Are you feeling lonely and lost online after the COVID imposed isolation of the past few months? To coincide with the launch of the new ACI website, we asked Kim Herringe, an ACI member with a background in digital marketing, to share some tips to help kick start your post-COVID social media marketing.

This is what she shared with us … take it away Kim …

Thanks ACI ?

Social media … where to start! There are so many options and approaches and “you must do this …” and “you should do that …”. I’ve been playing in the digital space for many years, and the past 5 years with focused attention on my arts practice. I admit that I wasn’t a big social media fan to start, but I’ve learned how to use it in a way that works for me.

In thinking about what to share with you in this post, wondering what would be my strongest piece of advice, especially if you are still trying to find your feet in the social media space … it would be to embrace “the power of One“.

By that I mean – the power of focusing on just ONE thing!

If being seen online is important to you and your arts practice, then you need some sort of presence on social media.

Love it or hate it – social media is a constantly evolving, ever-growing and powerful online force. The recent shift and restrictions in social interaction in light of the COVID-19 pandemic have seen huge increases in social media usage. In the words of the New York Times … the virus has changed the way we internet as we look for different ways to connect and entertain ourselves.

But knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. And knowing how to build and maintain a following, daunting.

There is no magic bullet or shortcut to rapidly grow your profile. It is a busy space with millions and billions of users:

  • On Facebook you are 1 in over 2.6 billion active users*
  • On Instagram you are 1 in 1 billion people using it every month*
  • On Pinterest you are 1 in over 335 million users – and 70 million of those users only joined the platform last year.*

Plus, in all of these platforms, you are just 1 individual competing against the plethora of advertisers for the eyes and attention of your ideal audience.

So how do you compete for attention in that online space?
How do you get noticed?
How do you get more Page Likes, Followers or Pins?
How do you manage that overwhelming feeling of where to start? Or how to keep going?

Easy … just start with ONE thing!

Just one.

Focus on ONE platform, and get comfy in that space.

Start with one tactic in that one platform. Get comfy with that.

Then you can move on to another.

So … remove the overwhelm … put some thought into what you want to achieve by being in that space, then start to formulate a plan and go from there.

I’m sharing below one tip that you can apply in Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest, with the view to growing your online presence within that one platform. You may be new to the social media space, or you may have been at it for a while but feel a little stuck … I’m hoping that there is one tip below that will help you.

Please note that these tips are quite broad. There is a lot more detail that I could go into, but that in itself starts to get overwhelming. These tips are designed to get you started, and hopefully to do some exploration and research yourself, as you master the power and approach of ‘the power of One’.

Is your chosen ‘ONE’ Facebook?

Love it or hate it, Facebook is THE most popular social media platform.*

And despite the protests and claims that ‘Facebook is dead’, it is still a VERY strong platform to be active in for many people.

Facebook, like Google, changes it algorithms, constantly. With their most recent changes, the reach of your Facebook Page is going to be quite low – it is an ongoing struggle to get more page Likes.

So what can you do to increase your profile in the land of Facebook?

Join and actively participate in Facebook Groups.

Facebook’s current focus is on Groups. As a result of recent Facebook algorithm changes, your Page posts will have very limited reach. Your personal profile will have more reach. And there are ways you can exploit that, but that is for another conversation.

Think about WHY you want to be seen online, then find Groups within Facebook where the people you want to be seen by are also members.

For example – do you want to connect with peers – look for groups related to your arts practice

Start to engage with members in the group by liking and comment their posts. Compliment. Comment. Share tips and advice. Don’t sell. It’s a social space, not a sales-pitch space. Start to build a personal reputation within that Group.

But BE ACTIVE and BE AUTHENTIC within the group. And follow the Group rules. Most groups will have rules, and you will be booted out if you don’t follow them.

As people get to know you (within the group) they will start to look further in to your online presence and what you do, what you have to say, and possibly sell.

Your activity within the Group raises your online presence beyond just the people who already know you. You will start to reach a new and bigger audience.

By hanging out in groups you will also see the sort of content that gets attention (by way of Likes and comments). This can work to give you clues on what and how to post. It also provides an opportunity to learn how people respond to positive and negative comments.

Watch and learn. Participate.

If you’re feeling a little nervous or cautious, start by joining just one Group. Watch and read what others are doing in that space, then start to join in when you feel comfortable. Once you’ve been at it for a little while, your confidence will grow, your voice will become louder, and you can look to join other relevant Groups.

But remember – BE ACTIVE and BE AUTHENTIC. And follow the Group rules.

Are you interested in learning more about promoting your arts practice with Facebook? We’re hosting a workshop run by Kim Herringe on Wednesday evening, 11 August. Click here for more details.

Is your chosen ‘ONE’ Instagram?

Instagram is the 2nd most downloaded app in the Apple app store and ranks as #6 in social network worldwide popularity*

Instagram users will spend an average of 28 minutes a day scrolling through their feed, with 68% of users logging in to their account at least once a day.

Use your Hashtags to reach new people!

Research the best hashtags for YOU to use. Work out what hashtags NOT to use. Test hashtags. See what other people are using. Think creatively, but remain relevant.

Are you asking “what the heck is a hashtag?”

Oxford Languages explains it perfectly – a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic

It acts like a shortcut to a specific topic online, and is now widely used outside the realm of Twitter.

