Facebook and I have had a rough start from the get go. So I won't lie when I tell you that this platform can be draining. It's drained a lot of my time, money and energy. The negativity there can easily get out of hand and studies show it causes depression. But for sharing art and becoming a part of art communities it can a positive place. But I'm going to be really real with you about trying to sell your art there. I don't want you to go in with heavy expectations.
There are millions of people on Facebook, so even tho it can be frustrating it is an important platform. However, as a business on Facebook I want to reach everyone interested in what I sell. Those people who come and like my page, I want them to see what I post so they don't miss out and they stay connected to me.
But here is the thing, Facebook is a pay to play platform now. You won't reach people, even your followers, unless you pay to reach them. So the only reason to use Facebook now is for ads and to have your own personal page for family and friends. For businesses, pictures and videos reach only an extremely small fraction of your audience and unless shared a lot, will not grow an audience.
But here is the thing, ads need to bring you profit, otherwise it's just a money pit. I have invested in Facebook ads and I have never gotten enough return that benefited my business. Think about the connection you need to sell an art piece. That connection is hard to make with an Facebook ad on a platform where people just scroll by ads. To capture their attention takes not just a wonderful ad, but the right person who loves what they see. Then that person has to be willing to take the time to leave their scrolling frenzy to buy. That is extremely hard to accomplish!
Then there are those who leave empty carts and we need to try capturing their e-mail, in hopes they will buy in the future because they just aren't ready to buy now. So now we are paying for e-mail addresses not sales. Then what happens when only 18% only open the e-mail and 2% click the link in the e-mail to buy and you just hope that 2% are ready to buy now?! I'll tell you what happens, because I've been there- you pay for ads and you don't get enough returned profit from them.
People on Facebook want to see their families and friends photos, they don't want to see ads. So you and I have to think about that. Is it worth trying to go against the culture that is there? So the best use of Facebook for an artist is to share art in groups and with friends and family. Share in groups where people want to see artwork. When you are in groups specific to art, people who also are in that group have that connection with you. The chances of someone looking for and seeing art in a group is more likely than in an ad. Of course family and friends love seeing your creations. Your friends and family love to share as well, reaching more people. Because of that connection there is a higher probability for you to make a sale.
No matter whether we are in a gallery or online, we are going to run into obstacles like this. Of course our job is to overcome them. And we overcome them by avoiding money pits. We need to go where people are looking for and willing to buy art. Instagram is the better platform for sharing art. Instagram is a place where people are looking for your art eye candy. It is where people can search up specific art with hashtags and find you. Instagram is FREE for artists. Ads on Instagram are way more likely to be seen, Yay! So don't worry about creating a business on Facebook or for promoting your art there so much. You have better options.
There are going to be plenty of people that tell you to use Facebook for your business and that is their opinion. Maybe they have had success! But unless they are a single artist selling their art, their opinion does not matter to me.
I get hundreds of video shares on Facebook every week from Youtube, which I am grateful for. This is without me having to pay to share on Facebook's platform. That is what it is good for, people sharing what they are connected to.
So you decide, is it worth making a business Facebook page? This is what it depends on.
1. You socialize there frequently already.
2. You want to create ads for high end products (like original artwork). For low priced items you may end up paying more on advertising then you get paid from sales.
3. You want to build a community there, because you don't have one anywhere else and you prefer that platform.
4. Your fans prefer content shared there.
5. You like to use Messenger and share your posts that way.
If you said mostly no to these questions, then check Facebook off your list as needed for your business. You don't need it to thrive. There are many platforms that may work better for you.
Let me know your experience with Facebook and selling art in the comments.
I hope you found this post helpful.