Choosing social media platform for exposure

Just looking for input here, which social media platforms have you used to successfully increase your exposure? I’m thinking of starting to put my art out there for more then friends and family and trying to decide the best platform: Facebook page, twitter, instagram??? I know each has pluses and minuses. I know myself, and I am badly ADD so I would really need to focus on a single platform, at least to begin. I’m thinking instagram but don’t know a ton about it.

Input appreciated, and your reason behind your choice would be helpful.

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Interesting question. I’d start with Facebook, since it has the largest reach and probably the richest ways of interacting with your audience.

Be disciplined! Do it regularly, and don’t waste hours and hours looking at the cat pictures and reading the political brawls (yeah, I’m laughing at myself as I write that…). There’s a very high noise-to-signal ration on FB, but there are also people who will be genuinely engaged with what you post.

Once you get the hang of the social media thing, I’d add instagram and twitter to your list, probably in that order.


Actually, while we’re on the topic - does anybody have any strong feelings one way or the other about Pinterest?

OK, so this is a discussion that has come up at our studio time and again. Fortunately, the age of the “information revolution” has ushered in some amazing platforms for today’s artist to broadcast their efforts. Back in the 1990’s, when my career was starting, it was very expensive to record your works. You had to start with a a high-quality photograph which meant either a professional photographer was hired or expensive equipment and significant knowledge to do it yourself (remember that the quality of your work was being represented in this vehicle.) Beyond that (for a variety of purposes), you needed internegatives, color transparencies as well as 35mm slides. In fact, most things required slides. Nobody (galleries, publications, open-calls, contests) were accepting digital entries yet. Furthermore, the only time your work was exposed to a large audience was if you won a contest, appeared in a magazine, were featured on a website (which were pretty poor in image quality at that time), all which depended on the other choosing to “broadcast” your efforts and only after you made a significant investment in recording the work as mentioned above.

Now, in stark contrast, you can take a quick snapshot of your efforts and instantly broadcast it to large audiences to hundreds, thousands, or even more.

Here’s a great walkthrough of the platforms that are out there by Karisa Egan, an Inbound Marketing Consultant at IMPACT:

The Difference Between Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, YouTube, & Pinterest

Getting Found

Social media is ever-changing. There’s always a new crazy way people can document every aspect of their lives, but what if you’re a business?

With so many social media sites already out there and even more popping up each day, where do you begin? Do you create a Facebook account or do you hop on whatever “the new Pinterest” is today?

Utilizing social media in your business strategy is one of the best ways to get your name out there. It’s a great way to market your services, products, and help boost your brand. Not only that, it gives you the chance to connect with fans, customers, and prospective customers on a more personal, human level.

Are you ready to dive into the deep sea of social media? Below, we’ll break down each platform and help you learn how to make the most out of it for your business.


With about 1.65 billion monthly active users, Facebook is one of the most popular platforms, not only for personal use but business as well. For businesses, Facebook is a place to share photos, updates, and general news with those who follow or “like” you. Fans of your business come to your Facebook page to find out what’s going on with your company, see pictures of what’s going on, or explore events.

How to Use Facebook for Marketing

It’s important to start by building your fanbase on Facebook. Publicize your page and post a link to it anywhere you can, including adding a social icon onto your website.

Once you’ve created a strong following it’s important to use status updates or photos to share your products, offers, services. You should also post things that get your audience to engage with your posts. Things that they will click, “like,” comment on, and share. The more people are engaging, the more frequently you’ll appear in others timelines.

It’s important to keep in mind that many use Facebook as a personal network to connect with their friends or loved ones. Your brand needs to fit into this atmosphere naturally in order to keep people interested in what you’re posting. So don’t make it solely about selling.

Tool to Utilize: Advertising

Facebook Advertising is really picking up speed in the business world.

It uses social graph and activities to pinpoint those who fall into your buyer demographics, making Facebook Ads incredibly effective. Facebook ads are more likely to bring in strong leads that are actually looking for your services.

They help make sure your advertising budget isn’t wasted on those who aren’t really interested in what you’re offering and helping to put product or service put into the hands of the exact person who wants or needs it. To go much deeper into mastering Facebook, download this free guide.

(NOTE FROM ME: Be aware that the only way to track the “success” of your Facebook ads, to my knowledge, is through Facebook itself. I’m not aware of an independent tracking system. To me, it’s a little fishy to have the entity selling you the ad to tell you how successful you were.)


Twitter is fast-paced, concise, and easy way to connect with your audience. With over 310 million registered users (and growing), Twitter is a sea of information of 140 character or less content waiting to be read, clicked, followed, and re-tweeted.

How to Use Twitter for Marketing

Twitter generates over 175 million tweets daily and allows you to share quick pieces of information and photos in an effort to drive people back to your site or landing pages. You only get a small amount of characters, so make them count!

When marketing on Twitter, you need to have content that is enticing enough for people to stop and click through. People are normally scrolling through quickly so it takes more than just simple text to stop them in their tracks. Make sure when you’re constructing your tweets, you’re making people want to click through.

