Facebook for artists: 20 ways to get more fans
Have you been struggling to find an audience for your art on Facebook? Today I’m going to show you how to start attracting fans, get more ‘likes’ on your artist Facebook page and leverage the people you’ve already engaged with to build an audience by creating great, share-worthy posts.
I’ll also get into some tricks for advanced targeting to make sure you’re attracting people who will actually be interested in your art and are more likely to convert into eventual buyers (the first rule of using Facebook for artists is that other visual artists aren’t usually the people who will purchase your work).
How your artist Facebook page works
On Facebook, before you can begin interacting with and engaging potential buyers, you need them to ‘like’ your page. The more people who ‘like’ your page, the more potential you have to get your artwork out there and sold.
Many artists work very hard at getting their first few fans and then lose steam, rather than reaching constantly further and further for new ‘likes’.
True, once you have a few early-adopters there will be a ripple effect if you are posting genuinely interesting, insightful, and engaging content on a regular basis; people will comment and share your posts giving it the potential for so-called ‘virality’. But there are always more fans to find beyond your immediate reach. Let’s take a look at how you can attract those first few page likes and then how you can use some of Facebook’s advanced tools to constantly widen your reach and engagement.
Turn your friends into fans
1, Share your Facebook fan page
If you already have a personal profile on Facebook, the best way to start building an audience is to invite your ‘friends’ to ‘like’ your page. The easiest way to do this is to share the page on your own personal timeline. You can do this by clicking the ‘Share’ button directly underneath your cover photo. Don’t forget to actually ask people to ‘like’ it; including a call to action is far more likely to instigate action on the part of whoever reads it.
2, Message your friends on Facebook
You could also strategically share the page on other people’s timelines or privately message anyone who would be a guaranteed supporter with a link to the page inviting them to ‘like’ it.
3, Add a link in your personal profile
You can leverage your own personal profile page too by adding a link to your Facebook business page. From your profile page, click ‘Update info’, then ‘Edit’; under ‘Work and Education’, type in the name of your Facebook page and a link will be placed in the sidebar of your profile encouraging friends to click through and check it out.
4, Do an email blast
You can easily leverage a mailing list you have already built up via your website or just through personal contacts. Import your list in a CSV file to Facebook and anyone on it will be sent an invitation to ‘like’ your page.
Create irresistibly shareable content
Status updates are your main line of communication and you have a few options when creating them. You can simply type something, include a link, add a photo or video, or publish offers, events and milestones.
You can increase your chances of this content being shared and reaching more people who will potentially ‘like’ your page in many ways, but here a few to get you started:
5, Always post images
When we started including an image every time we posted to Facebook from TextileArtist.org, we noticed a dramatic increase in the amount of times our posts were shared.
Photos are the most powerful thing you can post on Facebook; this is a huge advantage for visual artists, as you probably have a ready-made collection of fantastic images.
6, Include a Call to Action
Invite people to share your content; if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Include a call to action to increase the likelihood of your posts being shared. If you were posting an image of a work-in-progress for example, you might say: How do you think this piece is coming along? Let me know your thoughts and don’t forget to share.
7, Add value
Your fans are far more likely to share content that serves them in some way; does it inspire, inform, educate, entertain? Always keep your fans in mind when posting.
8, Join the conversation
What do your fans enjoy talking about on social media? Do a bit of research and find out; this way you can post your take on a hot topic and increase your chances of being shared.
9, Go ‘Behind the scenes’
Posts that give people a glimpse into how you create your work as an artist always prove popular; people love to feel party to a secret. Posting images of your studio, sketchbook, materials, even a piece of work you’ve given up on because it just isn’t working can greatly enhance how ‘real’ you seem and get your content more widely shared.
Have you noticed how people love to share those inspirational quotes on Facebook? Why not use some quotes that inspire you as an artist and create some images in Adobe Photoshop?
Leverage traffic to your own artist website
According to the 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report, more than half of its users visit Facebook every single day; your posts can act as a constant reminder of your artwork, so it’s important to let anyone who lands on your own site know that you are also on Facebook.
There are two very easy ways to do this:
11, Use social media buttons
The first is to include a button that links through to your Facebook page (make sure it opens in another window to avoid visitors forgetting about your own website and getting distracted on Facebook). You can find some great plugins for your website at AddThis.com.
12, Add a ‘like’ box to your sidebar
The second is to encourage visitors to your site to ‘like’ your Facebook page directly without having to leave your website at all. Including a ‘like’ box in a sidebar of your site is the perfect way to achieve this. You can find the html code for the Facebook ‘like’ box here: Developers.Facebook.com. The inclusion of faces of other people who already like your page is a clever way of saying ‘look how popular I already am!’
