According to an April 2015 Artsy.net survey, 87% of surveyed art collectors look at Instagram more than twice a day and 55% look at it five or more times a day! Instagram is the land of opportunity for artists looking to gain new fans and sell more art. But, how do you capitalize on these statistics and capture their attention?
What and when should you post? Should you use a filter? What about a hashtag? Well, we’ve got the answers for you. Check out our nine tips and tricks to make a stellar impression and captivate the art buyers of Instagram.
1. Make Your Account a Work of Art
Decide early on what your Instagram is going to look like and stick to it. An uncurated account will come across as jumbled and jarring. Pick your predominant hues, choose a photo size, and decide to frame or not frame your images. Be wary of using filters that change the look of your true artwork.
Tanya Marie Reeves's Instagram showcases her colorful, bold style @artconfessions.
2. Post With Purpose
Just like with the aesthetic, you’ll want cohesive posts. Decide if your Instagram account will be a pure portfolio or a window into your creative life. We recommend the latter, so don’t be shy. People like accounts with a personal touch, so share your works in progress, studio shots, and your artwork on display. Meighan O’Toole states, “The most important thing you can do online is stay consistent. [Create] a style that your followers will recognize you for not only visually but your tone as well.”
3. Add a Bio With Panache
Include a concise, informative biography with some style. We recommend adding a link to your website or Artwork Archive Public Page. When you create the bio on your phone you can add emojis and page breaks. You can format it in your notes app and copy and paste, or write it directly in the Instagram app.
4. Share a Post Everyday
While Twitter encourages you to share multiple times a day, Instagram is a much calmer platform. We wouldn’t recommend posting more than once or twice a day so you don’t bombard your followers. According to CoSchedule, the best times to post are between 2pm-3pm and 8pm-9pm.
5. Embrace the True Blue
Marketing platform Curalate tested over eight million images and 30 image features to pinpoint the best performing Instagram hue. Blue won the ribbon with flying colors. Blue-toned images perform 24% better than ones with red or oranges tones.
6. Let in the Light
Don’t use blue in your artwork? Not to worry. You can use this information to your advantage: bright images get 24% more likes than their darker counterparts. So, be sure to take photos of your work in good, natural light.
7. Movement Matters More
Videos allow you to tell a story and people love engaging with richer content. Use Instagram’s 15-second video feature to share a video of your studio, gallery show, you choosing colors for your next work, you name it!
8. Hashtag With Precision
Art lovers on Instagram search via hashtags to find new artwork and new artists to follow. You can hashtag your work for mediums like #encaustic or style like #contemporaryart. Casey Webb of Jung Katz suggests you “compile a list of the hashtags most relevant to your work...and save them to the notes section of your phone for easy access to copy and paste.” Here are a few that she recommends: “#art #artist #artsy #painting #drawing #sketch #sketchbook #creative #artistsoninstagram #abstract #abstractart”. You can also see the number of people searching for a hashtag by searching for it in the Instagram search bar. Use hashtags that have a decent amount of people searching for them.
Here are some more to get those wheels turning:
#abstractpainting #artcompetition #artoftheday #artshow #artfair #artgallery #artstudio #fineart #instaart #instaartwork #instaartist #instaartoftheday #oilpaintings #originalartwork #modernart #mixedmediaart #pleinair #portrait #studiosundays #watercolor
Teresa Oaxaca uses a wonderful array of hashtags and has over 19K followers! Learn from her amazing account: @teresaoaxaca
9. Talk to People
Follow artists whose work you admire, art publications, art directors, art galleries, interior designers, art companies you like (Artwork Archive *wink wink*), etc. You never know where a follow will lead and who you might create a wonderful online connection with. Be sure to engage with those you follow and comment on their images when they inspire and interest you. And don’t forget to respond to comments on your own artwork. Everyone likes to be acknowledged.
Start Snapping Away
Now you’re armed with some Instagram best practices for artists, start taking those photos. Have fun with it and promote your art business in the process. This could become your favorite new social media platform, as Instagram seems to be tailor-made for artists. Still on the fence about Instagram? Read our article Why Every Artist Should Be on Instagram.
Want more art fans and customers to follow you on Instagram? Learn how to get them here.