What is Hash-tagging?
Hash-tagging is a word, or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify digital content on a specific topic. Now that I have established the basic concept of has-tagging let me go into more details of the best practice when tagging your art on social media.
The Dos & Don'ts Of Social Tagging
We all have our favorite platforms for our social media and with this brief article, I'm going to discuss my opinions for the best practices for social tagging your art brand to gain a stronger following.
My personal favorite platforms for my art are Instagram and you can find my work their @savvypalette
A close second for me and my brand would defiantly have to be my Pinterest account and you can find me here:
Let's begin with hashtag basics
Hash-tags always begin with # but they won’t work if you use spaces, punctuation, or symbols. So be creative in your hash-tag creation.
A recent, but good example I came across would be the new gallery, Carpe Artem in Oklahoma City where I am currently showing some of my work.
They are using the hash-tag - #firststopfirstfriday and I must say that this is a creative and strong way to use a hash-tag that creates awareness about a business, or brand.. A savvy approach in my opinion by the gallery owner who is capitalizing on the First Friday Monthly Art Walk in the Oklahoma City arts district known as Paseo.
You Should Also
Make sure your social accounts are set to public. An even better option would be to create business profiles on your social platforms.
Business accounts allow you to create advertisements and they also let you peak into the important analytics of your posts and show you how well they are doing which will allow you to adjust your content as needed.
Avoid the urge to string too many words together in your hash-tags. It's best to keep your hash-tags as brief as possible. That way they are easy to read and remember. The key here is you want people to remember them.
Use relevant and specific hashtags. If you are too obscure, your hash-tags will most likely get lost and not likely used by others on social media.
Limit the number of hashtags you use. More isn’t always better. It actually looks like SPAM if you do. I personally try to limit my tags to 15-20 per post.
I use a mix of specific tags just for my brand and much larger more generic tags that have a larger appeal overall. Typically with each new social post I gain 1-2 new followers. So being active on your platform will create a stronger brand, but beware don't post too much, or unrelated stuff to your art just to post in hopes of gaining more followers as this shotgun method of posting will most likely backfire. Instead I would suggest to craft and post 1-2 well-crafted and engaging posts per week.
Also keep your art and business profile for business and avoid posting personal stuff, or drama on your business pages. Be professional.
Why all artists should be using hashtags?
Using hash-tags makes your content, or art visible to people who might not ever stumble across it. They may see it, like it and then start following you. This of course could lead to potential new sales, or commissions.
Obviously over time, hash-tagging will lead to greater engagement, boosting your brand’s social awareness through likes, shares, comments, and new followers.
Build your own brand with your own style and vision.
For example because I branded myself with the name "Savvy Palette and coined myself as the "Savvy Artist" I use the hash-tags #savvypalette and #savvyartist in all my social posts across all the different platforms. Over time this will build and generate a rather large back-log of all my content and can then be found in a simple search.
When used correctly hash-tags add context
I'm sure you have noticed that most social platforms don't allow for extremely long posts and this is a good thing in my #savvyartist opinion. As we all known the attention span of most these days is very brief so posting long content and expecting it to be read in full is very unlikely at best.
Instead be brief and engaging with your posts and draw people in with questions they might be intrigued by. Hash-tags allow for brief content on much larger subject matter.
Assist your prime audience in locating you
As artists, we all have our own particular style and on social platform like Instagram, or Linkedin users can follow hash-tags they may be interested in. For example let's say you paint in abstract. You could brand your content with the hash-tag #abstract, but is should be noted that this is a popular and generic hash-tag and chances are that your content will be swallowed up and lost in the vast sea of other related content by other artists using this same hash-tag.
Instead, I suggest that you create hash-tags that fit you better and your style, or brand. That way those who may be interested can find you and follow if they so choose.
Be savvy, take my advice and start hash-tagging your art and you will become a happy and social artist.