Wow! Can you believe we are up to Part 5 of our Demystifying Social Media series already?
Bec from Blogger’s Bazaar and I have been doing our best to give you comprehensive and detailed information to help you make the most of your time spent on social media to build your tribe and your readership.
Ahhh, Facebook. The social media platform that so many bloggers have a love-hate relationship with. Myself included. We love it, because it is the most popular social media network and the network that even non-tech savvy people feel comfortable using, so there’s great potential for gaining new readers. We don’t love it because, well, Facebook is full of ads, it keeps changing it’s algorithm, and it has become more difficult to even reach all of the likers on your page. That said, it is absolutely necessary to have a presence on Facebook for your blog.
Why Do I Need a Facebook Page for my Blog?
So, you know you should have a Facebook page for your blog, but you’re not very sure WHY you should. Let me give you some great reasons why:
- Facebook allows you to connect with your reader in a more interactive way
- Most of your readers will be on facebook each day, so why not share your posts and updates in a place where your readers already are. This means you might capture the attention of someone who might not have visited your blog that day.
- It gives your readers a chance to really get to know you and for relationship to build. This turns readers into loyal fans!
- Your Facebook likers are already interested in what you have to say, so you know they are going to want to see the content you are posting.
- Facebook makes it really easy for your readers and likers to quickly share your content with their friends and family, which could result in new readers!
Let’s Get Set Up
- Group Vs Page – First of all, you will want to set up a page or a group for your blog. This will be separate from your personal profile. This way you can keep the happenings of your personal life among family and friends, and post blog-related content to you page or group. So how do you know whether a group or a page is best for your blog on Facebook? Well, in a nutshell, a Page is great if your content is mainly status updates and promotion. Groups are great to give a sense of exclusivity, especially if it is a private group, and is great for encouraging interaction. If you want a more detailed look at Groups vs Pages checkout what Facebook has to say about them.
- Setting Up – You can set up a page here, or a group here. Choosing a category for your page can be tricky. Something along the lines of website, or personal blog works well. Of course if your blog is part of a business or relates to something specific, choose the best option that represents your blog and the topics you cover.
- Add a Profile Image or Photo. – As Bec and I keep saying, you need to be consistent with the images you use across your social media networks, so use the same image or logo that you have on Instagram, Pinterest etc, so people can recognise that it is your page or group in an instant.
- Create a Cover Image – Again, you want your cover image to reflect the style, and content of your blog. It is another way you can reinforce your blog’s brand. The recommended size of your cover image is 851px wide by 315px high. Saving your image as a .png file type will give you the best quality image once loaded into Facebook. Read some more guidelines for your Profile picture and Cover image here.
- Profile Description – Keep it simple, to the point and plainly obvious what your blog is about. Make sure you keep the information the same as on your other social media networks and fill in as much information as you can as this makes it easier for people to find you and for new people to get to know you and your blog more quickly and feel like they are a part of the gang. They will want to stick around more if they do.
- Invitations – send out invitations through Facebook to your friends and family who might want to like your page and join your community. Send out a Tweet or Instagram letting readers know about your new page and invite them to follow along.
How to Build Your Following and Increase Engagement
Add a Like Box – Make it really easy for your blog readers to find you on Facebook by adding a Facebook Like box to your sidebar. You can customise the size and the look of the box, then copy and paste the iFrame code into a Text module in your sidebar. Once it’s on your blog your readers won’t even have to leave your blog in order to like your page!
Be regular, but don’t overdo it– Post to your Facebook page regularly. 2-3 times a day is good. Any more than that and followers might start to get annoyed with too much content from you and decide to “unlike” your page. However, you want to make sure you have regular content appearing on your page so people stay engaged and keep coming back. Scheduling posts ahead of time is a great way to do this. More on that later.
Interact with your followers – Facebook is a great place for your readers to interact with you on a more one-on-one way. Make sure that you respond to any questions asked there and click “like” on comments you don’t have a response to, so that your readers feel valued and that their contribution is noticed.
Get readers involved – Find a way to get your readers involved with your Facebook page. Ask questions of your readers, or consider a weekly activity that they can jump on board with. For example, I have recently started a Blog Love post each Thursday on the Kaleidoscope Facebook Page where I invite readers to leave a link to a blog post they have published that week and encourage them to check out a few of the other links there and share some love, comment etc. Find something that relates to your blog’s topics and encourage interaction on your page
Mix It Up – Use a variety of styles of posts on your page or in your group. Use Images sometimes, video sometimes and just text updates at other times. The Facebook algorithm likes this and is more likely to show your posts to more of your readers when you mix it up.
