The blogging world gets in an uproar every time Google changes its algorithms and for good reason – it has a huge impact on our traffic! Similarly, we get in an uproar when Facebook announced changes to how users would receive fan page information (and we were encouraged to “boost our posts” through paid sponsorships). But somehow, if Facebook changes an algorithm, we don't always know – and we may not recognize the impact it has on our engagement and reach.
I manage (or have manager access to) four Facebook fan pages: my own blog, a clothing brand, a theatre company, and a media site. And consistently across all four, what have I noticed in the last several weeks? A significant drop in reach and engagement. The quality of the post doesn't seem to matter, and success is proving difficult to recreate. Whether it's Facebook changing it's algorithms, or the uncertain nature of our fans, there are some “mistakes” we can avoid, and in the process, help build more engaged and dynamic pages.
You're Focused on Fans, not Engagement –
As bloggers, it's easy to get focused on metrics. It is, after all, something we can point to and back up with data. In many ways, engagement can be a lot more difficult to gauge – but Facebook is making that easier and easier. You can tell how engaged your readers are based on Reach, Likes, and Shares – at the very minimum.
Facebook is a great way to explore the balance between quantity and quality – develop a middle ground of a strong group of fans who are really engaged and thrilled with your content. That speaks much greater than 40,000 fans who don't interact with you AT.ALL.
You're Not Experimenting With Post Types –
Do you just post your blog updates and leave it at that? If so, you (and I) are really missing out on a great way. This past week I randomly posted an image of boots with the caption, “I don't NEED a new pair of boots… but gosh if the Miz Mooz Shoes Dream ankle boots aren't sweet, simple, and a little dash Victorian. (Love the stunning burgundy, olive, and brown they come in, too!) What boots are you dreaming of this autumn?”
People started talking, and my reach on that post reached 50% – previously, my posts were barely scrapping together a 10% reach. I had similar results later in the week posting about a shirt I loved but couldn't wear because of a misspelling (20% reach).
And when I shared an article + link? That reach was just over 10%.
This is all to say – experiment. Find new and exciting ways to use Facebook to supplement your blogs offerings. Offer outfit photos that don't make it to your blog. Share coupon codes and deals. Make it it's own unique space.
You're Posting Too Often –
Socialbakers identifies two Facebook Fan Page users – brands and media groups. As a blogger, you're most likely a brand, because you're promoting your own product (your content). Sites like MSNBC, Huffington Post, and the BBC would be considered media groups, and they can post more frequently because they're sharing dynamically changing information. Socialbakers expanded on this with a case study, “Which brands post too much for their own good?”, which shows fashion brands, how often they post, and what the engagement levels are. The results are interesting, to say the least!
A great way to think about this would be – how often would you want to send out emails to your fans? Would you send out 10 emails a day to your fans? In reality, and for longevity, you'd probably only want to send them out once or twice a day. So focus on sharing
Using Links in Your Updates –
There's conflicting information floating around about this one – that Facebook loves a photo or text in a Fan Page update, but hates a link. And that Facebook REALLY hates the self-generated preview of a link.
From my own posts, I've found that when I share my blog posts with a large, quality image and a bit.ly link, tend to have a higher reach versus those where I just share the link and allow it to generate a preview. Some bloggers take that a step further – the use an excerpt and photo as the update, and add the bit.ly link in the comments to extend the reach – I've personally had mixed results with this method!
For more awesome IFB posts on how to maximize your Facebook Fan Page, check out:
- 7 Steps to a Fabulous Facebook Page
- Your Embarrassing Social Media Questions Answered
- Go Where Your Readers Are: A Social Media Experiment
- Time Saver? The Pros and Cons of Scheduling Social Media
- FTC Extends Disclosures to Twitter, Facebook, Mobile… Might Also Apply to Bloggers
- Facebook Revamps News Feed and What It Means for Bloggers
- What You Need to Know about Facebook's New Graph Search
- Facebook Tips: Driving Facebook Engagement with Local Stories
- Is Facebook E-Commerce Beneficial To Bloggers?
- Fun with Facebook – a Cue from George Takei & Steve Martin