Discussion: What do you Feel is the Best Social Media Platform for Marketing Your Art?

Over the last several weeks, I’ve begun a discussion with artists about marketing art through social media. In today’s post, I would like to ask for your input and thoughts on the best social media platform for marketing and selling your art.

The social media landscape is always changing, but it does seem like we’ve reached a point where a few major providers are dominating the market. Each has it’s own niche, and each seems to offer certain advantages and suffer from certain pitfalls.

The Platforms

Facebook

Facebook is the dominant player in the market. With over 1.86 Billion active monthly users as of March 2017, Facebook dominates not only the social media space, but also the internet. Think about it, nearly a quarter of the planet’s population is active on Facebook every month, and many users are on Facebook multiple times throughout the day. If your potential buyers are on social media, it’s likely they’re on Facebook.

Advantages

Facebook offers a number of advantages. The first is it’s massive scale. Because it has so many users and is generating so much revenue, Facebook is able to develop new features at a rate other platforms struggle to match. Facebook’s advertising system is relatively inexpensive and, once you get through the learning curve, easy to use.

It’s also likely that you are an active Facebook user yourself, which means that it doesn’t take a lot to transition from being a casual user to marketing your artwork through Facebook.

Disadvantages

Because Facebook is so popular and widely used, there is a tremendous amount of noise in users’ newsfeeds. You often have to compete with other advertisers, your client’s friends, and all of the major news outlets to catch a potential buyer’s attention.

For those who are using a business profile page to market their work (more on that in an upcoming post), you can’t reach many potential buyers without paying for advertising.

Facebook is also suffering a bit of a mid-life crisis. The social network is now almost 15 years old, and many users suffer from Facebook fatigue. The amount of daily time users are spending on the platform is decreasing, and a lot of people are loudly declaring that they aren’t going to use Facebook any more. I’m not suggesting that Facebook is on the decline, just that there are those who are tired of it.

YouTube

When thinking of social media, YouTube isn’t typically the first brand that jumps to mind. In fact, many people don’t even think of YouTube as being a social platform. I would argue, however, that YouTube checks all of the boxes of what it means to be social. YouTube’s content is largely generated by it’s users. Users can get followers. Viewers can comment and start discussions about the videos that they see. If that’s not social media, I’m not sure what is.

Advantages

YouTube also has a massive number of active monthly users – somewhere around 1 billion. I’ve had reports from artists that video is a great way to engage users by showing the work in progress and telling stories. YouTube is a great platform for sharing videos in a focused way, and you can easily embed YouTube videos on your own website or on other social media.

Disadvantages

Unfortunately, YouTube is a bit of a cultural wasteland, and I don’t hear of many artists discovering new clients or making sales to unknown buyers through YouTube.

YouTube also has a comment problem. The YouTube community seems to encourage negative, nasty comments. You can disallow comments, but you then lose the social aspect of sharing your videos.

Instagram

Instagram is owned by Facebook, and you can integrate your Instagram posts into your Facebook network, but Instagram has a life of its own. Instagram was the second most-mentioned platform when I recently asked artists about where they were selling art through social media.

Advantages

While Instagram also allows you to create a network of followers, it also encourages users to discover new contributors, and, by tagging posts, artists can reach out to potential buyers who might otherwise never see their art.

Disadvantages

Instagram skews toward younger users, a demographic that doesn’t match up to slightly older art-buying demographics.

 

Twitter

For some time, Twitter was considered a top-contender in the social media space. Over the last few years, however, it seems to have settled into a niche primarily used for the distribution of news, celebrity gossip, and presidential rambling [no comment].

Advantages

Over the last several years Twitter has made it easier to share images. Because Twitter is a smaller network, it’s active users tend to be more engaged, and I hear reports from artists who have used Twitter that they have been able to develop a very loyal following.

 

Pinterest

Pinterest would seem to be custom-made for sharing artwork. Built completely around the concept of sharing images, and designed to allow users to pull together images they like so that they can then share them with their friends and with the world at large, I remember being very excited about Pinterest when I learned about it.

Unfortunately, Pinterest was a bit late to the social media game, and has never taken off in the same way that Facebook or Twitter did.

