Guess what? I’m taking part in the Winter 2015 Biannual Blogathon Bash this weekend, and I volunteered to host a mini-challenge for participants. Sound like fun? Awesome because anyone is welcome to take part in the mini-challenges, but only registered Blogathon participants are eligible for prizes. Yes, there are prizes to be won! If you’re a blogger and want to join us be sure to head on over to the Blogathon website to sign up! The event takes place from January 23-26, and we have a goal of spending at least 24 hours on blog-related tasks. If you want to see what my personal goals for this weekend are, check out my kick-off post here. In the meantime, let’s chat about Facebook.
Facebook…what can I say about Facebook. It’s a bloggers best friend and worst enemy all at the same time. It can amazing and frustrating all at the same time. Regardless of what people say though, my personal feelings are that Facebook is going to continue to be around, as bloggers and/or small business owners most of us will continue to fight with it to get our material out to as many people as we can. The trick is to do what you can to reach as many people organically as possible. Paying to promote is great if you can afford it, but we don’t want to rely solely on that right? So, since Facebook isn’t going anywhere, there are some things we can do to make Facebook work better for us.
I wrote a longer post on this in the past which you can find here, but for the sake of this mini-challenge, we’re going to focus on a few of the key points that I think are the most beneficial to the social media goals of a blogger.
- Facebook Scheduler – Use it. I love Hootsuite, I really do, but I’ve noticed that when using Facebook Scheduler, the posts reach quite a few more fans than when using other auto post programs. Possibly a Facebook penalty or way to force you to rely on Facebook, but the fact is, if you’re relying on Facebook for your brand, you want to reach as many people as possible. If Facebook Scheduler accomplishes that, then to me, it’s worth using. Give it a test run and let me know if you notice any difference with your organic reach.
- Ask Questions – This is a big one for increasing reader engagement and engagement determines reach as far as Facebook is concerned. The more fans that are engaged with your page and updates, the more fans Facebook will allow to see your awesome content. It’s a popularity contest. Promoting your latest giveaway? Ask what your fans would buy with that gift card or who they would give that latest greatest new toy to. I’ll bet some of them will let you know. Try closing each day with a pain point post or a “this or that” question. You’d be amazed at how many people will respond to a simple question like “Pepsi or Coke?”
- Respond to Comments – This is a biggie for blog post engagement, and the same holds true for Facebook page interaction. Reply to fan comments. A simple “thank you” or follow up remark in response to fan comments lets them know you’re actually listening (or reading) what they have said, and will increase the likelihood that they’ll continue actively participating on your page. More participation = greater reach.
For this mini-challenge I’m asking try one or two or all three of these tips. Take a look at your Facebook insights before, and then after you try a few of these things throughout the weekend. What do your post engagement numbers look like? If you see a difference, how do you plan on incorporating these ideas into your social media plans going forward? How much time will you commit to focusing on your organic Facebook reach on daily or weekly basis?
Leave a comment on this post, outlining what tips you have or are going to try. Let me know if you noticed any difference in your reach or engagement. What is your ultimate Facebook goal (do you intend to use it as an actual marketing platform for your blog or is it just a fan page that you feel like you have to have because networks and brands expect it?) Do you intentionally focus on how to engage your readers, or do you just post stuff and hope for the best? Let me know what you did this weekend to get started. (Did you spend a half hour scheduling nightly closing questions? Did you share something cool from another page? Did you respond to your fan comments and encourage dialogue?)
And please feel free to share the link to your Facebook page in your comment so that my regular readers and other Blogathon participants can visit you and maybe give you a like as well if they enjoy what they see! Good luck and have fun!
Johnnie saysJanuary 23, 2015 at 5:40 am
Taking part in the Winter 2015 Biannual Blogathon Bash this weekend, and you volunteering to host a mini-challenge for participants, sounds much like fun to me 🙂
my feelings are same as yours!
You said well Alison, what more could I have wiser for, this is a nice and educating post.
Well, focusing on the key points that are the most beneficial to social media goals of bloggers. Your point are clear about the facebook schedule, asking question and responding to comments…
You really did a great job here.
Thanks for sharing with us.
Alison saysJanuary 23, 2015 at 8:04 am
Thank you! Personally, I love Facebook, it’s where everyone is at, but from a fan page standpoint, it’s tough so these are just a few of the things that have worked for me — that have brought noticably more engagement, so I hope it will help others as well. Glad to be part of the Blogathon!
Yasin Rishad saysJanuary 24, 2015 at 7:51 am
Facebook is really blogger best friend. We can get social signal from here. It is also a great source to drive visitor on your site. Thank you alsion for your nice article. I learn a lot from here
Aeryn Lynne saysJanuary 24, 2015 at 11:36 am
I keep thinking of shutting down my FB page, but the companies I work with sure do love FB so it stays up. I’m trying out the interactivity challenge by asking questions… Will see if it helps! Thanks for the info! 🙂
Alison saysJanuary 24, 2015 at 11:54 am
I’ve seen a lot of people mention shutting down their FB page, and I’ll admit the thought has crossed my mind, but you are absolutely right – brands still hold a lot of stock in FB so it’s kind of still a necessity to get work and in all honesty it’s more relevant than for instance Google Page rank – that’s a thing of the past and brands just need to let that go 🙂 I hope some of these tips do help – it’s not a game changer, but I think any little thing we can do to get people talking more, is a win.
Katie saysJanuary 24, 2015 at 10:42 pm
I tried the asking questions and I don’t seem to get much of a response, maybe I need to think of better questions 🙂 I have noticed that since I stopped using Buffer to post to Facebook, more people see my posts. I think that sharing other interesting things is a big help too. My plan is to keep posting and working on it until I find the right balance of questions, blog posts, and other stuff on my page. Thanks for the great article and the mini challenge.
Danessa saysJanuary 26, 2015 at 8:18 am
I agree with you Allson. I’ve tried Hootsuite before but I find that it’s more of a hassle than a enabler. As it is, we are toggling between the FaceBook app, the Pages app and the Messenger. Not to mention all the other social media apps that link to FB. Add Hootsuite to the list, I’ll go crazy.
I’ve tried promoting some of my posts that I feel has the “potential” because we all know that only a small percentage of our FB readers and fans are notified when we post something up. I try to ask questions in my post on the FB page wall when I link my blog and I do a fair share of posting other blog links on my wall too. I feel that a FB page ought to be synonymous to our blog. Consistency helps to get our readers engaged, IMHO.