Try using quotes, statistics, or questions related to the link you’re tweeting as a way to people wanting to read more. Incorporate photos, polls, gifs, or even short videos. (All of these are now natively supported by the platform!)

While Twitter is a great way to share quick thoughts and generate traffic to your website and offers, it’s important to make sure you’re also building relationships with followers.

People follow you because they like what you have to say, but often also to engage in conversation. Like you would on Facebook, ask and respond to questions, respond to mentions and direct messages. Twitter is as useful for driving traffic as it is for customer service.

Tool to Utilize: Hashtags

Hashtags (#) are you key tool on Twitter. These tags allow you to reach a wider audience than just your followers by getting involved in existing conversations.

People searching for specific information will often check hashtags to see what’s out there. Do some research what your buyer persona is hashtagging to make sure your posts are going to be found by the right people.

Our free guide “Tune Up Your Social Media Marketing” will teach you everything you need to know to master Twitter for business. You can get it here.


LinkedIn is different from the rest of the social media outlets because it’s specifically designed for business and professionals. Users mainly go to LinkedIn to showcase their job experience and professional thoughts, making it one of the more important platforms to use for those in B2B.

Between features like LinkedIn Pulse, Company Pages, InMail, Groups, and “Get Introduced” and the ability to see who’s viewed your personal profile, LinkedIn is a valuable tool for not only driving traffic, but prospecting, establishing thought leadership, as well as recruiting.

Tool to Utilize: Groups

There is a lot less conversation happening directly on LinkedIn pages then there is on other social media marketing profiles. One way around this is joining LinkedIn groups where you can meet people from the same industry or with similar interests, ask and answers questions, and engage in conversations. Pose a question to the group to get a conversation flowing. It’s a great way to showcase your expertise on your industry.


Google+ is Google’s answer to social networking. Similar to Facebook pages, Google+ allows you to share updates, videos (linked directly to your YouTube account), be followed, and get reviewed, but with the addition of creating “circles.” Circles are segmented lists you can create of your contacts and followers to pick and choose which content they see, but more on that later.

How to Use Google+ for Marketing

While not the most popular social platform, Google+ is nevertheless crucial to getting found online. Almost every business automatically has a page created and listed, but optimization is up to you. You want to make sure you don’t forget about this platform, as Google gives preference to these pages in its search results.

Make sure everything is up to date and that you have completed all the necessary information like company mission, website link, and business hours. It’s also important to use strong images, make your profile open to search, and share updates directly to your page.

Tool to Utilize: Circles

Do you have a lot of different types of people you want to reach out to? From employees and customers to your CEO and General Manager? Well, this is where Google+ Circles comes in handy.

With Circles, you can separate your followers into different groups so when you’re making an announcement or just posting your latest press release, you can choose who you want to share this information with! No other social media marketing tools can really do that and it is a very important feature in the fight for personalization.


YouTube is the leading video-sharing platform in the world. On your channel, your brand can share and edit its own videos, create playlists, and prompt discussions. Since it was bought over by Google in 2006, YouTube is another platform that the search gives priority to in its search results so take advantage of it!

How to Use YouTube for Marketing

YouTube for your business is a great way to get your face out there. Videos are a lot more engaging and shareable than text content and they also aid your search rank in Google.

When creating videos for YouTube quality matters.

Make sure there’s a purpose and value to what you’re uploading and sharing. Also make sure to pay attention to your production value. Both the video and audio of what you upload should be crisp, clear, and easy to understand. No shaky cameras!

Tool to Utilize: Teaching Opportunities

YouTube gives you a gateway to be an educator in your industry. Upload webinars or videos speaking on important topics that further the education of your audience.


Pinterest is one of the more unique marketing platform on this list. Instead of posting content for your audience to read, on Pinterest, you’re posting just a clickable picture and a short caption. This is a very popular platform for brands with a tangible product, i.e. clothing and food brands, restaurants, those in eCommerce, etc.

How to Use Pinterest for Marketing

Pinterest is a superficial platform, so every image you post has to be high-quality and striking to stand out in your feed.

When you start posting images make sure they link back to a related blog or page on your website. As people click through from your image to your site they want to see or read something that’s related to the image that caught their eye.

Once you begin posting organize your Pinterest by dividing it into boards. Each board should have a category relative to different aspects of your business. Make it simple for your followers to find what they’re looking for.

Also make sure that your caption is keyword optimized. Like any other search engine, Pinterest cannot crawl images. This caption is how your pin will show up when people are browsing.

Tools to Utilize: Business Analytics

Pinterest added a tool for businesses to better track exactly which pins are working and which aren’t. This way you’re able to collect data on what images people are clicking on. Once you know what your audience is interested in you can make sure to use more images that are along those same lines.
Get Started on Your Social Media Marketing

Now that you know how important social media marketing is for your business and what some of the most popular platforms have to offer, it’s time for you to put it to use.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: posted May 2016:

One powerful platform not mentioned in this rundown is Instagram. Unit London is a gallery that I had the pleasure of working with last year. They built the foundation of their business through this platform:


Launched in 2013, Unit London is a breakthrough London-based contemporary art gallery. At the age of 25, Joe Kennedy and co-founder Jonny Burt are amongst the youngest gallerists in London, and have successfully established their gallery through their application of progressive branding and marketing strategies, with a core focus on digital and social media.

