4 Crucial Things Artists Need To Know About the New Facebook

Facebook has undergone a RADICAL overhaul recently.

Many artists use Facebook as a platform for promoting their artwork.  So what will the new changes mean if you have an artist’s Facebook Page? What do artists need to know about the new Facebook?

Lets take a look at some of the new changes.

The power in the blue corner.

Facebook now marks stories that it thinks are important to you by tagging them with a blue corner in your news feed. Users have the power to “untag” these prioritized stories in their feed by simply clicking on the blue corner, meaning that Facebook then demotes similar items in your feed.

This change will selectively weed out boring, irrelevant or annoying posts. Users can easily demote and remove all those annoying updates from friends about requests for Farmville stuff and tedious information like what they had for lunch. Hooray!

What this means for artists.

While this change may be welcome in many ways, it can also mean your work gets removed from the feed if you aren’t engaging enough or if you bombard people with things they aren’t interested in.

It will no longer be enough to accumulate loads of LIKES and then bombard your LIKERS with low quality posts. You are going to have to produce great engaging content to earn your place in the news feed.

Posting interesting content that engages people is now more crucial than ever if you and your art aren’t going to end up talking into empty space…

Too much information!!

The news ticker in the right hand column is a second by second relay of exactly what you are up to. It shows your comments on friends posts {who aren’t neccesarily friends of the people viewing} and also, will soon show any games you may be playing or music you are listening to. In short it over shares everything you do to pretty much everyone, everywhere.

Facebook will also be introducing Facebook Timelines in the next few weeks. This means that everything you do on Facebook will be evolved into a searchable personal history timeline stretching way back into the past.  Timelines could be a pretty cool feature but may have some drawbacks too.

What this means for artists.

Now, more than ever, it is crucial to be yourself and also to behave professionally. If you are going to err, err on the conservative side. If you are using Facebook to promote your business, it is essential that you are aware of how you may appear to others. Be careful about what you post as it is becoming even harder to be totally sure exactly who is viewing your actions. Keep it professional at all times.

Now may be a good time to go into your photo history and delete or detag the pictures of you being sick in a bush at a student party.

Build a shed in the walled garden…

Facebook is making these big changes in an attempt to be even more immersive. You will be able to do an increasing amount of actions, such as listening to music or watching films, WITHIN the Facebook framework. The changes are all designed to make Facebook even more addictive than it currently is [if this is possible].

This is the “Walled Garden” effect, where users are encouraged to stay in one place, within the same site, and never leave.

What this means for artists.

This means that it is becoming even more important to have a presence within the Facebook framework. If you don’t already have an artists Facebook page, now would be a good time to create one. If you do have one, spend a bit of time ensuring it contains great content. You need to make sure you have access to the walled garden and aren’t left outside banging on the door.

But build a house outside it…

Not all the changes have been popular with Facebook users. There have been many online groups formed to protest against the way Facebook rolls out changes without consultation and doesn’t listen to user feedback, coupled with concerns over Facebook’s attitude to user privacy. It is hard to predict if Facebook can continue its meteoric rise or if its progress will be derailed somewhere along the way…

A quick glance over the shoulder to some of the internet casualties of the past, including the once mighty MySpace, AOL, Digg &  IBM illustrate that Facebook could quite easily stumble and lose ground to other social destinations like Google +, especially if they keep annoying their users every few months.

As every James Bond villain knows – world domination is by no means guaranteed.

What this means for artists.

Now, more than ever, it is ESSENTIAL to base your web presence on YOUR OWN website or blog, on YOUR OWN DOMAIN, outside of Facebook.

Whatever Facebook’s fortunes over the coming years, your own site is your home on the internet, on your own land. It is the most important piece of the jigsaw in promoting your work and will be there for you, whatever social media platform comes to the fore.

Enjoy the fun of Facebook, and use it as an extension to promote your work,  but build your main foundations on the solid ground of your own website and you can’t go far wrong…

What do you think of the new Facebook changes? Exciting? Frustrating? Let me know in the comments.

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About Gary Bolyer Fine Art

I am a New York City-based landscape artist.
This entry was posted in Social Media Success for Artists and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to 4 Crucial Things Artists Need To Know About the New Facebook

  1. clvngodess says:

    Naw… I’m not going to err on the conservative side. I’m going to keep being exactly who I am. Ya don’t like it? Get off my FB page.

  2. Thank you for sharing this information. One of the things I like about my FB page at https://www.facebook.com/studiorimonim is that there is now available a good shopping cart to enable people to actually buy a painting they like. I’m not sure how many people may be willing to use the shopping cart as stats I’ve read suggest that people usually spend up to $85 on casual purchases via FB. What do you think?

  3. Thank you so much for this Gary! I have been using facebook for years but never had my own artist page until now. I’ve been finding it a little more confusing than i imagined it being. I really do appreciate the advice.

  4. I agree with you wholeheartedly – Art is a business. While I do not wear my “Sunday best” when I’m painting/working, I do dress like I am going to an interview, when I am meeting clients or at an art opening. How you present yourself is important. First impressions cannot be taken back and are very difficult to change. This holds true for what you wear, how your speak and what you have to say in written word on the internet. In all aspects of ones art business, or any business for that matter, you need to be professional. I hope you don’t mind that I shared your article on my Fan page (which feeds into Twittter and Linked-In) at https://www.facebook.com/muralsbymassucci. Have a creative day!

  5. Maggi says:

    Thanks for this info, Gary. I really do find the constant changes on FB to be very annoying. As soon as you start getting used to using it, they go and change it again!

    As far as the artist profile aspects of it, I have a separate artist page which is strictly business. My personal page is me, and people can take it or leave it, if they don’t like who I am. For me, the fact that my lifestyle is a bit unorthodox is a point of interest for a lot of people, which is almost always a boon to an artist. People like an artist to be a bit unorthodox, as it makes them a bit more interesting than everybody else they run into on a daily basis. I find that many people like to get to know an artist, and getting a glimpse into their life helps them feel more connected with that artist’s work, so I think just being myself has helped in that respect. On the other hand, I don’t go around barfing in the bushes and taking photos of it, so I suppose that could be one reason! It does seem like common sense would dictate that if you don’t want something made public, don’t post it on this all-too public forum.

  6. Maggi says:

    Oops! The comment from Maggi was actually from Jim, her husband. He didn’t realize Maggi was logged in!

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