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How Social Media has transformed the Art industry for Galleries

Art galleries are the marketing arm of the art world as an industry.  As for many other businesses, social media has changed the art gallery business in significant ways.  Traditional art galleries must now step up their online presence and social media strategy.

Galleries are getting the message that they need to integrate social media into their marketing plans, and the biggest and the best are doing just that.  Pay a visit to any of the large galleries’ websites and you’ll see evidence of blogging, Facebook pages, YouTube videos, Podcasts and active Twitter participation. On Twitter alone, the Art Gallery of Hamilton has over 2,600 followers, the National Gallery of Canada has over 12,000,  and the Art Gallery of Ontario has over 25,000.

National Art Gallery Ottawa

In his Globe and Mail online article on the emergence of social media use in the Canadian art industry, James Bradshaw points out that “Virtually every Canadian arts organization, large or small, now has some social media presence and is starting to channel its audiences through a variety of venues, all relying more on conversation than pushiness.” July 31, 2010

On the other side of the marketing equation, online galleries are springing up like weeds. One such gallery, Artmajeur, has an exclusive collection of original works of art and is one of the largest fine art galleries in the world.  Galleries of all sizes are now part of the eCommerce industry.  Online auction houses that specialize in art, along with general auction sites like eBay, are becoming major features in the art world.

Traditional art auction houses are getting in on the game too.  Christie’s, who has been in the art auction business since 1766, now offer buyers the online auction experience with Christie’s LIVE™.   Bidders can see and hear the auction live as the sale is going on, and enter their bids with a click of the mouse.

From engaging their public, to building their brand by sharing information about their artists, artworks and exhibits, to eCommerce and online auctions, social media is changing the art gallery business more so than some other industries.

Watch for my upcoming post on how these changes are making a difference to the art buyer and collector.

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