Facebook is used by more than 1 billion people daily. Why and how should artists be presented on Facebook? Is Facebook for artists still relevant?
If you are an artist, let's be honest:
* People will look for you on Facebook.
* People will look for you on Instagram
* People will Google you
* People will research you (but won't always add you as a friend)
People will make an impression of you based on your online persona. Often, they will make that impression even before they meet you in person.
Making the right impression. Making it easier for people to find you. Making it easier for people to remember you and your art. This is what this guide is about.
YOU ARE A BRAND
You are an artist, You're a brand.
And people have certain emotions about a brand. They perceive you as having certain features, a sense of humor, a certain tone, a certain set of values, a certain personality.
Big corporations have marketing teams trying to create this personality - out of thin air, I might add. (Corporations aren't human!). You as an artist don't have to work as hard.
You have a unique personality already! So what do people value in a brand on social media?
Honest. Friendly. Helpful. Funny.
This is the impression they would like to walk away with, when they meet you online for the first time. This is the impression that will bring them back to you again and again.
YOUR FACEBOOK FRONT PAGE
Where do we start? We'll start with your Facebook front page. It is the very first thing people will see.
Your Facebook front page is:
Your art portfolio,
Your page in the Yellow Pages,
Your Yelp review account,
Your website (at least a second one)
It needs to have all of the ingredients of the items above.
Let's look at some examples of good Facebook front pages.
See if you can detect some patterns.
WHAT YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE SHOULD HAVE
If your page is your resume, portfolio, a Yelp page and a Yellow Page, here is what it should have:
1. Your real name
2. Your best artwork
3. A recognizable and memorable avatar
4. "Intro" section with
4.1. Your education or other credentials
4.2. Where you live
4.3. Link to your Facebook
4.4. Link to your Instagram
4.5 Link to your website
5. "Following" button.
6. "Featured" photos with your art
Let's review each one in detail.
NAME AND COVER PHOTO
Your name is your brand; don't hide it.
It should be easily searchable with search engines.
Cover photo ideas:
* Your best artwork
* You and your art at an art exhibit
* You in your art studio working
Click "Update Cover Photo" button to update it
Note the dimensions of the image: 820 x 312 pixels for desktop
Here are a few good examples of my friends' avatars:
They give an idea of who they are.
They are part of their online (and real) identities.
They are memorable.
Do remember the scale of avatars though.
Most of the time, it'll be a tiny icon a few pixels wide
INTRO AND DETAILS
So my recommended list for the Intro section is:
1. Bio (one sentence; hopefully more memorable than "an artist")
2. Work (can link to your art page if you have one on FB. You can also include your art collective and/or shared studio space here)
3. Education (or other credentials)
4. Link to your website
5. Link to your Instagram
6. Followers (optional, if you have many and want to brag a little)
7. Hometown (optional, but personally I like that detail. How often do we ask people we just met "Where are you from?")
Intro and Details, cont.
Bio, who you are and what your art is about (that's an important one). This is your headline, a one-liner punchline.
Work field makes it clear that you are a professional artist. It is not always clear. Some people can be collectors, some curators, some are hobbyists, etc.
Education serves as credentials but can be optional too
Current City is an indication of proximity for followers and potential buyers
Links to your Instagram and the Website will let visitors explore further and will drive traffic to them
A relatively new feature on Facebook: Featured Photos.
Right below the "Intro" section and above your regular "Photos".
You have full control over 9 photos that will be prominently displayed on your page. But it also doesn't have to be 9
Ideas for featured photos:
* Your artwork
* Your studio
* Your photo
* Your art exhibits
* Your family, friends, pets
* You outside of "work"
Notice how much we can learn about someone from just 9 photos
FACEBOOK SETTINGS, VISIBILITY
A few important Facebook settings provide the right balance between privacy and visibility.
This one might be contentious, but if your Facebook posts are mostly about art...
Why not make them "Public"?
Public posts will be visible even to those who aren't your friends.
If you an artist, people should be able to find you by your name on Facebook,
I am not sure if everyone should know who my friends are
And we'd like Google to find our Facebook profile (again, visibility)
Facebook Settings, Sharing
We want others to share our posts and our art (with credits included).
But we only want our friends to tag us (i.e. post on our timeline)
And even then, limit the visibility of our tagged posts to friends only, not public
Finally, who can follow us?
I think a "Follow" button is a must-have for artists.
Some people will click "Add Friend" if they like your work. But a lot of people will hesitate and remain in the shadows. "Follow" allows them to do exactly that.
Your followers will see your posts, but you won't see theirs
So I'd turn it on. We all like options!
And finally, finally..
Are you still reading this??
Because I know I am tired of typing it :).
One piece of advice I received from my artist friend who has 5000+ followers on Facebook and 20,000 followers on Instagram:
Be a sweetheart!
Thanks for reading and good luck!