Of all the social media platforms artists can use to promote their artwork, Facebook is still the big daddy of them all. It dominates the scene and gives artists access to countless potential fans. But it has to be used correctly, just like any other social media platform. Here are three common mistakes you might be making, and how to do it right:
1. Buying Facebook “likes.” The question of paying for people to “like” your Facebook professional pages comes up now and again, so I want to address this one first. It’s such a bad idea. It’s not just that it’s a waste of money—it can hurt you in the long run.
Here’s what happens: Let’s say you pay for a bunch of people or more likely a bunch of fictitious accounts to “like” your page. But because they’re not real people who are truly interested in your artwork, they never engage with your posts on your page. Facebook looks at those dismal stats and says, “No one is really interested in this person’s posts.” So as a result, Facebook no longer pushes your posts out to the real people who really are interested in you and your artwork—at least not as often.
So long story short, never pay for “likes.” Grow your following organically by interacting with people online, nurturing relationships, and inviting them to like your page.
2. Boosting posts instead of buying ads. I’m sure you’ve noticed that when you post something on your professional artist page, Facebook gives you the option to “boost” your post. It’s so easy to do and it may seem like a good idea, but buying an ad is a better option.
Boosting a post and buying an ad are essentially the same thing, and you can choose to spend the exact same amount of money on them. The difference is that a boosted post is only optimized to reach one objective: to catch people’s attention and get them to engage with you. When you actually go through the slightly more complicated process of setting up a Facebook ad, you can choose which objective you want to achieve, and in my opinion you should be driving people to your artist portfolio website. You can also optimize your Facebook ad to achieve other objectives, like getting them to sign up for your e-newsletter if you have one. Buying an ad also gives you greater control over who sees the ad so you can be very targeted with your approach.
Boosting a post isn’t totally wrong, but it’s not as good as buying an ad, which gives you greater control over who sees the ad and how it’s optimized to achieve your desired objective.
3. Failing to say something about yourself with a post. I see lots of Facebook posts on both personal and professional pages that have no message at all or have a very minimal message, such as a couple of hashtags or just the artwork’s title. What a missed opportunity to engage with followers!
If you’re going to take the time to post something, spend a few extra minutes composing a message that tells us something about you as well as the image you’re showing us. A sentence or two about your thoughts, feelings, inspirations will help followers understand you and like you even more than they already do. Even better is to write something engaging, like a question that gets them to respond.
Images are absolutely essential when it comes to promoting yourself on Facebook, but they're not enough. Your written messages that go along with your images are probably the most powerful way to nurture relationships with your followers. So every time you post an image, write a sentence or question that reveals something about your brand and invites followers to interact with you. This is how you build trust.
What other questions do you have about using Facebook? Let's connect!
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