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Many artists dream of creating Facebook posts that go viral, and in the process of going viral, land them a licensing contract, a major commission, or an insane number of sales. But going viral isn’t easy. . . it takes work to create content that engages users, and amassing a huge number of views can often be the luck of the draw.

That being said, here are 7 things you can do to create Facebook posts that get read, commented on, liked, and shared:

1. Show your personality

You need to do more than just share photos of your art or links to your shop. You need to give your fans an inside look into who you are—the artist behind the work.

Tell your story, share funny things that happened in the studio or at a gallery opening, and talk about life events that excite you or may interest your fans.

2. Make connections

People buy art online because of the connection they feel with the artist, the same is true when it comes to commenting on your Facebook fan page or sharing your posts with their circle of friends.

So take the time to connect with your fans by publicly responding to any comments made on your fan page and clicking “like” on every fan who takes the time to comment—even if their comment doesn’t need a response.

3. Share imagery

Steve Young, Director of Product Marketing for SmartShoot says, “Since your audience is very visual, post a picture and tag your friends and/or pages you like. This will allow your post to get more ‘likes’ and result in more newsfeed views.”

Steve goes on to say that, “AllFacebook reports that photos are the most liked piece of content on Facebook, accounting for an average of 50 percent more impressions than any other post type, as well as 22 percent more interactions.”

4. Know your audience

Roni Weiss, founder of the social media consulting company RW Social, says, “Know your audience.”

“You want to make sure you keep your core fans interested in what you’re doing. So even though you’re an artist, your Facebook posts don’t need to be limited to your art,” says Roni. “If you know other things your fans like, you can share those, too.”

In other words, it’s not enough to just share posts about your art business, you need to understand who is buying your art and why, then engage them on that level. “The most viral stuff you put out will, quite possibly, have nothing to do with the core of what you’re creating.”

5. Understand Edgerank

Simon Tam, manager of the dance rock band The Slants, says that his band receives extremely high levels of engagement across several social media sites because they took the time to understand how those social media sites rank content and/or social interaction.

“For Facebook, it’s important to learn and work with their Edgerank system,” says Simon. Edgerank is an algorithm that is used to determine what’s news versus what’s spam or what should be shown in your fans newsfeed based upon fan interaction (likes, comments, and sharing).

“When and what you post are important. Facebook gives priority to images and videos over simple updates or links,” Simon continues. “Facebook users love things that are shocking or funny and have a call to action. If you can combine something that is easy to share with an image, you’ve got the right ingredients.”

6. Know why you’re going viral

David Fallarme, digital marketer and founder of The Marketing Student, believes you need to understand why you want to go viral in the first place. . . because understanding why will determine what type of results you receive from all that traffic.

“Going viral within a closed network, with many related people, is much more valuable than going ‘Gangnam style’ viral,” says David. “For most business purposes all you want is that intra-network virality. With this in mind, your definition of going viral radically changes because you’re looking for a business result and not a vanity metric.”

For example, “a YouTube video with 2,000 views from the right audience may turn out to be more valuable than one with 100,000 views that doesn’t end in a single sale or conversion.”

7. Allow yourself to fail

Finally, David says, “The key to going viral is, very simply, to allow yourself to fail. This means that you should constantly try new things. As you continue to do this, you’ll see repeating patterns in what your audience responds to so you can tune your output toward that.”

Posting and interacting on Facebook is a lot like networking in person—nobody wants to converse with a glory hog. So take the time to build real connections with your fans and you’ll be well on your way to creating viral content that matters.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Have you ever thought of hosting a Twitter chat to discuss your art, but found yourself confused about the process, worried that nobody would show up, or worse that spammers would take over your chat feed?

Twitter chats can grow your fan base exponentially, increase sales of your art, and build relationships, but only if you do it correctly.

Here are eleven tips for. . . read more

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