There is a wrong and right way to use them. And HootSuite has a great article explaining them, and how to best use them.

Essentially, the correct use of hashtags will expand your reach within the overall Instagram audience.

People can choose to follow hashtags, not just people, so if they follow a hashtag that you use, they may see your post, even though they are not one of your existing followers. If they like what they see and read, they may click through to your profile and start to Follow you.

Not sure what hashtags to use? What you use will depend on what is important to you. Here are a few broad examples:

  • always hashtag your name – #[insertyourname] #[insertyourstudioname]
  • hashtag your art media – #oilpainting #porcelainscultpure #oilonlinen
  • hashtag your location – #sunshinecoastartist #sunshinecoasthinterland #maroochydoreartist
  • are you working on a special project – #horizonfestival #openstudiossunshinecoast #scultpureontheedge
  • are you working in collaboration with someone – #[yourcollaborator’snamehere]
  • are you at a specific location – #spicerstamarindreteat #artsconnectincsocialevent

Look at posts from other Instagram accounts you follow and see what hashtags they’re using.

Do a search for a hashtag and see who comes up as the most popular posts, and review what they posted. Was is a photos of an art process or artwork in progress? Was there a person in the photo (people like photos with people in them)? A photo of a finished work?

Don’t abuse hashtags.
Don’t use hashtags that are not relevant to you or your post. Instagram will figure that out and penalise you for it.
And do a little research into what are best hashtags to use and avoid.

And BE ACTIVE and BE AUTHENTIC. The more active you are, the more Instagram rewards you by showing your post to more people.

Are you interested in learning more about promoting your arts practice with Instagram? We’re hosting a workshop run by Kim Herringe on Wednesday evening, 25 August. Click here for more details.

Is your chosen ‘ONE’ Pinterest?

Do you have a Pinterest account?

Pinterest is not as popular as Facebook or Instagram, but is still the third largest social media platform in the US*.

High-income households are twice as likely to use Pinterest than low-income households, in the US. Australia follows pretty close to trends in the US, so I think its a safe bet that the trend in Australia is similar.

RE-pin YOUR Pins

I’m assuming you already have a Pinterest account and a website. And I’m assuming that you have already created a few Boards within your account. If you don’t, and you want to explore this space, I recommend creating one. But beware – you may well fall down the rabbit hole of Pinterest discovery for hours at a time!

If you haven’t already done so – add Pins of pictures of your work directly from your website to Boards in your account.

If you’re not sure how to do that, do a Google search for “how to pin from my website” and follow the instructions and links from there.

You may already have boards filled with Pins from other people’s Pinterest accounts, such as

  • My favourite landscape painters
  • Life in Yellow
  • Seascape ideas
  • Creative inspiration
  • [insert your name] artwork

By pinning pictures from your website into your Boards, you’re adding new image content to Pinterest that is a direct link back to your website.

If you already have Pinterest Followers, great, they’ll see your new pins. Otherwise, when someone does a search inside Pinterest that is relevant to your post, your pinned post may appear in their feed (I promise its not as complex as it sounds!).

If someone sees and likes your picture, they will Pin it to one of their boards. They may even click through to your website to view the original image. If that person is popular on Pinterest, their Followers will see your photo in Pinterest. Then if they like it, they will Pin it and maybe even visit your website.

MY TIP – don’t stop at pinning your website photos just once – after a month or so, Pin them again. Maybe into a different board, maybe into the same board. And add new Pins from your website.

Pinterest acts and displays posts quite different to Facebook and Instagram, so you can get away with posting the same thing a few times.

AND when you post, you don’t have to write anything – simplistically, its all about the pictures!

Of all the social media traffic to my website in the last 3 months – 75% was from Pinterest responding to some of my Pins and re-Pins.

And BE ACTIVE and BE AUTHENTIC. The more active you are by pinning and re-pinning pictures (yours or other people’s), the more people see your posts, and therefore potentially see you.

Are you interested in learning more about promoting your arts practice with Pinterest? We’re hosting a workshop run by Kim Herringe on Wednesday evening, 8 September. Click here for more details.

So there you have ONE tip each for Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I hope there is something above that appeals to you and will help you play in the social media space to grow your online profile.

Don’t be scared of it. You won’t always get it right all of the time – no one does. You may not quite know where to start. But until you give it a go and try new approaches within the social media space, nothing will happen.

So, pick ONE thing.

Just one.

Work it. Keep at it. Master it.

Then move on to the next ONE thing.

And watch your online profile grow.

If you’ve got any tips to share, I know that other ACI readers would love to know too. Add your tip in the comment box below and the ACI team will have it published to this post.

Thanks for reading 🙂

*Statistic and Data Sources

The links below are where I accessed some of the specific data for this post. If you’re interested, and want to find out more about building an online presence in 2020 in this space, click through the links and have a read.

Find out more about Kim Herringe

Kim Herringe has been a member of ACI for several years. She has worked in the print and online design and marketing space for over 30 years, and now enjoys focusing on her printmaking arts practice. If you’d like to find out more about her or her work, or see how she presents herself online, click through any of these links:

And if you want to know more about promoting your arts practice in Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest, consider joining us at one of our upcoming short workshops. In each of these Kim will drill deeper into each social platform with the view to help you get more from each.