 

Linkedin

All about connections, Linkedin is notorious for filling people’s inboxes with invites from their contact list. Linkedin has also become a niche service that seems primarily to provide professionals with job opportunities.

Snapchat

Millennial and youth-centric, Snapchat provides ephemeral messaging. I didn’t hear from any artists who are selling art on Snapchat, but if you are, please leave a comment below!

 

Google+

Google tried to compete with Facebook. It didn’t work, but parts of their platform are still around, including their very successful video meeting platform, Hangouts, and their communities.

 

The Others

It would be almost impossible to keep up with all of the social media sites that have come and gone over the last few years. Tumblr, MySpace, Flickr, Digg, Reddit, and on and on. While some of the other platforms are much, much smaller, each platform still has millions and millions of users. There seem to be countless avenues for sharing and selling your art.

What Social Media is Working for You?

Have you had success selling your art on the platforms listed above? On other platforms? Are you active on more than one social media platform? Where have you sold your art? What other benefits have you seen from sharing your art through social media? What advice would you give to artists who don’t know where to begin with social media?

Share your experience, success and the challenges you have faced as you’ve looked for the right social media platform to share your art. Leave your thoughts in the comments bellow.

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Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of reddotblog.com, and founder of ARTsala. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business. Connect with Jason on Facebook

60 Comments

  1. I wish I had the answer,but truthfully, I haven’t had any success on either FaceBook or Twitter; plus my web page which I think I’m changing to anew more friendly one.

    So I’m anxious to hear results from other artists who have had some success on social media.

  2. I use Instagram and Facebook to promote my art. I have a Fb personal page and a business page. I use all three accounts to share works in progress, completed pieces, and any activity updates. I have found that promoting the same post across all three channels greatly increases the response rate to my audience. I try to post every day but I have never tried to sell my work on social media. I see others doing it, but I often wonder how successful they really are. Also has me worried that Fb will figure out some way to take a commission off of any sales an artist might make on that platform.

  3. The only online sales I’ve made were on eBay–and those with VERY specific subject matter and then barely over my cost of materials. I have, however, been led to several artists’ personal sites by YouTube demonstrations. I can’t speak from experience (though I am seriously considering a YouTube channel), but there is a following for all levels of teaching, and I believe that can develop into “souvenir” sales–people who are willing to buy your work as a model for their own pursuit, or simply because they enjoy your demonstrations so much that they want a little piece of you.

  4. Facebook can be handy for announcing upcoming shows your work will be in, juried shows or in-progress pieces. You can post links to the shows or links to other online galleries where they can find / buy your work. If you wish to pay for boosting a targeted geographic area or specific interests, it is a great tool. Still haven’t figured the exchange rate of how many likes = one dollar.

      1. Lloyd – For many years I have been doing special commissions of my Original Paintings for clients. My task there is to work with the size of work of art – color and subject which the client needs for home or office. The sale comes upon completion of the accepted work. I usually paint two canvas giving the client a choice and its been know – friend may interested in second work of art . . . A ‘commission’ can be the given authority to someone to perform a certain task or duty – not always meant in % of a sell of ‘what ever’ . . . Check you dictionary if in question! . . .

  5. I have sold several works through FB posts, and had a couple of inquiries through Instagram, but FB is definitely the best for me so far.

    I also have both twitter and pinterest accts but they have done nothing for me.

    I am very active with my FB personal and art accounts. I think that is part of this. I keep a conscious profile out there and refrain from any personal opinions,etc on the business page. I also share SOMETHING art related daily. I think part of the reason FB works is that viewers feel a more personal connection with the artist on FB

  6. I don’t think it’s a matter of which social media platform as it is about understanding the dynamics of each platform and finding the one that fits best with what one is doing. I also think there is no golden platform, per se, but rather consistency in using which ever platforms one chooses.

  7. Yet another great blog post. Thank you Jason. In order of preference.
    Facebook – personal page and fan/biz page. I get more responses from personal. I try to acquire everyone as a friend who likes or comments on my work. And then ask if they would like to be on my mailing list. I make the effort to thank each and everyone of them. Yes I have sold about 3 pieces and acquired a large following. 1,100 fans on biz page

    Instagram: love it. I receive more action here. But no sales. I get more and more followers every day. Sometimes I ask for their personal email.