Just after his presentation and talk at the Art Business Conference, we had a chat with him about the importance of social media in the success of his business and passion.
Prior to founding Unit London, Joe worked in advertising where he was involved in international campaigns for blue chip consumer clients including Johnnie Walker, Heineken, Samsung and Google.

Overall, like anything else—it’s not the platform alone, but what your goals are and how best to make use of it. For those who share my love of “at-a-glance” breakdowns. Here’s two:

Statistics as of 7.8.2015 Designed by: Leverage -

And one with a little more detail:


Thanks Anthony. I love your enlightenment. This might be a silly question… how on earth you could get more followers in instagram?

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That’s a great question. I’m sure there are mechanisms to do so—but I’ve just been accumulating them slowly. I’m around 7,000 or so but I’ve seen some at over 100K. I know there are some “scammy” offers to get more followers but I wouldn’t think they translate into actual people following your posts.

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I have found I get more “likes” on instagram. My Facebook page does not get many when I post. They also changed Facebook so posts by pages only get shown to a small percentage of the pages followers. I believe so they can charge to promote your posts to be seen by more people. Those charges seem to be rocketing too.

Facebook 473 followers
Instagram 103 followers

Yet many more likes on instagram posts


That’s a very useful overview, Anthony, thanks for posting it.

Elizabeth: I’ve been grappling A LOT with exactly these issues lately - my response yesterday was a little off-the-cuff, and I thought more about it last night. The better answer I came up with was actually very helpful to me, so I thought I’d share it with you.

You should go wherever your natural audience is, or wherever they are likely to find you.

If you believe that the people who will be interested in your work are on Facebook, then you should build a presence there. If you believe they are on Instagram, then that is your platform. If they’re in both places, well…

Simple, but complicated.

Without real market research, it can be a tricky call, but a good clue might be to ask your family, friends, and people who already follow you where they hang out. The demographic information that Anthony posted looks like a very good set of guidelines, but don’t take them as absolutes - my 80-year-old aunt is active on Instagram, despite fitting very little of the demographic profile for that platform.

Personally, I don’t get too hung up on how many followers I have. 50,000 followers would be nice, but if they are only casually interested in my work and never buy anything from me, then it’s little more than gratification for my ego. However, I think we can all appreciate that a base of 100 dedicated followers who are all serious collectors of art and regularly buy paintings from me is a very, very different beast indeed.

Once you have identified your platform, build your presence there with consistency and regularity. I have fumbled the consistency part of a social media presence in the past, and have paid a price for it. I have learned to profit from that particular mistake.

And interact with your audience, never forgetting that there are actual people on the other side of all those Likes and Comments. What you are really trying to do is forge a set of genuine relationships with your followers. These are limited in scope - often just a word here or there - but they are as authentic as any other relationship, and deserve to be treated as such. These relationships are the ultimate goal of social media and the foundation for real success.

Finally, some unsolicited advice about tone: Keep it professional, keep it positive, and never stray far from the subject of art. Some personal content here and there is fine - we all like to see that there’s a genuine human being behind the art we love. But, avoid controversial topics (ESPECIALLY politics) at all costs, unless there is a clear and direct link to your work.

I certainly do have strong political views, and I know that many people will disagree with the idea of keeping them private. However, my paintings are not overtly political, and I have never seen a value proposition in subtly alienating those collectors who might like my work but may not agree with my views.

During the last election, I watched half of my friends unfriend the other half of my friends over political vitriol, and everybody loses in that situation. I am so proud that to my knowledge I didn’t lose any friends during the election, and I can continue showing my paintings to all of them.

So… that is the social media approach I am trying to live by. Hope you’ll forgive my longwindedness, but setting these ideas down was a big help to myself. I hope it helps you in some way as well.


Great contribution here Jeff!


Thanks for all the input everyone. I have a lot to think about. I’m stuck between facebook and instagram, simply due to what you were talking about above. I am just starting of thinking about putting myself out there, and I’m intensely private plus I don’t want to irritate people with posting photos of my work if they aren’t interested. So, thinking it through and will decide when the time it right, I guess.


Great question Elizabeth and great input everyone!
I’d just like to add a personal addition here.
● I have a Facebook personal page and an artist page (important to have both because your personal page maxes out at 5,000. A business (artist) page is unlimited to the number of followers - and let’s be optimistic that you WILL eventually have more than 5,000 wanting to follow you)
● I have more followers (and get more "Likes " ) on Instagram than I do on Facebook - BUT - I have sold much more art (and picked up commissions for my artwork) directly through Facebook posts than Instagram. Actually, have had no sales that I can verify were directly from Instagram.
● lastly, as mentioned above, if you want to retain every friend (and potential buyer) on your Facebook page, don’t get political, you will lose some followers. I choose to be political on that platform because I have very strong views I wanted to express and yes, I did lose some friends and yes, one of them was a buyer of my art.
I knew the risks and I chose to take them.
Wishing you much success in whichever social media platform you chose.