Facebook has dramatically changed the way artists or creatives promote their work. When I say artists I mean visual artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians or anyone else who is producing creative work
There are all sorts of businesses out there using Facebook to promote themselves but creatives have a significant advantage over other businesses. You have the story and the product that already engages with your audience on an emotional level.
You’re not asking someone to consider a new accounting package (yawn) or trying to convince someone that this new hammer is going to change their lives. You have a product that makes people laugh or think or reminisce or some other emotion. That’s what art does and it's also exactly what marketing attempts to do.
You also have the story that is going to grab customer interest and build loyalty. In the old days, you would put your work in a gallery or a record store or (insert shopfront appropriate to your creation here) and it would have very little information about the artist with it. Everything has changed.
You have the opportunity to tell your story and people lap it up. Customers love to hear that you were inspired by this particular trip to the Maldives or that you have a studio in an old tumbledown shed. You have a story and Facebook is the perfect place to share it.
When deciding how you want to use Facebook, it’s useful to think about the pages that you gravitate towards. What is it about those pages that you enjoy? If you can recreate that on your feed then you’re on the right track.
Some possible uses could be to provide a sneak peak of your work, to warm up the crowd before launching a body of work, to celebrate your followers (via shoutouts and cross promotion), to deliver your work, or to tell the story of the development of a particular piece from inspiration through to finished product.
One of the ongoing dilemmas on Facebook is whether to create an artists’ page or just promote your work through your personal profile. There isn’t any right or wrong way to do this.
Some people post their creative work on a page and then share it across to their personal profile. Other people keep their page completely separate to their personal Facebook use.
Whatever you do, try to keep it consistent. Post regularly and post the same sort of content consistently. This will give your followers the security of knowing what to expect and keep them engaged.
One of the advantages of using a page instead of your personal profile is that you can ‘boost’ posts. Facebook will charge you a fee to send your post to more of your followers. You need to weigh up whether it’s useful for you and your business to spend money on boosting posts or other forms of Facebook advertising. It’s an important part of some artists’ business model. Helen Harper uses Facebook ads to promote her bestselling indie novels.
If you want to grow your Facebook following there are a number of ways to do that. One of the most successful ways is to invite your Facebook friends to like your page. This can give you a significant foundation to build from.
Another way of using your current contacts to build your Facebook community is by inviting people from other social media platforms that you’re on. If you have a great following on Twitter then regularly invite people to also like your Facebook page (don’t forget to include the link to your page).
There is also the option of paying for Facebook to promote your page. They have a very responsive and nuanced audience tool that can help you target exactly the sort of people you want on your page.
One of the best ways to grow your following is by regularly posting interesting, relevant content, getting involved on other people’s pages and being interactive in Facebook groups. Facebook is all about being social.
What do you use Facebook for and how have your built your Facebook following? Let me know in the comments!
Are you making online work for your arts business? Take a look at this Free Guide to Launching Your Creative Work.