While we’re on the subject, how about clicking ‘like’ on the TextileArtist.org Facebook page?
Find your ideal fans
Information about your current fans can help you identify exactly who is attracted to your artwork. In turn this can help you target your posts and attract more like-minded people.
13, Key into Facebook Insights
You can get access to basic information about the Facebook users who currently ‘like’ your artist page on Facebook by clicking on Insights directly from your Facebook page. Then click on ‘People’ to learn about your audience’s gender, age, where they are from and more. You can use this information in your strategy to attract similar people to your page by targeting posts at specific groups.
14, Use Graph Search
But Insights can only tell you so much. A little-known and under-used feature of Facebook is Graph Search, a tool to help you understand your audience on a deeper level, by finding out detailed information about them and their interests.
You can’t use Graph Search directly from your business page, so you’ll need to switch over to your personal profile to leverage all the great information available to you.
Here’s a quick overview of how to use Graph search.
To get access to basic information about your current fans, type ‘Fans of YourPageName’ into the long search box at the top of Facebook. Once you click through, you’ll see a list of your fans with some information about them.
This information can be useful, as information about each of your fans is displayed, but it can be a time consuming job trying to find a correlation between them.
That’s where the real beauty of graph search comes in. The function enables you to type in longer phrases, such as ‘Pages liked by fans of YourPageName’.
These pages will inevitably have fans that don’t currently ‘like’ your page. You can actively engage with these people by commenting and sharing posts on the other pages they ‘like’; this way they will be introduced to your page and are more likely to become your fans too.
You could also try typing in ‘Favourite interests of fans of YourPageName’ to discover topics that might engage your audience and encourage them to share your content more, or ‘Friends on fans of YourPageName’ to find people who are likely to have similar interests to fans of your artist Facebook page.
Pay to promote
15, Take advantage of Facebook ads
When promoting artwork on Facebook, their built-in ad system is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to build an audience. 75% of all new page likes on Facebook come from ads, so even with a small budget, you’re likely to see a good result.
Why you should be advertising on Facebook
- Ads are very easy and quick to create
- You can specifically target people with certain interests or who like certain pages (using the information from Facebook Insights and Graph search)
- They are very inexpensive in relation to other types of online advertising
- They can really boost your traffic
Tips for creating ads to increase page ‘likes’
The aim of this article is to show you how to get more fans so with that in mind, go to your Ad Manager and choose to create an ad to increase page ‘likes’.
When writing the ad copy, use clear and concise text; something that gives a clear reason why a potential fan should ‘like’ your page. Who are you? Why should they like you?
Use an eye-catching image (600×225 pixels); it’s been proven that faces in images attract more click-throughs.
Remove the option for the ad to appear in the right column. Ads that appear in the news feed are far more likely to engage a Facebook user as they appear as part of the newsfeed.
Carefully target your ad so that it’s only shown to certain groups of people; use information from your page Insights as well as Graph search to determine these groups. For example, if I were creating an ad for TextileArtist.org, I might choose to only target women over 18 (as I know they are our main audience) and in the ‘Interests’ field I might target people who already ‘like’ related pages, such as Fiber Art Now and Selvedge magazine.
Never miss an opportunity to promote your artist Facebook page for free
The ways in which you can tell people about your Facebook page on and offline are endless. Why not try some of the following?
16, Connect via your blog
Insert links to your Facebook page every time you write a blog post. You can add a link within the body of the article if it fits naturally to talk about your Facebook page. If not, why not include a call to action at the end of the post, something like; ‘Like’ my Facebook page to make sure you never miss a blog post.
17, Tell everyone you meet
Whenever you give a presentation or teach a workshop, remember to let your audience or students know about your Facebook page.
18, Put it in print
Include the URL for your Facebook page in any offline promotional material, like brochures, flyers and business cards
19, Take advantage of your everyday emails
In your email signature, add a link to your Facebook page.
20, Go social
Using Facebook for artists and attracting fans requires constancy and consistency in your approach; be patient, persistent and, most of all, keep your fans at the forefront of your mind at all times. Don’t fall foul of being overly self-promotional with no consideration for the people who ‘like’ your page. Instead, respond and interact with them and you can build up a dedicated team of cheerleaders for you and your art.
OK, so I better practice what I preach, right? Click here to ‘like’ TextileArtist.org’s Facebook page and ensure you never miss out on top tips for promoting art online.
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