Instagram is changing the game in the art industry.
“I can post a painting and it will sell before the paint is dry,” explains Ashley Longshore, who sells her eccentric pop art for upwards of $30,000 straight off of Instagram.
And, she’s not the only one. Artist Chris Austin enjoys “flash sales” of his latest work, getting emails from eager buyers within minutes of posting on Instagram.
With these examples and more in mind, it’s safe to say Instagram has become the social media platform for artists. Instagram enables artists to now be able to sell works themselves, nudging the dealer out of the way while promising to demystify fine art and increase accessibility; challenging what has long been seen as an industry shrouded in pretense and exclusivity.
Instagram is the new art dealer, and it is growing fast. It seems every time you scroll down your news feed, new works of art from fresh faces pop out of the woodwork.
Thanks to the internet and social media, the barrier to entry in the art industry has never been lower—even on a budget. But ease of entry is one thing—success is another. With what seems like a never-ending stream of competition, we are faced with a new problem: How do you rise above the heard?
Here is how former starving artists are getting crazy exposure and sales on social media, and how you can do the same
It is no secret successful artists use social media -often- and you should be doing the same (if you are not already). Why? Let’s take an in-depth look at Instagram.
Globally, there are 800 MILLION monthly Instagram users.
Of all those Instagrammers, 500 million use Instagram daily—amounting to over 250 million daily posts.
Those are enormous numbers. These astounding statistics highlight the immensely lucrative business opportunities that can be accomplished by investing your time in Instagram.
And no matter who your audience is for your art — their age, gender, occupation, anything — you will be sure to reach them through Instagram. So, the question becomes…
Would you like to get your products and brand seen by more people, grow a strong following of customers who really relate to your brand, and get paid to while doing so? If so, then the right Instagram marketing strategy is what you need. Social media has been proven to influence purchase decisions. And if you can find the right mix of content, your audience will soak it up – and even buy from you – without the need for a hard push or sales pitch. It is the marketers dream.
But what separates the artists that receive seemingly endless love and notifications, from the joe blow artists receiving virtually no engagement at all? Here’s the low-down…
Nurturing your following
First the obvious: Take compelling pictures. Post insightful captions. Have your brand’s personality shine through your posts but remain consistent so your Instagram audience knows that they can expect to gain consistent quality from your posts.
The top goal of an Instagram marketer in any niche is to build and nurture an engaged community by continually increasing engagement on every post.
The answer is interaction. But it is not as simple as it seems. There are certainly right ways and wrong ways of doing it.
Many artists have found the right ways to interact with the Instagram community and earn personally invested customers who keep coming back for more, and you can too.
Look at it this way; Instagrammers are shoppers. Iconosquare’s 2015 Instagram study shows that 70% of IG users report having already looked up a brand on the platform. Plus, 62% of users follow a brand just because they like it!
If you post the right Instagram images, consumers soak up your marketing message without any hard sales pitches from you; hence, your magic spell for getting people to click that link in the bio without “selling to them.”
Should you use ads?
Ads sometimes work, but very rarely. Paid ads do not convert well for their cost because people hate feeling sold to on social media. Instagrammers are annoyed by the millions of incessant “Sponsored Posts” on the feed.
Instead of contributing to the annoyance of millions of Instagram users by also forcing your advertisement in their feed, provide value through your posts and interact with the Instagram community. Now for the not so obvious:
Here is how you get all eyes on you (the nitty gritty)
Engagement is reciprocal. If you want engagement from your target market, reach out to them first. Here is what you do: Find an art page that has a similar vibe to yours.
For the sake of this example, let’s use @Richard_Haines. Go to his most recent picture, and you will see the thousands of user interactions.
It is important to choose the most recent picture, this way we know all of the users interacting are active having been on the app recently.
Because we have chosen @Richard_Haines’s page (an influencer in the same niche as you) all of his active followers are the same people you would want to follow you. So, what you will want to do is interact with these users by following them, liking their pictures, and leaving them comments.
If you post decent content, and have targeted the right people, it is not uncommon to see a 40% follow back rate. That means for every 100 people you follow, 40 would follow back.
While this is certainly time consuming, this is what it takes. Of course, large brands hire social media reps (like Engagement Genie) to do this tedious work. This gives them the edge on the competition (you) because of course you do not have time to be on social media all day long, interacting with your target market and crunching numbers.
Do not “Post and Hope,” or post on social media and hope people see it. This is what 99% of people do. 99% of people never get noticed. You reaching out first is what it takes. How you do it is up to you.