Is it just me, or is Facebook sort of like the neglected little brother of Twitter when it comes to blog promotion? Call me crazy, but I probably spend about 1/4 or maybe even 1/8 of the time I spend on Twitter using Facebook to grow my blog. I created a page, added a profile image and some basics about my site and a link, and kind of left it alone. Every now and then I post links to my latest entries or a link to something I like.
What you read above is a total social media fail whale. Why would I neglect my Facebook page when it has the potential to drive more traffic to my blog and help me reach more people? Why?! Well, the short answer is that I see more immediate and tangible growth through Twitter, so I pay more attention to it. However, I still think it's very much worth it to have a Facebook fan page for your blog. It's important to have as many of your social media bases covered as you can – and creating a page, making it pretty and keeping your page up-to-date is actually really easy!
Here are 10 tips for creating, maintaining and growing your blog's Facebook page:
1. I suppose we should start from the very, very beginning, yes? To create a page, type in the search box at the top of the page, “create a page.” Next, select what kind of page you're going to create (I suggest “brand or product”). From there, choose a more specific type of page from the drop-down menu. (If you select “brand or product” you can select “website.”) Next, name it the same as the title of your blog, agree to the terms of service and click “Get Started.” From there, Facebook guides you through an easy-step-by-step process to set up your page!
2. Put a little thought into your profile picture. If you do a lot of personal style posts, perhaps pick your best shot from one of your favorite looks and use that. If not, select a photo that you think represents your site well. I would not suggest using a picture from an editorial, magazine, or god forbid – someone else's blog, because you don't want to confuse people who land on your page.
3. Be sure to fill out your profile as completely as possible. This is a one-time, sort of tedious task but it's probably the most important step you can take. When people search for your blog on Facebook or land on your fan page through a search engine, it's critical that your page actually looks like you made it on purpose. Write up a short “about” paragraph, your mission, supply your URL, Twitter handle, etc. Bonus points: Create a username for your blog's page so you can easily direct people to it; ie www.facebook.com/shutupilovethatshirtonyou. (You can find this tool when you click the “edit info” button near the top of the page.)
4. Invite your friends to “like” your page. When I first started my Facebook fan page, I felt silly inviting everyone to “like” it. I didn't want to beg for attention or come across like I was a self-promoting, egocentric you-know-what. But guess what? You have a blog, you want people to read it, so you sure as hell better promote it to your friends and family. These kinds of things create an essential chain reaction that will help a link to your blog get in front of tons of new faces. For example, say you invite your friend Susie from high school to “like” your style blog. Susie obliges. Susie's college roomate Nancy sees on Susie's wall that she has “liked” your blog. She wonders what it is and clicks on the link. Nancy loves style blogs and decides she'll like your page, too. And so on, and on and on…
5. Get to liking! Another important step in setting up your Facebook fan page is to “like” other pages. When you land on your page as an administrator, there's a tab on the right hand side of the page that will say, “Use Facebook as your blog name here.” Once you are using Facebook as a page, start searching for other blogs and brands that you follow and liking them. This will give your potential fans a better idea of what your blog is about as well as your tastes. I can guarentee that anything and anyone you can think of has their own Facebook page, from boutiques to designers and magazines.
6. Create an album of photos from your blog. To start filling up your page with content that people will want to see, create an album and upload outfit posts and screen shots of Polyvore sets. You can tag the photos with the brands you're wearing and add a description of each photo below it. You can update this album as often as you post outfit posts, or more sporadically. For a great example of this, check out Atlantic-Pacific's page.
7. Use the Resources tab to your advantage! Right under the name of your page is a little button that says “edit info.” This button is your best friend. Once you click on it a whole menu of options will appear on the left hand side of the page. Select “resources” for Facebook's hand guide to all the neat tricks you can do with your page. You can sync your page with Twitter, create an ad, read their marketing guide, and more.
8. Get your page in front of people by updating your status and posting links & photos. The same way you update your personal page with mobile photos, status updates and links, you can do the same for your page. Upload a shot of what you're wearing that day, post a link to your latest blog post or share a link you found interesting. For example, if you really enjoyed Wit & Whimsy‘s latest outfit post, drop the link into your status and tag her blog so she gets a notification that you've mentioned her. It's an easy way to get a little attention and perhaps gain a new friend or fan.
9. Keep up with your insights. If you're going to put some effort into your Facebook page, you might as well keep up with how it's doing. After a few days, your posts will register with Facebook and a little number will appear, letting you know how many “impressions” it got, or how many people it reached. You can also track your progress and growth through the “insights” tab, which uses fancy line graphs and arrows and percentages to show you how your page is doing. Take note of what days you got the most “likes” or the most visits, and see what you posted that day – it will give you clues for how best to use your page.
10. Facebook isn't an island, so don't forget to promote your page through your other channels. It's as easy as installing a widget on your blog and tweeting a link to your Facebook page every now and then. The point of all this is just to be as visible as possible wherever it makes sense. You want your readers to be able to surf seamlessly between your blog, your Facebook page and your Twitter profile.
I recently talked to a couple of my blogging friends who don't have Facebook pages for their blogs because they don't want to spread themselves too thin. They know they can't devote a lot of time to it, so they figure it's better not to put in a weak effort. In my mind it's better to have one even if I don't use it that often, just to stay relevant and visible wherever I can. What do you think?