Navigating social media as a marketing tool can be overwhelming, not to mention the hounds of blog posts and articles about Digital Marketing that insist you need to be using every platform and executing intensive strategy. Much of the discourse around marketing through social media can also be very non-specific, suggesting strategy for any type of direct to consumer product or company.
Since I work exclusively with Artists and Arts Businesses, I have some unique insight into what works for this industry specifically - for example: If you're an Artist looking for more sales: I'd advise not wasting too much time on twitter, both the format and type of engagement there means its not the most suited for finding new collectors.
Instead, today I'd like to talk about Pinterest - and discuss whether Artists and Arts Businesses should be including it in their marketing strategy?
In short: Yes.
But if you need more convincing, here's my thoughts...
Pinterest is one of the largest social media platforms to have at your disposal, currently they have over 322 million Monthly Active Users, of which just over 30% are based in the US.
Pinterest has reported extremely high user growth for international users in 2020, making it a well rounded platform.
The Pinterest audience makes sense for Artists!
Consider this: the countries with the largest art markets are the US, UK, China, France, Germany and Switzerland - a demographic that is pretty well aligned with that of Pinterest's, since their users are most likely to be based in US, UK, Germany, and France. Anybody in the business of selling Art or Art experiences, undoubtedly should want to reach those countries with the highest concentration of Art sales.
To further this, it has been reported that whilst baby boomers are still considered the largest demographic of art collectors, women and millennials are 'The Fastest Growing Forces in Art Collecting'. Not to mention it is millennials that are purchasing the most art online, so any online sales and marketing initiatives need to be directed at them - and once again, Pinterest is a great place to reach them - with over 52% of millennials in the US using Pinterest every month.
All of this means that using Pinterest should bring you closer to the audience most interested in your art or art business.
Think of Pinterest like a Search Engine
What is unique about Pinterest is that content can be found easily without having to find the person who created it first. Many users navigate Pinterest much like they would a search engine (Google), and as a result 2 BILLION searches occur on Pinterest each month, of which 97% are unbranded - Meaning people would be searching 'contemporary art', 'modernist sculpture' way more than they might search 'Andy Warhol's contemporary art' or 'Joan Miro's modernist sculpture'. Pinners are generally open to discovering something new.
If you treat Pinterest like a search engine, and include appropriate tags and descriptions, just like you would with Google Search Engine Optimization, your chances of becoming found through people's navigation gets really easy. This is before they even get to the Related Pins, which are a hot bed of discovery!
Pins Last Longer!
Due to the nature of Pinterest's format, where users save content to boards and follow the boards of others - Pins have a longer half-life than any other social media post type.
We can compare it to a Facebook Post, where you may have 90 minutes of exposure on anywhere between 4-29% of your followers feeds, Pins can circulate for months approximately, 1680x longer! This is because Pinterest prioritises 'related content' in people's feeds - if someone pins an artwork of a similar style to your own, the image of that artwork is likely to appear underneath it - even if its not your most recent post.
Users of Pinterest do not favour seeing content chronologically, they just want to see the things they'll like!
For this reason, you may not even have to put a lot of energy into posting consistently on Pinterest so not to 'suffer' from an algorithm like Instagram's.
I highly recommend this for artists, since ideally their priority should be making art not content.
As a Visually-Led Platform, Pinterest is made for Artists
Artists and Art-Businesses like Instagram because its a visual platform, but so is Pinterest - and arguably more so since they offer 'image search' capabilities too.
On Pinterest you don't have to post about your daily life, or Work-In-Progress grind, you can let your art do the talking! Great quality images will drive people to Pin your content.
Its also worth noting that Art is one of the Top categories people search on Pinterest, and it's not unlikely that Art content could be blurred with that of Home Decor (The Second Most Popular Category), when framed in that setting.
You can see this for yourself, by searching 'Art' on Pinterest and seeing how many people create boards dedicated to saving the artworks that they like.
Still Not Convinced?
I'm going to be profiling some Pinterest successes here on this blog in the coming weeks, so you can see real life examples of content that performs well on Pinterest for Artists and Arts Businesses!