I know, I know: there’s been a lot of news about Facebook lately, and not much (if any) of it has been positive. If you’ve sworn off the social media giant, that’s completely understandable! I don’t use it for personal reasons much at all anymore, especially since the newsfeed has turned into 90% ads. However, Facebook Groups for artists are actually great tools you can leverage to get your work seen by a much larger audience than just your friends and family. As you may remember, I touched on Facebook Groups in a previous post, but they’re so useful that I decided it’s worth going into a little more detail on the subject.

Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Groups

First, the basics: there are two types of pages you can connect to your personal profile: Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups.

Facebook Pages have their use. They are a great place for businesses to list up-to-date store hours, products, events, and so on. Customers can also leave reviews, which are useful for any interested parties researching a product or company. If you are trying to sell your art on a consistent basis, I do recommend having an artist page so you can direct potential buyers there when they have questions.

However, these pages have some definite drawbacks, too. The biggest issue is that Facebook’s algorithms make it almost impossible for your new posts to be seen unless 1) the few people who do catch a post share it widely, or 2) you pay through the teeth to run each one as a Facebook ad. For this reason, I’ve come to think of Facebook Pages as reference sources, not marketing tools.

Facebook Groups are far more interactive and far easier to promote than Facebook Pages. This is good news for you on both sides of the coin: if you join a group, you’ll often get notifications when someone posts something of interest, and if you create a group yourself, the people who join it are much more likely to see your posted work and information.

Facebook Groups for Artists: Join a Community

As an artist, joining a handful of Facebook Groups gives you an immediate community you can use to share your latest projects, ask for advice on anything that’s tripping you up, and discover new styles and materials you might want to explore. If you want great feedback on your work, comment on other posts as much as possible. People respond most frequently to the members who are most willing to help others. Bonus: if you respond frequently enough to develop a reputation as an expert in one material/technique/etc., you may even see people start tagging you when a related question is asked!

There are a ton of Facebook Groups for artists out there, and a simple Google search will turn up list after list of the best examples. I’ll plug Artists Trying to Make a Living Creating Art since that’s the one I use most. It’s a big, diverse group, and the level of talent you’ll see from the members is amazing!

This is also a good place for me to mention that I have my own group started: VanDuinen Studio’s Inspiration Club. Mine is still in its infancy, but I look forward to seeing it grow and develop over the course of time. Come join!

 

Become a part of the Inspiration Club

 

Facebook Groups for Artists: Lead a Community

If you decide to lead a community as part of your brand, I can tell you that it’s a big learning process! But it’s a fun process, and I have come up with a few pointers to help you breathe life into it.

1) Make it a closed group

Trust me, this will make the growth of the group go slooowly. But the beauty of a closed group is that you can set a few simple questions that potential members have to answer before you approve their request to join. If you’re like me and will be the only moderator of the group, this helps you ensure that you only have people involved who really want to be there and won’t set a bunch of virtual fires for you to put out.

2) Encourage engagement as much as possible

Just because someone joined a group doesn’t mean they’ll immediately jump in and start conversations. It’s a good idea to create a list of questions to ask the crowd each week. You don’t necessarily have to cover every single day, but a good handful will show people that you’re an active leader. I’m currently aiming for 3x per week. Plus, the resulting conversations will hopefully spark other questions and posts from the rest of your members.

3) Be present

Don’t just create the group and leave! I’m in several Facebook Groups, and the ones where the creator pops in and answers questions are by far the most popular and most helpful. It helps you develop relationships with your audience, too. If they know you and like you, they’ll be more likely to support you long term.

That’s all for this week! Once again, I invite you to join VanDuinen Studio’s Inspiration Club: a community built to support and encourage artists working with all mediums. It’s one of many in the sea of Facebook Groups for artists, but I do my best to make everyone feel welcome there. 🙂

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