By Ann Smarty:

Artists have gained a platform for unlimited reach. The use of the Internet, and especially social networks, to promote work in all mediums has become common place. People who might never have been discovered by those outside of their local space are now gaining visibility across the world.

From street artists showing off their creations on Instagram, to acapella groups becoming sensations through YouTube, social media provides a unique way of showing others what you’ve got.

But it is also a place of limitless talent, and it can be hard not to get lost in crowd of others scrambling for recognition. Some artists are incredible, and yet even years after starting a Tumblr account they have barely managed to break a couple thousand views.

It is all about social strategy, and really, the formula for artists is not much different for anyone else. First, let’s look at a case study of one artist who managed to break 104,000 Facebook fans. Then, we will look at some simple ways to help you do the same, no matter what platform you choose.

Tony O’Connor: Master Of Horses

Tony O’Connor is probably one of the best known artists on Facebook. He first came to prominence online in 2012, though he has been on the scene much longer. Originally a blacksmith (6th generation, according to him), he always saw a great deal of grace and beauty in the form of horses.

Tony O'Connor facebook

So, what did he do? He decided to draw them. After attending art school, he began to specialize in equine art, and opened a Facebook page where he shares his many masterpieces for an appreciative audience of fans.

His Facebook fan page is actually a big part of how he became as well-known as he is. His detailed work stands on its own, of course, and Facebook is a great platform for showing it off

But it goes beyond that fact. Tony’s Facebook page is a place where he engages with fans, and sells his work without really selling it. In fact, that could be seen as the most unique quality about his page. He doesn’t do any hard selling, or even real promotion. He just shows his work, talks about it, and enters into discussions with the many people who flock to his pictures.

He has a sense of sincerity and humbleness that have gotten him far. Now, after three years since its creation, more than 104,000 people have liked his page. More telling, his website where he sells his work is constantly sold out of original pieces.

Tips For Artists Using Social Media Promotion

We can learn a lot from his tactics, but there are other relevant tips you might want to implement into your own social strategy when promoting your work.

Remember That You Are An Artist

Alright, so this might seem stupidly obvious. But too many artists will fail to show off their personality when sharing their work, which is part of the persona that attracts people to the work in the first place.

It is the same reason people to this day love hearing the quirks, habits and even nastiness of the lives of painters, writers, actors musicians and anyone else who captured the heart’s of their audience through their work and passion.

Injecting a bit of yourself or persona into your posts can have a huge impact. For example, cartoonist Chris Simpson’s Twitter page is dripping with the weirdness he is best known for. He has more than 130,000 followers as a result.

Chris Simpson's Twitter

Have A Socially Optimized Gallery/Portfolio

I have seen so many examples of artists of different mediums who make it impossible to share their content. That is usually due to a lack of understanding of the value of spreading your work for free.

Your website, and especially the areas hosting your work, should be optimized to make it easy to share on social networks. Here are some clues for you to pick an affordable and reliable blog hosting. And here’s an essential checklist to launch a site.

Provide buttons, make sure copyright protection coding isn’t blocking sites like Pinterest, and learn the different services popular for your industry, and how they collaborate.

For instance, did you know that Pinterest can host and play Soundcloud clips and YouTube videos? Or that Twitter and Tumblr can post multiple images next to one another in a grid formation? Make it as simple as possible for users to take advantage of these features.

Consider Blogging, But Not For Promotion

Promote other artists, look at local shows, explore past geniuses, etc. Bringing visibility to you will strengthen your own authority, and inevitably assist in bringing people’s attention to your social media pages and portfolio/sales site where your work is being shown. It is a circle of benefits that continues to turn as you release high quality content of value to readers.

Here are some productivity tips letting you put together useful content without burning out.

Connect With Other Artists

Some of the greatest success artists find is often after they have connected with other artists. Connections are important in this world, as are collaborations and information sharing.

Social media is a great way to engage other artists one-on-one from both your local area, and across the world. You may end up with opportunities you never would have found, as you further expand your personal network.


Don’t limit yourself with one platform… There are so many social media channels that can benefit artists and there’s nothing wrong in sharing your content on all of them. These are the most obvious ones:

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Deviant Art
  • Flickr
  • Medium
  • and many more!

There’s no way you can be active on all of them: With time you’ll realize which ones work best for you. But keeping your presence everywhere is essential for brand building and reputation management. Use Knowem to discover more social networks to claim your brand name.


Social media is a great way for artists to find one another, and to reach new fans. There are plenty of examples of others who have used it to their advantage, and created a huge pool of appreciative viewers. We live in an age now where an artist online is the equivalent of one who is being viewed in a gallery.

Take advantage of the tool and start exploiting all of your resources. As long as you are genuine, you will see success.