    Pinterest: again love it but not a place for sales. It’s very exciting tho to see someone has included a piece of yours on one of their boards.

    Linked in: good for business contacts when building mailing list but not for sales. Also good for finding galleries.

    Google+: use but not that active but I do use google photos. Excellent way to share a digital portfolio.

    Buffer: this is awesome. You can buffer to all social media accounts. One quick way to get it all out their at once.

    Nancy

  8. Does an online gallery count as social media. Not only do they bring a more pertinent audience but there are chat rooms, info about future shows and events, blogs and education. I use Fine art america and saatchi, both have proven useful for me and the reps. get a better deal then I can manage on my own. 50% of the work I have sold has been sold on saatchi. Sales is every bit as important as marketing and is an essential skill. I welcome the cost of a good sales person working for me in the form of a commission.
    Jason, perhaps more discussions on the art of sales would be helpful. I often hear artists voice outrage at commission rates and it seems to me they are missing an essential understanding of business efficiencies.

  9. I have a personal and business page on Facebook. I have not tried to directly sell my art on either page, although I do get inquiries. I have promoted my art events and shared my travel sketches, digital art, and batiks, sometimes sharing stories about them.. My followers enjoy seeing my work and encourage my posts. As I am getting old and don’t want to do more direct marketing events, I wanted to explore increasing my sales through social media.. I recently decided to boost my posts on my Facebook business page as Facebook doesn’t show them widely unless they are boosted. So far I have spent $9 and have certainly had my
    money’s worth seeing my following and ‘likes’ jump dramatically. I enjoyed the video Red Dot posted last week and will try to follow the advise given there, i.e. Really engage with those who comment on the work.

    1. Jusst had to go in and visit your personal web page as I do Batik and Silk painting, also.
      You are much more sucessful than I….love your stule, brilliant colors. I learned the traditional method of Batik and loved it, but the direct application opened up another world for me of luscious colors. I enjoyed reading about you, facinating life you seem to be living.
      Thanks, Patricia

  10. I have a personal and business Facebook pages, Pinterest page and Google +. I use these to generate traffic to my site, and for email sign ups. Analytics shows Facebook as getting the most traffic. I also create illustrated articles and publish to Publications on Medium.com, which has brought traffic to my site. Some sales off my site came from folks who found me via social media.

  11. Jason thank you for continuing to provide interesting articles and discourse on marketing art. I try to limit my time on social media because I see so many people obsessed with it and it can be a huge time waster. I would much rather be creating and painting. I do post new paintings on a Fine art Facebook site and have for several years. I sold my very first one through Facebook a month ago to an admirer that is a friend. I responded to his comments with my reply, “I am sure it would look nice on your wall.” Several days later he messaged me and said what size is it and what is the cost. I gave him the information and he replied, great I’ll have the money for you the week of the 17th. He came through and wrote a check for the full price. I have also posted on Instagram and Twitter but do not spend much time on either.

    1. I would consider Etsy to be in a different class of websites that focus on sales rather than social connections. Other sites in this class could include eBay, Saatchi, Fine Art America and others. I’m not implying that these sites aren’t effective, I’m just exploring the value of social media at this point.

  12. I am active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest. Although I have found all of the above good for spreading the word about my artwork, I have only made sales on Facebook to date. I am relatively new to trying to sell my artwork on social media so don’t really have a lot of advice to offer, other than to say like any other marketing efforts, it takes a lot of work & persistence…

  13. I have used Facebook to generate interest but on my Business page I have a shop now button that sends the viewer to my ETSY shop for the actual sale. This has worked both ways. From ETSY to Facebook. On Facebook I can show works in progress. This has been a good way to generate interest and also to gauge if a concept is worth taking to completion. I am a Sculptor and the beginning to end of a piece can be very involved. I work toward reproduction, Bronze, silver (jewelry) or Resin. The decision to move forward to production is very costly and I really need a buyer to commit before moving forward with my more ambitious pieces.

