How to Use Facebook Interest Lists for Your Art Business

January 2017 update: Darn Facebook! They have removed this feature. Here’s an alternative.

Doesn’t it just get your goat that Facebook is keeping your business page posts from your fans?

Doesn’t it drive you batty that you don’t see posts from your favorite businesses in your feed anymore?

The reason for both of these is that Facebook thinks businesses should pay for exposure. I get that: Facebook is trying to run a business. I’ve ponied up more than a few bucks myself to the big blue F.

At the same time Facebook is keeping my business posts out of my followers’ feeds, they are making it hard for me to follow the businesses I love.

Facebook is also making it more difficult for you to become a presence on the pages of artists, galleries, and art organizations.

There is a way to hack this: create interest lists.

Interest lists will help you stay connected with those who are important to your art career.

How to Create Interest Lists

1. When you are logged in as your personal profile (not your business page), go to Home in the upper right. This is your news feed.

Find Home on Facebook | Art Biz Coach


2. In the left sidebar, find INTERESTS and click on More.

Facebook sidebar Interest list | Art Biz Coach


3. On the next screen, click on +Add Interests (no screen capture here).

At this point, Facebook will suggest Interests for you. For me, they suggest groups like Art Critics and Art Auctions.

Create Lists button on Facebook | Art Biz Coach


4. You’re going to create your own list, so click on +Create Lists.

Facebook doesn’t ask you to name the list until you populate it, but you want to know what it’s about before you add random friends and pages.

What type of list would you like to create? I suggest Interests for pages on which you want to be an active presence – a known entity. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Galleries
  • Art News
  • Art Business
  • Art Technique

You might also add your artist-friends or students as Interest.

Create Interest Lists on Facebook | Art Biz Coach

Notice that you can add pages, people you’re following, and friends to your list (1). The default is to add pages that you’ve already liked. Just scroll down and check those that you want to add to your new Interests list.

You can also add by typing into the search box in the upper right (2).

5. When you’ve got the names on it that you want, click on Next.

6. Select who gets to see your list, and give it a name.

Name Your Interest List on Facebook | Art Biz Coach

Public means that anyone, anywhere can see the list. This public option might enhance the good juju you get in return when more people see your list.

If you select this option and want people to follow your list, I suggest giving it a very descriptive, narrow name such as “Galleries in the Southwestern U.S.” or “Artists in Ohio.”

Here are some ideas for promoting your Facebook interest list.

Click on Done, and view your list.

You will always find your list under INTERESTS/More in the Home sidebar.

Working Your Interest Lists

(Updated September 2016)

If you leave comments from your personal profile on your Interests” pages, it might also be helpful to have a bunch of public posts about your art on your personal profile. Then, if you comment on business pages from your personal profile, non-friends will see that you’re an artist and could track down some of your art on your personal profile.

Facebook now makes it easy for you to switch over to your business page when leaving a comment, which is nice for brand recognition and to separate business from personal.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 12.29.07 PM

Check your interest lists a couple of times a week to see what’s new in your favorite pages. Leave comments and respond to others’ comments and questions.

You’ll quickly become a presence as you share your name and art with more people just by adding friendly comments.

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37 thoughts on “How to Use Facebook Interest Lists for Your Art Business”

  1. Hello to all
    Really FB? Just one more thing to take up our time. I am just about over FB for business. Trying my best to get back to blogging and other media.
    Enjoy the day.

  2. I agree with Laura; however, this is truly useful, and I am grateful for the step-by-step how-to. Working this stuff out is frustrating–sheer time expenditure! So thank you, thank you for the advice and the instructions, Alyson.

  3. I found Find New Groups on the sidebar, but not Interests, and if I click on Find NG, it has some suggestions. I didn’t click or join any of them yet. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    1. ON my FB personal page I do this by clicking Like Pages on the left hand column of the home or news feed page, then on Create a Page, then Pages I Like and then it will prompt to Add to Interests and you can create the interest group.

  4. Great information, Alyson. I implemented your suggestions immediately!I have discovered that FB is great for promoting products, with immediate response, always!

