Facebook is still a good place to focus your social media efforts and sell your art, even with all of the news stories, algorithm changes and the platform’s focus on advertising. But how do you do that in 2018? I’m sharing tips for how you can organically grow and engage an audience and sell your art on Facebook.
With 2 billion daily active users, Facebook is the most widely used social platform by a large margin (Source: Sprout Social). What this means for you: statistically, Facebook is too big to ignore.
The average time spent per visit on Facebook is 20 minutes (Source: Infodocket), with an average of 42 minutes total per day (Source: eMarketer). This means that there’s time for your audience to find you, and once they’re there, you’ve got time to engage them. That being said, you don’t have that long to make your impression, so use Facebook wisely, with relevant, interesting, and unique posts and offers in order to get the biggest return on your efforts.
How to grow an audience on Facebook today
1. Create a business page as well as a personal account
Facebook frowns upon too much promotion in your personal profile. Create a business page, and then share some posts from there to your personal account so that your friends see them as well. This helps broaden your reach, because when you share a post to your personal page and somebody likes it, their friends see it too. (Don’t share all of your posts though; just the most important ones, about once or twice a week.)
2. Use live video regularly
Facebook is promoting live video by favoring it with its algorithm, so if you haven’t already, it’s time to jump on the video bandwagon. If you’re nervous about it, just start, and you’ll get more comfortable with it as you go. Start a weekly “scenes from the studio” or other behind-the-scenes series. You can give a tour of what you're working on today, do a “week-in-the-life-of-the-artist” regularly, or you might do a live video from a location that inspires you (even while on vacation). If you go to an exhibit and you really enjoy it, you can do a live video from there. Thanks to modern technology, you can do the whole thing on your phone. You don’t need to be polished (and shouldn’t be, honestly), so just get out there and record something!
3. Share more than just your art
Facebook is a social sharing platform, so to build an audience, you need to share content from others in addition to posting your own content. For every 7 posts on Facebook, here is what I recommend sharing:
- 3 curated posts (sharing content from others)
- 2 created posts (images of your work)
- 2 personal posts (process, inspiration, quotes, personal photos, your pet)
Tips for success
- Use Facebook’s Publishing Tools (see below) to schedule a week’s worth of posts in batches. Allocate an hour to start; you’ll get faster with practice. When you've got a day in the studio, you don't want to be interrupting yourself to post something on Facebook, so schedule it ahead of time.
- Post at least twice a day
- Repost content (only about 10% of your audience sees any one post). To do this, go to the Published Posts section under Publishing Tools, find past curated or created posts that haven’t been posted more than once and copy/paste the content into a new post (you can repeat posts 3-5 times)
- For personal posts, share them from Instagram if you are on that platform, and you’ll get two posts for the price of one (consider leaving off hashtags on these)
- Follow several Facebook pages, email newsletters, and websites that create and curate content that would be appealing to your ideal buyer. Collect good content from them as you come across it, and when it's time, in that one hour per week that you spend on social media, schedule it on your Facebook business page.
- Think of who your ideal buyer is, and what end benefit(s) your artwork provides for them—are they decorating a home, collecting, decorating an office or board room, shopping for a gift? Also consider what their other interests are (art, creativity, your genre or style of work), and share content that relates to those things.
The anatomy of a successful Facebook post
- For curated posts, let your audience know why you’re sharing the content, or quote something from the article. Give some context and relate it to your work and the interests of your audience.
- For created posts (the posts you create to promote your artwork and business), without fail, be sure to include a link to your website or a third-party site (for example, a gallery, an event page), and if you’re promoting your artwork, let your audience know if the piece is for sale and how they can purchase from you.
- For personal posts, it’s fine to show photos of your garden or your pet once in a while, but don’t overdo it. Remember to share posts about what’s inspiring your art these days, and some behind-the-scenes shots of your work life.
If you’re unsure who your ideal buyer is, download a copy of my free Ideal Buyer Worksheet today.
Create a Marketing Plan for Your Thriving Art Business
I’m launching my Create a Marketing Plan for Your Thriving Art Business course in June where we’ll dive deep into your ideal buyer and many other topics to help you go from overwhelmed to having a plan and knowing what you need to do to sell more art. Add your name to the waitlist >>
I hope this helps you see that you can—and should—still put effort toward building an organic audience on Facebook.