What’s Your Strategy?
1. What story do I want to tell? Facebook allows you to build your brand and expand on your blog’s story in bite-sized pieces. It is a great way to share a quick thought, celebrate a win, get responses to a question and get feedback from your readers. Don’t forget to make sure the images you use fit within the brand and style you are creating for your blog.
2. What are my competitors doing? Now, be careful you aren’t checking out your competitors in order to compare yourself to them. Don’t judge your performance based on their numbers or comments, but DO take note of things they are doing well and topics of kinds of posts that are popular with their readers. Use this information to improve your page and to inspire your own fabulous ideas for Facebook content.
3. Where does my audience hang out on Facebook? Take some time to investigate the pages and groups that readers in your niche visit. Join those groups and pages and get in on the conversation. Many groups and pages have documents that allow members to add their Blog and Social Media details so others can check them out. Over time and when it is appropriate, let others in the group know about your blog or Facebook page. However, make sure you read any guidelines for the group or page as some have strict rules on self-promotion. Be selective and thought about when and how you share your details.
4. Who am I following and Interacting with? Spending time on other’s pages and groups will benefit your page or group. It may eventually bring new likers, members or readers, but more importantly it will begin to influence your page and will help you grow as a blogger as well as build relationships that could lead to a collaboration or opportunity down the line.
Tools You Will Love
Post Scheduling – Facebook allows you to schedule posts ahead of time. To do this, simply set up a status update as you would normally, but instead of clicking “Post”, click on the little Clock icon on the left-hand side and some options will open up where you can select the date and time you would like your post to be published. Then, click “schedule” when you are done. I have found that a great time to schedule posts to go live is between 8pm -10pm on weekdays and 8am-11am on weekends.
Insights – Clicking on the “insights” tab on your Facebook Page allows you to understand the likers of your page more. You can see when most people are online, where in the world they are located, the male/female break down, how your posts are performing, what’s popular, what’s not! It will help you build on your strengths and create a “must visit” page!
Canva – if you’re not design savvy, but know the value of a well designed cover image, Canva is a great website for you. You can create fabulous cover images from pre-setup templates or create your own, all for free!
WP Publicize – If your blog is on the WordPress platform there is a very handy tool called Publicize. Publicize allows you to set it up so that when a new post is published, updates are also published to some of your social media networks, including Facebook. When logged into your WordPress Admin, click on “Jetpack” near the top in your left sidebar. Then you will probably need to scroll and click “ View All Jetpack Features”. Then find and click on the “Publicize” box. Click the “Activate” button, and then the “configure” button. When you are taken to the configure settings page you can connect your blog with your chosen Social Media networks. I use Facebook, Twitter and Google +.
Facebook Tabs/Apps – There are a range of apps you can add to your Facebook Page. They can be used for giveaways, link ups, Instagram, Pinterest and much more. To find an app for a function you would like on your pages, simply do a web search. eg. “Pinterest app for Facebook”. I use the Pinterest app and Instagram app and have found them very popular with my likers. Pinterest Facebook App. Instagram Facebook App.
Custom Facebook URL – Once you have over 200 likers on your Facebook page you can customise your Facebook URL to make it easier for your readers to find you. To do this, go to your Facebook Page, click “settings” then “page Info”. You will then see an option for “Facebook Web Address”. Fill it in with the URL you desire and click save. For example, my custom Facebook URL is http://www.facebook.com/kaleidoscopeblog.
What Works Well + Tips
Add blog URL to personal page – Utilise your personal Facebook page to let family and friends know about your blog. In the “work” section of the settings of your Personal Profile, add your blog as a workplace and link it to your blog’s Facebook page. This will bring your blog’s URL or the Facebook Page into the About section on your profile and might mean some extra clicks and likes!
Social Overload – This is a tip on what NOT to do. Don’t link your Facebook page to your Pinterest or Twitter account so that everything you pin or tweet appears on Facebook. This overloads your reader’s feed and is pretty much a guarantee for them to unlike your page. However, it is a great idea to link your Instagram and Facebook page, so that if you are at an event or want to share an image that is relevant to your blog while you’re on the go, you can do so easily. Be selective with what you tell Instagram to publish to Facebook though. Not everything needs to be added to your page’s feed.
Below are some examples of Bloggers who do Facebook really well. I’m constantly learning from great people such as these!
The above covers the main things you need to know to really get Facebook working well for you to help you build your readership and connecting with your readers.
Don’t forget, if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Bec will be back with us next week for the final part of the series, talking about Twitter. Don’t miss it!
If you aren’t already, why not follow along with Bec and me on social media, you can find us on:
Photo from Silver Blonde