  14. I have a Facebook page for my work as well as my personal one, a Twitter account and Instagram. I post regularly and have followers but have never made a sale. I also have work on art sites, but have never made a sale that way either. I am working out what the methods are to rectify this.

  15. I have a WordPress website. When I post a new piece of artwork, a version of that post automatically gets posted to my art Facebook page, complete with photo and a link to that work on my website. A post also goes automatically to Twitter. I use MailChimp for sending emails to subscribers. I have a special template I use to send out notices of new paintings. I have a different but similar template for announcing events, shows, etc. I also occasionally post a blog on my website about how I work or a particular project I’m working on. Once a week MailChimp automatically sends out a recap of my blog posts (via the RSS feed) to my mailing list. I occasionally have sold a piece through my website that I know people found out about from my Facebook page. My email list is made up mostly of people who have been to one of my twice annual Open Studio Tours (part of a larger Studio Tour event where I live), so they are more likely to come purchase a piece in person from me. Finally, I think Facebook has done more to make larger numbers of people aware of my work than anything else. My email list keeps me in touch with people once their interest has been piqued, but the easy Share feature people can use on Facebook has brought many new eyes to my Facebook page.

    1. HI nancy. thanks for the info. You wrote that once a week Mailchimp sends out a recap of your blog posts. If you’re not posting every week what is Mailchimp capturing and sending? I have a similar process as you and am learning to automate many actions. Gives us more time to paint, right!
      Thanks.
      Francesca

    2. I’m doing pretty much the same thing as you Nancy – WordPress and Mailchimp. So far I have sold a book through WordPress -but for the poetry more than the paintings – but otherwise no sales. Only my mailing list generates the occasional sale outside my in-person channels.

    3. Thank you, Nancy, for mentioning MailChimp, even though it is not really a social media, it has been an important part of my overall marketing effort and it is easy to auto post the emails to Facebook and Twitter. I use it regularly, although I try limit the frequency of my email campaigns in an attempt to limit “unsubscribes”. I have had quite a few sales from my MailChimp campaigns, mostly by people clicking my website link or via further direct inquiry. I also like the fact that MailChimp automatically cleans my email list if people do unsubscribe. I feel that I have more success when pushing the information to people who are interested. It is easy to compare the analytics on the MailChimp campaigns to see what works and what doesn’t.

  16. Hi Jason,
    many thanks for your ideas. I read them regularly and I am impressed by your vroad advice. Regarding your thoughts about social media I only can say that I don’t use it. I present my artworks only on

    1. http://www.saarchiart.com for the anglosaxon world
    2. http://Www.artists.de for the German speaking community

    and I am very satisfied with both platforms.

    If you are interested I can send you a summary of the advanteges of both platforms.

    With kind regards,
    Herbert Ruf

  17. Great topic Jason, thank you for starting it ! I have made 1 sale through FB when one of my friends suggested to another friend of hers she should check my work, she did then also went to my website and then contacted me and voila a sale was made, but that’s the only 1 through FB, I also post onto Instagram and had posted 2 small abstracts one day and had them both sold within 5 minutes to someone who I originally met through FB and who then followed my Instagram account…and I’ve never gotten any sales from Twitter, or Pinterest even though my Pinterest account has a very large following… I do use FB, Twitter and Instagram to promote events and that is helpful….so these days I just figure use whatever tool could possibly bring you new followers. I would love to know what hashtags people are finding useful on Twitter to draw art collectors/buyers to their pages and the same for Instagram…Thanks so much !

  18. Oh sorry, I just remembered that in fact besides the first sale through FB I did also sell 2 other pieces to a woman who is local in my town who saw 1 piece that she wanted to come and see and then when she got here actually ended up falling in love with 2 other pieces and she bought both of those…so I stand corrected 3 sales via FB

  19. I post on Facebook and people have responded and seem to like that I post new paintings, but no sales. Also, have put my work on Pinterest and Twitter. No response from them at all. I have not tried Facebook Business yet. Have any of you tried a 20% off on paintings on your website? I haven’t, but I have been thinking about doing that on Facebook. I want to try a few more letters to galleries, though, before I do that.

