Pass The FeatherBy Pass The Feather

For many of us, advertising costs are out of reach. How can we sell our art without paying high prices for advertising? How can we show thousands of people our work and get them to buy it? Social Media.

Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Etsy, Pinterest, Instagram – are the very best free marketing tools that we have. Get on them all! Have an account at every and any social media site or business listing that you possibly can.

 Remember, the more your business name is found on line, the better your ranking will be when someone Googles you or your product. For example, if someone Googles First Nations art with bear these are keywords. Make sure that your website or Etsy site is loaded with descriptive key words for your product.

Make yourself some business listings on free sites and ask your friends and associates to link to your website from theirs. It s as simple as just having your address somewhere on their page. Even Facebook addresses work that way! A link is a link and the more places you have one, the more people will see your product. To find free art directories just Google free art directories or artist directories or First Nations art directory. Don’t forget, in the U.S. they are still using Native American so that is your key word for searches for people who are older, not familiar with our culture, or are in the U.S.

 Getting Started
You can start with a business page on Facebook. It will go under your personal account and you can ask people to like your page through your personal contacts. Free. If you are persistent, your numbers will grow very quickly and more and more people will see your product.

 Likewise, if you post engaging information, photos, or links, people will be likely to share your posts. Imagine the reach if one person, who has 1000 Facebook friends, shares your post.

There are also endless options to market your page through Facebook paid promotions. You can even put a limit on your spending so you don’t go over your budget. You can pick your target market (men, women, Italy, First Nations, families, pets, etc.) and even target certain geographical areas.

 The biggest challenge here is making sure you have engaging posts, photos and links. If your posts are boring or your photos are bad, people will skim past them – they will be overlooked.

 Its really important to make sure that your timeline photos, profile photos, headers,and cover photos be properly sized. You want the viewer to see both the images and text within the space provided.

If your images or text are cut off or misplaced, it is possible that only a part will be seen. Imagine if you want your beautiful new painting to be seen by the world but they only find it cut off at first glance. You’re going to lose that audience.

 Setting Up Your Cover Photo on Facebook
 If I were to upload my logo that has not been sized correctly, it would be cut off as it isin the first image. The second image has been carefully planned out so that the profile photo doesnt cut off any of my images or text. Likewise, I have moved my text up so that the tabs (Learn More, Liked, Message) are not covering any of my information.

 Posting Photos to Your Timeline
 Facebook is pretty great at sizing photos so that they can be seen in their entirety. Especially when you click a photo and it opens in a light-box fully sized. But at a glance, if a visitor is scrolling down your page they might miss really important posts because they don’t stand out. You can see in this first image that the photo seems small but still does not utilize the entire space. In the second photo we have zoomed and cropped to 1200 px square and it fits perfectly.

Posting Links to Websites
When posting links to websites, you will get several image choices. Facebook will give you an option for every image found on that page and you can tack it to the link. But remember, website photos are not sized for Facebook and often they will get cut off.

You will have to make a choice on how you want that link represented and choose the most suitable picture.

You want to pick a photo that will fit the box. Website photos are in multiple sizes so it’s likely that it wont fit. You can pick one that will represent what you want to show or sometimes you can upload your own photo.

In this example, I’m talking about feathers and there is no option to upload my own photo so I’ll pick this one. See note below.

 NOTE: This article was first published in ICN’s  e-magazine Aboriginal Women’s Economic Quarterly (AWEQ edition summer 2016) — to view the full text and the many examples and graphics included by the author we recommend that you read the original article “Tips for Social Media Sales — your photos and posts, linking and Google ratings” Page 12 in the magazine — go to: AWEQ Magazine

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