How to Get Collectors to Follow You on Social Media

Over the last few posts, and throughout the comments on those posts, we’ve seen that, while it may not be easy, artists are selling art through social media. Through careful curation of their posts, and active engagement with their followers, these artists have built business on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media platforms.

Beyond the difficulties that come in managing a social media account, one of the most common challenges I heard while researching these posts was “How do I get collectors to follow me on social media?” Additionally, I heard a lot of you say that it’s challenging to get anyone other than artists to follow your social media accounts.

Now, let me be clear: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having artists follow you on social media. Artists can very easily become customers, but, equally important, you will benefit from the network effect by having as many followers as possible.

But I do understand the desire to have well-qualified potential art collectors following your social media account as well. Not only can this lead directly to sales, but social media can also be a great way to create deeper relationships with buyers and keep you on their radar.

So how can you get them to follow you?

First, let me say that it’s not going to be easy. Some of your potential clients aren’t even on social media, although this is pretty rare now. The Pew Research Center finds that nearly eight in ten Americans are on Facebook ( That’s an incredible level of participation, and it means that almost all of your current and future clients are on at least one social media platform. Just because they are on social media, however, doesn’t mean they are active users, and it also doesn’t mean they are going to accept a friend request or follow your page.

The key to building a successful social media following, it seems, is not to rely on everyone who buys or sees your work following you; rather, it’s to consistently give them all the opportunity to do so.

When I asked artist Faith Rumm from Mariposa, California how she gets social media followers, she replied,

I would like to say a lifetime of being nice to people, but also I spent about a year posting art on fb hiking forums, as my work is about wilderness back-country. People have friended me after seeing my art on the forums. (I haven’t posted on the forums for at least a year.) Also, when I have events at my studio I collect info from visitors and friend them.

There are two important keys here. The first is in the last sentence. Just as it is important to collect email addresses at live events, taking the next step and “friending” those contacts or inviting them to follow your social media pages is a vital way to build a following. This means that you have to have a good system in place to collect contact information, and that you need to be 100% consistent in inviting your contacts to become social media followers.

Not everyone you invite is going to become a follower, but some percentage will. It’s your persistence and consistency in inviting that will lead to a strong follower base.

The other key that Faith mentions is creating other online activity that leads to your social media pages. Faith posted in forums, which can be a great way to reach people with similar interests. In my podcast interview with Robert MacGinnis last week, he also mentioned this as a good way to attract followers.

MacGinnis also mentioned another way to get followers that I feel is brilliant, and that is through your interactions with your current followers. Robert said, for example, that he always posts birthday wishes to his followers, and when he does so he includes an image of a painting and tags the follower. MacGinnis is always careful to make sure that his birthday wishes are sincere and thoughtful. The follower’s friends, who are also wishing their friend a happy birthday, are likely to see Robert’s post and may then click over to Robert’s profile and also become followers.

You’ll want to be careful not to overdo this kind of cross-posting on any one follower’s account, but by posting to followers you can take advantage of the powerful network effect of social media.

Another key to obtaining qualified followers is to use social media advertising, but I’m going to address this aspect of social media marketing in another post.

What Have You Done to Encourage Art Collectors to Follow You on Social Media?

How have you obtained qualified followers? What would you advise other artist who want to build a social media following to try? Share what has worked, what hasn’t, and what you’ve learned along the way in the comments below.

About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of, and founder of the Art Business Academy. 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.


  1. Robert MacGinnis’s podcast was fantastic! He represents SO many artists with his introverted personality – yet has great success selling his artwork on social media.

    2 questions – does he have art galleries that his sales compete with? And, I see his painting sizes are small with very reasonable (low) price points. Is that what you were recommend for FB/social media marketing?

  2. I wish I could say something helpful here, but unfortunately I can only reiterate that recently I joined Instagram and all the followers I’ve gathered are other artists. It’s great to see what others are doing–and I’ve found the quality of art to be generally pretty darn good, so it’s a pleasure to see. It’s also useful to see where other artists are exhibiting, and then follow those galleries. Museums use Insta, too, so I can stay current with museum shows. Who knows? Maybe my posts will eventually lead somewhere. I’m posting the name and contact info for my current gallery shows–directing folks to the gallery, as well as my website. @mskfineart on Instagram. Thanks for all the good info, Jason!