  20. I have found varied social media platforms to be useful in different ways.

    I have sold sculpture entirely via Facebook, and it is wonderful for promoting my wearable sculpture.

    Instagram has been very helpful for having regular interactions with my collectors, and for connecting with interior designers, galleries, and art consultants.

    One of my largest collectors found me on Pinterest, and a number of interior designers have reached out to me there. When tagged correctly, pinning my art on Pinterest seems like it has been one of the most time-effective ways of finding people who are looking specifically for work like mine; because it is tagged by humans, Pinterest seems to have a much better image search than Google.

    As I am a sculptor, Youtube is very helpful for me. Not necessarily in the social aspect, but being able to easily host videos that show all 360 degrees of my sculpture and send them via e-mail to potential collectors has been incredibly useful.

    If you haven’t come across it yet, you may be interested in reading the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report – https://www.hiscox.co.uk/online-art-trade-report/ . I am in no way affiliated with it, but the information they have gathered has been guiding where I put my time online in a very tangible way.

    -T Barny

  21. I have a Face book page that I am moderately active on. I post an average of once a week and when I do, get a good social response. I have a Facebook page with a business profile purchase an ad at least once a month and it typically brings me new followers. My posts consist mostly of art related content. Shows, interesting articles, new work I’ve produced, blog posts and occasional light humor in the form of a comic.

    I have an Instagram page as well that I only post artwork on. I only follow other artist friends and a couple of family members on. I have a Linked-in profile, a YouTube page. I’ve never had a Twitter profile. Of all of these Facebook brings me the most return but as of yet no sales. My sculptures carry a higher price tag that I would easily expect to sell Socially.

  22. I have two Facebook accounts; Don Rankin and Don Rankin, Mastering Glazing Techniques in Watercolor. I also have don_rankin_watercolor.com on Instagram. I use WordPress for https://www.donrankinwatercolorstudio.com and a YouTube site. All of this is tied to https://www.donrankinfineart.com on FASO. I try using these sites to direct viewers to the FASO site where they see my work featured and can elect to sign up for my online watercolor courses or purchase originals and/or reproductions. Is it working? Yes. However, there is always room for improvement. I got spoiled years ago when I learned that I could make more and bigger sales in the privacy of a corporate boardroom and in the privacy of my studio. I think everyone should think about how they use social media. Try to pull your potential clients to your exclusive site where they see your work without competing with others. My FASO site also lists Xanadu Gallery as a gallery listing and I have recently added the Xanadu Gallery catalog to my sales plan. In the past few years health issues have limited my time for travel. This way I can stay in studio, paint and dedicate some time to the social media outlets. I do have to admit, nothing is like the good ‘ole days. However, nothing says today can’t be great either. You just have to adapt.

  23. I sold two pieces through Facebook so far this year. These were my first social media sales. I do not heavily promote online, maybe I should.

  24. This may be ignorance posting but geez, doesn’t the general public get worn out keeping up with social media options? I know people who are active to one degree or another in all of them. After an hour cruising through a dozen bloated accounts do they ever slow down to evaluate what they are looking at? “Social media” is correctly described, not a marketplace and certainly not one for art.
    We are bombarded with so much advertising these are just one more distraction. I’m not the only one tone deaf. I know, I have followers too … but I’m not looking for it to sell for me. I do FB and that’s it. I have contracted workshops from it. Advertising is their cash cow and that is why they want to sell ads to you. LinkedIn was annoying with requests popping up in my email daily. I’ve done Etsy and Pinterest but they languished and died. Youtube might be good for some but I pass. All can be a time drain.
    I still maintain we expect too much from social media. I want to reach patrons and admirers of art. I don’t see how anyone can truly appreciate my work looking at an image of my paintings on their smart phone. Art must be seen in person.
    To me, the only value in social media is an introduction. Hopefully, it sparks enough interest people will look at my website and seek me out at a show or market, gallery, or the venues where I display.
    Then I can sell.

