With the number of Facebook business pages climbing north of 60 million (as of September 2016), business and entrepreneurs have obviously realized the potential this mammoth of a community brings in terms of exposure, engagement, and potential, and have jumped at the opportunity.
Many artists now use professional artist pages on Facebook as a tool for promoting their work as well. It’s a great way to showcase your artwork and insert updates about your career into the newsfeeds that people see every day. Facebook can also be an excellent networking tool, helping you build up contacts within the art community, acquire and communicate with your fan base, find artist opportunities, and much, much more. The possibilities are truly limitless.
However, there is often a certain amount of confusion about the difference between a personal profile and a business page, and artists aren’t always aware that they should set up an artist page, as opposed to their personal pages, which they may already maintain on Facebook. After all, a personal profile already connects you with your friends on Facebook, and isn’t that enough of a promotional tool? (It isn’t.)
In this article, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about this issue, and talk you through the process of creating a Facebook business page for your art.
Can I Use My Personal Facebook Profile To Promote My Art?
It’s true that your personal profile can be useful professionally, but there are limitations attached to this approach.
1. Facebook’s Insights Tool
If you’re using your personal page to promote your art, you’re missing out on a great deal of important information that’s only available for business pages – analytics. Facebook has an excellent analytics platform that will tell you a multitude of things about your audience and fanbase. From where your followers live and how old they are to which of your posts have the largest impact and what times are the best for posting. All of this can be incorporated into your understanding of the audience and can help you develop your page and target your posts. With a personal page, you have less information about the level of impact your posts have and the demographic breakdown of who is responding well to your content.
Another disadvantage to the personal profile is that you can’t place ads on a personal page. Although that may not be something you’re considering right now, you never want to rule out this option. With a little training and experimentation, anyone can become a great advertiser on Facebook, thanks to their easy-to-use, intuitive ad platform.
3. Suggested Pages
Facebook’s algorithm has a nifty little feature that will suggest your professional page to people who like pages similar in content and/or close to you locally. For example, ‘like’ Marian Gaucher’s professional artist page and Facebook will suggest pages of other Canadian artists. Like The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow and get a few suggestions on other Moscow area museums that you might be interested in visiting. This feature is amazing in terms of extra exposure and is only available for business pages.
If you have a professional artist page, other businesses, like galleries, art fairs, and museums will be able to ‘tag’ (or mention) you in their Facebook posts or photos. This is a wonderful opportunity to get your page seen by their fan base. This feature is also available only for business pages.
One more thing – you’re technically not allowed to use your personal profile to promote your artwork. The Facebook terms and conditions state that you cannot use a personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain: that’s what business pages are for. For many smaller, unestablished artists, it’s unlikely that Facebook will catch you breaking the rules, but if your page grows it’ll be harder to hide.
So why not create a Facebook business page for your art? You’re proud of your art and your professional development – there’s no harm in sharing that passion and that pride with others.
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Will I Need A Separate Account To Create A Facebook Artist Page?
No – that’s part of the beauty of it. You can create the page through your personal account, meaning that when you’re signed in as yourself, you’ll still be able to see notifications that your page receives. You can switch back and forth between posting and commenting as yourself and your artist page very easily, simply by clicking on the arrow in the right-hand corner of the screen and choosing which account to use.
Won’t I Get Confused About Which Account I’m Using?
It’s really very easy to distinguish between accounts – whichever you’re using will show up in the right-hand corner of the screen, so you can always keep track. However, it’s true that this is important from both sides of the equation: you won’t want to comment on photos of your friend’s birthday party as your business page just as you might not want to respond to professional requests from your less-than-professional page. The best rule of thumb is simply to switch over to your page whenever you are working professionally – updating your page, commenting on groups as your page, etc. – and it will quickly become a habit.
Is It Obvious That The Business Page And The Profile Belong To The Same Person?
It can be as clear as you want it to be. You can treat them entirely separately, making the page solely about your artwork and career, and your profile only for social interaction. Or, you can create a strong link between the two by including your name in the title of the page, using a similar profile picture, or using your personal account to like or share updates from your page. You can even put your business page as your employer in the ‘about’ section of your personal profile. There are lots of options here, and it’s entirely up to you.
I Want To Turn My Personal Profile Into A Business Page. Can I Do That?
