Self promotion on Facebook

Continuing the discussion from Featured Artists vs the rest of us:

Bob, you appear to have a personal facebook account, but not a facebook “Page” for your art. I think looking for facebook “groups” in which to post (alongside many other people) is far less effective than setting up your own page, and here is why.

Currently you have 700 friends(!) but only 69 followers. With only the personal account, you are missing several opportunities:

  1. With a Page, you can invitie all of your friends–or a just select number–all at once to “like,” and therefore follow, your page. With only a personal account, no one sees your posts unless you “friend” them. Not so with a Page.
  2. When one of your friends becomes a follower, there is a link they can use to invite their friends to become followers. (Can’t do that with the basic account)
  3. Likewise, when someone likes or shares one of your art page’s images, many of their friends will see it. Then if the friends’ friends’ like and share, your likes and shares continue to grow. In this way, you can pick up many “likes” and followers you don’t even know–people who like art and may occasionally visit your blog, auctions or gallery and buy something.
  4. Finally, if you are so inclined, you can advertise your page and target very specific markets, and you can do it in very small increments. I am not convinced it generates sales, but I tried it for a few days and did pick up about the number of followers they predict for the length and scope of my ad.

I made my FB art page in July, 2014. I don’t “work” facebook too hard, because I don’t like to spam people with a lot of self promotion. But with only 149 friends (not all of whom give a whit about art) I have 120 followers–many of whom I don’t even know–and several friends and followers have bought work they saw there first. I waited a whole year to invite my BIL to my page, doubting he would be very interested, but when he accepted, he shared it, and a whole bunch of his friends also became followers! So you never know.

I have hard-selling acquaintence with many FB friends and followers. She works facebook every day (on both her page and profile) and regularly sells her artwork there. (I “unfollowed” her, because I couldn’t take it all.) At least with a page, followers who see your art posts have opted to do so, where as all your “friends” on your personal account might not be as appreciative.

As far as having an “off” week or even month, I think that’s bound to happen periodically, for no particular reason. However, if I had to guess what might be a slow time, August (when many people vacation) would top my list. I sold a small piece a couple of weeks ago that the buyer doesn’t want me to ship until next week, because she’s out of town.

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Thank you, Connie, you explained things much better than I could!

I have a Facebook fan page. One thing I did as an investment is buy advertising for “likes.” It wasn’t expensive. You can spend just a dollar a day if you like. All it does is show your ad banner (you design it yourself to FB’s specifications) to other people who fit the target demographic. (FB asks you all sorts of things, like the age and interests of the people you want to target.) The ads aren’t annoying, and I certainly didn’t “force” anyone to view my page, or click “like.”

I now have almost 1900 followers now (I think I may buy some more ads to push it up to 2000 officially!) and I think it “looks” good to have that many followers on FB, not to mention that these people presumably are interested in the subject of your FB page, otherwise they wouldn’t have clicked “Like” in the first place!

I confess I don’t pimp my art really aggressively. I have a blog that automatically posts a link to my FP page (and twitter) whenever I post a new blog entry. I post new artwork regularly, but I don’t constantly try to sell sell sell. I just keep on working, and blogging when I have a new piece, and posting updates when I have something to share.

I’m as much a fan of other artists, so I’m always sharing their work, linking to them, liking their images, and I hope that they do it for me (and some do!). One thing I believe in, is if you want to get it for yourself, you have to give it. You shouldn’t use Facebook as just a way to sell yourself, you should be engaged and interested in what other people are doing as well. (I’m not suggesting that anyone here is guilty of not doing this, I’m just speaking in general terms.) I’ve seen others who only pop into FB to pimp their latest painting and not-so-subtly hint that they want to sell it, but they NEVER click like on anyone else’s work, never have time for anyone else at all. Some will start to notice that, and not look kindly upon it.

Yes, the summer is not the best for sales, in my experience. Thankfully I am happy with my sales for this month, but for about two weeks there it was dead as a doornail. Others say that summer is typically the worst. The closer to Christmas, the better, and the Spring is good too.

Wow, those little ads really built up your following. Congratulations, that’s impressive! My only problem with spending any more to get more followers is that following a page apparently no longer means you necessarily see ANY of their updates in your news feed automatically. I like/follow a number of pages, including DPW’s, whose updates used to appear in my feed and which I would like to continue seeing every day–but they suddenly stopped, and I have no clue how to see them unless I remember to visit the page. Some of my followers seem to see everything I post, but I have no idea how facebook’s algorhythms determine who sees what. Maybe the ads are worth another shot, though (if I ever start posting more new work more frequently.)

Thanks for the post, Connie! I’m glad your FB fan page is working well for you. I actually do have a FB fan page here. I’ve had it for a few years now. I guess if you didn’t see it, that

Oh–sorry!–silly me. I entered your name in the search bar, but only found your profile page. Facebook is crazy. Oh well, maybe the topic will help someone else.

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Actually there’s nothing to be sorry about, Connie. I found you information to be very useful anyway. The only thing I need to do is learn how to get more likes. (real ones that matter). I guess just because you have a fan page it doesn’t mean it will be seen. You were looking for it and couldn’t find it. That concerns me. I’ll have to find a way to promote it more without spending money. I tried FB ads a few years ago and they did absolutely nothing for me. I don’t know if that changed or not by now though. Anyway thanks for your help!

J., I guess I fit right into the category of not being very subtle about selling my artwork on FB. I’m not a very subtle person. But I do click the like button fairly often. I really only get on FB once or twice a day so I don’t really have much time to figure it out.

The Facebook ads are not that expensive, and they are trying to attract the right kind of people–people that are interested in your kind of work. In my case, I targeted cat lovers, because I paint a lot of cats. So they know they will see lots of paintings of kitties when they “like” my page. That’s obviously something they want. So, I feel like everyone benefits! :smile:

Part of the reason I advertised on Facebook was not because I thought it would transform my business overnight, but because it “looks” better to have more Facebook likes. Even if no sale ever was generated from those likes (and I doubt that’s the case), it’s like good PR. I’ve seen other artists with a paltry few Facebook likes and I wonder, “what’s wrong”?

And in the case of advertising on FB, it’s not like the likes are not genuine. Facebook can only steer people to the page. They can’t make them click to follow. If they click to follow, that is their own decision.

One of the things that art marketers tell us is that collectors are more attracted to buying our work if they think we’re a “name.” Having the Facebook likes creates that image of you being “somebody.”

Several local artists of my acquaintance have said that Facebook has really helped their business. So I think it’s worth investigating. In my case, I don’t think I want to pimp hard for sales, but one thing I don’t do, which I should, is simply post DailyPaintWorks links! Just copy and paste the link to a new painting on DPW! I’m going to start doing that! :smile:

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Thank you all very much for your input. All of the comments I’ve read make sense, so I’ve changed my mind. I just hope everything turns around soon. One thing I’ve learned though is that hope and wishes just don’t cut it. You have to make things happen with market research, etc.
I’m currently reading about Instagram which I’ve been using for a while now but not so much with marketing. I have used it a little with marketing and whenever I did, I made a sale. I just didn’t attribute it to Instagram though…I guess I just thought it was a co-inky-dink.
Anyway, I’m going to study and test it more seriously…and Pinterest and other things also.
Thanks again for your input!

Thanks for the information. I’m still learning about FB pages but I will try what you have advised.