    1. I totally agree with you Jackie. Personally, I would not spend hundreds, or especially thousands, of dollars on a piece of fine are that I have not actually seen in person. I think social media is fine for an introduction and to generate interest only.

  25. As a fine art photographer I know that there must be more value in my website ( http://www.tomjacobsphotography.com/ ) , Instagram ( https://www.instagram.com/tjphoto1/ ), Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/TomJacobsPhotography ), and email lists than what I have been getting. Today I came across the Art Marketing Podcast. Check it out. He does a great job of tying all these media together and really puts things in perspective . He has very practical advice and techniques for marketing and selling art online.

  26. I have a facebook business page, twitter and instagram. I have sold one painting through twitter by accident (I tweeted it, someone asked if it was for sale etc). However I actively decided to use FB for a February sale. I had a load of paintings that I liked but for one reason or another had not sold and they were weighing on my mind and stopping me from working. I posted a different one everyday at a discount to say thank you to people who followed my page and ended up selling 8 or 9 in the month. The weight was off my shoulders and people got a ‘reward’. Otherwise, I use instagram to follow artists I admire. I also use Flickr to share images and to obtain reference material (with permission). If you are doing prints, then FB boosts are the way to go and very cost effective. It is very price sensitive. While I can coordinate Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it would be great to be more slick at coordinating the lot. By the time I have updated my website, posted on my blog, uploaded to Flickr, updated my Artfinder shop and tweeted/facebooked/instagrammed, I have run out of time to paint!! Every so often I search for my name on Pinterest and it is interesting to see which images have been pinned and how many times – a nice boost to the ego, if you are feeling low also good for keeping ideas and inspiration in order.

  27. Although some artists tell me they have sold via Facebook, etc., expecting direct sales from social media usually leads to dissatisfaction. Sculptor Kevin Caron, for whom I work, is visible in many social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and nominally on Twitter and LinkedIn), but his big success is on YouTube, where he has more than 47,000 subscribers and more than 12.8 million views. While we have had sales directly from social media, the importance for Kevin is how it affects the search engines. Because Google owns YouTube (Google is the #1 search engine, and YouTube is #2!), Kevin comes up high when people are searching for art. He has sold more than $250,000 worth of art online. I am sharing this number to point out that yes, artists can sell online, and yes, social media helps. It just might not be directly from that site.

  28. I am on Facebook, with both a business and personal page. I’ve made two sales from postings there over the last couple years. Both were to people I know who follow me. I also post any art shows I am in there. I started using Instagram earlier this year but nothing there so far, same with Twitter. I have some of my paintings saved to new boards on Pintrest but again, no sales. The biggest surprise I got was an art licensing deal from my Flickr account. A publisher saw one of my sunflower paintings and is using the image for a new book. I will continue to concentrate on Facebook and Instagram.

  29. I have used Facebook as my main social media outlet for my art for quite a few years now. It is important to remember that social media is one tool in an artist’s bag, and not the only tool, so I wouldn’t expect results from using Facebook alone. Because my audience knows and trusts me through Facebook, YouTube, and email marketing, I have a relationship that I can use to share my work, and I do see sales, however it has taken patient, faithful cultivation to see my presence online bear fruit.

  30. I’ve used Facebook and pinterest a lot over the last 2-3 years. I’ve just started using instagram. Facebook is the main way I get work (prob 60%) with my galleries 20% and searching 10%. I get clients through pinterest but its a lot harder to interact with potential them so its pretty random. I’ve build up just under 5000 like on my FB business page – https://www.facebook.com/acarvedpiece/ . I post on FB, Insa, Pin and my own site around 3X a week. I got my record for FB reach a weeks ago with 30,000 (organic). This showed me that you can get some really good free advertising if your content is fresh and delivered to the right audience. Instagram has a different feel. I get good comments but doesn’t see like a selling point yet. thanks Aaron

  31. I forgot to add, I’ve heard people saying you can only sell smaller priced works on social media. I don’t sell as highly priced works as I would though my galleries (where the people can see them, because they are 3D I think this is more important)) but I’m selling a lot of pieces in the $500 – $800 NZD ( $400 – $680 ish USD). At the moment I’m booked up for a mth or two fulltime just from that large FB post I mentioned in my last post so its really worked for me as a selling platform. thanks Aaron, New Zealand

