Hashtags can be a valuable marketing tool to promote your art gallery, events and artists, but only if used properly. Here we will talk about some basic best practices for an art gallery to make the most of using hashtags.
Hashtags are used by your social media followers to search topic trends and related posts. Custom tags for a specific subject are often followed by interested users. Posts worthy of sharing include those hashtags, therefore increasing exposure of the post to new audiences for your gallery. For an art gallery on social media there are many benefits.
Benefits of Using Gallery Hashtags
- Increases potential exposure for your gallery events and artists, particularly with the millennial generation of art collectors.
- Encourages engagement and discussion from your social followers with your gallery.
- Enables greater insight into your gallery’s presence on social media by tracking your hashtag activity.
- Promotes your art gallery’s brand and your representation of a particular artist through unique hashtags.
- Enhances your art gallery’s marketing and sales goals.
Hashtags started on Twitter, but are now also used on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and others. However they are most effective on Twitter, Google + and Facebook. Focus your marketing energy on these platforms if you are just starting out.
Rules for Hashtagging
- Keep hashtags short and easy to spell. If your gallery name is long or not easy to spell, try using the initials. For example, instead of #johndoecontemporary use #JDcontemporary or #jdcART
- Don’t include too many hashtags in a single post. It will be perceived as spam.
- Always use hashtags that are unique and relevant to the post topic, such as your unique gallery hashtag, the artist name or exhibition name.
- Hashtag phrases must be all one word, but capitalizing the first letters in the phrase makes them easier to read. For example, #JohnDoeOpening is easier to read than #johndoeopening.
- Use gallery specific hashtags across different social media platforms and in offline marketing to help your followers become familiar with them.
- Not every post needs a hashtag. Limit use to the important announcements, such as an event or new artist.
- Always research a hashtag you want to create. You may find a hashtag you want to use already associated with something negative or topics unrelated to your business. This could be most important when using a gallery exhibition name as a hashtag. Below are a few tools you can use for research.
Hashtag research tools
When promoting an artist, find out if that artist already uses a hashtag for themselves. Include it in your gallery posts about them. You can take advantage of their existing followers. Research will show if a competitor gallery is using the same tag. Your gallery events may also attract a wider audience by including a search term for your location. For example if your gallery is in Washington, D.C. you may create a hashtag #DCartevents or #DCartOpenings.
If you are new to using hashtags as part of your social media marketing, it will take time to find the right tags. It is similar to keyword planning. Experiment and use your social media tracking tools to see which tags are most effective. As you begin to implement hashtags into your posts, be sure to keep your overall gallery marketing and sales goals in mind. Create a list of hashtags that compliment those goals. Hashtags provide your art gallery with another tool to help increase your reach to prospective collectors, nurture young art lovers and encourage a dialogue with your social media followers.