Choosing the right social media platform

Social media can be a scary place. At the time of writing there are reportedly 50.89 million users of social media in the UK – a mind boggling number when you think about it. There’s such a huge opportunity to get your art business out into the world in a cost-effective way using social media.

But how do you choose the right platform for your business? Read on to find out more about the best bits of the three most visual social media platforms.

Originally launched to American university students, Facebook has grown to be a household name in social media.

Facebook’s latest results (published in April 2021) reported that 1.88 billion users are active on the network every day, and 2.85 billion people are active each month – and that number keeps on growing!

Although the largest age group who use Facebook is 25 to 34 year olds, it’s still the biggest social media platform out there, so it’s a great place to start out.  55% of users are female too.

One of the benefits of Facebook is you can set up a page for your art business and keep it separate from your personal profile if you want to.  Facebook’s Groups feature also provides a ready-made community space for you to invite your customers to connect with you.

Many of our SAA professional artists use Facebook as an easy way to connect with their customers and students – read Alison C Board’s guide to Facebook for more information from an artist’s point of view.

A photo and video sharing platform, Instagram is a great way to showcase your artworks in a creative way.  And with the use of a few carefully chosen hashtags, you can start getting your work known.

Instagram has 1 billion active users each month and (like Facebook) the majority of them are 25 to 34 year olds. 59% of Instagram users are female too.

Like all social media platforms, before you sign up to create your business profile on Instagram, question “What am I going to post?” and create a plan!  Instagram is one of the most visual platforms, so it’s important to ensure you’ve got enough easy-to-create content (photographs, made-for-Instagram graphics or videos) ready to go.  We’ll talk about marketing plans in a later article on the resource hub.

The SAA have only very recently started using Pinterest – but as a visual platform it’s a great way to exhibit your artworks, tutorials and other images.  Think of it as a virtual scrapbook; Pinterest users ‘pin’ various posts they find inspiring to their own curated boards, and in turn this appears in other users ‘feeds’ if they’re interested in similar topics..

With a slightly smaller reach than other networks, Pinterest has over 400 million active users a month, with a whopping 78% of them being female.  It’s most popular with 30 to 49 year olds. Pinterest is a great place to find and share inspiration (and it’s not just for pinning ideas for the kitchen renovation that you’ve always wanted!).

To make the most of your chosen social media platform, and showcase your artwork at it’s very best, remember: one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to image sizes!  Each social media platform have their own guides for image sizes (and we’ll cover it in a later article) and it’s worth spending time on getting it right.

You don’t have to be a whiz at Photoshop, there are great tools out there to help!  Canva is a great place where you can resize your images for free.  And you can resize images for all sorts of things to help you promote your business – from website banners and images; to social media icons and posts, the list is endless.

Go with what you know!

There are so many different options, the best advice I can give you is to start with a platform that you already use.  And if you don’t already use a social media network in your personal life, start with Facebook – it’s the most widely used and well-established platform that you’ll be up and running in no time.

Keep an eye on the resource hub for more guides to using social media – we’ll be creating even more guides in the future!