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A Facebook Guide for Artists

Mark Edward Adams wrote a wonderful article for artists about using FB to promote their artwork. He says that a lot has changed in Facebook over the last couple of years.  Most notably the algorithm Facebook uses to determine who sees your posts is different.

He then goes on to say, “The key to attracting likes and maintaining interest is to understand what engages the typical Facebook user.

Here are some tips on what you should be doing and what you should avoid to increase your engagement and likes.”

Click Here to read the entire article.


Common Facebook Mistakes

1.) The most common mistake I see is every post is asking for a sale. Often a picture of a piece is shown with the price and people are asked to buy it.  This is acceptable if you do it about 25% of the time, but if this is all you do your engagement will plummet.  The Facebook platform is not old school print marketing.

2.) Posting anything other than a photo will decrease your engagement. There are studies out showing photos get the most attention.  Thus you should be avoiding links, videos, and other non-photo based posts.  Or an alternative is to post your link in the description of the photo.

3.) If you post something and never respond to comments, it is a huge mistake. You must respond regularly to comments.  Your goal is to keep people interested and engaged in your art.  If you do not respond to comments and acknowledge fans on a daily basis, they will most likely lose interest.  People want to be heard by the artist.

4.) Another common error is artists let other people run their fanpage and speak to fans as a vague third party. You want to keep the page as personal as possible.  Responses that just describe the availability of a particular piece or non-descript agreement with the fan do not resonate.  The goal is to let people know they are in direct communication with the artist.

5.) There are a lot of tactics on the internet that tell people how to increase engagement quickly. These include asking random questions to people about their life, offering free giveaways, or offering to donate something when a certain number of fans like a post.  These are all gimmicks and do nothing to increase long term engagement.  True fans are built on solid communication that is built up over time.

How To Do It Right

1.) The key to engaging people is to tell a good story. The overall theme of your page should be to tell the story of how you create your art.  This means taking people from the beginning sketches to the final masterpiece.  This could take days or even weeks, the important point is to bring people along for the ride.

2.) It really helps to show your personality with each post. In other words write your posts like you are talking to your best friend.  The goal is to make the page as personable as possible.  Do not edit your thoughts too much or overthink what to write.  Just write from your heart.

3.) You must post on a regular basis or your numbers will rapidly decline. It is something to do with the algorithm.  I have been posting 1-2 times per week for a couple of years and if I take a week off my numbers are significantly lower.

4.) Keep to the topic. Remember people are coming to your page to learn about your art.  Avoid posts about the latest trends in the art market or how a piece sold for 10 million dollars at an auction. All your posts should somehow directly relate to your art and your story.

5.) You should always be treading slightly out of your comfort zone. You may be hesitant to show a work in progress or an unflattering picture, but do it anyway.  It is these small risks that show your vulnerability and connects you to viewers.

From this list of Facebook tips I purposely left out any advice on spending money to promote posts or get likes.  I did this to emphasize the biggest factors that will determine your success on Facebook do not include money.  Success is about doing a lot of little things right that comes together to engage the user.  If you work on the points listed above. I think you will see a significant increase in engagement.  

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