All bloggers know that social media is central to a blog’s success. The unfortunate side of this is that social media is constantly changing, with social media platforms coming out with new algorithms, new site formats, and new user policies on a regular basis. How can the blogger ever keep up? Here is a guide to using Facebook as a blogger, along with tips for keeping up with Facebook changes as they inevitably come.
Structure your posts well.
Content quality aside for a moment, there are a few key elements that make for a well structured Facebook post. Namely:
- an image with dimensions 1,200 x 628 pixels and no more than 20% text;
- concise text (under 80 characters gets the most engagement); and
- emoticons (one or two will up engagement considerably).
Be sure that as you approach each Facebook post, you’re including these things and tailoring your posts for the ultimate “engageability.”
Go beyond blog promotion.
You might be tempted to inundate your blog’s Facebook page purely with promotional posts about the latest content to hit your blog (that’s the easiest way to Facebook as a blogger, after all), but your followers on Facebook will respond better if you offer them something that will benefit them—not just you. You can, of course, do this by creating useful and valuable content on your blog and then sharing it on your Facebook page. But try to branch out by sharing other things that your followers will engage with in the form of likes, comments, and shares. Share interesting articles that relate to your blog’s area of interest. Post relevant photos and memes that you think your followers will enjoy. Share resources that you found to be well written and particularly helpful. Post about a coupon code you know your followers will love using. When you create this type of atmosphere on your Facebook page, you’re more likely to retain and garner more followers.
You don’t have to wait to figure out your “perfect Facebook post formula” in order to see increased engagement on your page—go ahead and ask for it! Ask questions in your posts that will bring in comments, such as “Which hair tutorials would you like to see on the blog?”, “Which book should I read next?”, or “Which dress in this shop’s latest dress collection is your favorite?” Tell your followers to like a post if the quote you are posting speaks to them. Ask them to share the post with a friend. Tip: Only ask your followers to do things that you think you yourself would do as a Facebook user.
Have a personality.
Impersonal Facebook posts will make your followers feel like they are being marketed to. Be sure to use your unique voice in your Facebook posts to give your posts personality. Followers tend to respond better to honesty as well. So even if your blog thrives on perfectly composed photos and well curated design much of the time, try to let your “real” self shine through as well.
Schedule your posts.
To really streamline the Facebook posting process at once, try to draft several posts at once and schedule them out throughout the week. You can do this by hitting the down arrow next to “Publish” and hitting “Schedule” to access the scheduling tools. Tip: Aim to post to Facebook 1 to 2 times a day—once between 6 and 8 a.m. and once between 1 and 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday will also likely see the most engagement, with weekends seeing the least.
Know your tools.
The scheduling tool isn’t the only resource you have at your disposal as a blogger on Facebook; there are a wide range of other resources available to you as well. Facebook Page Insights will, of course, show you information like your reach, recent page likes, and post engagement. Tip: Look for page insights under the three dots on your Facebook page header. Facebook just rolled out another tool as well, called Canvas. Canvas essentially lets Facebook page admins a create rich and engaging immersive mobile ad experiences on Facebook, which load almost instantaneously. Then there are other non-Facebook tools, such as Canva for creating great graphics and Buffer for organizing your social media process. Find a collection of tools that works for you in streamlining the posting process and helping you put together great content.
Of course, keeping up with Facebook’s constant platform changes is a lot easier said than done; but doing so is highly important if you want to stay relevant on Facebook as a blogger for any significant length of time. Here are a few ways that you can better keep up with all of Facebook’s changes.
Confine Facebook query results to the past year.
Should you ever find yourself heading to Google for the answer to a Facebook related question, be sure to confine your search results to only results from within the past year. You can do this by hitting “Search tools” below the search bar, followed by “Any time.” Even articles from just a few years back can contain what would now be misleading advice, so filtering your results to include only the most recent ones will help ensure that you’re getting time appropriate answers and advice.
Follow Facebook on social media.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? Be sure to follow Facebook on, well, Facebook in order to hear about the latest updates being made to the platform. Tip: After you hit “like” on the page, click on the drop down arrow there and hit “See First” under the “In Your News Feed” category. Then Facebook’s updates will show up at the top of your news feed as they’re published. Don’t forget to do this with the pages “Facebook for Business” and “Facebook and Privacy” while you’re at it. Facebook Newsroom (the official Facebook blog) is a good blog to follow, as well.
Follow one or two technology journalists.
It’s a good idea to keep up with one or two technology journalists via Facebook or Twitter as well, as you can trust tech journalists to jump on any Facebook update that happens. Their insights could also show you a different perspective on the latest Facebook updates. (You can only expect Facebook, after all, to highlight what they think is great about the latest change to the news feed algorithm.) Two great tech journalists to follow are TechCrunch and Mashable.
Create a Google Alert.
You can also set a Google Alert for Facebook updates. You’ll have articles sent right to your inbox as they’re published to the web. To create an alert, head over to google.com/alerts and use a search term like “Facebook algorithm.”
You can read more about Canvas here.