  5. With any marketing, you have to be able to measure the results of those marketing efforts to see if they really are creating revenue or other positive impact that leads to the growth of your business. I think the real question with FB, is how do you measure your marketing results. You want to drive traffic back to your site, not FB’s or you have no way to measure success. If your into FB for the “likes” have at it I guess. I would think that in order to monitor impact, you have to get them back to your site with the use of a special landing page for just FB. Then, you can monitor traffic to that page. Or, you generate a special discount code that you can use for just FB users, or, or, or. The point is, you have to be able to measure this and any other marketing. It is no different then the very blog you are on. If you got here via Alyson’s email blast, then you came here via a link in the email and she can measure that. How will you build your list for future marketing efforts? All that being said, I don’t see FB for me as a strong marketing tool for me.

    1. Alyson: I do see that is not about direct marketing, but in my humble opinion, I do see anything that is an attempt to networking on FB that isn’t just personal related as a form of indirect marketing.

  6. I guess I should describe a landing page for those who may not know. A landing page is a page on your website that you create that normal day to day traffic to your website cannot see. For example, you post a blurb in FB and then tell people to clock the link or act now and they click on the link to your website landing page. From that page they can fill out a form, register to win, or whatever, and then they can go on to view your site in its entirety just like your other customers. Now, you can monitor traffic from FB or whatever other marketing efforts you have.

  7. I finally got rid of my FB business page (too much hassle for absolutely no return) and am instead being smarter about how I run my personal page. I’ve selected the option to let people “follow” it (so people don’t have to “friend” me), and I always make a choice about who gets to see what posts. For art posts & anything I want to share for promotion, I select “public”. For more personal posts, I select “friends only”. There’s also the option to create very specific groups & share JUST to those people.

  8. For those having trouble finding the “interests” heading, in my sidebar it’s a category near the bottom under “groups”, “apps”, and “friends”. I don’t have a “more” link to click, so I just clicked on the title itself and that opened up the dialog window Alyson mentioned. When I went through all the steps, my new list didn’t show up in the sidebar, so I just clicked the “add to favorites” option and it showed up at the top of my sidebar. Hope this helps.

  9. Thank you, Alyson, this is very helpful. Now I’m thinking that I need to know more about my audience and my potential audience, and what interests and lists I should select for greater visibility. My bread and butter is portraits of children and animals. I can easily imagine pet-related interest lists but the decision to commission a portrait of a person is a little more complex, I think. That seems to be a sentimental decision based on life events like birth, death, illness, etc. Any thoughts about targeting an audience for portraits? Perhaps it’s just a matter of increasing my general visibility as an artist?

  10. Thanks for the information which you explain so clearly; it’s a brilliant idea which I will be looking into but first I need to do some work on my personal page to sort who can see what etc.

  11. I love Claudia’s idea about how she runs her profile page. I think that’s what I’m going to do. excellent! thanks for sharing. I did create a list called “All things Art – Vermont” so I hope this helps our local folks, but I did include a few “national” pages too where I felt it might be useful. We’ll see!

  12. Shefali O'Hara

    This is really interesting.

    I like FB and use it to market myself, but the thing is, it’s not for everyone. However, if you don’t do FB, what other things do you do to market yourself online? I have friends who prefer pintrest and they have told me that works better for them. I like FB and will incorporate these tips. But everyone is different.

    However, whether you do FB or something else – if you are not spending any time marketing yourself online you are doing yourself a disservice, at least if you want to be able to earn a living as an artist. You need to make those connections.

  13. Great information as always Alyson. I had never used the ‘interest’ section and am looking forward to some new results. Thank you.

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Your Artist Mailing List: Rethinking + Assessing

Get a transcript of episode 182 of The Art Biz (Rethinking Mailing Lists for Artists) followed by a 3-page worksheet to evaluate the overall health and usage of the 3 types of artist lists.

Where can we send it? 

To ensure delivery, please triple check your email address.

You’ll also receive my regular news for your art business.

Privacy + Terms