Welcome to part three of our four part social media series with artist Christine Lindstrom!

Christine is the founder and designer behind the brand Mai Autumn. With her highly engaged Instagram following, she’s been able to successfully develop and monetize her business through social media. We turned to her for some helpful tips and tricks on how to utilize social media as an artist. Below, she breaks down the components of a social media post. Check it out!

Not everyone is a social media whiz and it can often be confusing knowing how and where to properly communicate with your followers. Don’t worry, because I’m here to break down the science of posting so you can feel confident that using social media in an effective and cohesive way.

1. Writing Captions

I find that it’s best to have a mix of long and short form captions throughout your feed. Your caption adds value to your visual content and can also be used to help your followers take action (like getting in the conversation by commenting or following a link to your website.) Having a variety of caption lengths will also keep your followers expecting something fresh whenever they see you pop up on their feed.

Some ideas to include in your caption can be what inspired a piece, a little insight into your mind that day or even a nice quote that goes with your image. I also suggest keeping your copy less about selling and more about sharing. A good rule of thumb is to sell 20% of the time and serve your audience 80% of the time. If you give your followers more than you ask of them, they will stick around because they know that you care about them beyond only being potential customers. Which, in turn, helps your feed feel authentic when it comes to actually selling your work, too.

2. Hashtags Demystified

Everyone wants to crack the code of the seemingly mysterious hashtag. I’m here to reveal – there is no magic secret. Hashtags not only aid in search, but they also help users see more of what they like to see so that they spend more time on the apps, resulting in more ad revenue for the platform itself. Knowing these apps want you to use hashtags in this way, the whole process becomes rather intuitive.

People want to see more of what they like. If you only use hashtags that are popular, you’re not only competing with tons more people for a spot in that lineup, but you may not be reaching your people. Narrowing down your hashtags will bring you followers and fans that are looking specifically for you! How perfect is that?

Having a variety of different hashtags on each post will also keep your account from being flagged as spam. Try to mix it up to keep it fresh. The app Tailwind has a great tool for finding and scheduling hashtags on your posts.

3. Content

It may sound strange at first, but people follow you because they want to “get” something from you. Do they want to learn? Be inspired? Maybe they love the message or concept behind the work you create. Is it empowering? Calming? All of these points should be taken into consideration when you’re asking yourself, “Should I post this, or will this be weird once mixed in with my usual posts and overall message?”

Some reasons a post might not play well with other posts in your feed could be that it’s too personal, not personal enough, unrelated to your norm, or any number of wild card aspects that only you can define. If you’re the type of person who shares every aspect of your life on a regular basis, then your fans will find it strange if that part of your feed is gone. I’m not saying to post your every waking moment but the key in all of this is consistency.

You can maintain consistency in a variety of ways – color scheme, the overall aesthetic of your photos and artwork, the style within your work, the topics you touch on, etc. Having high quality images (crisp, properly lit, good compositions) will also set you apart when it comes to the content you post.

If you truly wish to share all the aspects of your day, read on to my next point about Stories…

4. Stories vs. Your Feed

Separating your feed from your stories serves a few purposes. First, keeping your actual feed curated so that a new visitor only sees your best and most consistent posts will get them clicking follow a little faster. You get a split second to convince this stranger that your feed is something they want more of—so your top few posts are your only chance to portray exactly what you’re all about.

Stories are useful for your less curated posts. It’s an opportunity to add things that aren’t all shiny and polished—i.e. your day-to-day life.

The other aspect to stories that some people may not utilize – Stories are for telling a story! Implementing a beginning, middle and end to what you post on stories keeps your viewers interested because there is a resolution. Your viewers will be more likely to stick around to the end, which helps your story get seen by more people. The algorithm rewards engaging content and telling a multi-part story makes our brains happy and engaged. More so than random musings stitched together.

It may seem daunting but when you put all the pieces together, you’ll see your follower count and engagement grow in no time!

Olivia Linville

Artist Relations & Development Associate