Your art gallery’s approach to social media during the holiday season of 2020 may be a little bit different from previous years. With restrictions and social distancing in place, most will embrace online shopping like a holiday season before. Predictions say that more people will start their shopping earlier this year as well.
How does social media play into your art gallery’s holiday marketing strategy differently in 2020?
Start with a Plan
First, establish what your art gallery will offer for the holidays, such as shows (live and virtual), additional items outside of regular inventory, special holiday services, etc. Then you can begin to plan out your social media strategy to get the word out.
Your plan should cover November through January.
While sales are the primary goal, engagement with your followers is also crucial. The holidays present an opportunity to share the holiday spirit from your gallery staff and artists. Your followers will be turned off by an all sales, all the time message.
Here is where a content calendar can be so helpful. You can see if you have a nice balance of sales and other types of content.
Some key elements in your art gallery’s social media marketing plan include:
- A content calendar
- Number of daily posts by platform
- Advertising strategy
- Artist collaborations
Let’s look at these more closely.
Holiday gallery content calendar
The first and maybe most important is a content calendar that plans the type of posts and messages on your most engaging social channels throughout the season.
Doing this in advance helps you see if your social media aligns with your gallery’s goals for the holidays and your other marketing initiatives, such as email campaigns. For example, LinkedIn might be the best place to promote gallery rentals for company parties. Facebook and Instagram will meet art sales-focused goals and sharing your gallery’s holiday spirit.
Your gallery’s content calendar helps ensure the artists included in exhibitions throughout the season get the coverage they deserve. However, you also want your pages to reflect a more diverse inventory to interest a broader audience. The calendar helps you see any gaps.
Holiday posts and messaging
Plan to increase the number of daily posts on your best social media platform. If you currently post twice a day, try increasing to four or five times a day. Use a scheduling tool to help you accomplish that.
Experiment with new times to post. If you post more often, you’ll have content to test if they are engaged with more or less outside of business hours.
To increase awareness of your galleries holiday inventory, try creating an art gift guide using the Carousel feature of Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You could also do this with daily Stories or short videos on Instagram Reels.
These features are useful for showing multiple works of art and spotlighting a single work with multiple images of details and installation shots. Use them in both ways.
Create a few original holiday-themed cover images that can be posted on your pages during the season. These images help set the tone of your gallery’s holiday message when someone first arrives on your page. Start using these in early November.
Don’t forget to start adding holiday-themed hashtags to improve your gallery’s page discoverability with holiday shoppers.
November 26: Thanksgiving (#Thanksgiving)
November 27: Black Friday (#BlackFriday)
November 28: Small Business Saturday (#ShopSmall)
November 30: Cyber Monday (#CyberMonday)
December 1: Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday)
December 19: Super Saturday (#SuperSaturday)
December 21: First Day of Winter (#WinterSolstice)
December 24: Christmas Eve (#ChristmasEve)
December 25: Christmas (#ChristmasDay + #MerryChristmas)
December 31: New Year’s Eve (#NYE)
January 1: New Year’s Day (#NewYearsDay)
January 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (#MLKDay)
Advertising your art gallery on social media
Decide where and what messages you will invest in advertising on social media to help you reach a broader audience that is very targeted. If you create stories or videos to feature holiday art inventory, those posts are perfect to boost with advertising.
If you have installed social media platform pixels on your website to retarget site visitors, then another social media advertising strategy your art gallery should experiment with is creating a “lookalike audience”. This strategy could help attract new followers that would not have your gallery page otherwise.
During the months of November and December, run a weekly ad throughout the holiday season on the social media platform with the best engagement or largest following for your gallery. Change the ad every week to keep your messages fresh and attract a broader audience.
Marketing collaborations with gallery artists
Lastly, you want your art gallery’s social media marketing plan for the holiday to include how you can collaborate with your artists throughout the season. Social media has become a crowded and complicated marketing beast. Working together during this critical sales time can only help.
For a collaboration like this to be successful, clearly define the expectations of each party. The holiday season is vital for both galleries and artists to make sales. Working together makes sense, particularly with the artists you plan to highlight during the season.
You each have different networks of interested prospects on social media. Having a single holiday focused page on the gallery website to drive traffic from various posts, ads, and platforms can help simplify collaborations. You can create multiple posts with different messages that all have a single call to action and purpose; to visit that holiday page.
Obviously, it may not be appropriate (or feasible) to collaborate with all your artists, but narrow down a list of those that make sense to approach and get their feedback and commitment.
To the Point
The holiday season, as you know, has a lot of competition for the shopper’s attention. Marketing through social media can be planned and scheduled in advance, making your life a bit less stressful when the holidays arrive.
Schedule as many of your social posts in advance as you can to make the season less stressful for yourself. This strategy allows you to focus on other things when the holidays get closer and life gets more hectic. Use a social media management system, such as Meetedgar, Later, or Planoly (for Instagram), Hootsuite, or SproutSocial, to schedule gallery content across all your social platforms.
Have fun during this holiday season and show your social media followers how easy giving art from your gallery can be. (even self-gifting) Please include how much art can be such an exceptional gift in your marketing messages because it is so unique and personal.
This year it is also necessary to express empathy in your messages. You will help win admiration over those who are all sales, all the time. It’s been a challenging year for all, and it is nice to acknowledge that.
By planning in advance, your art gallery business can have a very joyous and profitable holiday season.
Happy Holidays Everyone!
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