safe.
STEP THREE: Have a profile image and banner image ready.
Each social media platform has different sizing requirements but a square, profile photo image works best. You can use a photo of yourself for a more personal touch or your logo. The banner can offer more information including your website and images of your business or artwork. Twitter will ask for a banner but not Instagram. However, make one up because other social sites may require one. Twitter banner image size: 1263px x 421px.
STEP FOUR – Utilize your account headline.
Your account headline is a good area to quickly state who you are or what you do. Similar to your Embrace Creatives title, it’s a quick identification beyond your profile image. Our headline on our social media outlets is Uniting Artists and Buyers.
STEP FIVE: Don’t overwhelm with text.
Twitter allows 160 characters for your bio where Instagram offers users 150, so MAKE SURE you’ve got your bite-size story available. You can edit your bio as but it can be confusing if you do it too often. Oh, and on Embrace Creatives, we don’t stop you at 150 characters… 🙂
Want to connect with Commercial Buyers? JOIN US FREE
STEP SIX: Add your contact information, always.
Contact info. is important if you want clients to connect with you. Get your website address ready and your email. You may or may not want to add your phone number, depending upon your level of privacy. If you want to vet calls, set up a Google Voice number.
STEP SEVEN: Hashtags (#)
Hashtags work by categorizing content so they’re easier to find within the platform so get your hashtags ready before you begin posting. You MUST have a good understanding of your clients and the best hashtags for your type of business. If you use VERY POPULAR hashtags like, #art or #artist your posts won’t be seen easily because TOO many people are using them. You want to find hashtags that fit your brand and industry but also allow you to be found. Again, go to your competition to see what hashtags they’re using and pick a few that work for you. Test the popularity of the hashtag by typing it into the “search” box in each platform. You want to make sure that relevant posts are associated with the hashtag. Experiment with your hashtags and don’t use the same ones each and every time. Vary your combination. TIP: try this website, Ritetag to find qualified hashtags https://ritetag.com/
STEP EIGHT: Share a few introductory posts over a few days, and begin following other users.
For the best times/days per social media outlet, click here. You’ll want to follow profiles that can help your business – that’s why you’re there! (Don’t follow too many profiles to start with because you’ll get overwhelmed.) A good place to start snoop on the list of followers that similar accounts have. So, if you’re a potter, search other local pottery artists and scan their follower/following lists. It’s not cheating or stalking. You can use hashtags in both platforms to find new accounts and inspiration.
When you gain a large following, other businesses will be doing the same thing with your account. Don’t worry if you’re following more people than are following you. Eventually, it will even out. We at Embrace Creatives don’t follow accounts with an unbalanced follow-to-followers number. If an account with 17K followers but following only 215 accounts, follows you, there’s a good chance they followed you just to get the “follow back” and once you do, will dump you like a hot potato. Those accounts are ONLY there for the numbers. You’re there to build relationships.
TIP – Do NOT spend more than 15-30 minutes a day researching hashtags, accounts and posting. You should be thoughtful when managing any portion of your small business not to get sucked into the void.Andrea Bogart, Founder of Embrace Creatives
STEP NINE: Get organized.
Set up a content calendar so you can plan your posts over time and won’t get overwhelmed.
In an upcoming article we’ll review a few social media share websites that make scheduling posts a breeze! For now, go through these steps and happy posting!