I’ll start this by saying that I’m definitely no expert when it comes to Facebook. I do not have tons and tons of fans on my blog’s Facebook page and I’m no Facebook guru. But after seriously neglecting my blog’s Facebook page due to lack of growth, I decided last year that I wanted to grow my Facebook reach since the social media platform is so huge right now.
I’ve dedicated the past year to actively using Facebook for my blog and have seen a lot of growth through it. Facebook is now my highest source of traffic, with the exception of direct subscribers through email or Blog Lovin. Some bloggers said they were interested in hearing more about this, so here is what I would suggest. This also doesn’t have to apply to just blogging, but can apply to businesses as well.
1 // Build it and they will come.
If there is nothing on your Facebook page, why would anyone be there? For the longest time, I was stuck in this catch 22. I had very few followers, so I thought, what’s the point of posting anything when hardly anyone sees it? But you can’t think like that.
To start without going into post overdrive, I committed to posting at least three times a week. Once a got a few more followers and was getting engagement there, I post almost daily if I can. What to post, you ask?
2 // Create unique content.
I see many, many bloggers who use Facebook like this: new blog posts go up and exact copies of what they put on Instagram are also on Facebook, and that’s it. Maybe this works for them, but I really dislike repeat content and have found that my followers respond better to unique content. What does that mean?
Giving people a reason to like your Facebook page. If everything you post on Facebook is the same as Instagram or Twitter, what’s the appeal of following you on both? Why would I want to see the same image pop up in two different feeds? Redundancy is annoying and boring to me.
Do I cross post things sometimes? Yes, because my FB audience engages differently than my Insta audience or sometimes if it’s important enough, I want to post the same thing on both.
But in general, I say unique content is key. I like Facebook to offer something special. Facebook does offer something special too and that is words. Twitter is limited to 140 characters. Instagram is focused on images and less on text. Facebook is where you can say things.
3 // Invite your friends to like your page.
For some reason I have always been shy about my blog with “real life” friends. Most my friends are not the blog reading type who use Blog Lovin or anything, so the only way I can get my in-real-life friends to engage with my posts or read my blog is through Facebook.
Is it scary to send invites out to people, for fear of spamming them? Sure. But that’s why Facebook gives them an option to like or ignore something. It’s no skin off my back if someone ignores one pop up notification on Facebook. I invite all my friends to like my page (and I honestly have a very small group of friends on there, less than 200 friends). This has hugely helped my growth, so thank you friends who have liked my page!
When people who actually know you are reading your blog, it resonates with them to think I know the person who wrote that! I feel like Facebook has been a huge blessing with helping bridge the gap of “I have a blog” with friends who don’t blog or care for a “blog reading” lifestyle. It’s also helped me get other followers and real engagement.
The people I know in real life are much more likely to engage (comment or like) with a post than a stranger. The more engagement a post gets, the more traffic it gets in other people’s newsfeeds. The more a post shows up in newsfeeds, the more opportunity there is for someone to like my page. So inviting your friends who can provide the best source of engagement because they know you is key to getting more likes.
4 // Learn what your audience likes.
This is key in anything you do with social media, but especially with Facebook because of how they use algorithms to determine how often posts are shown in others newsfeeds. If you post is getting no likes or clicks, it’s just going to get shown less and less. You want the post to be engaged with (immediately) so it keeps showing up for longer.
You also want your audience to keep engaging with posts, and not “unfollow” your page (because that’s one less person to see your content and potentially engage with it), or unlike your page.
Some things that have been working for my page (which will be different than yours, based on what your topics are and who your audience is):
- fitness stuff does not go over well on my page because of the particular audience who has liked it, so I try to post more mom/baby and general articles there (very different than my Insta, but it’s all about who is following)
- asking questions seems to get NO answers. I have tried several questions post and they never work (like this one, I think it was a little too long too)
- Quotes are always a big hit. Posting things that make people feel good or things that resonate with them is key, like this post. They are also short and easy to read and hit a quick “like” on
- Posting the main point or home hitting piece of an article in quotes above it, like this, seems to always get more engagement (and clicks) because people can read a teeny bit of it first and then want to read the rest
- Posting first thing in the AM has been the best time to post, no matter what day. Because posts are not shown in order any more, the earlier you post it, the longer it has to show up in newsfeeds that day
- Leaving enough time between posts is something I try to pay attention to. If I posted something in the afternoon one day, I won’t post something that night. Once a day is usually my go to that seems to be just enough, but if I had more followers on there, more would start to be appropriate
- Sharing other people’s content is a super easy way to keep your Facebook page alive without doing any work. Get on Facebook and “like” some pages that you think your audience would like too (for me, mom related stuff is always big now) and then share things that you like. Chances are if you like it, someone else will too. And sharing is caring. I like pages that share other people’s content too so it’s not “all about me” focused
What works for my audience might be drastically different than what works for yours, though. It’s really all just about getting to know what your audience likes, which I’ve done by doing more of what they respond to or “like” and less of what they don’t.
Insights on Facebook pages is also useful in determining more of what to post. Facebook notifies you if a post is “more engaging” than other posts (in an attempt to get you to pay to advertise that post). Making a mental note of those hit posts has helped me in crafting my upcoming FB posts.
5 // Syndicate Facebook with Twitter.
I am not a fan of automated anything. I think social media does a lot better when it’s live. I see too many automatically linked posts from Twitter to Facebook or whatnot that are not well-timed and just make noise instead of have a purpose. But linking my Facebook posts to Twitter has helped a lot.
I don’t have a huge following on Twitter either, but it’s a lot bigger than my Facebook following. When I post something to Facebook, it automatically posts to twitter. But because Twitter is only 140 characters, the tweets often trail off with ellipses and a link to the post. This helps drive your Twitter audience to Facebook, because they’re curious to see what else the post says.
I can’t say with certainty that this has helped an incredible amount in terms of resulting in likes or engagement, but I do think it draws some people in (especially since I don’t really use Twitter much these days).
6 // Don’t do it for the likes.
You can buy likes now. And pay to advertise your page. If you really want to know how to get a ton of Facebook likes, you can just be a sell out and purchase them, if you had the money.
But to get people on your page that really want to be there – that takes work and time. Nothing that is worth having comes overnight. And obsessing over “likes” is stupid. Do not fixate on how many likes you have or get all sad panda when you notice you get unlikes (because that will happen).
Use Facebook because you want to share content and connect with a wider audience there as well. There are some people that only interact with my blog via Facebook, commenting on the Facebook posts instead of through the blog comments. I try to respond to all the comments there just like I do on here. It’s a different audience that behaves differently than the audience here (mostly other bloggers who end up interacting or long-time readers). Facebook is a way to engage in a whole different set of people, but you have to engage them. They are people, not just “likes.”
Questions for You:
- Does these tips help? What would you add?
- Are you picky when it comes to what you “like” on Facebook?