Ask the Experts

Ask the Experts: Facebook marketing tips for visual artists

vbridges@newsobserver.comMarch 3, 2014 

Heather Allen of HeatherAllenOnline.com, a Raleigh-based business and marketing consulting firm for visual artists

Heather Allen of HeatherAllenOnline.com, a Raleigh-based business and marketing consulting firm for visual artists, said her clients often feel overwhelmed by the many social media options available to them and have expressed fears of copyright infringement as well as overall discomfort with promoting themselves online.

Here is Allen’s edited advice on how artists can engage with fans on Facebook.

• Think of “likes” as supporters and fans. People who voluntarily “like” a Facebook page do so because they appreciate the unique vision artists share through their art. People buy from those they know, like and trust, so value likes as you would any collector or fan.

Use a Facebook business page rather than a personal page to promote work. A business page positions artists as professionals rather than hobbyists, and gives them more credibility. A page also expands “like” earning potential versus a personal page where people connect as “friends,” an association that is limited to 5,000 connections. A business page is also a brand management tool that gives artists control over what is posted on their timeline.

• Artists should approach fan engagement as a dialogue. Most social settings lend themselves to listening and sharing. Facebook requires that same etiquette. Cary j ewelry artist Kathy King shares with her fans her inspirations, travels as a beading instructor and the work of other artists she admires.

Artists should be creative with how they share artwork. The world is hyper-visual, which means artists are well positioned to capitalize on their skills by sharing content that stands out. Know your audience and share content that inspires others to share.

• Artists can brand their Facebook pages using their own artwork. In three seconds or less, page viewers should be able to understand what your page is about. Customize the cover image and tabs to reflect your artistic style.

“Like” other pages to show support. Facebook is a social tool that can be used to engage others outside of your circle. “Liking” and commenting on the pages of respected organizations and artists shows community engagement and is a subtle means of self-promotion.

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