  32. For me, there’s only one great social network for artists, and that’s Google+. For one thing, the support and kindness of other artists is unparalleled. Not to mention that, for me, G+ has some of the greatest artists the world over, continually posting and exchanging ideas and comments that are always caring, helpful, uplifting. Also, G+ gives you a gorgeous page of your own with great big beautiful spaces to post your work so that it really stands out. My nickname for Google+ is “24/7 AP,” the AP standing for “Artists Party.” Morning and night you can go to G+ and find witty, charming, interesting, lively, uber creative artists and writers to view and comment on your art and vice versa. As for selling there, well, it is my ‘hood, so I don’t pressure people. But they give me the motivation to do the best art venues on line, from my viewpoint: Etsy, and also my own website (though I am changing to a Shopify site very soon). I have more than 10,000,000 views and 11,000 followers on G+, and a group of bff’s there who cheer me on and react with glee to all my successes, from the creative to the personal (I love to post poetry and essays there with my art). Anyway, I find G+ to be warm and friendly, and yes, a little flirty, too, which makes it even more inviting, and that goes a long way to getting me up and going as an artist and a business person trying to sell my art.

  33. I love this conversation! It’s wonderful to feel part of a large artist community learning how to promote and sell what we do on the new social media platforms forms! I always think success depends largely on quality work and knowing who your potential audience is! Collectors buy quality! And they buy what interests them! Social media is one avenue of many! Never give up on that unique face to face encounter! It’s such a powerful interaction!!

  34. I have a Facebook page for my art as well as a personal page and I post images of work on both. I have generated a few sales and some commission work through Facebook, which still kind of amazes me as I’m someone who likes to meet my prospective art purchases in person. 🙂 I think its value goes beyond contacts that can be directly attributed to a particular transaction as it contributes to a professional image. I’ve just recently started posting on Instagram so it will be interesting to see how that develops. I plan to look into Instagram stories to see how that might fit in. I think it’s true from what I’ve seen so far that the demographic for Instagram is a bit younger and more international which is fun. I’m taking a long term view that maybe down the road some of the folks who like my work but aren’t currently in a position to buy will remember me when they are in the market. Plus I include images of smaller, more affordable pieces in my feed.

  35. Well I am done with Facebook.. I have kept my personal profile but lately I had a few bad experiences that made me decide to close my fb page (I wasn’t committed to it at all anyway) and deleted all my albums and as many posts with my art as I could from my profile. I have many friends on my profile but as things are a bit different in Greece, I noticed that someone copied a work of mine and a couple more started trying to copy… Since I am still trying to make my way up to art I thought that I didn’t have to cope with it. I realized that ok I got some recognition through fb but the few sales I have done, were a result of my participation to a couple of really quality exhibitions..so I decided to concentrate to make some really good work and then go out and see what I can do with it. I still use my instagram account though I like it more cos it’s fresh somehow.. Twitter is very disappointed is not working for me, pinterest I haven’t used it for ages, Google +the same. LinkedIn is not for me… I ve used them all but my aim is not just sales.. So I work in silence and we’ll see what’s coming next. Anyway Greece is through the crisis now and things are a bit tough for artists and probably collectors. I have no connection with galleries.. I will find out I guess when the time is right..

  36. My Facebook art page has been a modest source of income, and has had its ups and downs, like any aspect of the art business. As discussed before in a previous post the price point is lower. For me, that is around $750. By and large, my Facebook page has done well for me, generating up to 25% of my gross revenue. My 17 year-old website is the center of my business, where the transactions take place. My website is ultimately responsible for 2/3 of my sales, with customers directed there from Facebook and magazine advertising.

    Friends are encouraging me to try Instagram. I plan to acquire a smartphone, and post post paintings there, especially a new line of landscapes and old autos. I have no expectations of quick results, but ultimately it will be worth the trouble.

    My advice to others is patience. It can take a couple of years to build a following on any electronic media. In promoting your art the artist must relentlessly follow new avenues to expose your work to the public.