  3. I am so grateful for all this information I’ve been an artist all my life but I’m just now reaching out to social media and I’m on about six different sites I currently am involved with pixels or fine art America print on demand and it’s really something that I’m finding that you have to be present and determined to get things done everyone is shopping on line now so I have to add all of this to to one resource that will branch out to all the sites I’m involved with so when I post a photo every site gets it Now my regular regiment is to check in any comments or messages that I might have to respond to the mediately and I asked friends and clients 2 share share if you like it share perhaps they can visualize my work and are home or their office or they mom’s home but their friends home so I’m finding yes I would love to have a large following a large clientele I’ve been a hairstylist all my life and building a clientele it’s not genius it’s just sincerity and trust and being kind two people everyone needs to be acknowledged everyone deserves that little piece right there this is for you my friend thank you for responding thank you for coming to my site I’m so grateful to these people I’m Overjoyed when I see a a message it makes me feel appreciated people that appreciate my work my tenant my exceptionally creative nature . I thank everybody for their comment and it’s very genuine I appreciate you and look forward to putting this into action. Jason many thanks for your post I will leave you with my website kyhdesigns

  4. I have been active on social media for 3 years, have thousands of the wrong kind of followers and have not made one single sale. Only two or three visitors click through to my web page per month and none leave a message or sign up for my newsletter. I live in a small, non-artsy town, there are very few live events so personal contacts are not an option. I plan to try Jason’s suggestion to start following groups that would be potential collectors … that would be lawyers, doctors, small business people, accountants. Anyone else have the same problem? … and how did you solve it? Thanks Jody

    1. Jody, I checked out your website, really lovely work!
      – You have a good number of followers on IG, are you engaging with the ones who comment on your IG posts? It’s important to do that. It may not be as important for big name artists but I think for most of us making connections is helpful. That does help sell art over time, people like to buy from people they like and feel a connection with. I’ve found this to be the case for me.
      – As far as I understand IG doesn’t show posts containing links in the captions to people, which I noticed some of your posts have. You can always say ‘see link in bio’ or something along those lines. You can also include links in stories but avoid them in your posts.
      – Doing a couple reels a week can help get your account shown on IG which now favours reels over posts. A 7 second reel of you (extreme close up of your hand) making one lush brushstroke can be all that’s needed, believe it or not. Or reveals. A simple reveal can be just you holding a painting backside to the camera and turn it around revealing the painting. Doesn’t need to be fancy, just 7 seconds. And you don’t even need to show yourself. I can’t believe people’s attention spans are that small but they are.
      – Reels may not bring in buyers but it will help the algorithm show your posts to people. I think right now they aren’t being shown to people. Posts are not chronological any more. And reels are given priority over posts. I try to do 2 reels a week and a couple posts. Your goal would be to get your posts SEEN and then start engaging with people when they comment. You can tell they’re being seen because of comments. If you check into your professional dashboard you can see how many people have seen your post.

      I have ideas for how you could use being an artist in a small town to your advantage but I don’t want to be a big blabber mouth here. Feel free to email me.

      1. Cindy – I’m so glad to read your response. Very good information for lots of folks. Thanks for taking the time.

    2. Thank you for sharing this, Jody. I love my IG artist followers, and am slowly gleaning a few collector followers.

      My big dilemma is what to do with all the people who like a dozen times in quick succession, and follow, then send me a DM with only “Hi! How are you doing?” They ALWAYS turn out to be someone either selling NFTs or they drop some empty flattery saying they want to get to know me better. If I look at their profile, it is always private and they have maybe one post and no followers. I have blocked them in the past, thinking if I culled those out, I might attract more authentic souls. Now my account is at the same number for months. Any thoughts?

  5. During the summer weekends I set up a wooden trailer on our village waterfront. I display my carvings and have done quite well. A lady mentioned to me that I should be on Instagram. She added that the secret is to tell a story that people will follow. People want to get to know you (it’s called ‘social media’), how you carve or paint and see examples of your art. You have to post regularly. I also readily handout business cards with my FB and Instagram addresses prominently displayed..

  6. I have a fair number of followers of my FB art page. I’ve boosted FB posts several times and have gotten a nice amount of attention doing that. I think many of those people keep up with me without following but eventually many of them follow. I think posting warm & fuzzy or comical posts such as my “studio dogs” or an art comment that is interesting or funny brings them in. Many but not all want to know us as people and this works for me. Other than that, I have no idea how to get them. I get a lot more followers on Instragram but a good many of those are phony accounts and disappear as fast as they appear.

  7. I make sure my business cards have my Facebook address for my business page on them along with my website. I usually recommend that page vs my website. While there are photos of my work in both places, website visitors usually browse once and don’t come back. However, my Facebook page not only lets that person keep up with me and my work, but I can continue to target them from that point forward.

    1. I agree Terah, if people don’t sign up for my newsletter they can still see my work on FB or IG. I’m not getting rich off social media but between that and my newsletters it does make a difference, it all adds up.
      Engagement with my followers makes a difference.

  8. I’ve noticed that although I have what looks like 800-900 followers on FB (that was a result of part of marketing that was included with website design) only a few people ever see what I post. It seems the only way to be seen is to pay for boosts. On Instagram, my first reel was seen by thousands of people and I got about 30 new followers, then suddenly my reels go nowhere. They can hide your reels without telling you, and sometimes it’s about a hashtag, but as I’ve learned, you just don’t know. It all seems to be a bait and switch with early good results followed by less visibility than I started with unless I pay to boost.

