Facebook. It’s a dirty word in the blogging world.
Years ago Facebook came up with a way for you to pay to get more likes on your page. Many bloggers paid to have their pages seen by more people, to garner more likes and take their message further. It seemed like a great plan. If only we knew at that time that Facebook’s long term plan was to one day squash the ability to reach those who liked our Facebook Page.
Bloggers have worked hard to develop communities on their Facebook fan pages. Through giveaways, strategy, sharing content from other bloggers, or questions of the day bloggers have invested a lot of time into building a strong Facebook fan page following.
Now Facebook has announced that once again they’re changing algorithms. The new algorithm will show people more content from their personal friends and less from fan pages. The already low reach will most likely go lower in the coming weeks.
Take a minute to curse and have Facebook induced mini tantrum, we’ll wait.
Are you ready to come up with a backup plan for getting your blog seen on Facebook.
What can bloggers do reach beyond their Facebook fan page?
1. Start a Personal Facebook Account for Your Blog –
Technically you can start a personal page for your blog or brand on Facebook. However this is frowned upon by Facebook and you do stand the chance of being shut down.
With Facebook changing its algorithm to show more personal pages and the ability to post in FB groups as your brand, it does seem to have a few perks. In the end personal Facebook accounts are limited to 4,999 friends. You might think that you will never get to this amount of friends but you are limiting your blogs potential by thinking this way.
Starting a personal Facebook account is not the best way to overcome the issues with sharing on Facebook and definitely not what Blog Elevated recommends. One option might be to create a new profile for your public persona where you can interact with followers but you’re still limiting yourself and what you can do on Facebook.
2. Creating a Facebook Group –
Many bloggers have now started to create Facebook groups to reach their fans and community. Facebook first created groups to join with other people that share your same interests. While a group is a good way to reach your fans, groups work best when they stay within the spirit of connecting with a similar topic. In other words instead of starting a group that is just for your blog and your fans, start a group that follows your blog’s niche.
Running a Facebook group can be harder than running a fan page.
- Facebook groups need to be moderated, which can be time consuming. You’ll need to delete any comments or posts that are against group policy or are rude and hateful.
- Facebook groups attract spammers. If you do not keep a strict eye on your Facebook group you will find spammy posts that sell eyeglasses, shoes, or some other crazy product. This will drive away group members if it’s not controlled.
- You will need to write a policy for your group. Will you allow other members to share their links in your group? How will they react if they can’t share links but you can? Also can they advertise services or is there a certain behavior that you expect for your group? All this needs to be written in a clear and precise manner to inform new group members what behavior is expect of them in the group.
However starting a group has a great perk. Running a successful group can help make you an authority on the subject. It’s a way to set you apart as knowing your information on that subject. Even if you never share one link within your group, your knowledge will draw people to your blog when they have a question or need advice.
Tip: Do not add people to your group without asking. This is considered bad etiquette.
3. Create Outstanding Shareable Content On Your Blog –
You may think that tip does not involve Facebook but it does! Bloggers’ ability to share their content has been declining. Facebook will not show the links that you share to your followers. But when your followers share your links with their friends, the views will skyrocket.
In the past bloggers have been creating strong content for their blogs that is focused towards sharing on Pinterest with the plan to share the link to Facebook. It’s time to rethink this strategy. How can you get more people to share the content straight from your blog to Facebook without you as a blogger ever touching that platform?
Make sure that you have share buttons that are in the places your readers will click on your posts. Use a heat map program to see where your readers are clicking. Are they clicking at the top of your post or the bottom? Where your readers click naturally is where you need to place your share buttons.
Also you need to occasionally test your share buttons to make sure they’re working and the content being shared from that button is what you want it to be.
Spend time working on a strategy to get content from your blog organically shared by your readers.
Facebook has changed and chances are that it will never got back to what it once was. However, Facebook is still a very strong social platform that we can’t write off just yet.
Don’t just give up because it doesn’t work anymore, find out what does work! It will to take trial and error, and it will continue to change.
Blogging and social media will always be changing and the bloggers who can adapt, regroup, and figure out new strategies will be the ones who stay on top. Rather than seeing Facebook as a chore, approach it as a game that you’re going to master!