by Tanya Singh
The popularity of social media platforms has opened a whole new world of opportunities for artists. It has become so easy to gain an audience online and to market yourself as an artist. There are art lovers on every social media platform and you should be taking advantage of that.
Ashley Longshore, the Louisiana-based Instagram sensation, did and now she has over 40k followers and sells her art for $30,000 a piece. Promoting yourself on social media has become an art in itself and keeping up with it can turn out to be very fruitful for emerging artists. In this article, we will talk about hashtags, one of the most important things you need to keep in mind before you start marketing your art online.
The hashtag is a metadata tag used across social media platforms to make search and targeting easier. In simpler terms, it is a word or a phrase preceded by the hash character or the pound sign (#) that helps people look for a specific kind of content.
For example, searching for #bluesky on Instagram will give you countless images uploaded by Instagram users of blue skies. Hashtags are a vital tool for marketing your art online. You can use hashtags to brand yourself, categorize your images and make them more searchable. Just a few appropriate hashtags can help you gain more followers, become popular amongst the art lovers on that specific social media platform and even make a few sales.
Hashtags are fairly simple to create. It’s basically a single word or a simple phrase with a # symbol in front of it. However, there are a few general rules.
- A hashtag can be a single word or a short phrase. In both cases, there should be no spaces within the entire tag. Putting a space between the # symbol and your word will only create a hashtag of the first word.
- If you want to differentiate between words, you may use letters in the upper case to do so. This will not create a new hashtag. For example, #bluesky and #BlueSky will have the same search results.
- Numbers can also be used for hashtags. Other characters like the exclamation mark (!) or full stops (.) are not supported. The underscore (_) character can be used.
- Do not confuse a hashtag and a tag. A hashtag uses the # symbol while a simple tag uses @. The @ symbol is used to directly reach a person or a company in a comment.
- Anyone can create a hashtag using any word. However, to get the most out of these, you must keep in touch with the latest hashtag trends and use popular hashtags to attract more traffic towards your content.
- In case of a campaign, you may want to use a unique hashtag. In order to find out if the hashtag you have chosen is already in use, just do an online search. Using a unique hashtag for a campaign will make you stand out and encourage people to actively join in. You must also keep in mind that a campaign only works if you have a large following that would be willing to share and promote your campaign.
Most major social media platforms support the use of hashtags. However, each platform has a different set of guidelines or specific instructions. Here, we will elaborate on the hashtag usage for each of these platforms.
Twitter was the first social media platform to start the hashtag trend. You can use hashtags on Twitter for a number of reasons including promoting your art, informing your audience about your upcoming shows, discussing the latest trends, and more. You can even create your own campaign using a unique hashtag and ask all your fans and followers to tweet about it.
The hashtags that you insert in your post are also counted in the character limit on Twitter. Therefore, it is important to use hashtags wisely and sparsely. Ideally, 1-2 hashtags work well for a tweet.
On twitter, you can use hashtags as per your requirement. They could be at the end of the post or even as part of it.
Instagram is one of the best platforms for artists. We hear success stories of artists getting discovered or selling their works for thousands of dollars every other day! Instagram is also very big on hashtags.
Instagram allows you to have up to 30 hashtags for one post. However, studies have shown that the posts that get most coverage have hashtags ranging between 5-12. Too many and irrelevant hashtags can make your post look spammy.
You can use the hashtags within the caption, before or after it. One way to keep your posts tidy is to post all the hashtags in a comment instead of all in the caption.
Note: For Instagram, you can also make use of hashtags like #artsanity and #artFido. These are accounts that feature artists on Instagram and usually have a large following. Simply, go over to their profile and follow the instructions to get a feature and an instant profile boost. It is also good to follow latest trends like #throwbackthursday or #tbt in order to gain more followers.
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Facebook added hashtag support only in June 2013 and it has not become as popular as it is on Instagram or Twitter. Nonetheless, using hashtags to create campaigns on Facebook can be quite beneficial.
1-2 relevant hashtags on Facebook are good enough. But be careful and use them very sporadically here – the more hashtags you use, the less engagement your post will get.
Using hashtags appropriately on Facebook largely depends on relevance and the kind of marketing you are involved in. They are a great way to connect with people that are interested in the same kind of content as you or your work. You may use a hashtag anywhere in your Facebook post.
Hashtags on Google+ makes your content available to people outside of your circles. This greatly helps in increasing your outreach. Searching for hashtags on this platform is extra efficient because it also gives you examples of other similar hashtags that have been in use lately.
2-4 hashtags per post should be your goal. Google+ also automatically provides hashtags for posts that have a clear motive.
You can use hashtags within, before or after the post.
Follow and Learn
Pay attention to what other people are using for hashtags in their posts and you’ll find new ways to tag your own posts. You should regularly follow galleries and artists that interest you. This will not only give you access to their posts and the trends they participate in but also help you gain a few extra like minded followers.
Here is a list of some common hashtags that you can use to promote your art across social media platforms.
#art #artist #artistoninstagram #abstractart #abstract #artlovers #artnews #artoftheday #artreception #artwork #artshow #artfair #artgallery #artstudio #artinfo #agoragallery #abstract #abstractart #abstractartist #abstractarts #abstractexpressionism #abstractpainting #abstractphoto #abstractphotography #abstracts #acrylic #beautiful #blue #blueart #black #bnw #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #color #contemporaryart #creative #drawing #design #fineart #illustration #ink #instaartist #inspiration #instaartoftheday #oilpaintings #originalartwork #modernart #mixedmediaart #paint #painting #paintings #photographer #photography #photooftheday #streetart #artsanity #artFido #photos #pleinair #portrait #portraits #portraiture #sketch #sketchbook #artsy #streetart #watercolor #abstractpainting #artcompetition #artoftheday #artshow #artfair #artgallery #artstudio #instaartwork #instaartist #instaartoftheday #oilpaintings #originalartwork #modernart #artistsofinstagram
As a promotional gallery, we take pride in the diverse group of artists from across the globe represented by us. Want to give your art more time, and leave the marketing and promotional hassles to someone else? Visit our Gallery Representation And Artist Promotion page for more information.
Start using hashtags to promote your art in your social media posts and notice the difference. Do share your stories with us! We would love to know how hashtags helped you in promoting your art online. Comment below or send us an email at email@example.com
Tanya Singh is a budding art historian and writer. She is currently pursuing her postgraduate studies at the LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. With a versatile portfolio, she has over three years of experience in writing as well as editing.
This post is also available in: Spanish