Social Media for Artists

Making the Most of Your Social Media Marketing.

microbusiness marketing Most artists, I know, fall into the category of owning and operating a microbusiness. This is no surprise since of the nearly 28 million businesses in the U.S., 92% is a microbusiness that employs five or fewer employees. 

It is estimated that one in seven adults in America owns or is a principal in a microbusiness. For the majority of microbusinesses, the effectiveness of their marketing directly influences their longevity and profitability.

For artists to ensure their business success, they need to recognize that both their work and they, as artists, are brands that require marketing to gain exposure and sales. It matters not whether you are a new artist eager to build a following, or a seasoned art marketing veteran, building your brand awareness, social marketing has become a prerequisite to meet your goals.

Microbusiness Marketing Tips:

Fine Tune Your Website

Having a website that gives you a presence on the internet is a requirement for effective microbusiness marketing. Now, an established digital footprint is increasingly vital. You must be able to be found on the web.

Download List of 7 Essential Tools Artists Use
Download List of 7 Essential Tools Artists Use

To make your investment into your website effective, it may require a tune-up or a complete overhaul. In addition to updating your visual aesthetics, your improvements should make sure your site optimized for both search engines and mobile devices.

Search engine basics include descriptions, heading tags, content, and navigation. Master these, and you are well on your way to getting better search results. If you are using WordPress, getting these things done is made easy using the Yoast SEO plugin.

Making your site mobile ready is now also a necessity. These stats from the Pew Research Foundation indicate why:

Mobile internet access as of May 2013:

  • 63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online.
  • 34% of cell internet users go online mostly using their phones, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.
  • 56% of American adults have a smartphone.

Additionally, your site should have clear, easy-to-use navigation. I am a believer in putting prices on your website. I think you will make more sales with prices than you will without them. Having clear shipping and return procedures and policies boosts sales, too. My friend and frequent art marketing podcast partner Jason Horejs, the owner of Xanadu Gallery, agrees with me.

Download List of 7 Essential Tools Artists Use
Download List of 7 Essential Tools Artists Use

Make the Most of Facebook

If you are like most people, you use Facebook to keep up with family and friends. To separate your personal Facebook presence from your business, set up a Facebook business page.

Check out this link for useful Facebook business-page marketing tips. Companies such as offer free tools to help with Facebook marketing. Of course, they want to persuade you to use their paid services, some of which look worth using… you decide.

Get Going on Pinterest

Pinterest usage has exploded. The stats show it is a female-dominated audience that naturally will skew well towards most art purchases. Because Pinterest is visually oriented, it is perfect for artists to help them find new customers.

My friend and fellow art marketer, Cory Huff, has an excellent post on The Pinterest Guide to Selling Art Online. Searching the oracle, also known as Google, will deliver useful tips on getting high mileage from Pinterest.

Put Twitter to Good Use

Check out the information below from

Download List of 7 Essential Tools Artists Use
Download List of 7 Essential Tools Artists Use

If you’re managing social media for your business, it might be useful to know about some of the most surprising social media statistics this year. These facts might make you rethink the way you’re approaching Twitter.


• This demographic has grown 79% since 2012.
• The 45–54 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on both Facebook and Google+.
• For Facebook, this group has jumped 46%.
• For Google+, 56%.

You can use Twitter to help you create a loyal group of collectors and fans. It is never too late to start or get better. Begin building your Twitter following by seeing who is responding to hashtags relevant to your art or your art business. There is no harm following Twitter users who follow your competitors. It’s a free world.

Besides hashtags, you can also follow keywords to determine relevant tweets to share. Retweeting useful information benefits you in two ways. You get the attention of the author and keep your followers with info to help them.

Do Not Ignore Google+

Google+ is a puzzle of sorts. It has grown rapidly, but the amount of sharing versus other social media sites is less. While that might make you think it is not worth the effort to spend time and effort in yet another social media site, it would be an incorrect assumption.

Google search is continuing to put more emphasis on social signals to expand and improve search results. Since it is more difficult to obtain that information from other services, such as Facebook, Google uses results from and relies on Google+ first.

Moreover, Google search is moving to validate the source of information. It uses Google Authorship verification to update this information. Your personal Google+ account is included in how Google achieves validation.

Get your Google Authorship set up correctly, and your search results will show your picture, as you see with mine below.

Google Authorship - microbusiness marketing

Employ a Social Media Tool

These services offer free and paid versions. You can probably get by with the free versions. Besides monitoring all your social media feeds in one place, you can schedule your social marketing messages. I do not recommend using the same content for each social media marketing tool. Others following you will find it to look like canned and spammy instead of useful info.

I prefer HootSuite, but you can also use TweetDeck. I find HootSuite more versatile than TweetDeck.

Microbusiness Marketing Success Is an Ongoing Process

The most successful artists find consistent ways to create art that sells well. They learn to harness the power of tools like these measured here, and others, too. These include:

To the best of your ability, fold these micro-business marketing tools into your everyday activities. It’s what will keep the steady drumbeat of your marketing message going.

Only the rarest artist can do all these things well. Fortunately, it is not a requirement to make a brilliant career. What you have to do is find the tools that bring you the best results. Keep your messages varied in what you say and offer, and how you deliver them. Maintaining a method to keep your messages flowing is as powerful as any marketing activity you can do.


Download List of 7 Essential Tools Artists Use
Download List of 7 Essential Tools Artists Use


art marketing, Facebook, Guerrilla Marketing for Artists, Hootsuite, Marketing For Artists, Marketing Social, Marketing Tips, Microbusiness marketing, Pinterest, social marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

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  1. Hi Barney,

    thank you for your informative tips ……. i am an accomplished artist and have won a major prize but unfortunately not very good in promoting myself.
    Incidentally i have produced a limited gyclee print edition of 60 of my prize winning entry but only managed to sell a few due to the fact that i haven’t pushed them.
    If you would like to view it its on my website.
    I would very much appreciate your feedback.

    Alexander Lavroff

  2. I understand Getty now owns Pinterist. I am hesitant to have Getty sell my art work, due to the fact that they can sell one piece for 100s of $$, but only pay the artist a pittance. You seem to have your finger on the heartbeat of selling artwork. What is your opinion of this?

    1. To start, Getty does not own Pinterest. See this story:
      It has an agreement to get paid by Pinterest for providing meta data and proper attribution for the Getty images pinned on Pinterest boards. Getty has had some bad press for using an aggressive and sometimes punitive legal approach when going after it images used on the Web without having the proper authorization to do so. If you don’t want to do business with Getty, there are plenty of other more profitable ways to sell your art online.

  3. I want to caution everyone that it’s really better to harness one or two social media networks to their fullest than to try to be everywhere and fail at posting enough. Though I do recommend keeping profiles on every big network with links back to your site. Your main marketing focus though should be just that – focused. When you spread it over 4 different social networks, it waters down because you just can’t put effort into each of these without a team behind you to help with the workload. Better to have one or two really active, engaged networks than 4 really useless time-sucks.

  4. Hey, it's Smriti. Your article is a good one. I must say not everybody knows how to write blogs and make them look professional. Being a law student I always look for data points like charts, analysis in articles. Yours seems to give justice to the topic.

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