Facebook: personal account vs page?

About four years ago, I started a Facebook page for my artwork. At the time, I knew pretty much nothing about Facebook, as I never used my personal account for anything. My only concern was to avoid bombarding those few friends who somehow found me on FB with my art, so I chose to create a page. I had no idea what organic reach is, and that personal accounts and pages have different features and different limitations. Now it seems to me that pages are more suitable for full-pledged businesses, and I’m tired of Facebook trying to persuade me to pay to boost my posts. I started thinking that a personal account might be a better place to showcase one’s art. What do you think?

And a few additional questions:
If you use a page, do you pay to boost your posts? How does it work for you?

If you use both your personal account and a page to show your art, do you just post/share the same content in both places? If not, how do you decide what goes where?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and insights!

P.S. I saw some similar questions mentioned in older threads, but times change, and Facebook changes its algorithms too, and what worked 5-7 years ago might not work today.

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I put my art on both my personal FB page and on an art page created on FB. In the post itself I just put the image, then the title, medium, and size. Sometimes I’ll a couple small remarks. People like to hear what the painting is about, and that’s the perfect place for it. I avoid using terms that refer to sale and price. If I want to put my art for sale on my personal page, I put the link in the comments. This way works better with FB’s algorithms; they won’t try to direct me into their Market.

On my art page I do not pay to boost my posts. I figure that using both pages already does that. On the Art Page I post the sales link up top with the image instead of in the comments. I don’t put much personal stuff on either page. Maybe a tiny amount here and there. I don’t post the same image on the same day on the two accounts. I spread them out.

I like having my art on my personal FB page. I enjoy putting fun and positive content on social media. People need a break from all that other stuff.

I also put art-related stuff on my personal FB page, like the Pantone color of the year, or sometimes I’ll talk about art techniques, etc.

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My thoughts: I originally set up a business page for the same reasons as you. I ended up telling my friends about it because no-one came :roll_eyes:. They shared my posts and some of their friends came.
Then zilch. I fell for the Facebook promotion nag, paid the minimum I could get away with and - yippee! got HUNDREDS of new page followers!! Quite quickly, I started losing them. They unfollowed. Disappeared.
Do another promotion, said Facebook… I did (what a sucker) for a bit longer and for a bit more ££ and got nearly 2000 followers! wow! I’m practically gone viral! Nope. About 98% of them appeared to be in Brazil. As I am in the U.K. this was very weird.
Anyway. To cut this too long story down a bit, I concluded paying FB was a mugs game, most of the responses appear to be bots or poor souls paid a pittance to follow things and it was all pointless.
I have read loads of artists’ claims that FB made their careers, that they made lifelong friends, sold loads of stuff etc but they obviously know what they’re doing and I’m afraid I had no clue.

I have an Instagram account now. It is much nicer. I hand over no money. I have made a few virtual friends out of it which I value. Joining in art challenges offered by other artists etc is good fun and gets you more interactions. Unfortunately, Instagram’s algorithms now favour ‘reels’ (video) and like most people I have noticed a significant falling off of interaction with my posts as a result.
I still have my little group of virtual friends and artists I follow, though, so like DPW it helps you to feel like you have a ‘tribe’ out there and aren’t totally alone.

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Thanks so much, Theresa! Yes, it might be a good idea to use both places to post one’s art, but to avoid posting the same pieces in both places at the same time. Also, thanks for the idea of putting the link in the comment when posting on a personal page!

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Thank you for your thoughts, Karen! So sorry to hear about your experience with boosting your FB page! I suspected that paying for FB ads would end up like this, and your story only confirms it.

In terms of Instagram, ever since they started favoring reels, I’ve found it quite annoying because I follow artists whose work I admire, and I really want to be able to enjoy their paintings without things moving around and playing pop music in front of me. On the other hand, I like the idea of participating in art challenges there. What challenges can you recommend and how do you find them? I recently discovered the #foodpaintchallenge hosted by @alaiganuza and @dennispfeil.art and plan to give it a try, but I haven’t seen any other challenges there.

I’m no expert as we know :grin: but if you go into the search screen and type #challenge quite a lot come up. The Strada easel challenge is one to find, it runs for 30 days every January and every September, there are no rules except the painting has to be done from life and you have to post one every day. That challenge is where I “met” a few kindred spirits. #dtiys is another one - it means ‘do this in your own style’. The host posts one or more photos for you to use ‘in your own style’. It leans towards pen and wash or illustration rather than painting.
I will go and see if I can find you on Insta now.

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Oh, I totally forgot about the Strada easel challenge! Yes, I know about it and even participated once. I believe it’s a great challenge that encourages artists to paint every day. My issue with it was that I had to report my daily progress regardless of how I felt about the outcome, and I hated having to share my failed paintings. The DPW weekly challenges were what I really enjoyed. I can still recall anticipating the new task every Saturday. It’s a pity that Carol made it a monthly challenge at some point. Anyway, I appreciate the idea and will search Instagram for painting challenges! Thanks!