  9. I feel like this is missing the point. If I like the art, whether or not I have purchased something by the artist, and I want to see more of it, I check their posts on FB. If they post their art and I like it, I follow them. If their art posts are scanty or mixed with non-art posts, I don’t follow them.

    1. I agree with your comment Toni, I keep my insta account strictly art related and try to only keep to quality posts opposed to quantity.

      I found that video in the post gets more traction and relevant hashtags can be a big help to getting a larger reach. I have made many good sales because of social media posts and sometimes a painting will go very quickly.

      Keeping you site clean and uncluttered is important to me so I will go back and delete older posts the are no longer appropriate. I use the stories for lighter updates and use the posts for interesting visual posts that I want to keep around longer.
      I am enjoying this string of comments and really appreciate the Red dot blog Jason.

      Best Rick
      Instagram @bremness

  10. Slow and steady wins the race. I am slowly growing my following by following galleries and artists that I would love to work with or admire . I will comment sincerely when I love something. Building a community takes time and social media is just part of our job.
    It’s a tool that requires patience and persistence.
    It’s not always about a sale, it’s about making connections because everyone knows someone who may love your art.

  11. Like a few people here I don’t get any sales through Instagram although I only have 300 + following, or on Facebook, I use these as a pathway to my website, I have included a contact page but nothing so far even after 4 years of owning a website. However, I’ve been more productive in my studio since retiring from my day job and posting artworks more regularly. I did seem to accumulate a few more followers on Instagram and a few people dropped in on my website according to my analytics. My plan for 2023 is to do workshops and join a open studio trail now that I have the time. Hopefully by collecting emails it may generate more sales for me. I believe as artists we need to proactive physically as well as digitally now I have the time that’s what I plan.

  12. Interesting, because I just wrote a blog post about this, basically. I do not have tons of followers. But I have QUALITY followers. I sell quite a bit through Instagram and Facebook, and not just works less than $500. And my advice is to ‘sell yourself.’ This sounds mercenary and commercial at first glance, but what I mean is this: break down the barriers, make yourself vulnerable and BE yourself. Don’t just post photos of your art. Say something about it. Tell a story. Use a reel. Collectors want to know THE ARTIST. Yes, the work may grab their attention first, but once they come to know you as a human being, the connection is made.

  13. Great idea about posting birthday wishes. Better than an image I can write, “I’m Cuckoo for You!” and have a video of one of my cuckoo clocks cuckooing. I’m on it. Thank you Jason!

  14. I always enjoy reading the comments and looking at the commentor’s website.

    One thing I notice is that to be consistent seems to be very important. Reels are also important; especially for Instagram.

    Thanks to all for sharing

  15. This is a really good article and I just have a couple other thoughts for your readers. I have had a lot of success with social media followers and sales and here are few things that I do regularly:
    1. Post often
    2. Don’t just post art, post pictures of yourself with your art or in your studio.
    3. Don’t sound like a salesman on social media, just be social.
    4. When I write a blog post, I always include a button at the bottom directing readers to my Instagram.
    5. I post images from Instagram on Pinterest and link it back to my Instagram. P.S. I do the same with my blog articles and it works great!
    6. I include my social media information in my emails.
    7. I include my social media information when I post on other people’s blogs. Here is my Instagram, please give me a look:

    All the best, Bruce

  16. Since I had a career at a newspaper before photography, writing comes easy for me. So I write a free monthly newsletter, post a monthly blog and post my photography regularly on facebook and instagram.I also have a website with ecommerce.
    My strategy is to drive people to my website, blog and newsletter with links on facebook and instagram. I also collect email addresses from people I meet when I do art fairs or gallery shows.
    I belong to two local galleries and three community art groups, which is great to build a reputation among artists, but I’m not sure its developing any more followers.
    The proof is in the numbers: I have around 580 followers on my busisiness facebook page and 1056 on Instagram. Despite all that, sales of my photography are slow, but I did more business last year than the year before.
    I’m not sure that social media is impacting sales; I suspect its more that there’s so much photography out there, people are saturated with images.

  17. Nothing above is wrong, except it seems very out of date. No reference to bots, algorithms or changing rules of Instagram and Meta. I was hoping for something more current, since my newsletter, insta posts – every time there’s a new piece or a show or a ‘highlight’, I get the same people (mostly other artists) seeing and liking but nothing changes on the ‘show up at a show’ or ‘click on the website’ side. I think this blogpost is due for an update!

  18. I don’t have a huge amount of followers on Instagram, (just over 3000), but many of them are not artists. Because I paint landscapes of places where people go for recreation and vacations, I search for them. Some are hikers, full time RV folks, photographers, interior decorators etc. Like Faith Rumm, I interact with hikers on social media. Of course I have artists who follow me, but over all it’s a good mix.
    I believe that it’s helped me to interact and follow non-artists whose posts interest me and relate to my artwork in some way. I don’t necessarily invite them to look at my page, but after awhile they usually do and quite often follow me back and comment positively on my work. A smaller number use the link to head over to my website.

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