For all of their pluses, there are plenty of confusing aspects of Facebook and Twitter.
The biggest positive is that Facebook and Twitter leverage your relationships with contacts. And we all know that relationships help sell art. Additionally, Twitter allows you to “follow” people that broadcast information and links that can broaden your understanding of topics, industries, etc.
For example, I follow 100+ t-shirt designers via my Twitter account, and have found that the their tweets keep me “in the know” about seasonal and pop-culture merchandising trends. RedBubble has both a Facebook page and Twitter account.
Back to Facebook. As an artist and designer, Facebook can be a great awareness builder and sales driver.
Here are three easy ways to promote your art and design on Facebook.
1. Friends, and friends of friends, buy art
You may already have a growing list of contacts that Facebook defines as friends. Tell friends about your art and design via:
- Link to your RedBubble profile page or Bubblesite from your Facebook profile.
- Post new artwork in your Facebook status. This broadcasts an image, a link, and associated text to your friends.
- Create a collection (or collections) of artwork as a photo album. Be sure to note the artwork URL in the image description. Note: You might want to watermark your images or overlay your RedBubble URL on the image. While Facebook down-samples files to 72 dpi, expressing copyright is never a bad idea in digital public spaces… though one would hope that your Facebook friends would give credit where it’s due.
- Use Facebook Notes to tell the story behind the creation of your artwork. If you’re a writer, you can tease your work in the Notes section and link to your writing portfolio on RedBubble.
You can also install the RedBubble Facebook slideshow found in the Promote area of MyBubble.
Status update of an artwork and link.
Addition of a photograph
B. Groups contain focused, interested buyers
Join Facebook Groups where members share common interests related to your artwork content. By being active in Facebook Groups, you can subtlety migrate interested parties to your RedBubble profile and/or Bubblesite.
It’s helpful if you can use your art and design to educate others and gather feedback, e.g., post “New images of Yosemite National Park. I’m interested in feedback about which images I should place on RedBubble.” You can obviously use this same technique on RedBubble.
C. Use Pages to create fan clubs
Facebook Pages are separate from your personal Facebook profile and are also free to create. Think of your Facebook Page as a business page where you can give people a view of your studio, news of a recent exhibition, show work in development, etc. It’s also good to use RedBubble journal posts to do the same for those watching your RB profile.
The distribution power of Facebook Pages comes from their ability to update “fans” whenever you post something new to your Page (like your status update, but for your business). However, note that your friends need to become a “fan” of your Facebook Page in order to receive updates. The Pages updates won’t duplicate nor conflict with your personal Facebook profile.
You can also announce promotions on your Page. Here is a contest example created by Diesel Laws.
Contest created by Diesel Laws
Advertising is easy, but demands attention
Facebook advertising is easy to set up, but not a “set it and forget it” exercise. You’re dedicating funds to this exercise, so consider the following when creating your ads:
- What images will capture the viewer’s eye best amongst all of the other Facebook page clutter?
- What designs sold best for you previously?
- What art or design is at a price point that will attract a first time buyer?
- What outcome would you consider a success – exposure and sales, simply sales, etc.?
FB ads work on a pay-per-click basis, which means that you’re only paying for the clicks that you receive. You can cap the cost per day, so if you want to test ads at $5 per day it’s simple to do so.
FB ads also feature demographic (age, location …) targeting, as well as psychographic targeting (interests, hobbies, career …). This allows you to show ads to people you know or estimate to be very good targets.
You were once only allowed to create ads for businesses with websites outside of Facebook, but now you can create ads for Pages and Events too.
My advice is to try the free options first – especially if you already have a large Facebook friends list. Personal referrals will often convert (create a sale) better than a paid ad. That’s not to say that a targeted ad can’t work well if you present the right image, copy and URL.
If you’ve found success with Facebook personal, business pages, events or paid ads, please add your comments below. We’re always looking for success stories or warnings about sales and marketing programs as they relate to selling your art and design.
And finally, if you want to help other members sell, you can join our “You Can Sell Art and T-shirts” Group (by invitation). Bubblemail me with the topics you feel confident sharing.
BTW, click here for our Twitter tips and tricks. It’s also worth noting that Twitter integrates with Facebook; your tweets can be broadcast as your Facebook status. Janis also pointed out a great Twitter guide on Mashable.