by Rita Job
Many artists understand the importance of presenting and promoting their art on social media. Even the ones who absolutely loathe it – you know who you are – admit that online presence is absolutely necessary in this day and age. So, if you’re interested in building exposure for your art and sharing your work with a wider audience, having a professional artist profile on Facebook can be an incredibly powerful promotional tool. Facebook can help you establish yourself as a professional artist, expand your web presence, directly connect you with over 1.8 billion users, and make it easier for those interested in your work to find you.
So, how do you get in on the action? The answer lies in a 5-step plan that has been tried and proven true for many artists.
Step One: CREATE
Start by creating an official artist’s page on Facebook. You probably already have a personal profile that you use to keep in touch with friends and family but to promote your art you’ll need a professional page, not a profile. This distinction is important not only because using a personal page for business violates Facebook’s Terms of Service, but also because it limits what you can do to promote your art on the platform.
Important! If you need to create a brand new page, start here: Create a Professional Artist Page on Facebook
As you set up your page, try to fill in as many details about yourself as an artist as possible. You can use part of your artist statement in the About section and be sure to add links to your website, Instagram, Twitter and any other places you use to promote your work.
When coming up with the name for your new artist’s page, use your professional artist name (or pseudonym) or, if that’s taken, try adding words related to your art, without making it too difficult to remember.
Finally, publish your page and invite your personal friends to ‘Like’ it!
Step Two: POST
Now that your page is set up, how often should you update it? While we recommend that you start with posting at least once a week, this part totally depends on you and your personality.
You don’t want to bore your fans with too little information, but you also don’t want to overwhelm their newsfeeds, either. Think about what you’re comfortable with and then stick to that schedule. Of course, this is just a rough guideline – if you’re on vacation, don’t stress out about having to post 3 times a week, and equally, if something particularly exciting is happening that you’re sure your fans would like to know more about, you can share the event with them by posting more often.
Keep content relevant to your fans and don’t post overly personal or unrelated information.
Since there are so many options when it comes to posting, try varying your types of posts. Instead of always posting a status update, post a video of you creating art or a photo album of your latest exhibition of work.
Keep your content relevant to your fans and don’t post overly personal or unrelated information.
Remember, this isn’t your personal account and your fans may not be interested in photos from breakfast. On the other hand, don’t stick too firmly to pictures of your work; remember that Facebook is social media, and you’re promoting yourself as well as your work. You want to encourage your fans to care about you as an artist, as well as the works that you create. Be friendly and approachable as well as professional.
Step Three: ENGAGE
Remember, social media is about engaging with one another. You want to connect with and receive responses from your Facebook community. Ask questions, post helpful hints and links to articles that your audience will ‘Like’ and share. Once you start making posts and receiving feedback, you will develop an understanding of your audience and a deeper relationship with your community. You will quickly understand what type of posts they like and what info they don’t care about.
Make it fun and stay true to who you are as an artist but think of ways to entertain your fans who will support and spread your brand as an artist.
Another part of engagement is staying active in Facebook’s community. ‘Like’ the pages of your favorite museums, galleries, and other artists to see what’s happening around your city and what others are doing. Comment on their posts, attend events, and participate in discussions. This is one of the best ways to make yourself visible, forge new relationships, and drive traffic to your artist page.
Some artists are worried that by ‘Liking’ other artists’ pages they’re creating competition for themselves. We disagree. We think that supporting each other, offering feedback and complimenting others where it’s due is important. Doesn’t it feel great when someone talented comments on our work and genuinely praises it? It also feels good to return the favor.
Step Four: BUILD
There are several ways to build a larger audience for your artist page. The very first thing you should do is invite your friends to ‘Like’ your artist page. When people ‘Like’ and follow your page, their friends will see it in their newsfeeds and that might bring you additional fans.
Engaging with other pages and in groups by commenting and participating in conversations will add to your exposure. People are curious creatures and will undoubtedly visit your page after seeing your comments and other input.
Staying active in Facebook’s art community is one of the best ways to introduce yourself to the world.
Try Facebook ads to promote your page. Facebook spent millions of dollars developing its advertising platform and it has paid off – it’s one of the best and easiest to use out there. And the best thing about it is that it’s cheap. For literally pennies, you can bring hundreds and thousands of people to your page and accumulate a large following in a short amount of time.
There are many other things that you can do promote your Facebook artist page without actually doing it on the platform. If you have an artist website or a blog, add a Facebook icon to the homepage so people can follow you on social media. Don’t’ forget your newsletter! You can also incorporate Facebook’s logo into your exhibition invites or even business cards.
Step Five: MAINTAIN
Now that you have created a one-stop resource about your artwork, you need to maintain the quality of your Facebook page. Make sure you continue to post on a regular basis and note which types of posts your fans like so you can keep the good times rolling.
Also, keep up with the latest Facebook trends. Watch other artists and relevant organizations develop their promotional strategy and incorporate their strategies into your own page promotion.
Things to watch out for:
- Don’t oversell your page! No one likes a never-ending sales pitch, especially on Facebook, which people think of as primarily social in nature.
- Don’t post the same thing over and over! Think about the content you’re posting. The content on the best Facebook pages is carefully curated and well thought through. Study your favorite pages and take note of what they do to make you excited to see their content.
- Don’t take things personally! Remember that Facebook is an online community and people can act quite differently online that they do in the real world. If you get a negative comment, don’t despair and take it close to heart. Delete the comment and move on.
Most of all, however, have fun! This is your page and you are the king of it. Be as expressive as you wish, experiment, create and be yourself.
If you follow these simple steps you’ll see your own community grow and flourish. You’ll make new friends, acquire life-long fans, and learn just as much from them as they learn from you.
Next Article in the Social Media series: Finding Art Collectors Through Social Media
This post is also available in: Spanish