I posted my first Instagram post as a hobby artist in November 2019. That was already 3 years ago! During this time I was able to gain about 500 followers and I have learned a lot in this time. A few weeks ago, I also started creating TikToks and resumed sharing my posts on Facebook. Since I found very few social media tips specifically for artists, I would like to share my five tips here that I wished I knew when I began this journey.
1. just start now!
That was my biggest problem in the beginning: How should I start? How should the first post look like? Which hashtags and filters should I use? Is my art even good enough for social media? Oh, I had so many questions and I postponed the first post for weeks. But as long as you don’t post anything, you won’t find your style and you won’t learn what people like. So, start now!
Why not make your first post today (and send it to me so I can like it). Take a picture (or even better, a video) that you personally like. The accompanying text doesn’t have to be long, as often seen with influencers. Remember, you just need to start and be happy about your first two or three likes.
2. Show your art as it is
Avoid using heavy filters and don’t edit your images too much, even if it’s easy to do so. Remember, your followers are potential customers who may want to buy that artwork. If someone is interested in a piece but then sees that it looks completely different in real life, they will likely be disappointed. That doesn’t feel good for anyone and it also affects your image. Of course, your art will always look slightly different in real life compared to social media, but at least the colors and brightness should not differ too much.
Pro Tip: Pay attention to proper lighting and colors when taking photos, so you don’t need to change the photo afterwards.
3. Stay consistent and active
It sounds simple, but it’s not that easy. The most important thing in social media is to stay present, to stay active. You don’t have to create five posts every day, but try to publish at least one post per week, especially at the beginning of your artist career. Also, like and comment on posts by other artists or people who could be potential followers. Make yourself noticed.
It is important not only to have temporal consistency but also content and design consistency. Keep your feed aesthetic by using the same 2-3 colors or photographing your art on the same background. However, give yourself some room for experimentation in the beginning. Try different things and you’ll quickly notice which types of posts are better received and which are not. Gradually align yourself more with the posts that are thriving and strive to maintain consistency as much as possible.
Pro tip: Instead of creating a private Instagram account, create a business account. You have to link it with Facebook. In the Facebook Creator Studio, you can schedule future posts. What does that mean exactly? You can prepare seven posts on a free day, for example, and spread them out over the next few weeks to be published automatically.
4. USe Videos instead of Photos
For me, as a millennial, this was my biggest learning in the social media world. Since TikTok and Instagram Reels have become so popular, photos no longer hold the same importance as before. Nowadays, many people scroll through videos and pay little attention to photo streams. Instagram has adjusted its algorithm so that videos receive more reach than photos. Therefore, I highly recommend focusing on video content. When you upload an Instagram Reel, you can automatically post it on your feed (also known as the grid). This way, you cover both aspects.
If you have never made videos before, I suggest exploring and seeing what other artists post for Reels. Keep in mind that TikTok and Instagram Reels have different user preferences. You can upload the same video to both platforms, but the number of likes for example can be extremely different.
Pro tip: I recommend using CapCut to edit videos. The app is free and quite intuitive. However, I suggest adding sound directly on Instagram or TikTok so you can choose trendy music.
Oh, hashtags, they were once revolutionary and now they’re almost more annoying. Nevertheless, they are still very important in the world of social media because they help your posts get discovered. Start with authentic hashtags, especially in the language you want to be found in. In the beginning, If you post in English use the hashtag #acrylicpouring, but if you post in German use #acrylgiessen instead. The advantage of the second hashtag is that the competition is much smaller. What does that mean? Fewer images and videos are uploaded under the hashtag #acrylgiessen, so the chance of someone seeing this post is much higher than with the English hashtag.
Don’t always use the same hashtags. You can use up to 30 hashtags, but you don’t have to max it out every time. Quality of the hashtags is much more important than quantity. By the way, you can also use less obvious hashtags. For example, if a Monstera plant is visible in the picture, include #monstera, or if the picture was taken at a specific location, tag the place. Provide as much relevant information as possible.
Pro tip: There are also tools that can analyze “good” hashtags, but they are often paid tools. I have tried several and now I only use Flick.tech. It is also available as an app, where you can search for similar hashtags and directly copy and insert them into your post. Additionally, it provides an analysis of which hashtags were successful for each post. If you want to try Flick.tech, follow this link. If you don’t feel like using the Facebook Creator Studio, you can also schedule posts in the future with Flick.tech.
I hope these tips are useful to you!