Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Pros and Cons of Facebook Groups vs Pages

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

facebook group vs facebook page

In my previous post I mentioned that the Artists for Japan fundraising initiative switched from a facebook group to a fan page. Now you may be asking yourself what the difference is between a group and a page and why we would risk losing our following by moving. At the time of the move the group had well over 700 members! Well, we weighed our options and the pros of using a facebook page happened to outweigh the disadvantages.

Let’s compare facebook groups to facebook pages from our experience:

Facebook Group

Facebook Group


  • In a group all members can directly add their friends to the group using a link in the right side bar. The group grew in leaps and bounds as each new member added their friends who they thought would like to donate art or bid on the art. It’s possible that our cause may not have gone viral as quickly if we had not used a group to start it out. In just 10 days we grew to over 700 members!
  • On a group wall the post with the most current comment appears at the top. When you go to a group wall, you are always in the thick of the action. It’s easy to see where the conversations are happening. It was fun to see some of the bidding wars and this group feature allowed us to watch the action as it happened. Without this feature we may not have been aware of much of the activity happening on the wall.
  • When you belong to a group you can add the group to your left side bar on your home page which makes it very easy to access. No searching around to find the group.


  • When you join a group you are automatically ‘signed up’ for email notifications for all posts and comments. This can be very overwhelming, especially when the group is growing in leaps and bounds and you aren’t sure how to turn off the emails. PS if this ever happens to you, it’s easy to remedy, just go to the group page, click the ‘edit settings’ button on the top right, and you can choose which if any emails are sent to you.
  • In a group all members can directly add their friends to the group using a link in the right side bar.This means that people can be added to the group without even knowing anything about it. If they aren’t sure why they are added, there’s a possibility that it could feel like spam.
  • Since the posts are constantly changing order (the post with the most current comment appears at the top) it is hard to keep track of posts and find the auction items when needed
  • It’s hard to find the group if you aren’t already a member
  • There are no links for the Photos so you have to click on a photo and then scroll from there
  • On a group the admins can only comment as themselves so it is difficult to show official posts
  • it’s difficult to share photos because there is no share link (you have to manually copy and paste the URL from your browser)
  • the share button for the group is at the very bottom of a group wall so you have to scroll down, waaaaay down, to find it

These points are only gathered from my personal and recent experiences and are not intended to give a full overview of facebook groups. To read more about how groups work and find out if a group is right for you, read this informative article (including a video) from New Facebook Groups.

Facebook Page

Facebook Page Banner


  • Pages are public and easier to promote.
  • You can set up a short URL for your page such as ours:
  • You can create photo albums
  • You can toggle from Top Posts to Recent Posts
  • There are quick links in the left side bar for Info, Photos, Notes, Events
  • Admins can comment as the page profile or as their personal profile thus distinguishing official wall posts from personal ones
  • With new pages you can now receive notifications for page activity!
  • Non-admins will NOT receive emails. Yahoo! (and for the admins of a page it is easy to turn off notifications, just go to edit page and click on Your Settings
  • When you login as a page admin, you can spread the love and create awareness for your page by
    • ‘liking’ other pages as your page profile
    • comment on other facebook pages as your page profile
  • There is a share link for every photo so it’s easier to post the art for auction on your personal profile
  • You can make a profile banner for a Page (you just can’t control the order of the pics like you can on your personal profile)


  • It will take longer to get established since the page will grow organically as people must opt in manually by clicking the ‘like’ button
  • Facebook took away the ‘suggest to friends’ link on pages, so it’s not as easy as it used to be to promote a facebook page

I’d love to hear your thoughts. These observations are from my experience only, so please let me know what your experience has been and if you have anything to add. Thanks!

Photo Contests Win you Likes

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

By now everyone knows that Social Media is a great networking tool and it’s important for businesses to take advantage of it. I wonder how many small businesses are still confused over how to use social media as a marketing tool, especially after being told that social media is NOT for advertising, it’s for starting conversations and building relationships.

One way that you can gain a lot of new exposure through social media without directly promoting yourself, is to hold a contest. Everyone likes to win something so it’s natural for people to share your link with all their friends in hopes of upping their chance of winning. There are many other ways of using social media effectively, but today I’d like to share a personal experience with you…

Recently I entered another photo contest and WON this time! It was put on by April Martin Photography – Forever in a Moment.

