Is Social Media Becoming Less Effective? Here’s Your Solution

by  Carolyn Edlund

Social media platforms are in business to make money. What was once a free and easy way to connect with fans and followers is becoming an expensive proposition.


Is Social Media Becoming Less Effective? Read about it at


Posting on social media just doesn’t have as much “reach” anymore, and this has been happening gradually for years. In an online discussion group, I noticed artists mentioning that they aren’t seeing posts from people they follow, and realize that views and likes of their own posts are decreasing. Algorithms used by Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) are diminishing the number of people who will see your posts, unless you pay to boost them, or to advertise.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that internet marketing strategists are always coming out with the next “best way” to get more views by using techniques such as Facebook Live or Instagram videos to beat the odds (at this point in time). But eventually, the algorithm will change, and decrease your reach again.

Is this wrong? No, it’s business. And since Facebook owns the platform, they can run it any way they choose. But if you have used social media to attract a following and rely solely on it to communicate with your fans, you have a problem which may become expensive. You also lack control over the platform. What if they shut down? What if they delete your page for some reason? It’s imperative (and actually more effective) to be able to contact your followers outside of social media.

An artist I know built a huge fan base on Facebook, and that’s the only place he interacts with them. He acquired these fans by spending more than $10,000 boosting his posts. This was his choice, and he’s pleased with the result, but my suggestion was that he should be turning that big group of Facebook fans into email subscribers. It would put him in a position to contact those fans without the constraints that social media platforms might place on him, like decreasing his reach.

How can you convert your social media followers into email subscribers?

First, you will need an account with an email service provider like MailChimp, AWeber, or Constant Contact. Build a “subscribe” form on their site, and use the link to that form in the following ways:

  • Put a “subscribe” button on your Facebook page to encourage people to get on your list. Here’s an article from Mail Chimp that explains how to do it.
  • Tweet, or post on your Facebook or Instagram page, asking fans to sign up for your list. Using an incentive, like a contest, discount, or freebie like an art screensaver can help. Share your link in that post.
  • Use your Instagram profile link to lead to your email subscriber signup form, or use a service like to create a menu from your link. Place “Subscribe” at the very top, leading to the sign up form.
  • Use links in your social media posts to drive readers to your website, which should have a pop up opt-in form to capture names and email addresses. Follow up new subscriptions with an autoresponder message that welcomes them, and delivers a coupon, freebie, etc.
  • Post links to your blog posts on social media, and put a link to your email subscription opt-in form at the bottom of the post. (Notice the subscription button at the bottom of this blog article, and all of our articles. It really works!)
  • If you’re ready to spend some money on converting those fans over to your list, use social media advertising. When creating a Facebook/Instagram ad, choose “lead generation” as your goal. Get more information directly from Facebook here.

Is social media dead? No, far from it. But using social media to reach out to prospects is only one of many ways to market your art. Choose social media platforms that you feel comfortable using on a consistent basis. Cross-promote with other efforts, such as emails, blogging, search engine optimization, gaining backlinks, advertising, and in-person contact. Then, capture all the names and email addresses you can for your own list, and use email marketing techniques to convert them over time into customers.


Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Click below to sign up for our twice-monthly email. You’ll get all this plus opportunities and special offers that you can’t get anywhere else!

Sign Up For Updates!


  1. I appreciate your advice. However as an artist I find that most of my followers on social media are other artists and friends. I have the same issue when I have local art exhibits.

    • Juliette, I can appreciate your situation – but there are ways to expand your audience beyond friends and artists. Do you have a business page? Have you ever used FB advertising? Do you have an offer, such as a giveaway that you can use to attract people to your page? Building out a following on any social media platform does take work, and there are tons of articles on how to do this – simply search on Google. has an excellent blog with lots of strategies, and is completely free. It would be a good place to start.

  2. This is a great reminder Carolyn. Social Media eats up a lot of our precious time that we’ll never get back. I for one am seeing my stats go further and further down as I have not yet advertised. Not that I won’t, I think when I learn how to do it properly it will be a good tool at getting more subscribers to my list and hopefully collectors. But it is just another tool, I have to remember that. Great article.

Speak Your Mind