While this is an option that Facebook offers, we do not often recommend it. If you really transfer, rather than set up a new page, a lot of your previous content will get lost. All you’ll have for your new page will be your profile picture, and all of your friends will become “fans” of your page. The name you’ve been using for your personal profile will become your page name. BUT, you will lose your timeline information and previous posts and you’ll no longer be able to manage any groups you were managing with that profile.
The only real benefit to doing this is that you’ll gain the fans from your friends list – but is this really such a benefit? After all, you can keep posting on your personal profile after you’ve created a business page, and you can invite your friends to like it. By letting your friends choose to like your page instead of ‘tricking’ them into it, you’ll be more considerate, and you’ll have the right sort of fans to start with.
How To Create A Professional Facebook Artist Page
Log in to Facebook, using your normal, personal account. Then click on the arrow at the top right-hand side of the page, and from the drop-down selections click on ‘Create Page.’ You’ll then be taken to a page that looks like this:
Choosing what type of page you’re creating isn’t as important as it might look, and you can change it later if you have to. But it’s best to get it right from the start, because then Facebook can give you the most relevant information to fill in and your new professional page will be easily discoverable to your fans. So decide which option is most appropriate for you:
Artist, Band or Public Figure – This is the one you’ll probably want to choose. This sort of page is designed to focus on you, the creator of your work – and, of course, by extension, your work. However, take a look at the other options before making your final decision.
Local Business or Place – Choose this option if you are aiming to promote a physical, bricks-and-mortar location. Do you run your own gallery with a permanent exhibition of your work or maybe own a studio that you work out of? Then this option is for you. You’ll be able to share information like opening hours and parking possibilities, or advertise the location of your business to attract potential collectors.
Company Organization or Institution – This is a good option for businesses that have a number of locations with different addresses, opening hours, and so on. Again, this is unlikely to be relevant to artists, but there’s a chance that your particular situation would make this appropriate.
Brand or Product – This type of page is good if your artworks are sold in lots of different places. But it’s really meant for retail brands and products – for example, Coca-Cola – and it won’t help you include that personal touch that most artists want to have on their business page.
Cause or Community – This one is worth bearing in mind if you’re involved in a non-profit organization of any kind. However, it’s not right for artists (in general), though there may be exceptions for artists whose whole work and brand is centered around supporting a specific charitable organization. Remember, you can manage as many Facebook pages as you want, so you don’t necessarily have to combine everything in one place.
Entertainment – This does sound as if it might be a good category for an artist, but really this is for things like books, TV shows, and so on. It’s not quite the right angle for most visual artists – though some, who do publish books and appear on television, may want to consider this category.
For this walkthrough, we’ll assume you selected “Artist, Band, or Public Figure.” Click it, and you’ll see that you’re offered a number of categories to pick from – and one of them is ‘Artist’. Select it and enter the name you’d like to use for your page. Think carefully about this, because this is going to be the name your fans will see whenever you post an update, it’s the name you’ll use to comment on other groups and so on as your page, and it will be a major part of your promotional work on Facebook from now on. Your artist name should be included in this title, and perhaps a keyword such as ‘art,’ ‘artworks,’ or ‘artist.’
Once you’ve entered the name you want for your page, click ‘Get Started’.
From here, it’s pretty self-explanatory. You enter the relevant information by filling in the boxes as prompted. For your description, you can use text from your artist statement, or some other piece that you feel encapsulates who you are as an artist. Don’t make it too long – more than 150 characters and it may not show up automatically on the page. Don’t forget to add your website address!
Decide on the URL for your business page – ideally, one that includes the name of your business page.
Add a profile picture. Remember, that once it’s setup, you can – and should – add a cover photo as well, so choose the profile picture with this in mind. Perhaps the profile picture could be a photo of you at work, and the cover photo a piece of artwork, or a close-up of a piece. You can play around with these once the page is setup, and experiment with different images from time to time, changing them to celebrate particular events or achievements.
Finally, add more information to your ‘About’ section, and go through your permissions to make sure you’re comfortable with the default settings. To do this, go to ‘Edit Page’ and ‘Manage Permissions’.
Add your page to favorites, so you can see it easily at any time, and consider inviting your personal friends to ‘like’ your new professional page.
Now that you’ve got a Facebook artist page set up and ready to go, follow these pointers to promote your page and get it noticed and find art collectors on social media. Engage and invest to make sure that your art gets the attention it deserves!
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