How Artists Use Social Media: Poll Results

Image by Jason Howie [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve been doing research for a magazine article on the use of social media by artists.  As part of the research, I conducted a poll.  The most surprising revelation is how one’s use and expectations of social media don’t necessarily fit the results.

The most popular use for social media was to market and sell work, yet the artists polled felt social media was least successful at this.

Here’s how the breakdown went.  Going from most to least, artists used social media to:

#1 – Market/sell work
#2 – Join a virtual community of like-minded artists for learning and support
#3 – Communicate with galleries/buyers

And how successful were they with these goals?  Going in the same order as before:

1# – Market/sell work – Average was 36% successful
2# – Learning and support – Average was 68% successful
3# – Communicate with galleries/buyers – Average was 41% successful

How expectations can be adjusted to match results—or perhaps better, how results can be adjusted to match expectations—will be the subject of another blog post.

Before I give you the rest of the results, I offer a couple of warnings.  First, I posted my poll to various artist groups only on Facebook, so obviously this created a bias.  Second, I had a total of only 76 responses.  This is a small sample for a poll, but I do think it’s representative of the larger picture.

92% of the artists use social media regularly as part of their art life
Facebook, Instagram and blogs were the top three platforms used

Michael Chesley Johnson, AIS PSA MPAC PSNM

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