It seems like a lot of people forget their manners when it comes to promoting themselves. This is often heightened on social media sites. Facebook just might be the worst. So, I put together some facebook fanpage and promotional etiquette. Here goes…
- Put your work out there and relax about your friend/fan/follower numbers.
Not everyone is going to like you; you probably don’t like everyone. Multiple invites and “Hey! Like my page!” messages are more likely to repel an audience than gain one.
- Invite once. Leave it alone.
When you first make your page, invite everyone on your friends list and then leave it be. As you continually friend people who are interested in your work, send them a quick invite and call it a day. No one likes to be badgered. Some people forget. Some people just like finding things on their own.
- Focus on making work for continuous content.
People curate their news feeds. For some, that “like” button holds a lot of weight. If they’re going to “like” you, they want to see interesting content that pertains to them and their interests. If you’re sending out requests but your page is next to empty, or your last post was three weeks ago, you look like spam. It also looks like you prefer attention to making your art/music/product. Make sure you’re posting content that people want to have on their newsfeeds. Let the rest come organically.
- Don’t be selfish. Don’t ride coat tails.
I can’t tell you how many times I see an artist post up their hard work and someone writes, “I’m painting now too! “ and proceeds to post their own work in the comments. Sometimes it’s just a blatant, “Hey check out my work!” I’ve also seen this done on gallery pages that are trying to promote their upcoming shows. I won’t sugar-coat it: This is extremely rude. Do not make someone else’s posts/work/promotion about you. Comment, compliment, and engage with those you “like.” Don’t interact with pages just to try and get yourself out there. You’re more than likely to cause fury and be deleted.
- No “likes for likes” or “shares for shares”. Please.
This should be obvious, right? Well maybe it isn’t. This is something I see on a regular basis. – Do not go on other people’s pages (or posts) and ask them to “share for a share?” via your fanpage or personal page. Amongst MANY creative professionals, those 4 words cause extreme fury and unparalleled annoyance. It is unprofessional to go on other pages and profiles with the sole intention of getting yourself seen. Get yourself noticed through your art, not by begging. I’ve never seen someone professional approach attaining fans this way. I’ve also never seen a professional creative accept that “share for a share” challenge. It doesn’t work. Don’t do it.
- Do not friend people only to promote yourself.
I’ve seen a lot of my fellow creatives infuriated by this lately. It is very frustrating to accept a request from a stranger and then be immediately spammed to like their fanpage. I can’t stress this enough: Never ever ever do this. Ever. Most reactions are followed with an unfriending. If you ever had a chance to be in that artist’s circle or a part of their contacts list, you just lost it.
- Don’t complain. Don’t beg.
Don’t send emails or ask your friends in any physical or social media form why they haven’t liked your page. Sure, offer it suggestively via personal posts and in newsletters (ex. “For more of my work, feel free to follow my page here”) but don’t make it a personal attack or pursue a confrontation towards individuals or groups. People might not like your work. Some may be battling personal things and are not interested right now. Some people forget. If you are the kind of person who is badgering those around you for a “like” or “share”, not only are you more likely to repel that person, but they will probably talk about how pounced on they feel to others. It’s going to affect your professional reputation negatively. In addition to that, don’t complain about your lack of internet popularity. You are then adding to the level of unprofessionalism already being displayed.
Calm down. Make work. Share your skills. Be friendly.
Don’t make it complicated and don’t look for easy ways in or out.
Do you have pet peeves similar to these? (See what I did there?).
Maria Teicher is the co-founder and art director at The Art Is Not Dead. She is a painter, photographer, and teaches artists how to use social media to strengthen their online presence in a professional manner.