How many of you love Facebook? How many of you don’t even have a Facebook account? I know a lot of people dislike the place and with good reason too. It apparently eats up all your available time, keeps you hooked on to the dopamine of notifications, creates this chasm of comparison and makes you feel worthless. But if you know exactly how to use Facebook for bloggers and do it to your benefit, then you’d be very close to not just liking, but actually enjoying the platform.
Before I started using Pinterest as a source of traffic (which is now the highest social referral of traffic for this blog!), I relied almost exclusively on Facebook for my blog’s growth. I didn’t even have a strategy in place, to be frank. It just happened and before I knew it, I was getting engaged readers and valuable insights into how this platform could be leveraged as a wonderful resource.
Today, I’ll be talking about the different ways that Facebook has helped me as a blogger. I trust you’d find these tips helpful too.
7 Ways to use Facebook for Bloggers
This may be the easiest thing to do. Create a personal profile on Facebook and add some basic information about yourself. Include links to your blogs and social media channels in the ‘Intro’ section of your profile which is set to public view.
Share your blog posts here, when you publish them. This will improve the potential of their visibility.
Why this helps: A Facebook profile is where you can connect with friends, family and other bloggers. By default, the Facebook algorithm favours personal profiles over brand pages and tends to show your content more in the news feed.
Tip: Try and avoid very specific references to where you live/work or too many personal details since Facebook does have certain privacy issues, in my experience. Don’t feel comfortable adding friends you’ve met online? Then, play it safe and refrain from doing so.
Why have a dedicated Facebook page? Isn’t that just a waste of time, especially given that we’re constantly battling the Facebook algorithm these days? Facebook itself has confirmed that they will start showing fewer business pages in the News Feed. So, unless you have a huge fan base or excellent content, chances are people are not going to see your posts.
Ah, but I still recommend having one. For one thing, you can be sure that only people who are genuinely interested in your content will be engaging with you on your page. Looking for e-mail subscribers or customers? A Facebook page is mandatory!
Why this helps: For those who aren’t otherwise friends with you on Facebook, a page is a great way to connect with you/your content. You can also set specific times where you can be contacted, to ensure that your customers reach you when you are available.
Tip: Add the Facebook Pages App to help you respond easily to comments on your posts and photographs. This especially helps if you don’t want to be distracted by other notifications on the platform.
Facebook groups (as a blogger/ as a social media growth tool)
The best part about Facebook for a blogger is the idea of Facebook groups. Not driving enough traffic through your profile and page? Join Facebook groups! This singular aspect has been responsible for getting me returning visitors week after week, month after month.
Join Facebook groups, preferably in your niche, since you’d find more bloggers who will create content similar to yours and will feel comfortable engaging with, regularly. Join two or three groups for sharing your blog links. Anything more than this and you’ll wind up with too many blogs to visit.
Another reason I recommend groups is for blogging strategy and discussion. Some of the best tips I have picked up and learnt in the last six months, have come from strategy groups on Facebook. These are niched down groups and the advice given is so useful that you can only gain by being here! Again, pick a few groups and stick with them for a while to see the benefits.
Tip: Have a group dedicated to your blogging page? Link it to your page and drive more readers and users to engage with you!
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Facebook Comments Box
After I moved to self-hosted WordPress I began playing around with plugins. (Have I told you I love plugins?) Anyway, one of the things I integrated as a part of my commenting system on both my blogs, is the Facebook Comment box plugin.
I LOVE it! It’s great because a lot of non-bloggers as well as regular users of Facebook are able to leave a comment without having to sign in using any other commenting option. A Facebook comment box is perfect to generate engagement. And replying to them by tagging their name/profile when you do, is a wonderful way to build trust and genuine readership.
*Note: This is only available for those on self-hosted blogs.
Facebook Live Videos
It may be a bit odd for me to be singing praises of the Facebook Live option after doing just ONE live session on Facebook, but believe me, it’s wonderful! A day after I did the session, the traffic to my blog especially with respect to time management tips and time blocking methods, went up exponentially!
It’s a fantastic way to connect with blog readers and clear any doubts they may have in your niche. Videos are the way forward and it has to be an integral part of your digital strategy if you’re keen on growing your blog organically.
Tip: Save the link to your live video and share it in your private Facebook group so people who missed it will be able to catch up later, at leisure.
Facebook used to have this wonderful option of private lists of all the brand pages you could see in a single News feed. This was excellent because it would eliminate the clutter and show you what you wanted to see. I miss it sorely.
But, you can still use lists! How? Well, I have a list of over 200 bloggers on my personal friend list. So I create a ‘friend list’ of these bloggers and click on that in my left sidebar. This way, I get to see only updates from them and not all of my Facebook friends (which is a rather alarming number, honestly!)
Tip: How does this drive traffic to my blog, you ask? It’s called the power of community. Help one another by leaving genuine comments on each other’s Facebook posts. Over time, people will return the favour if your content is good. Increased engagement on the platform is a great way to build visibility for your brand.
Facebook Promoted Ads
As much as I genuinely love organic traffic, there are times when you must use the power of paid marketing to boost your content. I typically don’t boost too many of my posts, but when I do, I ensure that it’s something that will appeal to a large number of people outside of my network as well.
Pick the right post with the right level of appeal and set your audience, based on location, age group, interests and more. Have a clear call to action in the body of the post. That’s a whole new strategy, by itself.
Tip: Drive a paid campaign only after the original post has had some time to breathe organically.
*Things to avoid doing on Facebook
- Don’t tag multiple people in your posts and status updates. This can be pretty annoying and will create a stream of unnecessary notifications for those tagged. If you must tag them, please do so in the comments of the post, not the body of the main post. This will enable them to acknowledge the tag and then click on ‘turn off notifications’ for the specific post.
*The only exception to this rule is when you’re sharing a post written by another person and want to give them due credit. In this case, feel free to tag them in the body of the status update itself.
- Don’t tag people in pictures without their consent. This is a definite no-no. A lot of people are not comfortable with being tagged on pictures, since that means they can be seen by the friends of the person who uploaded the picture. Respect their privacy and ask before either uploading or tagging pictures of them. This also applies to the person’s family members/their kids.
Personally, I have come to the conclusion that no social media tool is actually bad. It all depends on how you use it to your benefit without getting drawn into the negative aspects of the platform. And as bloggers, if your audience is on Facebook, it makes sense for you to be there as well.
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