My Facebook Experience; A Fish Out of Water and How to Grow
As you all know I love to learn about Blogging. Anything to do with improving or growing my site. There’s so much to learn; it’s an endless pursuit. Growing Social Media Reach is a huge part of Blog Growth. I read on it endlessly, attempting to find a way to please the algorithms on each platform. In our WAYWOW Blog Tribe we work together to share posts in a way that gives us maximum exposure on each Social Media Platform. But gaining and maintaining Reach on Facebook seems to be more difficult to achieve comparatively.
I’ve studied Facebook and written articles about what I’ve learned:
But I’m finding that the learning is never done. There’s always more. Mary Kalpos from The Boondocks Blog is my partner in crime. Although our Blog Niches are different, we work together to learn, grow and run the WAYWOW Blog Tribe. I have learned much from her on the art of repurposing anything; turning, what some may think of as trash, into a treasure.
Mary has also worked her talents into her Facebook Page. Through the techniques, listed below, her Facebook Reach is incredible. Not only has she been able to grow her reach, she is also maintaining it. Facebook is such a fickle creature, even paying to boost posts on Facebook is not guaranteed growth. Mary has figured out a formula that has proved itself, over and over, and she’s sharing her tips with us today!
Mary Kalpos|The Boondocks Blog: My Facebook Experience.
I feel like a fish out of water talking to you all about Social Media. Just give me a paint brush and I’m fine, but discussing my strategy for Facebook is a new experience for me.
My Facebook Beginnings
I’ve been blogging for a year and a half, but I didn’t add a Facebook Page for my blog until after I had been blogging for 4 months. That’s how clueless I was, I simply didn’t know what to do with it. After 10 months I had 500 followers, I believe half of them were family and friends. In the last 5 months I have almost reached 1,000 likes. That in and of itself is not a significant number, what is important to me is that Facebook is my number one Social Media referral site, with 42% of visitors coming to my Blog from the Platform.
How to Upload a Post
When I upload my latest post, or any post from my blog for that matter, I do the following:
- Upload an image from my post, it has to be horizontal. This is not Pinterest. No vertical images here.
- I add the text which is a short description or lead-in line. I usually like to talk about what I found in my basement that I have repurposed.
- Then I add the hyperlink of the post.
- And finally I add any relevant hashtags.
Now you are all thinking that this is too much work. And you would be right. But in my case the difference between doing the steps above and just sharing via a share button is about 1,000 to 2,000 in Facebook Reach. For example, I can share a post via a share button and it will get, maybe, a 50 Reach. Compare that to 2,000 Reach that I hit in just 9 hours with my latest post shared through the steps above. I think that if you’re going to go to the trouble of sharing, you might as well have an impact. Otherwise you are wasting your time. It goes without saying that all of this is done manually, no schedulers involved.
I try to do this will all the posts that I want to have a huge Reach with. I do this with friend’s posts that I want to share as well. It is the same procedure as when I add my own posts with one difference.
- I go to a blog and download the horizontal image that I will be sharing.
- I then upload it to my Facebook Page.
- I add a short text on top.
- In this text I Tag the blogger that I am featuring. You want them to know you are sharing their post. This way they will hopefully come back and make a comment. More interaction. (If they don’t interact then you don’t need to share their work again unless they are a rock star, I make exceptions for them.)
- I add the hyperlink of the post I want to feature, the post the image is coming from.
- And then I can also add hashtags.
(From Nikki: Here’s a post from Postplanner on adding hashtags on Facebook, don’t overdo the hashtag!)
How Often to Post on Facebook
I try to post every hour, for as long as I am on Facebook. Sometimes I am able to upload up to 10 posts. And when I can, because it’s not always possible, I try to do it using the method above. Also I never, ever schedule them. I am on Facebook anyway, so there’s no point to scheduling for me.
(From Nikki: Using a 3rd Party Scheduling Tool is not supposed to impact your reach, personally I use the Facebook Scheduling Tool, built into my Page, I’m not sure if this would affect the growth that Mary has had, you may want to experiment. It has been rumored that reach is affected by using 3rd Party Schedulers. But this article may reassure you about using an outside Scheduler. Debunking an Age Old Social Media Myth)
What I Post on Facebook
- My posts, whenever I have a new one.
- My friends posts.
- Any project I see that I like, and my reader’s will like.
- The features from the link party I co-host.
- Funny videos..
- Inspirational quotes.
- Any post from FB sharing groups I belong to.
