Do you have a social media strategy? If you’re a digital artist looking for ways to increase your sales, having a social media strategy is a great place to start. While it may sound daunting, it’s truly as simple as scheduling a few routines on your calendar and then sticking to them. All you need to do is figure out what you want to post, when, and why, then drive traffic to all your beautiful work wherever you may be selling it! (And if you’re not already selling on CO2ign Art, of course, we’d love to have you: request an invite here)
Included in this article is a sample plan, though keep in mind that a lot of social media is trial and error, and what works for some may not work for you. The most important thing is to be consistent and discover the approach that feels natural.
LAYING OUT THE PLAN
The only way to execute a plan is to have a plan. Taking the time to determine the scope of your plan and set it up will increase your chances of success on social media, and convert that success into sales. This initial stage is honestly the hardest part. Once you’ve laid out your plan, all that’s left is executing it.
1. Decide which platforms you’re committed to
Instagram and Twitter are currently the two strongest platforms for digital artists, but it’s up to you to decide where your focus will lie. If you’re already prominent on Twitter, for example, it’s worth considering committing a bit more time to Instagram and building your presence there. If you’re already making Reels on Instagram, then reusing those to build up a TikTok presence is also a consideration. This article will focus primarily on Twitter and Instagram, but don’t forget opportunities to broaden your reach on other platforms!
2. How much “content” do you have to share?
In order to determine your schedule, you need to figure out how much content (artwork) you can reasonably post. It’s important to maintain a schedule, but also to balance that with quality content, while not burning yourself out.
How many pieces do you finish in a week? If you take longer to produce a finished work, do you have a way to record yourself as you create? Many viewers like to see works-in-progress or watch a piece come together. As of right now, Reels perform better on Instagram than still images, so keep that in mind and consider incorporating Reels into your feed if you can! Speaking of Instagram, how much are you utilizing your stories? Making sure your story is constantly active is a good way to keep encouraging traffic without needing to constantly post new pieces.
Some examples of how to make simple stories:
3. Set aside some time
Take a look at your calendar and see when you can commit some time to social media. When do you work? When do you draw? What are your other commitments? Then see when you have a gap to spend time on social media. It doesn’t have to be too much. If you set aside time on one day every week to schedule out all your posts (15-20mins), you likely need only 10 minutes per day to “keep up” with your social media. You’ll be scheduling and automating the actual posting to social media, so the time you need to set aside is for interacting with other digital artists, posting to your stories, replying to comments and DMs, and recording/editing your Reels (if you’re making them).
Whatever your availability, actually scheduling the time and sticking to it is important; if you approach social media as a “whenever I have time” commitment, you may find that you never have the time.
GETTING SET UP
- Social Media Bios: If you’ve not touched up your bio in a while, now would be a great time. Some things that are relevant to include: Name, location, your art genre, email (if that’s an easy way to contact you), status of your commissions (if you take them). Make it your own, though!
- Pinned Tweet: For Twitter, having a pinned tweet is a great way to let new followers know about you! It’s an excellent way to link to all your shops and other social profiles and simple for anyone to see when they come to your profile for the first time.
- Setting Up A Linktree: If you only want to link to your website or one shop, then you can skip this. It is completely up to you. But if you want to drive traffic to many sites (such as your own website, Youtube, Etsy, Tumblr, or CO2ign Art) then having a Linktree (or Carrd or Beacons) is an easy and effective way to accomplish that.
- Hashtags: When posting to Instagram, utilizing the proper hashtags is key. Instagram lets you use 30 hashtags, but there’s not much benefit to using more than 15. The pro tip to keep in mind here is to rotate which hashtags you’re using: if you use the same 10+ hashtags on every post you run the risk of getting shadowbanned a.k.a. having your discoverability limited.
Hashtags Set 1
#illustrationwork #illustrationworks #editorialillustration #digitalillustration #digitalart #digitalartist #illustrativeart #artist #sketch #dtiys #creative #artistsoninstagram
Hashtags Set 2
#artmarketplace #artistsoninstagram #supportlocalartists #originalartwork #originalartforsale #artdaily #artjournal #portraitillustration #digitalillustration #originalart #supportartists
Hashtags Set 3
#digitalpainting #digitaldrawing #fineart #artistsupportartists #artcurator #artcollective #artprint #digitalartworks #digitalarts #illustrationartists #artistsofinstagram
Adding a few apps will make posting as easy as possible. The right tools will help streamline your strategy and make it less of a time commitment for you.
If you’re on Twitter: Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and Buffer will allow you to schedule tweets. Instagram doesn’t have many free tools, but Later and SocialOomph are great options: They both have free and low-cost plans to help you schedule your Instagram posts.
Many apps have similar features, so it can be hard to know which one to pick. Remember that the best tool is the one you’ll actually use — so pick the features that you think will help you the most! At CO2ign Art we use a combination of TweetDeck, Buffer, Sprout Social, and Mention. These apps will save you so much time in the future, and you won’t have to remember to post every day if you schedule out your posts.
MAKING A POSTING CALENDAR AND SOCIAL SCHEDULE
Take some time to schedule out at least a week of social media posts, if not the whole month. Setting aside a particular day of the week to schedule your posts may be easier for you, but not a necessity! Remember that consistency is going to be key for your strategy to be effective.
Your posting schedule will depend on how much content you have to share. It may be that you only have one artwork to share per week – so you’ll rely more on keeping up your stories and making intermittent Reels to stay active.
Here’s an example of what it may look like, once you’ve scheduled out your week (Included are some optimal posting times for each day):
Make some notes on what you want your stories to look like for the days you aren’t posting. The reason we set aside those ~10 minutes per day is to interact with other users on social media. Sharing other (digital) artists’ work to your story or leaving a nice comment is a great way to show some love. Artists support other artists, and it’s a great way to build connections and some good karma. Others will often support you in return!
KEEP IT UP!
We have our plan, a few extra apps to help us along the way, and a schedule! Now it’s time to stick to it and be consistent. If this is your first time having a social media plan, it can get a little overwhelming. Just keep in mind it’s only 10 to 15 minutes per day, and you’re doing it for yourself! Posting and commenting consistently, finding new digital artists who inspire you (or artists whom you inspire), and fans to interact with, will help you grow your following and exposure to new buyers. So, once you get started, keep it up! It takes about 28 days to develop a new habit, so keep it going for a month and you may find that it doesn’t feel too much like work anymore. Once social media becomes a part of your routine, it can be quite fun and rewarding.
Now that you’ve been posting for a month, you’ll also want to get acquainted with analytics to help you learn what is and isn’t working, and help shape your strategy. Twitter and Instagram have some pretty powerful analytics built into their platforms to help you understand your traffic (You’ll need to have a Creator Account on Instagram to access their analytics tools — If you’re not already, you can switch by following this process). As you get started, keep it simple: At the end of every month, you can review and see if you’re getting more engagement, if there are specific types of posts that got more attention, and similar. You can use this information to help you decide what to focus on or where to pivot.
As you move forward you may find your plan adapts and flourishes. Perhaps you spend more time on social media. Maybe you start a TikTok and add that to your schedule. Perhaps you find you don’t need as much time as it becomes more routine. Whatever the case may be, the last thing to do is… give yourself a pat on the back. Congratulations! You created a plan and stuck to it! For that, you should be very proud.