A lot has been written about Facebook. I joined in March 2007 and have been a user ever since. The concept of Fanpages came in 2008 and I created my first in 2009. Back then it was fairly simple to build an audience on Facebook. That all changed in spring 2013 a year after Facebook went public on the New York stock exchange. A lot of people where having doubts if Facebook could monetize as well as some people thought it would. Well in 2013 Facebook went live with it’s advertisement on a large scale and that question disappeard quickly. Basically they are selling you, the user (not your data in plain numbers, but people reaching you) in order that brands can reach you and advertise their products to you. Given that Facebook had almost 10 years to learn and collecting data from billions of people you can imagine how precisely they know their audience and how to direct offers to the right people.
Ever since then competition on Facebook for your attention dramatically increased and now in 2017 competition is so high and organic reach shrinking that without the right strategy you don’t stand a chance to reach the attention of anyone on Facebook.
So what can be the goal to reach of somebody in the Art Sector on Facebook. As a galerist, museum or artist you could promote your events, since events became such a big part of Facebook thats reason enough for you to be on Facebook. If you are a service provider in the art sector (maybe selling insurances or marketing advice etc.) you can also use Facebook ads to target your custom audience. I wouldn’t trust Facebook to be the right place to market your artwork although I increasingly see artists doing that, but usually what works well on Facebook are products, services and events in a range from 0-250 Euros. Given the small attention window you have on Facebook thats a price range where people might be willing to spend money spontaneously.
How to start on Facebook – public profile vs. fanpage
But what comes before that? How do I start? If you saw our tutorial video you might have remember me mentioning Public Profile vs. Fanpage. Now which should you do? The answer is – both.
But before I tell you why let me explain the difference. When you join Facebook you have to create a profile. In your privacy settings (which I recommend you take a look at if you haven’t done so already) you can say weather people can follow you publicly (without being “your friend”) you can then decide on every post which target audience can see that i.e. only your friends, public, a certain group of your friends (you can and you should segment your friends for something like location and some other Facebook will create automatic lists). I recommend that you take the time and assign everyone of your contacts to a specific list for instance your internationl friends who speak english are probably not that interested in content in your native language that they don’t speak. Here you see the concept of relevance working. If you are Spanish for instance and post something publicly in Spanish and somebody of your international friends who don’t speak Spanish gets served this post by Facebook it is not relevant to him. He/She will scroll over that post indicating to Facebook that the post is less relevant i.e. serving your post to fewer people. On the other hand if the first three people that get served your post in their timeline like it, maybe share and comment it as well Facebook will guess “Oh this seems to be important – let’s serve it to more of his friends” – now you know why your new profile picture gets so much respond and your really deep political comment on the bad situation in Syria hardly any.
Facebook is the network for friends – bear that in mind in all your communication you do here
The other option you have is creating your Fanpage and asking people to like it. As a Fanpage owner you have a few tools you can use that you don’t have with a public profile. However compared to a public profile the reach is limited. In 2017 it’s increadibly hard to build a fanpage, because there are som many of them now almost everyone seems to have two of them.
So the best strategy is to use both for your purposes unless thats not possible (if you are a Museum or some other kind of institution). But for artists and galerist or any other natural person having both is really important. You will however see that your public profile has got more reach and it’s easier to build a network there. You need a Fanpage to do advertising on Facebook, because you can’t as a normal person.
Do’s and don’ts on Facebook
Do’s: Engage with people, be active every day, answer comments, comment on other peoples content, be nice but honest, leverage the power of special interest groups to grow your audience, create relevant content, document what you are doing, help other people, try to engage with digital only contacts in real life is possible.
Don’ts: There really is just one don’t – don’t just post stuff on Facebook and don’t bother with the rest. If you are just posting never interacting you might as well safe the time for something more fruitful like taking a nice walk.
Now there would be so much more I could write on Facebook, but because the Facebook universe became so vast and quite complex I want to stop here and just point you to some great sources of wisdom I use to learn more about Facebook.
Buffer Blog: https://blog.bufferapp.com/
Hootsuite Blog: https://blog.hootsuite.com/
Hubspot Blog: https://blog.hubspot.com/