Sometimes you just hit it right

 I remember when I started taking pictures of my first vertically oriented tree painting that I eventually called "Reaching for the Stars". Nothing looked right. I tried it alone on the easel. It seemed insubstantial. I moved it to a spot in front of the fireplace and it still looked lacking in some way. Finally, it struck me that my best option might be to just take a picture holding the painting. That one looked OK and I posted it on my Facebook page with the following text:

Heather suggested that I do one of my tree paintings vertically, instead of horizontally. You know what they say about always listening to your wife. Now I am at a loss as to what to call this one, Do you have any ideas?

The number of comments this inspired and the resulting reach baffles me. To reach over 20,000 people with only a minuscule number of shares makes no sense.  I'm happy about it but sincerely confused.

I noticed something was happening with this post when I started seeing comments from unfamiliar names. That was at some point yesterday as it was closing in on 10,000.  Over night, that number more than doubled. The same thing happened a number of weeks ago when I posted a video of me painting a fall scene. 

This video post went to become my most successful post ever. Why? I really don't know.

In the back of my mind, I'm starting to gather lessons I've learned over the years as an artist who sells the majority of my work thanks to social media. What could I share that might be useful to others. One thing I could share is that once in awhile, you might have a post go viral. All I would suggest is to observe the various elements of the post and see what you can learn.

What was the composition/content of the picture or video?

What text did you use? Did it include a question and inspire comments?

What day and time did you post it?

All of these things matter, though trying to replicate the success of a post gone viral is a fool's game. By the time you think you have figured it out, the algorithms have changed.  


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