Artists are exasperated with the hamster wheel of social media. “Get on all the platforms,” they said. “Post daily,” they said. “Optimize your profile,” they said. If this has been your strategy, you might be ready to give up social media altogether.
Building a community on social media is still a valuable way to connect with buyers. But, if you don’t manage your social media, or your social media will manage you.
Here’s how to manage your social media in a sustainable way:
You Don’t Need to Be an Influencer to Be Successful
The first thing artists need to know is that you do not have to be an influencer. You do not need to build a huge following in order to create a profitable art business. In fact, many artists have small but mighty followings. They are strong because the artist has built a community around great content.
As an artist, it’s important that you preserve your creative time and energy for making your art. You need a holistic way of marketing your artwork. One that encourages you to build a community of supporters while posting the best art that you can.
If you are interested in a strategy that sidesteps the algorithm and focuses on building community, check out this article.
Focus on One Platform
Most of the social media advice for artists suggests that you maintain several platforms. I’ve you’ve tried it, you already know that it is a draining proposition that leaves you either uninspired to create your art or wanting to quit social media together. (If you’re wondering if quitting is a viable option, read about it here.)
Of course, it is an impossible mission. Instead, focus on one platform and own it. This means staying up to date on it, being consistent with your posts and using all of it’s features.
Continue to Study Your Platform and Use All of Its Features
Once you’ve decided which platform you will be most active on, invest in learning everything you can about it. Follow their accounts where you’ll get up-to-date information about new features and suggested uses.
The major platforms offer in-depth training, constant updates from their own accounts, and free content schedulers:
|Platform||Free Training||Accounts to Follow||Free Scheduler|
|Facebook Blueprint||Facebook App|
|You can schedule both Facebook and Instagram posts in:|
Business Suite or
Instagram for Business
|You can schedule both Facebook and Instagram posts in:|
Business Suite or
(Pinterest also has several Accounts Arranged by Country)
|Schedule Pins from the Business Hub, Here’s How|
|Tik Tok||Tik Tok Business||TikTok||Video Scheduler from Your Account, Here’s How|
|Twitter Business Basics||Schedule Tweets within Your Ads Account; Here’s How|
|You Tube||Creator Academy||Creator Insider||Schedule Uploads from YouTube Studio|
Refer to Your Chosen Platform
Now that you have decided on your main social media account, you might be wondering if you should just delete the others. Absolutely not!
Instead, go to your other social media accounts and update your profile to let your followers know where they can find you. Also, announce it in a new post. Adding this reference has two main benefits:
- When people look you up on their favorite platforms, they will know where to get your most recent updates.
- You can use these additional channels from time to time when you have something BIG to announce.
If you do not currently have accounts on all of the major social media platforms, go ahead and open one now. In your profile, add a link to your website. In the text, mention which profile you are active on and the name of the account. “Most active on IG: @yourname.” This reserves your name on a social media platform. In addition, it’s a security measure to keep other people from starting on a platform in your name.
Make a Posting Schedule and Let your Community Know
Posting on a regular schedule helps your community to know when they can expect to see something new from you. But uploading everyday may hinder your creativity.
Preserve some flexibility (and your sanity) by setting a good/better/best goal. For example, it’s good to post once a week. Three times is better. Everyday is best.
Once you have decided on your good/better/best goal, let your community know what they can expect from you. You can mention it in your profile, or you can bring it up in your posts now and again. “Posts 1 – 3x/wk”
Batch Your Content
Batching your content means creating all of your social media posts for the month in one (or sometimes two) sittings. This will greatly streamline your social media messaging and cut your posting time in half. It is much more efficient to create several posts at once rather than think about it from day to day.
If you have decided on 1 – 3 posts a week, you will be aiming to batch 5 – 15 posts at a time.
When you are creating these posts, think about giving information to your audience that will help them to know, like and trust you. Wh
at are things that buyers would want to know about you? What things do you have in common? What can you educate them about?
Storytelling is also an excellent tool to incorporate into your batching. Telling stories about yourself, your art, and your artistic journey is the number one way to sell your art without selling out. When people can identify with who, what, and why behind your art, they will want the art for themselves.
Use a Scheduler
Once you have batched your content, you are ready to schedule your posts and uploads. Sweet!
The table above (linked here) links to the free schedulers that the platforms provide for your convenience. To access these features, the platforms typically require that you open a business account. You will find that each of the platforms wish to be very helpful to you in using their platforms because they hope to do business with you in the future (sell you ads.) There is no obligation to purchase ads.
The free scheduling features provided by the major platforms can be clunky or limited in features. Don’t forget to check out scheduling providers like Planoly, Tailwind, Hootsweet, and Later. Most of them offer a free limited version as well as paid features.
Limit Your Time
Imagine now that you have your content batched and scheduled. What a relief, right? But wait, that doesn’t mean that you should spend the rest of the month mindlessly scrolling. Instead, limit your time on your platform. No more than 15 minutes in the morning and 15 in the evening. Less is better. During that time, focus on going around the algorithm to get your art noticed. Here’s how.
Now that you’ve set some real boundaries around your social media, and have a plan to create a community around your art, you are free to create your artwork.
Final Take Away
Artists are in a unique position. On the one hand, as a maker and a business person, there simply isn’t enough time to do all the platforms all the time. Especially if you are also working another job or managing a family household.
On the other hand, as an artist, you have access to exactly the kind of visuals that are ideal for a successful social media profile. Artists tend to be do-it-yourselfers. And social media is the ultimate in do-it-yourself marketing.
Most artists would rather put the sweat equity into building a social media platform than pay for ads, which is great. To be successful, you should have a plan that will minimize the amount of time you spend on social media so that you can spend that time making art. Afterall, there is no point in marketing art that you don’t have time to make.