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A Simple Tip to Increase Your Social Media Effectiveness
This one simple tip could triple engagement with your social media posts
A quick tip to increase your social media effectiveness: Don’t link out from your social media posts.
Social media platforms get paid by serving ads. The effectiveness of those ads depends upon keeping users engaged and, most importantly, keeping them on the platform. When you post with a link to an outside site, your interests are not aligned with the interests of the platform. The platform owners want to keep as many people as possible inside their site or app. But, by posting a link, you are trying to send people away from the platform.
The need to keep people inside their app inevitably leads social media companies to change their algorithms in several ways. Notably in two particular ways that make it challenging for users who post content:
They replace a chronological feed with an algorithmic feed designed to keep people more engaged and to keep them on the platform.
Over time, they make the algorithm more and more restrictive, especially with content that is likely to run against the platform’s goals.
Sooner or later every social media platform starts burying posts that contain links.
Instagram even went further and doesn’t even allow active links in posts, only in your profile.
I see this issue all the time on Twitter: artists have a decent following, so they start posting links to the art on their websites or the art on their Instagram pages. And in many cases, those links get zero engagement. They have no comments, no likes, they don’t get shared. (There are exceptions of course).
Here’s a quick test someone I follow did on Twitter. Notice the difference in engagement on the two tweets and the only difference is one of them had a link:
So my recommendation is this: use each platform natively and don’t try to link out very much.
Just post your art with a good caption and engage with people directly on the platform itself. If people comment or like your post, THEN reach out to them with a Direct Message and, if necessary, you can send them a link directly as a private message. We have an entire article that explains how to use direct messages to encourage followers to join your email list.
If you need to provide a link on social media, there are several ways to “get around” the algorithm to do it. Here are some of the methods I use on Twitter from time to time:
“Link in profile” - update the link in your profile and then, in the post itself say, “if you’re interested, click the link in my profile.”
Pinned post - same as link in profile except, if the platform supports it, put the link in a pinned post. I’ve used this method on Twitter from time to time. Example, “To enter this month’s BoldBrush contest, please visit the link in my pinned Tweet.”
Offer to DM the link: Make the post and say, “If you’re interested, DM me and I’ll send you the link.” DM means “Direct Message.”
Post the link in a reply. Make your post and say something like “If enough people reply or are interested, I’ll post the link.” Wait for the original post to get engagement, then add the link in a comment AFTER the post is doing well.
I’m sure there are other ways to work around the algorithm, these are just a few methods I’ve used. But get creative! After all, creativity is what artists do best!
PS - Social media isn’t, even in 2023, the only way to promote your art. Art galleries are still, when you find a good one, one of the best ways to actually sell your art. But how do you get in a good one? That’s a topic we tackled in our members only newsletter recently, here’s an excerpt:
Summarizing the Problem of Approaching Galleries
So, let's sum up:
1. If you simply send in a portfolio, it may get ignored, at least for a long time.
2. If you call ahead, you likely will be seen as a time waster...after all you're not buying art and the gallery has never seen your work.
3. If you just walk in - you're risking interrupting or upsetting someone....at the very least, you'll put the person in the wrong frame of mind to look at your work!
4. Email is unlikely to upset anyone, but it's really super easy to ignore and hit "delete."
Hmmm. The situation looks pretty dire...so what should you do?
Looking back, however, there were a few times when a new artist got our full attention right off the bat. In fact, we were even looking forward to seeing the artist's work. . .
So, having thought this through, as a former gallery owner, here are our recommendations for getting your work noticed by galleries…..
Consider Joining BoldBrush
If you haven’t yet become a full, paying BoldBrush Member, please consider it. Members get the following benefits:
Weekly newsletters with detailed, actionable art marketing insights
The ability to comment on posts and members-only threads
Access to our private Facebook Group, Art Marketing Mastermind
Access to marketing video courses about art marketing
Access to selected videos of our marketing members-only webinars
A PDF copy of our “Circles of Art Marketing” ebook (a holistic and non-coersive art marketing framework)
Members only Q&A
All this for the introductory prince of only $2.50/month (when paid annually). Don’t wait too long, the price won’t stay this low forever.