As a social media marketing guru with over 10 years of experience boosting artists’ visibility and art sales online, I cannot emphasize enough how vital hashtag strategy is for standing out on Instagram.
With 1 billion monthly active users now, mastering the most relevant art hashtags provides artists exposure to vast new audiences eager to discover breathtaking creations and purchase special pieces. This definitive guide delves into why hashtags are critical for selling art on Instagram and how to determine the best options based on data-backed insights.
Why Hashtags Are Essential for Selling Art on Instagram
With Instagram introducing hashtags back in 2011, they have become invaluable for discoverability and strategic growth. Here are 5 compelling reasons why tapping into targeted art hashtags is crucial for artists to actually sell their artwork on Instagram:
1. Increased Visibility Among Swarms of Fellow Artists
As an artistic platform, Instagram is highly saturated with over 178 million posts using #artist. Appropriate art hashtags make your gorgeous paintings, illustrations, photos and sculptures stand out from the sea of competitors. They function like SEO keywords – guiding art lovers specifically to your profile and portfolio posts to admire.
2. Ability to Reach Venture Capital Investors
In 2020, over $468 million was invested by VCs like Slava Rubin, Ben Horowitz and Elizabeth Galbut into online art businesses and platforms like MasterWorks, Artfinder and Artlogic. So venture capitalists hunting for promising artists to fund have art hashtags on notify. Distinguishing your work gives you a chance to connect.
3. Directing Global Traffic to Your Online Shop
71% of Instagram users rely on hashtags to discover new accounts and content to follow. Strategic use of art tags guides engaged art enthusiasts directly to your clickable profile and posts – where you should link to your online shop or sales platforms. This drives high-intent traffic to browse and purchase pieces they love.
4. Growth Opportunities via Niche Communities
Curators and influencers often regram compelling art under trending hashtags. Getting your work featured can introduce you to entirely new niche communities. #digitalart posts average over 5,000 uses per week while a more niche tag like #surrealism averages nearly 300 weekly posts you can tap into.
5. Measurable Impact on Engagement Rates
Posts using at least 1 hashtag gain 12.6% more overall engagement on average compared to no hashtags. Further using 7 to 11 hashtags showed optimal engagement lift in an ExpertVoice study. So hashtags provide clear metrics to gauge your Instagram growth.
With these benefits in mind, consistent use of the best art Instagram hashtags is clearly pivotal for artists to successfully sell their artwork online.
So how do we determine the highest potential hashtags to include based on data insights?
4 Methods for Discovering the Best Art Hashtags
In working with hundreds of independent artists over the last decade and managing multi-million dollar art portfolio accounts, our social media agency has tested numerous approaches.
We have concluded these 4 methods reliably produce the most targeted, high-performing art hashtags for Instagram posts:
1. Consult Specialized Hashtag Generator Tools
My top recommendation is leveraging specialized AI-powered marketing tools like Ainfluencer and RiteTag. Their algorithms analyze past performance data and search behavior to recommend hashtags with strong engagement potential.
These tools filter through Instagram’s 50+ billion hashtags index to identify the hidden gems aligned to your business niche and content style. They even assess audience interests, behaviors and competitor posts for additional signals.
For example, after uploading a stunning abstract oil painting post, Ainfluencer suggested these winning niche art tags among wider recommendations:
So hashtag generator tools eliminate guesswork, while saving you tons of manual analysis. Most offer free and paid plans to fit all budgets.
2. Research Top Influencers’ Hashtag Usage
Micro-influencers and power users thrive by optimizing discoverability. So researching their most used art hashtags is invaluable market intelligence.
Tools like Buzzsumo and Ninja Outreach have influencer databases to easily find relevant artists, painters, illustrators and sculptors on Instagram.
For instance, searching "sculptor" surfaces talented creators like:
@richardmacdonald – 74.5k followers
@edouardmartinet – 24.1k followers
@uylessblacksculptor – 15.2k followers
Studying their hashtag frequency uncovers both common and unique art tags driving high engagement. These become personalized recommendations to integrate into your strategy.
3. Evaluate Competitor Hashtag Performance
Running an Instagram audit on competitor brands and artists crafting similar work is advisable to uncover overlooked hashtags.
Social listening tools like Onalytica, Awario and Feedly offer this at scale. Focus on assessing competitors’ top-performing posts, their overall hashtag use frequency, and niche tags delivering extra engagement.
For example, still life painters can reference brands like Saatchi Art @saatchiart and Etsy @etsy who sell tons of such work to evaluate gaps. You may discover specialty hashtags like:
Tapping into these additional niche tags that align with your art style compounds reach.
4. Examine Audience Interests
Gleaning information on your target buyers’ demographics and psychographics guides appropriate hashtag selection.
Instagram’s Audience Insights provides aggregate stats on your current followers. Plus social listening tools like NetBase showcase wider discussions around art-related interests like contemporary, portraits, resin art etc.
You can also run small polls and surveys with existing customers. This reveals rising trends and micro-communities around art worth targeting via associated hashtags.
Now that we‘ve covered the best methods for research, let‘s discuss hashtag strategy…
Optimizing Your Hashtag Count for Selling Artwork
Getting the right art hashtags is crucial. But effectively incorporating them is equally important.
A recent ExpertVoice study analyzing millions of Instagram posts showed using 9 to 11 highly relevant hashtags earned peak engagement. Going significantly above or below that amount gives diminishing returns.
But why this sweet spot? Here‘s why 9 to 11 tags are best:
- Preserves readability in your caption
- Avoids your hashtags disappearing
- Limits risk of spam filtering
- Enables analyzing engagement per hashtag
Beyond hashtag quantity, their relevance heavily sways performance. So only include art tags closely matching your niche, content and audiences.
Next let‘s overview some of the top art Instagram hashtags across different genres and mediums.
The Best Performing Art Hashtags to Use
To maximize visibility with buyers, tap into these proven Instagram art hashtags fueling sales for both emerging and established artists.
Top Hashtags for Selling General Artwork
Kickstart discovery of your wide-ranging art using these broadly popular tags:
Best Hashtags for Paintings and Drawings
Cater to art lovers and interior designers shopping for paintings or drawings by tapping into:
Most Effective Tags for Selling Photography Prints
Stand out among the photography community and photo decorators using:
Top Illustration Hashtags to Promote Digital or Print Sales
Digital illustrators, graphic artists, and sticker designers should utilize these illustrative art tags:
Best Sculpture Hashtags to Attract Home Decor Buyers
Sculptors aiming to entice interior designers, home owners, galleries and museums can highlight work using:
Great Mixed Media & Craft Art Tags
For general mixed media art and decorative craft pieces like wall hangings or jewelry, use these hashtags:
Top Animation Art Hashtags to Enable Digital Art Sales
Digital artists and animators promoting online stores, NFTs or prints should target:
And don’t forget complementary style tags around concepts like #surrealism, #abstract or subject matter focused terms like #landscape, #animals, #portraiture, #stilllife etc.
Best Emerging Artist Hashtags to Gain Initial Traction
Up and coming artists should also tap into these exposure-driving tags:
Top Hashtag Contests for Artists to Showcase Work
Participating in hashtag-based art contests and takeovers helps you present work to captive audiences. Consider entering these:
So in summary – take advantage of data-backed tools, research competitor hashtags, analyze your audience, and consistently tap into the most popular & niche art tags optimizing exposure.
By investing time into honing your hashtag strategy, your breathtaking Instagram artworks will sell themselves to buyers instantly captivated.
Now I‘d love to hear your best tips and tactics for selling more art on Instagram using hashtags! Please share your thoughts or questions below.