  37. I use Facebook, Pinterest, and am now recently on Instagram. While I done really have much in the way of sales I think they are vital. More and more people are seeing my work and the exposure spreads. I also developed great dialogue with them and can see which painting images are most popular. In addition, I have many collectors that follow me and end up being repeat buyers. I think staying in front of them in this way has a lot to do with it. My biggest sales tool actually is my monthly newsletter. I have certainly sold straight out if this any number of times. They are all important for various reasons.

  38. Very little of my work is large, so it is not out of most peoples price range, I have sold a fair amount of work through Facebook connections. I have both a business page and a personal page, since my art IS a business and is a S-Corp (also have a separate biz page for the graphic design part of my business.) Fine art sales via social media are often commissions (and despite a comment above…. they ARE sales. The IRS sure treats them as such!) but I have also sold paintings that people have inquired about after I posted them online. MANY are sold to people that I knew in high school and college and have reconnected with. I also have sold to friends of these friends and others that see the commissioned work posted. I have recently started posting on Instagram as well. (was talked into a Twitter account, but that just is not as visual so I never really use it)

  39. I’m a full-time artist and am represented by six galleries. I’ve sold two paintings this year via Instagram, but the main reason I like it is because I follow superior artists and photographers I like. Consequently, my feed is nothing but inspiration! Most of my followers appear to be beginner artists as opposed to buyers though. I have artist acquaintances who have built up such a large following that they sell everything they post on social media. They’re too busy painting and shipping sold work to participate in this discussion, however!

  40. I’d like to know if any artists are selling on Etsy. I have a family member who was very enthused about some artwork that he bought on Etsy, but that art was very much “niche”. Still, I’d like to hear from an artist’s point of view.

  41. I post regularly on Facebook & Instagram. I have both a personal and business Facebook account. When I post my art on my business page, I ‘share’ it on my personal page. this allows me to see its total reach on the business analytics. I get many ‘likes’,some comments, but I can’t say any of that has lead to sales. Facebook has been helpful in promoting upcoming local shows and I even had an old classmate attend one of my shows in her state, after seeing my post on Facebook. I had shipped the work, but did not attend in person, so it was nice to get a photo of the piece in the exhibit. As for sales via social media? I am just not seeing it. I made a big push to actively engage with social media, followed an editorial calendar for posting, but I just didn’t see the results.

  42. I agree that Facebook and Instagram both seem to generate a lot of “likes” , but no sales. I also have a blog that I’ve kept for quite a long time and it gets looked at quite a bit – but again, no sales (I am now revamping to add a storefront to see if that changes things). So far, all of my sales have been at art shows or gallery shows.

    I was wondering about other social medias options like blogs and Deviant Art. I know many people have blogs or Deviant Art accounts. Are those at all successful in making sales?

  43. Great thread of comments!
    I have a Facebook business page and a personal page, which has generated a lot of interest but only one sale so far. I only post art related stuff on my Art page, and personal and art stuff on my personal page. I have tried taking out a FB ad a couple times to boost my Open Studio. In that case, I was able to target thousands of people within five miles of my studio who indicated an interest in art (for $20!) I wouldn’t say its had a direct effect yet, but I think it’s a process, and much more cost effective than print media.
    I also use Instagram and LinkdIn, but not as consistently. I would agree that LinkdIn seems mostly for job seekers, not buyers of art.

  44. I have found success selling from FB, Insta, and SnapChat. With Snapchat, I consider that to be my stream of consciousness, because it’s a kaleidoscope of images and videos, presented in linear format to tell a story. What’s good about Snapchat is it shows you how many views per media output you create. You can see where you lose your audience’s attention in your story, and thus can make audibles and learn. Consistency is KING on Snapchat. People have to be dialed into your consciousness for it to work. Insta is my absolute favorite. The key is to Hashtag strategically. I generally use Insta for final products. Building up a sizable pool of interested people is how you win the social media game. Need the exposure

  45. I’ve sold more off my artist page on facebook than from the galleries I’ve shown in and have found that the more followers the better. At 40,000 I’m selling each week and many friends have over 100k.

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