Compared to the other social media platforms, Twitter flows at lightning speed. Every second, more than 6,000 tweets fly from people’s fingers, amounting to an astounding 500 million tweets flooding the internet every day.
This has both positive and negative implications for artists hoping to sell their products on Twitter. The good news is that you have an audience of more than 145 active users every day. The challenge lies in getting anyone’s attention on a platform that operates like it has ADHD.
On Facebook and Instagram, you have the luxury of time and space. Your posts don’t need to fit a character limit, you can add multiple images, and people scroll through these sites in a more leisurely manner, lingering on posts long enough to take them in. This makes Facey and the ‘gram (sounds like an 80s synth-pop group) ideal for sharing progress on your creative projects and hyping the release of new products.
Given how much content is constantly gushing out on Twitter, you need to take an entirely different approach to marketing your art. Fail to do this, and the majority of your tweets will be swamped in the ever-flowing deluge, ignored or quickly forgotten about.
So, how do you stand out and sell art on Twitter?
Commit to the platform
Once you’re account is all set up (click here for advice on creating an artist’s social media profile) and you’ve shared it with friends, family, and colleagues to get your following started, you need to be a consistent user to keep your numbers growing. This means posting at least a little something every single day, and if you can, tweeting all throughout the day.
Though this sounds daunting, remember that tweets are limited to 280 characters, and some of those will be hashtags (more on that soon), so they don’t have to be overly time-consuming.
You can also take advantage of Twitter automation software to schedule tweets and ensure you’re getting plenty out at regular intervals throughout the day. As a bonus, automation tools offer data analysis of tweet performance, allowing you to tweak and perfect your posting schedule to boost sales.
Something to keep in mind when scheduling posts is the fact that what would look spammy and weird on Facebook or Instagram can be a useful strategy on Twitter. Since the flow is so fast on Twitter, you can regularly tweet about an artwork you’re wanting to sell without it looking repetitive. Rather, what you’re doing is hitting a new crowd of people who may have missed the artwork the first time you tweeted about it.
The commitment you need to make to the platform extends beyond your own original tweets. It’s important to check back in at regular intervals throughout the day to respond to comments, DMs, and retweets.
Because of how fast Twitter moves, there’s really not an option to take a day or two to respond to someone. The content will be old news by then and you will have missed your opportunity.
Retweeting awesome tweets from other people and cool content you find online is a great way to grab a bit of attention, score new followers, and keep your feed flowing. Be sure to tag relevant people as this gets your tweet out to their followers too.
Another benefit to retweeting is that people often reward you by doing the same for your posts. In this way, you can develop a network of artist friends who support each other through the simple yet powerful act of retweeting.
Put hashtags to good use
As with Instagram (another great social media platform for selling your homemade products), Twitter offers hashtags that you should take advantage of to market your work.
Though it’s tempting to smash out as many hashtags as you can fit in your tweet, covering every detail of your work in the hopes of reaching every single soul on Twitter who might be interested, this doesn’t come across well.
The best strategy with hashtags is to spend a few minutes brainstorming and then select the most compelling, popular, and relevant tags. People follow certain hashtags on Twitter, so be sure to use the big ones like #art #artist or #artwork. You should also hashtag your medium (e.g. #digitalart #watercolor #oilpainting #photography), your subject matter, inspiration, and anything else specific to the work.
Used strategically, these hashtags will put your art in front of people who are fans of the style of work you’re producing, making them more motivated to make a purchase or, at the very least, start following you and sharing your art with their network.
Network like a pro
Twitter is unique in that it puts everyone on an even playing field. Fans can tag celebrities in their tweets and actually start conversations with them. Aspiring novelists can tweet literary agents they’d love to sign with and pitch their book ideas. And artists have a wealth of opportunities for networking.
Perhaps you read a fantastic artist profile in a magazine or on a website you love. You can tweet the journalist saying how much you enjoyed the piece, thus getting your profile in front of them and their followers.
Though you can be more bold and straight-up approach people offering collaboration opportunities or asking if they’d be interested in doing a profile piece on you, it’s often the best policy to focus on giving before you ask for something.
Be persistently generous with your tweets and retweets, and you’ll soon start seeing results in the form of attention (social media’s most valuable currency).
Selling art on Twitter: final thoughts
As you’ve probably already picked up, Twitter’s rapid pace and short attention span makes it a demanding platform to be a part of. To have success selling your art on Twitter, you need to commit to it and make it a part of your daily routine.
So, if you’re a slower-paced person or you just don’t dig the idea of having to be tied to your phone, making sure you’re responding to people in a timely enough manner, then this may not be the best social platform for you.
Not to worry though! There are plenty of other social media sites that are fantastic for artists wishing to sell their work. To find those best-suited to your personality, check out our general guide for selling art and homemade goods on social media.