It is 2017 and social media is a part of our everyday lives. People use social media not only to connect with friends and family but also to make new connections. It is especially helpful for artists who utilize it to help expose their work to the public and create a fan base. There are many social media tools available today that artists can use to their advantage including social mobile applications such as Instagram, and social websites such as Facebook, and Flickr.
Flickr is an online photo managing and sharing application which was introduced back in 2004 and was readily bought by Yahoo in 2005. As of last year the popular website was purchased from Yahoo by Verizon (Zhang, 2016). According to their website, they have two main goals: “To help people make their photos available to the people who matter to them” and to “enable new ways of organizing photos and videos” ( About, n.d.).
Having a background, and now a BFA, in photography myself I started using Flickr shortly after Yahoo purchased it in 2005 to share my amateur photographs taken on my 5 megapixel digital camera. It was great to have a place to organize and display my photographs in an online format. It made it very easy to view my photographs at different sizes, organize them into curated albums, host them for sharing on other platforms, share them with friends and family, and most memorable of all making new connections. Being a part of the Flickr community gave me the motivation and validation I needed to continue pursuing photography as my passion. As the years progressed many new social media tools have been developed, but Flickr still remains true to their two main goals and is great place to share and store visual work.
Another great tool to help get your artwork in front of an audience is Facebook. Facebook has around 1.3 billion users today and the option to utilize your Facebook profile to set up a separate artist/business page is a great social media option for promotion. Many artists already have Facebook pages set up to help promote their work. It is one of the most simple social media profiles to set up, but often one of the hardest ones to maintain. For those familiar with Facebook it is important to have direct eye catching content posted regularly to keep your audience engaged. It is not simply sharing images but sharing a little bit about yourself and your interests so that potential fans learn to “care about you as an artist, as well as the works that you create” (5 Steps to Promoting Your Art on Facebook, 2014).
Instagram is the first tool to come to mind when thinking about social media tools for artists. This public and private photo sharing social media application was created back in 2010 as a free mobile application but has since gained immense popularity. Today Instagram has around 600 million regular users and 400 million daily active users (Smith, 2017). “If you think about the audience you could potentially reach through the Internet versus your art show, you will realize just how important Instagram is to grow your art” (How to Promote Your Art on Instagram, 2016).
Posting an image on Instagram gives you the option to post it on multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr simultaneously. The accessibility that this application has only continues to expand and artists are starting to regularly sell their work directly off of their Instagram accounts. In fact back in 2014 Vogue published an article titled “Why the World’s Most Talked-About New Art Dealer Is Instagram” which touched upon how the platform “is not only launching the career of under-the-radar artists,” but how “it is providing the world with an entirely new way to access art” (Fleming, 2014).
There are many social media tools available in today’s day and age that will help promote the work of upcoming artists. The ones discussed above are examples that have grown in popularity over the last decade or so but have still remained popular and relevant today, in 2017. The key to benefiting from social media tools such as Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr is to be engaged within the platform and the community that surrounds it. In future posts, we will take a look at how successful artists are that utilize social media to the best of their abilities.
As an artist, what are your favorite social media platforms?
5 Steps to Promoting Your Art on Facebook. (2014, October 31). Retrieved February 12, 2017, from http://www.agora-gallery.com/advice/blog/2014/10/31/promoting-your-art-on-facebook/
About. (n.d.) Retrieved February 12, 2017, from https://www.flickr.com/about
How to Promote Your Art on Instagram. ( 2016, April 5). Retrieved February 12, 2017, from http://www.agora-gallery.com/advice/blog/2016/04/05/promote-art-instagram/
Fleming, O. (2014, May 13). Why the World’s Most Talked-About New Art Dealer Is Instagram. Retrieved February 12, 2017, from http://www.vogue.com/article/buying-and-selling-art-on-instagram
Smith, C. (2017, February 10). By the Numbers: 220+ Interesting Instagram Statistics. Retrieved February 12, 2017, from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/important-instagram-stats/
Zhang, M. (2016, July 25). Verizon to Own Flickr via $4.8B Yahoo Acquisition. Retrieved February 12, 2017, from https://petapixel.com/2016/07/25/verizon-flickr-via-4-8b-yahoo-acquisition/