So much has been written in SO many places about how best to use Facebook when it comes to promotion of your blog. I’ve seen on countless pages people upset because their reach is so small. People with thousands of “likes” are seeing their posts go out to a very small percentage of their fans, and as such they are missing out on SO much interaction.
I’ve been collecting advice, tips and tricks from various blogging groups for months, and I feel like it’s finally time to put together a post on how to use Facebook to promote your blog. Bear with me, as I try to give you simple steps.
1. Your Personal Profile
Obviously, this post will assume that you have a Facebook page for your blog and not just your personal profile. However, unless there are reasons why you do not/can not talk about your blog with your personal friends/family, it is important to make sure you have your blog listed in your main profile.
The first place to do this is in your Employment area on your profile. This means that anyone who interacts with your profile will see your blog listed and have the opportunity to visit it.
If you DO have a Facebook page, you can link it to this employment, which means that when anyone clicks on your employer (ie: A Mother Thing) they will go directly to your page.
2. Blog Page Cover Photo
Having a visually appealing header for your blog page is imperative. It should look good AND be informative. Make sure it ties in with the look of your blog. Facebook has changed their rules recently, which means you are able to have more text on your cover photo than previously. Use it!
My cover photo is not the most amazing, but it keeps with the theme of my blog. I have the same title, tagline and colors/fonts as on my main blog. And I use the same logo of a woman with her two boys. I have also added some real photos (taken recently) to show the kinds of photos readers might expect when they visit my blog. They show our happy family time, which is what my blog is all about.
There are many ways to create a cover photo. Here is a great guide to sizes for all social media, and you can use photo editing services such as PicMonkey to create amazing covers.
3. Call to Action
Assume that everyone who interacts with your page wants to find you on other social media. Use every opportunity to promote your other accounts. One great way to do this is in the Description of your cover photo. When you upload it, add in your other social media accounts so that anyone who clicks your header will see them.
The cover description is also a GREAT place to publicize anything big that is going on. When I have a contest or giveaway on my blog, I will update the description with a link to it just so it’s an extra bit of publicity.
If you want more ideas on how to use your cover photo to drive traffic, see this article.
4. Category and Description
Make sure that your page is categorized correctly so that people who are searching can find it. Facebook provides several categories to select from, however it is not a comprehensive list. For instance, there is no “parenting” category, though there is a Kids/Teens category.
For my blog, I used the more general “Personal Blog” category and then added a little more info in the short description.
It is also very important to add in a link to your blog in the short description so that people can easily see it and/or click it to visit your site. Without this, it may force your fans to search for you on Google, which is great for page rank, but it leaves room for error – especially in blogs with like names.
5. Page Tabs
Once again, it is important to give your fans a way to find you elsewhere. Page tabs are a great way to do this. Adding tabs for other social networks (such as Twitter or Pinterest) will allow people to interact with/follow you in other areas.
6. Network Through Page Likes
Have you ever seen a “Like Box” on a page? This is an area to the right of the page where all of the pages you have liked appear. It shows five at a time, and it’s a great way of promoting other bloggers. Asking other blogs to like you from their page will mean that your page shows up in their like boxes, as well. So it’s a wonderful way to exchange links.
Self promotion is hard, so any little thing you can do to let others promote you is appreciated.
7. Utilize Your Page Insights and Analytics
Have you seen this box at the top of your Facebook Page? The one that says “See Insights?” This is your best friend!
Most bloggers are familiar with Google Analytics, and the Facebook Insights is basically the same thing. It gives you complete access to information about everyone who is seeing your page. It tells you where they are coming from, the times of day they are active, what they are interacting with, etc. It helps you to gain insight into what types of posts get attention and keep people’s interest.
Facebook also shows you how many people each post has reached. You can look at anything you’ve posted, scroll to the bottom and see how many people have seen it. Obviously comments on a post are great, but they are only one indication of how well-received the post was. Shares are a big deal. The more people are sharing your content, the more people are going to be aware of your page. Create content worth sharing!
In the screenshot above, you can see that the post on the left had 40 shares, was liked by 82 people and was seen by 7,484 (even though my page has only 4500 likes. Good content will be seen! Don’t be afraid to share other people’s content. Give credit to the creator ALWAYS. But it’s okay to share other people’s blog posts or funny graphics (with permission and credit, of course). You want to be seen as someone who shares great content, even if it doesn’t necessarily come from you. PROMOTION, PROMOTION, PROMOTION.
8. Interact Directly with Your Fans
People have come to your page for a reason, and they have liked it for a reason, too. They like what you have to say or the information you share. So make sure you interact with them. Ask questions, share photos, encourage conversation.
Try playing games with them. If you can offer prizes (even small ones), that’s great, but most people still enjoy playing without a prize.
Get to know your followers as they are getting to know you. The more you share, the more you learn and vice versa.
9. Game the System
Facebook seems to have some sort of indecipherable algrithm that means only certain types of posts get seen. You might have noticed some of your favorite page authors are now writing posts with the phrase “Link in comments” and then using the comment section to link to their posts. This is because Facebook doesn’t like it when your post contains a link, even if it is an extremely good one. So we are forced to use the comment section to add our links, which means that our followers have one extra step (opening the comments) to be able to get to our blogs. This sucks.
Our choices are limited. Either we add the link into the main update, which means our post reaches FAR FEWER people but is easily seen and clicked OR we add the link to the comments which means the post reaches MANY MORE people, but they may not click it because it takes too much effort.
Only you can decide the best way to do it. Play around and try new things until you notice your reach goes up.
9a. Scheduling Tricks
Did you know you can schedule posts for future dates up to six months in advance? So if you’ve scheduled a blog post, and you want to make sure that Facebook gets updated with it as soon as it goes live, but you are not sure you’ll be around to do it, you can schedule that post to make it easier.
Similarly, if you want to ensure that you publicize something specific (such as a contest or giveaway) regularly, scheduling posts is a great way to do it. But just like with the regular posts, it is hard to know how to “game the system” with a scheduled posts. If you want to use the “link in comments” trick on a scheduled post, you need to know how!
First, you need to schedule the post. To do this, you simply add a new post as normal. But before you hit enter, simply click on the little clock in the bottom left hand corner of the post box. This will bring up the date and time so you can enter a future point.
Click on schedule and it will be ready to rock.
Now, if you want to add a link in the comments, ready for when it goes live, you simply need to go into your page’s activity log. You will see the scheduled post right there, ready to be seen. Simply click on the date/time in the post, and it will bring you the option to add a comment.
I have also heard from numerous sources that your reach will go up quite a bit if you include a photo in the comments. I haven’t yet tried it myself, but some of the ladies in my blogging groups swear by it.
If you want to learn more about scheduling posts, try this link.
10. Respect Your Audience
Whether you have 10 or 10,000 Likes, each one of them has taken the time to follow you. Respect that number, no matter what it is. It is better to have ten followers who consistently read and interact with you than to have 500 who couldn’t care less. Make sure you are treating your audience how you want other businesses/blogs to treat you.
That’s pretty much it.
Nothing too difficult. Follow best practices and know the various ways you can engage with your followers, and you will see your numbers rise.
Have I forgotten anything? Leave a comment to share your best advice! And if you feel like leaving a link to your FB page, feel free! I will happily follow, and maybe others will, too!