Basics of Social Media for Authors and Artists

Many artists and authors have asked me about social media. There are so many channels to choose from. Which is the best channel? How much time does it take to do social media marketing? And how can we do it for free? Not many artists and authors have money to spend on paid ads or hire a social media assistant.

Artists and authors have the same goal. They wish to sell what they have created. They need to find their audience. But they don’t have very much time for marketing, as they would like to mostly do what they love: create art or write a book.

Let’s have a look at Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest.

Most of the advice that we see online is written for people who are trying to build a business and already use social media regularly. And most advice blogs are filled with specifics and trends. A newbie falls off the wagon very quickly.

This blog post is for the artists and authors who don’t spend time on social media. For those who don’t know so much about social media, but you would like to understand the basics and get started.

Artists and authors come in all shapes and sizes. Some are working on building a portfolio or writing, but forget to do marketing. Some posts regularly on their Facebook page but not anywhere else. Some write in FB groups “how do I do marketing for free?” Some tweet once a day or once a week. Some have an account on Instagram but don’t know what to post.

Do you want to sell more art or books?
Then any social media platform will do. Best is if you can be on at least two channels.

Are you promoting your blog, your art or your books?
Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest might be best for you.

Do you wish to connect with people and share also longer text in your posts?
Instagram and Facebook might be your best bet.


This channel is for anyone who wants to write longer text than you can fit in a tweet, share images, and/or is ready to share a video often or sometimes.

You can write short posts or long posts. You can add one image or many images to your post. You can create short videos (aka Reels) and longer live videos. It is important to also be social, which means to like or comment on posts that you see in your feed. The more people you follow, the more posts you will see in your feed. Many follow back, just like on Twitter, so be brave and start following your friends, artists, authors and anyone who posts about things you like.

The content of a post is great when it makes people feel emotions. You can write about something that matters to you, or something that is trending this year, or write about your inspiration for creating art or writing books. It is good to share posts about a few other things too than the products that you are selling. A good mix is 60/40. Use photos of your art, of your books, but also about something else. If your hobby is gardening, post images of your flowers. If you like to walk in the nature, take photos and use those on social media. You can also share images with inspirational quotes. Be creative, be brave.

Use hashtags # on Instagram. People search for example with #books #art #reading #childrensbooks #fantasybooks #scifibooks #authors #artists #artforsale #art2023 #books2023 #photography #homedecor #giftideas
So use these hashtags and what other ideas comes to your mind.

Remember to add a link to you author website, or your art page, in your profile. This way you don’t have to mention the link in every post.


This channel is for anyone who wants to write short text, share images, and be social. To be social means to like and retweet and comment on other people’s posts. The more you give, the more you get.

The average lifespan of a tweet is 11 minutes. So don’t be afraid to tweet often. Everyone thinks at the beginning that one tweet a day is great. Then they wonder why they don’t have any likes, comments or retweets. Tweet often. You never know who is online. You don’t know the schedule of your audience. Some are on Twitter in the morning, some in the afternoon, and some only in the evening. Some are on Twitter many times per day, some are not. So tweet often.

It is good to share posts about a few other things too than the products that you are selling. A good mix is 60/40. Use photos of your art / your books, when you tweet about them. If your hobby is gardening, post images of your flowers. The tweet can be as short as #roses or I love #roses
If you like to walk in the nature, take photos and share to Twitter. You can also share images of your city. Be creative, be brave.

Build your network all the time. Search with hashtags # or look at the follower list of a friend or another artist or author. Then start to follow people and companies you see on the list. Do this every day for 5 minutes. Or do it every other day for 30 minutes. You will soon have a larger netowork, which means that the possibility of reaching someone who likes your art or books is online.

Remember to add a link to your author website, your book on Amazon, or your art page, in your profile. (Your art page can for example be your blog, your page on Redbubble, on Fine Art America, or on Society6.) This way you don’t have to mention the link in every post.


If you want to create short videos that are easily set to music, then this channel is for you.

I would approach it differently than Instagram or Twitter. I would use it to create hype around art and books, but because of its fast-paced nature, I wouldn’t use it as my main channel.

The key to TikTok: bite-sized videos that you can swipe through quickly.

While you do not need to be on camera to create TikTok videos, it’s a great place to get comfortable in front of the camera. They have also made it very easy to share your videos to other platforms.

To read more about this new channel, I recommend to read this blogpost.


If you like to be social, participate in group discussions, and write long text or short text, FB is for you. You don’t even have to always add an image to your post. But using images is a great thing. Visuality speaks more then 1000 words 😉

Share your art and books on your personal page, and if you have a business page, share text and images also there. FB doesn’t though show all posts to all followers, so it is important to be active also in groups. Find existing writing / art / author / photography groups that can offer you tips, ideas and inspiration for your art or writing. You can also share your art and books on many FB groups. Just check the group info to be sure what is allowed and what is not.


If you like to share images and/or create pins, then this channel is for you.

Pinterest is actually considered a search engine and doesn’t have the same social aspect as the other channels. It is, therefore, easy to use, and worth having because the time you will put into it is minimal. It’s worth setting up an account and cross posting from sites like Instagram. Pinterest has changed a lot since I started to use it 13 years ago. It is hard to get noticed in the crowd. But if you have a few minutes per day or once a week, this is your channel for posting images of your art and your books. Remember to link the image to your author page or art page.

There are other channels too. But the ones I mention here are great for newbies and can easily be the only ones that authors and artists need.

The best platform for you is the one in which you feel comfortable. Not perhaps after the first day of trying, but after one week.

Nothing great comes easily 😉 So make a commitment, start using social media, build networks, post or tweet, be social, and you will see some results. You don’t have to be on social media every day, but it is a great if you could spend 5-15 minutes each day. You can decide if it is in the morning or at noon or in the evening. Choose the time that works for you.

Instead of asking, “What’s the best platform”, you should be asking, “Which platform is right for me?” It comes down to your personality, what you like to do, and what inspires you.

Be brave. Start today. Small steps every day make big results in a month.

I have been on social media for over 13 years. I have coached social media to directors, groups, managers and entrepreneurs. Those customers needed to know how to gain visibility, raise interest towards their companies, and build a positive brand image. They also had budgets for paid ads.

I wrote this blog post as I want to help authors and artists, as that is what also I am. An author and an artist. Free social media marketing is the best thing for us.

If you want to, follow me on Twitter