Episode 190 – New Markets for Artists / The Community and Reposting

The Community and Reposting

If you want to be noticed and talked about in the Facebook community, then remember to talk more about the community itself. That means spending approximately ten minutes every day looking at the home page or news feed on your Facebook page. It refreshes constantly, so what you see there will always be the latest news, which on Facebook amounts to what people have posted within the last hour or day. Look over it with genuine interest and thought and check off things you like by clicking the word “like” next to the post. If there is a comment or a statement about something, consider writing back a thought or even a nod of agreement and support. If you don’t like to write, consider this good practice. You don’t have to write very much, and you will gradually get better and better at making comments and clicking off the things you like. Doing just this for ten minutes a day on weekdays can really make a difference. You will start to see yourself as in dialogue with the community. Your comments don’t have to be meaningless or trivial, although they can be. You will find that many people are talking about politics. There are always issues and news stories that get people talking and commenting. You can repost or post a link to a news story that you find interesting.

The Ratio to Observe

The ratio of how much time you spend commenting on the news feed to the time you spend talking about yourself or your art should be four to one. This means that for about every eighty minutes you spend commenting on other people’s thoughts and pictures on Facebook, you should spend twenty minutes posting your own content. Or it could be eight seconds and two seconds! I suggest you spend ten minutes a day, every weekday commenting on the news feed, you could then devote a few minutes to posting your own photos or talking about a show you’re having.

This ratio is important because you can use it to determine how you are contributing. This is really the whole concept behind social media, and it is often misunderstood. When you post a photograph of your art on your Facebook wall, which I will explain how to do in just a moment, you will most likely get a comment. When you do, you will make a mental note of who made that comment and you will probably look at their page as well. You might even comment back—not because you have to, but because it is human nature to reciprocate, especially when we’re paid a compliment. So take part in the community, comment on other people’s art and their status updates, and they will comment on yours in turn. The more sincere and in depth your comments are, the more you will receive the same back.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 189 – New Markets for Artists / Posting and Content

Posting and Content

You’ll notice that some posts get more comments than others. If you are ranting about politics, you will probably get some passionate responses. I have experimented quite a bit with different status updates, and I am always surprised by what gets comments. When I post things about my family, I usually don’t get much of a response; when I post about art, I get more of a response; and when I post about just feeling great, I get the most comments of all. Asking questions sometimes gets responses, but not always. I have been posting a lot about an art project of mine lately, and while I have gotten many responses, it was nothing like the flurry of comments I got last night when I posted this: “I am washing the dishes and wondering how you clean between the tines of a fork. It seems impossible or like too much work. Am I crazy?” Everyone started commenting on how to wash a fork. This may not seem useful, but it is, because people commented on it that I hadn’t heard from in a while and a lively and humorous conversation came out of it. Thanks to that status update I re-established contact with those people, and as a result they may notice when I post about my art in the future.

Comments

One of the more interesting things that can happen through Facebook comments is when an argument or discussion develops between people who are commenting on the same post. However, it has been my experience that status updates that express a sense of well-being get the most responses. Most of my friends are artists, and I would not say that most are inclined to be optimistic. But I think that when someone is feeling good, we want to share in their well-being in the hopes that it will rub off—at least that’s my theory. If I write, in my status update, “I love life, I am breathing in deeply today!” I will get at least several responses right away, including comments. I also got a lot of comments when I wrote that I had just gotten a publisher for my book and posted about him handing me an advance check. Many people congratulated me and made other comments. But again, that  was a comment or a status update about celebration, and in general I find that’s what the Facebook community is the most receptive to, celebration. Don’t you think we all want more triumph in our lives? It can’t hurt to make an effort to say things that might make people feel good, because that’s what’s popular! Is it any wonder? I feel that sharing your art is a form of celebration, it is life affirming and  generous.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 188 – New Markets for Artists / The News Feed

The News Feed

The next step is to go to the Home button in the top right-hand corner of your Facebook page and click on it. That home button will take you to what is called the news feed. The page you are now looking at, the news feed, is a list of phrases and photos that people have put on Facebook in the last hour  or  so. If you have added friends and they have been active on Facebook in the past couple of hours, you will see their names and the things they have posted. If not, you will see other people’s postings. This page, the “News Feed,” is the heart of the Facebook community. I will not ask you to spend more than fifteen minutes per day on this. You could do even less and still be very effective in sharing the images that you make. You can look the News Feed over and scroll down it to see if you find anything interesting, like an opinion you agree with (or one you don’t). If you like something you are reading in a short sentence, you can click the little word that says “like” next to it with an image of a thumbs-up. This is what it means to “like” someone or something on Facebook. You should know that you always have the option to “unlike” something in the future if you wish. Take your time to read through this page. This is where everyone is, making it the most interactive page on Facebook. You can make connections just by “liking” other peoples’ pictures and pages and making comments. If you get lost somehow, just click the “home” button again at the top right of the Facebook page, and you will be back on the News Feed page.

The Facebook Community and You

Commenting on other Facebooks users’ posts is very important at this stage, and I will explain why. The reason you are getting involved in Facebook at all is the same as the reason for building your website: You want to get your art “out there,” you want to connect with as many people who are interested in your art as possible, you want more possibilities. In short, you want new things to happen for you and your art. What makes Facebook special is that it comes with a built-in community, and you can and should take part in that community. In fact, in order to make it work, you have to participate. It’s really a simple give and take. If you want people to like you and your art, then you have to be interested in other people and other people’s art as well. This should come as a relief to anyone who has heard others criticize social networking platforms for making people less social and less generous. In fact, if you are checking out your Facebook home page and looking through the News Feed and liking and commenting, you are being social, and people notice. Yes, that’s right—they do. You can tell because when you post something, even if it is a status update about your breakfast, when someone comments, you notice. When someone either “likes” your comment or writes back, you are notified by email and it also displays on your Facebook page. This is the equivalent of throwing a bottle with a note in it out to sea and seeing if you get a response; if you get a response, you are definitely going to read it.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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