Here is the photo I entered in the contest:
Photo Contest

We were SO excited to win! Not only that but we had SO much fun! April is a friendly and playful photographer. She really put us at ease and made us feel comfortable in front of the camera. We LOVE the photos she took of us and we will definitely be recommending her to our friends.

Here are the ways that hosting a photo contest has benefited April’s business:

  • more exposure
  • so far she has gone from 400 likes to >1600!*
  • we will definitely recommend her to all our friends
  • one of our friends already hired her for a photo session
  • it’s extremely likely we’ll hire her in the future
  • she was able to add to her portfolio

Here are a few of the photos she took of us:
April Martin PhotographyApril Martin PhotographyApril Martin Photography

Thank you April!

On a further note, not only did we win a black and white photo session from April, but I also won a $25 gift certificate from 99.9 Sun FM. Susan Knight was asking people to upload photos of themselves dancing at work and I submitted the following collage of photos that April took at my art studio!

Studio Session with Photographer April Martin

By submitting this photo I won the Subway gift card. It also exposed April’s business to over 3000 people, which is the number of fans who like Susan Knight’s facebook page.

Thank you April and Susan!

If you are going to run your own contest have fun but also make sure that if you are using a social media platform you are aware of their policies and restrictions. Also take the time to make your contest rules clear and test it out before you make it public. The less confusion there is then the better your success rate will be. Feel free to share your stories with me in the comments. I’d love to hear about your experiences!

*this increase was over the span of 2 months and 3 different contests

marketing tips for artists…

Saturday, May 5th, 2007

There are so many talented artists in this world and yet we may never get to see their work. Many artists are private people, are shy, or simply aren’t aware of how they can get their art out there to be seen.

Here are some tips on how to market yourself from scratch as an artist:

  • To begin with, attend art shows of other artists. It is fun and a great way to find out what other artists do at their shows, see how they represent themselves and to meet art enthusiasts. It is inspiring to be around art and its a good way to make connections.
  • Craft fairs, summer markets and Christmas shows are excellent forums for marketing your work and also an inexpensive way to do market research. Up close to your customers you get to know first hand what they like and don’t like and what your most popular designs are. These events can expose you to a large number of people in a short amount of time and help you become better known. It’s a great place to start off, and I have made some important contacts through simple markets.
  • Internet marketing will help you develop a following. Make sure your email address is a professional sounding email address rather than too personal and work on developing a web presence. If you don’t have a website yet, post your work on a blog or a photo sharing site. You can also join art conversations on Twitter. A website doesn’t have to cost a lot of money upfront; you can start with just a few simple pages and your designer can add new work to it as you send it to them. Even if you build it piece by piece, your website will open a personal link to art buyers around the world. Your website is your digital business card and portfolio. Gift stores, gallery owners, and collectors alike will have your catalogue at the tips of their fingers
  • Put your email address or website on the back of everything you sell. Many of my new retailers and corporate clients are obtained from this kind of networking.
  • Whenever you have the chance, browse through galleries and gift stores to get a feel for the gallery culture and to compare prices and styles. Ask questions to store owners and learn about the business side of art.
  • You don’t have to be ready for a gallery to be ready for an art show. Enlist a local artsy cafe or fancy restaurant to host an art show for you. It could last for two hours or for a month. Sometimes one night shows are great because they produce a sense of urgency. Also, people love meeting the artist in person and you are more likely to have sales at a show during the times when you are present.
  • When you have an artshow, no matter how small, send out invitations to everyone you know. Put posters up everywhere. Make business cards and professional price tags, labels with your email address and biography, and even brochures. Bring a guest book and have people sign their name and email addresses. Add these names to an ongoing email list for that area and then whenever you have another art show or event in that town, email that list of people and let them know about it. People will appreciate that you keep in touch with them and it is a great way of growing your list of contacts.
  • If you can’t afford to get brochures and posters made, ask a local company if they will sponsor your marketing and in return put their logo on your printed materials.
  • Make appointments with appropriate galleries or gift stores and ask if you can show them your work. Tell them you would love to have a critique and find out what gallery owners are looking for in terms of a portfolio. Work up the courage to ask a local gift store if they will sell cards of your work.
  • Once you have your work in some stores, send out letters to your retailers to show them what you have that is new. You can recruit new clients with phone calls, catalogues in the mail and with personal visits. Networking is important since most of your business might come from word of mouth.

Best of all, have fun. If you really enjoy what you do, it will shine through and draw people to your art.