Social media marketing is a beast and we are all trying to figure out how to harness its magical powers to our advantage. Instagram, in particular, is amazing for artists and makers because it is a highly visual platform. With a little work and intentionality, Instagram can be a great tool for you to build your audience, gain feedback from your followers, connect and engage with other artists, teach others, build your email list, and sell your work!
There are no magical formulas for suddenly gaining thousands of followers, but here are my six tips for building your community and making Instagram marketing a little bit easier.
Effective marketing on any platform requires consistency. You need to show up on a regular basis with something to say. You need to show up with the same voice and with a consistent message, so your audience doesn’t get confused. You are building relationships with the people who follow and engage with you on social media, so you need to show up for them with consistency, just like with other relationships in your life – it might not look the same, but consistency is still key.
Consistency doesn’t have to be burdensome or difficult if you approach it with intentionality. Set aside time to plan, create a schedule for yourself, brainstorm topics and captions, and time to schedule your posts in bulk (aka batching). By intentionally figuring out what you want to communicate with your audience, you will create your branding voice and identity, which is important for the connection you make with your followers.
#3 Content Categories
Posting daily and creating a schedule for yourself is easier and quicker when you develop content categories. These categories describe the different areas or topics that each of your posts will fall under. Once you’ve created your categories (4-7 is a good place to start), you can then simply rotate through them and you will always know what kind of material to post.
Category suggestions: artwork, works in progress, behind the scenes, events/exhibits/where to find your work, personal, other offerings you have (commissions, workshops, etc)
#4 Call to Action
Include a call to action on every post. These calls to action should tell your audience exactly what you want them to do next – like the post, comment below, click the link, sign-up here, etc. By asking your followers to take the next action, you are encouraging them to continue to engage with you and your work. Engagement leads to stronger relationships, which leads to audiences more willing to buy from you when you’re ready to sell to them.
Video is Queen right now on Instagram. Video performs better in the algorithm, so it will create more opportunities for you to reach your ideal audience. If you are nervous about being on video, start small. Create time lapse videos of your work, make compilation videos of your inventory, or videos at an event. They also don’t have to be hard – shoot a quick video with your phone and post it. Perfection is not necessary!
#6 Share about yourself
People want to connect with YOU! Yes, they may love your work, but they also want to learn about you - the artist, your processes, your story, and your life. You can decide how much you are comfortable sharing, but you should be showing your face on social media from time to time. Your work may speak for itself, but you need to speak for your business.
Social media marketing doesn’t need to be stressful. Focus on connecting with the people already engaging with your work and show up with some intention. Have fun as you go too!
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