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I have both a personal page for myself, and a “business” page for my art. My personal page is open only to my friends, my art page can be seen by anyone. The advantage to having an art/business page is that people who I don’t know can follow me but can’t friend me. They don’t have access to my personal information, or photos of my grandchildren, or info about my close family and friends. If you want to make your art page a personal page, you either have to keep it closed to friends only, or open a personal page up to the world, which could leave you vulnerable. When I post my artwork, I post first to my business/art page and then share it from there to my personal page. That way my friends can share from my personal page without it opening unknowns to my personal page. If they click, it will go to my business page and they can follow me there, but can’t friend me. If I get questionable accounts following me, I can still block them there.

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Thanks so much for your detailed explanations, Tara! Your way of dealing with FB makes perfect sense to me.

I have a personal and business page on Facebook. I tried boosting for a while, but it was a waste of $. I do sell more on my personal page… because selling art is personal. You aren’t selling widget’s, you’re selling your view of your world. You are looking for people who find that your work resonates with them. My friends are aware that I view social media as a tool to sell art and to connect on occasion. I set a timer and am only on FB for 30 minutes a day. When I do post a painting, I also post an image of me painting it outdoors and I include a link to my daily painting gallery. Hope that helps. I paint full time and it is my sole means of support.

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Thanks so much for your reply, Debra! Looks like boosting doesn’t really work for anyone here. As to the fact that your personal page works better for your art, another reason might be that organic reach is much higher for personal accounts than for pages. Pages are supposed to pay for their content to be shown. Including a photo of you painting outdoors is also a good idea. I keep reading everywhere that sharing your art is not enough to sell it. One should show themselves, their process, their studio, their garden, their pets, etc. to create a personal brand. I know that’s true, but I somehow feel very uncomfortable about it. Trying to figure out if there is a way to sell art without sharing my life with the whole world :)

Irina, I don’t share anything about my personal life on FB. I just share about painting and the view I’m painting, or a photo of my dog who is sitting next to me while I paint. That’s all you need to share to make people think they know you and are invested in you. I went to your gallery and your work is lovely and approachable. But it’s priced too low. Believe it or not lowering your price doesn’t help sell it. Collectors are a little insecure and they don’t trust art that is too cheap. See what others are pricing it at, see if they are selling and then come in right about the middle. You don’t want to be the most expensive, nor the “best deal”. It tells people you don’t believe in your work. Last year, I raised all my prices in my gallery by 30% and they sold better. Just an FYI. Good Luck!

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Debra, thanks so much for checking out my gallery and for your kind comments about my work! It truly means a lot! I guess I should start using my personal FB page to show my work.

When I just joined DPW, I solely relied on visitors to the “What’s New” page, and for a few years it worked relatively well for me. Now it seems that there are much fewer people checking out DPW’s “What’s New” page, so I’m trying to find some other ways to get my art “in front of the people who want it,” as Trisha Adams put it in another topic. With Instagram, it looks like one should either do reels these days or give it up. So, I guess I will follow your advice and try my personal FB. Unfortunately, I’m not the “social media” type of person, but I will try to learn this art :)

As to the prices, thanks so much for your note, I should definitely think about it. A few other artists also told me that higher prices help sell art, but on the other hand, there were at least two DPW artists who tried to raise their prices after selling pretty inexpensively and failed. One was a very gifted artist who made distinctive, instantly recognizable, and vivid small-sized landscapes. For quite some time he auctioned his paintings with $1 starting bid. At the time, he was always sold out. Then he set his prices at a higher level, and his sales stopped. Like me, he didn’t like social media and hoped to build his following here on DPW. After some time without sales, he left DPW with a bitter note, which I can very much relate to: “If someone enjoys sharing their works in progress etc, that’s cool. But for me, the whole experience, the whole process has always been a very private one, and every time I think of social media and blogging and Instagramming I feel unnerved.” I feel exactly like this, and I still miss seeing his works here.

Another example was a lady who sold her works pretty successfully for a year or so and came to this forum to ask if she should raise her prices. Everyone encouraged her to do so and wished her success in increasing her sales. A year later, she wrote that she hadn’t had a single sale since the raise, and as far as I remember, her prices were still in the $70-$90 price range… Prices seem to be a tricky subject that depends a lot on marketing strategy. Again, there is a lot to learn here.

Once again, thanks so much for all the good advice!

One note…boosting does work for me if I am having a studio sale. It gives me an opportunity to hit a targeted audience, such as women over 40 who buy art and live in my town, or maybe are friends of friends. It helps to be specific. Also, for my first few years, my personal page got more hits than my business page, but slowly it built over time and my business page gets far more hits than my personal page now if I am sharing the same artwork post on both. I have built a following by cross marketing, joining Facebook art groups in my state or my style, such as plein air painting, or alla prima painting. I always include my website in my post, or my Instagram handle, or visa versa. It also helps to comment often in those groups. Hashtags on Instagram also help connect you with other art groups.

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Tara, thank you for this additional info! I have never had the courage to have a solo studio sale, but once I feel brave enough, I will use your tips. No wonder that your personal page gets fewer hits than your business page: you mentioned that your personal page is open only to your friends, but I surely understand your reasons for that. (For me, there are no reasons to make my personal page friends-only, as I actually don’t post anything personal there, so I plan to make my posts public.) I also find it useful in every sense to join art groups, and I’m a member of quite a few of them. I’m much less successful with Instagram, though. These days, it looks like you don’t have a chance there if you don’t make reels.