Hated, maligned, misused? These verbs all describe using Facebook from time to time. Is it always this way?
Facebook can be of great value to the blogger but there are some tips to making best use of the system and there are many mistakes to avoid. You must be relevant to your audience, tackling subjects they find interesting. High quality, engaging, content is essential to growing your network and having people view your work.
1 – Ask Questions!
People respond to questions, especially if it touches a nerve. Make your questions witty, intriguing, thought provoking, but keep them short. Remember you must target the readers you are focusing on.
2 – Use a Quote from your Blog Post
You spent much effort writing your blog post, use this to your advantage take some words, a phrase, or short sentence etc. from your post. This quote can again be witty, intriguing, or thought provoking and you are adding it to Facebook as a means of advertising some information from the blog the reader may find useful.
To some extent you may quote other people, but only if it is relevant.
3 – Tag People, Groups, and Pages
If you wish to garner someone’s attention with Facebook you should tag People, Pages or Groups. This is the equivalent of generating a personalised email.
To tag a person you simply type in the person’s name with a the initial letter being a capital, then continue typing part of their name (e.g. if you are wishing to tag Mark Brown type “Mar” and by this time Facebook should provide you with a list of names and you can then select the name you need from the list).
You may also tag Pages or Groups. To do this you type @ followed by part of the page or group name. Facebook will also provide a list of people, pages, or groups matching your search.
Note: Page permissions or a person’s privacy settings may limit your ability to mention them in a public post. Tagging will not work for automated posts.
4 – Don’t Act like a Robot
As an on-line writer we should always be trying to put our material in front of potential readers, yet doing this too frequently can make you seem as if you are using it cynically simply to gain new readers and that you don’t really care about the people you have friended. You should be setting out a publicity schedule for each of your posts, or buffering the material in advance.
Avoid repeating the same post more than 5 times per week and when you repeat it do so at different times of the day (so you are targeting a different audience). Your posts could be timed to appear at for example:
- 9 am Monday,
- 5 pm Tuesday,
- 2 am Wednesday,
- 7 pm Thursday, and
- 10 am Saturday.
5 – Be Human
You see I am human, here’s a sketch to prove it.
Firstly, you must also post things that have nothing to do with your blog, secondly you must engage with other people by liking their stories or commenting on what they have added. We have been making many changes to our house the past few months and I have added details about the work we have been doing as these things have progressed. You should think about tagging people who showed some prior interest when you do so, this keeps them engaged in the normal day-to-day activities of your life.
Avoid sharing statements you disagree with. Sometimes in order to bolster your standing with another person you share the things they have posted without investigating what they are saying. This can mean we are seen to endorse statements you would never personally make, like a Republican supported supporting a Democrat policy, or vice versa, or supporting an oil pipeline you would oppose on ecological grounds.
6 – Use Facebook’s Native Link Format
Let Facebook add in the title, description, and picture from the link that you post, then you should add a few words to attract readers to the page you wish them to read.
A note here when you add in your advertising hook avoid headlines like “You won’t believe what happened next!” or “This is too good to be true!” Facebook classes such headlines as advertising or a sign of poor quality content. Truth is such headlines may tempt but rarely offer any value to the user.
7 – In line with Trending Topics or Timely Events?
Facebook provides a list of trending topics as a pert of your News Feed (on the right hand side under “Trending”). If you have a blog post on one of the trending topics then it is an ideal opportunity to utilise the current trend and post it again on your Facebook feed. Making use of trending hash-tags can bring an additional readership of 10 to 25%.
Sports events, political events, celebrity activity can all help boost your ratings as can responding to personal activities (when used appropriately).
8 – Use Pictures with Everything
Sharing text-only updates on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network is almost wasting an update. Questions, images, and videos are the most popular types of social post, they are the ones that drive traffic to your site. You pictures should be big and updates be short. The picture says a lot to your audience.
9 – Facebook Video or Live
Dare you make a fool of yourself? Creating video, particularly live videos is not for everyone, but if you dare to use it it can help with publicity. Facebook encourages you to load video directly to their site (rather than through services like YouTube or Vimeo). Make sure your video has a good thumbnail (the picture that people see when the video isn’t playing).
Timing is critical as you want to catch viewers when they are most receptive to your message, particularly for Facebook Live. Also be professional in your video broadcasts.