- My photo of the day, which I share to my personal page as well. I do this to show appreciation to my followers, a personal way to reach out to them. Not just…”Come to my blog, Like my Stuff, etc. This is called Blog Karma.
The optimal size of an FB image is 1200 x 900. That is what I use for images that I upload.
(From Nikki: For a bit more on Blog Karma: Building Your Blog: Part 3. How’s Your Blog Karma?)
Recently I have seen some bloggers concentrating on only using their Facebook Page to promote their own posts heavily with a sprinkling of other’s posts. I know of a few big bloggers that have had good results with this method.
Also, Live Chat is another excellent way to reach out to your followers. Uploading videos is also beneficial. I’ve only done it once, but had good results.
How I Use my Personal Facebook Page
Since I see myself as a business, I don’t have a Personal Page where I share family things. I use my Personal Facebook Page for business as well, I post things there that I don’t necessarily want on my Business Page.
On my Personal Account I post about food. My friends love my dessert posts and I get much more interaction on my Personal Page when I post recipes than if I shared them on my Business Page. Hopefully, this should translate to click throughs for the bloggers I feature on my Personal Page.
I share posts about Blogging because I have many Blogger friends and if I see something I believe is relevant I like to share.
I post anything on my Personal Account that’s not about DIY or Home/Decor etc. I also share my own posts here too, as long as my reader’s are clicking through to the blog I don’t care which Facebook account they come from; Business Page or Personal Account.
On my Personal Account I don’t bother to use the method shown above. I just share. In return I get a lot of interaction, and it’s free! The difference between the 2 accounts is that on the Business Page you have to work hard to gain Reach for free, as FB naturally wants you to pay to Boost your posts. On your Personal Page, you don’t pay and the more you interact the more your Reach will grow. I use my “Photo of the Day” updates to increase the Reach on my Personal Page. You can also use video or Facebook Live to achieve similar results.
Now you might be wondering how I communicate with close family and friends; I use the Chat options and I also have secret groups to take care of that. Another option is to create another FB Personal Page, in another name, that you can have just for family.
Facebook is a Social Media Platform
I cannot stress enough that Facebook is a form of Social Media. We bloggers communicate with each other through the Groups we belong to and yet many times we do not take the time to reply to a comment that has been left on our Page. That is a mistake. There’s nothing more annoying to me than leaving a comment on someone’s FB Page and their only response is a “Like”. How is that going to further their Reach or Interaction? I’m doing you a favor by leaving a comment, take advantage of it and continue the dialogue. It will further your Reach.
It’s our job to be friendly and encouraging to visitors and to always respond when they leave a comment. Just as if this were a guest in your home. This is how we build our Brand. Visitors associate us with the nice person who replied to their comment, etc. With more interaction on your Page, you gain more Reach on Facebook. Facebook likes it when you use Facebook.
The most important thing I’ve learned is how to be social on FB. That means whenever I’m on the computer working, my Facebook is open in another window and I am connecting with people. I’ve made some amazing friends simply by leaving a comment on other bloggers posts. That’s how I became friends with many of you! This is the first step to meeting people. Go ahead, reach out.
This is what works for me. I know it’s a long, hard road, the alternative would be to pay for FB Advertising, but I’ve heard that it’s not always beneficial. So this is my frugal, DIY way of increasing my Facebook Reach and hopefully keeping my followers clicking through to my Blog. Which is really the reason we are doing all of this.
I want to thank Nikki for allowing me to share my ideas and tips with all of you. And also for all of her wisdom, because a lot of what I do is implement what she has been preaching to us all this time.
Let’s Give Mary a Standing Ovation…
Add in a few hoots and hollers if you like, she deserves it! Obviously I have been doing some of these things, but I haven’t been uploading an Image and adding the hyperlink. <Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been doing the lazy thing and using the Share button at the end of a post. UG!> And I haven’t been using a hashtag or two! <DUH!>
I have been SCHOOLED! And I love it.
Take these tips and use them, grow, extend your Reach. Mary just gifted us with some serious Flowers and Bonbons! And I don’t use that term lightly, it’s reserved for the best of the best. This is that. The Best of The Best.
You can be sure that I will be changing the way I post to my Facebook Page and I’m really excited to see the results. Remember, check out Mary’s Blog, The Boondocks Blog, and check out her Facebook Page. While you’re visiting her Facebook Page click the “Like” button, watch her work her magic from your own Feed, and find a way to emulate it on your Page.
Mary, thanks so much for sharing your technique!