Monday Morning Art School: How do I get more out of social media?

Monday Morning Art School: How do I get more out of social media?

Maynard Dixon Clouds, 11X14, oil on archival canvas board, $869 includes shipping in continental US.

“I’m a 73-year-old artist and I’m having trouble expanding my social media reach. Can you give me any ideas, not just to drive more traffic to my art website, but to make the process less miserable?”

I don’t think consistent social media posting is fun for anyone, but if we predate the internet, we don’t always appreciate the whole parasocial thing. I’m the person who told my kids not to talk to strangers on the internet, and now I do it all the time-and some of those people have become my besties.

Spring Allee, oil on archival canvasboard, 14X18, $1594.00 framed includes shipping and handling in continental US.

First, the basics:

Post consistently. Regularly share your artwork on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Threads, and Pinterest. Consistency is the number one rule of social media. I blog three times a week for a reason.

Engage Interact with your followers by responding to comments, asking questions, and participating in others’ discussions. Build genuine connections.

Hashtags Relevant, trending hashtags make your posts more discoverable. How do you find them? Ask Google “best hashtags for __”

Share your process People like watching the creative process, so share photos or videos of your studio, work in progress, or what inspires you.

Collaborate Collaboration cross-pollinates lists. A great way to do that is to tag fellow artists at events. Or do something interesting together.

Early Light is 11X14, oil on archival canvasboard, $869 includes shipping and handling in the continental US.

Giveaways Your freebee doesn’t need to be expensive; it could be as simple as a ‘top ten color pathways for 2024’ handout. (Do I do this? Um, no.) The ‘price’? Their email address.

Guest blogs or interviews There is no such thing as bad publicity, so when someone asks you a question for their own blog or article, be sure to answer in an articulate manner. Or write for others. Just make sure the publisher links back to you; that strong network of links makes you attractive to Google.

SEO Ensure that your website is optimized for search engines by using relevant keywords in your content, image descriptions, and meta tags. If this means nothing to you, start here.

Give readers something meaningful. That’s why I write this blog; it’s my version of ‘exclusive content’ and it brings people to my website.

Cross-promote. Promote your social media profiles on your website and vice versa.

Don’t let AI generate your content If you really don’t have anything to say, say nothing at all. Google has tools to weed out the nonsensical fluff, so it’s a waste of time.

That sounds time-consuming, doesn’t it?

Path to the Lake, ~24X36, watercolor on Yupo, framed in museum-grade plexiglass, $2985 includes shipping and handling in continental US.

Let’s make it more fun:

Spill Don’t limit your social media presence solely to promoting your artwork. Share your hobbies, interests, and experiences. If you’re a regular reader of this blog and don’t know everything about me, I’m doing something wrong. (Or you’re not paying attention.)

Be funny Share anecdotes or witty commentary related to art or your daily life. Humor humanizes your brand and makes you more relatable.

Host live streams This is a lot of work, which is why I don’t do it often, but I’m happy to do online demos for art groups. It’s a great way to build a sense of community and connection.

Interactive content I don’t do this enough either, but interactive content like polls, quizzes, or challenges makes social media feed more dynamic and encourages engagement.

Showcase your students or the buyers of your work You can also feature artwork or photos shared by your social media followers. This acknowledges and appreciates their support and fosters a sense of community and collaboration.

Tell stories (I can’t seem to help doing this.) Storytelling engages your audience. Share the inspiration behind your artwork, memorable experiences from your artistic journey, or anecdotes from your daily life.

Celebrate yourself Yeah, that sounds a lot like bragging, but if you don’t tell them about your achievements, who will?

Be you Above all, be authentic and genuine in your interactions on social media. (If you’re never funny, I’m so sorry.) Openly share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, no matter how introverted you are. Social media is all about bridging the barrier of the screen.

Of course I don’t do all those things; no one person can. Focus on a few that work for you.

That’s all I can think of. Fellow artists, can you add any tips? What works for you?

My 2024 workshops:

  • Painting in Paradise: Rockport, ME, July 8-12, 2024.
  • Sea & Sky at Schoodic, August 4-9, 2024.
  • Find your authentic voice in plein air: Berkshires, August 12-16, 2024.
  • Art and Adventure at Sea: Paint Aboard Schooner American Eagle, September 15-19, 2024.
  • Immersive In-Person Workshop: Rockport, ME, October 7-11, 2024.