Thursday, January 20, 2011

Change Your Thinking On Facebook, Part 1

 I’m going to go out on a limb, here, and say that except for your website, Facebook is the most powerful marketing tool available to those artists who choose to promote their own work.  In many regards, I think Facebook is stronger in some applications than a traditional website.  
     But a high quality website will always be the final destination for people considering your work, and it must perform it’s task.  Understanding Facebook, as it pertains to marketing, is the real key.  If you figure out how to use Facebook for its intended purpose, it will help drive people to your website.  The two tools should have a symbiotic relationship..... like the Crocodile and the Oxpecker (Check it out!)  
     Many people use Facebook for nothing more than staying connected with friends and family-----fine, if that’s your goal.  But for the artist who chooses to market on Facebook, a shift in thinking must occur. 
     Many artists think posting their latest painting for review is the most appropriate way to market in this venue.  In my opinion, this is minimally effective at best.  These artists miss the inherent strength of Facebook.  They also risk removal from the Facebook format by breaking their #1 Rule:  no self-promoting businesses.  Facebook is a social networking destination.  I say use it for its intended purpose….networking and socializing.
     Look….if you attend a social gathering or party where many of your collector base is present, you wouldn’t stroll through the crowd with a Cosmo and your latest painting in your hand.  Many collectors would find it offensive to talk with you while you constantly flash your newest 22 x 30 painting. 
     To put it simply, I think you missed your window.  Social gatherings are for socializing.  This is a powerful way for you, the artist, to become REAL to your collector.  The painting, at this point, is a distraction and interference.  Let them get to know you!
     That being said, there is an appropriate time to introduce a new project, a new show, or a new accolade.  When you’ve established a relationship with your audience, they will want to see what you’ve been working on and your latest image.  Just don’t let that be your only conversation on Facebook.
     If you are unable to interact with your collector base without the crutch of your painting, you are at a severe disadvantage among the artists who understand this distinction. 
     I think 90% (or more) of artists fail to make this connection.  My next post will show you the key to making this all-important connection with your base.  Stuff for heavy mediation, huh?       

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