Social media experts recommend that you use an 80 / 20 formula. 80% of posts are what I like to call “fluff & stuff” – information not necessarily related to you. The other 20% should be all about your art. But what does this really mean for artists? Think of social media as a conversation. If you only talk about one subject, literally only a single subject, you’d have no friends. No one wants to listen to a broken record! Social media doesn’t like broken records either.
So what should you be posting? Here’s a great list of things artists should post to social media to make their feeds interesting, engaging, and continually attracting new followers.
What to post when you don’t know what to post:
- Art that isn’t yours
- Tips & tricks you’ve learned along the way
- Articles & news stories that are related to art or the business of art
- Promote other artist’s social media accounts
- Companies or services, related to art or the business of art, that you use (i.e. testimonials)
- Your favorite museums & galleries
- Your sources of inspiration
- Your favorite music to listen to when you create art
- Books you’re reading, movies you’re watching, things you’re doing
Allow me to explain:
People love a good inspirational quote. Can’t think of any? No worries! There are a ton of websites that can help. One of my favorites, for art related quotes is “99 Inspirational Artist Quotes.” The quotes don’t have to be art related or even deep. Quotes work even better when accompanied by artwork. I use Canva.com (free!) to turn quotes into images. Canva also has some pre-made freebie quotes like the one below.
2. Art that isn’t yours
You don’t need to know the artist & they don’t have to be famous. When I scroll through my Twitter feed, if I see some art that really speaks to me I retweet it with a comment about how I like it. I always tag the artist in the post so it shows up in their notifications. Why? Because they get extra exposure and you get exposure for your account (because it’s your post). You build goodwill with others who are likely to share your content. The more people who see your work, the higher the likelihood of a sale. You can also showcase famous art that inspires you. This gives your audience a window into who you are “behind the scenes.” Just make sure to give credit where credit is due.
3. Tips & tricks you’ve learned along the way
Did you learn a way to save time when prepping a canvas? Do you know a great lighting trick for your photography? Share it! Too many artists treat this information like it’s a ‘state secret.’ It isn’t. Artists shouldn’t fear sharing what they’ve learned. Art is about making the world better. If we don’t share what we’ve learned, we prevent other artists from learning. Our fellow artists aren’t our competitors, they’re our allies.
Stumped? Head to Pinterest! There’s no rule that says the tips & tricks have to be yours!
Everyone loves a good meme. Just make sure to keep it clean & family friendly. They don’t have to be art related but you get bonus points if they are (not really). If you’re on Twitter, every Saturday the hastag #Caturday trends. This is the purrfect time (couldn’t resist) to break out those cat memes! Don’t have any saved on your computer? What kind of savage are you?? JUST KIDDING! Head over to iCanHasCheezeburger’s LOLcats site. They have you covered, even if you don’t want cat memes, they have dozens of meme sites for all kinds of topics. Save extras for future use. I have a folder that’s full of memes I can use on my social media accounts.
5. Articles & news stories that are related to art or the business of art
Did you read something really interesting about an art technique? Or a new gallery? Or using social media for art? Or an interview with an artist? Or anything art related? Share it! This is great “filler content” for your social media feeds!
6. Promote other artist’s social media accounts
I know many artists will balk at this. You shouldn’t. Creating goodwill is good for everyone, including you. Don’t be afraid to post things like “check out my friend’s Facebook Page” or “Check out this Gallery’s Twitter.” This is something I’m going to start doing more often. It really helps to take away the stress of figuring out what to post. Surprisingly, it can also brings new opportunities your way.
7. Companies or services related to art, or the business of art, that you use (i.e. testimonials)
Use a brand of paint that you can’t live without? Have you discovered a social media tool you love? Had a great experience at an art supply store (online or offline)? Talk about it – and make sure to tag the company! When you tag the company, you show up on their accounts and they get a notification. I’ve had many companies retweet my mention or share my post or photo. You get a ton of exposure that way. On days where I get a mention from a company, I can get 2-3 times more Twitter followers than normal!
8. Your favorite museums & galleries
This is closely related to the point above but one that artists overlook. It doesn’t have to be a giant post, just something like: “I spent the day at Gallery X and loved all the art on display. I highly recommend it!” Don’t forget to actually tag the gallery!
9. Your sources of inspiration
This is something I personally need to do more of. While I’m an abstract painter, I often take my color palette inspiration from nature. I go for walks & photograph plants & flowers that have great colors or textures. I should be posting these photos & talking about how they inspire me. People love nature photographs as much as inspirational quotes. This also allows me to use hastags that I can’t use in my art. This makes a whole new audience aware of my existence. Don’t worry if your sources of inspiration aren’t beautiful flowers. Share what inspires you, whatever that might be. It makes you more interesting and your art more interesting!
10. Your favorite music to listen to when you create art
This lets people into your world, just like point #9. You do may need to be careful with this. If paint beautiful landscapes but listen to gangster rap or death metal, sharing your music may not be a good thing. I don’t think there’s a lot of crossover between the two genres & you might offend some of your followers. Do this with caution.
11. Books you’re reading, movies you’re watching, things you’re doing
This is another point like the last 2, it gives people insight into who you are, what makes you interesting. However, just like with music, use some common sense. If you’re reading 50 Shades of Gray, watching a controversial movie, or doing something less than family-friendly BUT your photography is focused on children, don’t share these things. Only share things that compliment your art. If what you reading, doing, watching, or listing to doesn’t do that, don’t share it. The goal is to gain new followers and to engage your current ones, not lose followers & cause your current ones to unfollow you!
10 Things Artists Should Post to Social Media
There you have it, 10 things artists should post to social media that isn’t just shameless self promotion. Hopefully this gives you some ideas for making your social media feeds interesting and a bit less stressful to manage. Have I overlooked a really good idea? Share it the comments or tell me via email or social media! Artists Should Post to Social Media