Thanks for your responses to last week's Twitter article! While I can talk about Twitter all day, Facebook takes a little more effort for me. However, it remains one of the most visited sites in the world, with over half of its users logging in and spending at least two hours there daily! As bloggers, a well-branded, active Facebook page can be one crucial way in which we can build community and engage with our readers. Here are a few quick tips to make sure you're making the most of your blog's Facebook page.
1. Cover the basics
If you're reading this, I'm assuming you've got a Facebook page for your blog already. If not, go do that now! Make sure your page URL includes your blog name (you can do that here, after you've got at least 25 fans.) Make sure the page descriptions are as complete as can be. That will at least include a brief description of your blog, a link to your blog, and contact info. Back on your blog, do your part to make sure readers can find your Facebook page quickly. There's also a Facebook social plugin that you can embed in your blog, which will show readers which of their friends already like your Facebook page – with an easy button for them to click “like” and join the party!
2. Photos are everything
Video, too. Make sure you've got an eye-catching cover photo, since this now takes up the most real estate above the fold, and is very likely the first thing people see when they visit your page. Your cover photo is arguably more important than your profile pic for this reason, yet it's surprising how many brand pages don't have one, or have a horribly outdated one. It's common for brands to make their logo their profile picture, then use the cover photo to feature more topical/seasonal things. You can make a collage of your favorite spring outfits or trends for your cover photo, then switch it out in the summer, and so on.
3. Update like a pro
Facebook's algorithm (that determines what shows up in your news feed and mine) changes often, but one fairly consistent piece is that “rich media” – photo and video – typically get more attention than just a link or text update. What does this mean to you? Use photos to promote your blog posts! Choose a photo from your post, then write a short sentence describing that post and include a bit.ly link to it. See IFB's Facebook page for great examples of this!
4. Highlight & tag
If you've got any major posts, like a contest you're running or a big milestone you want to celebrate, you can “highlight” an update to the top of your Facebook page. Use this sparingly, for the posts that are most important to you.
Also, make sure to tag any brands that are featured in your post. It's a way to get on their radar and possibly share your post with their own Facebook page fans.
5. Cross-pollinate wisely
Your fans and followers can get bored easily if they see the same updates from you across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more. The great thing about Facebook is that you have more space to share unique content that relates to your blog. Tell us more about your latest blog post. Share extra photos and outtakes from your last outfit post in an album on your Facebook page. Use your page to have casual conversations with your readers that might not pertain to recent blog posts (i.e. “Looking forward to spa day with mom this Sunday! How are you celebrating Mother's Day?”)
6. Remember common best practices
Remember those general rules of thumb in social media. Be authentic. Be human. Be engaging. Always reply. Be consistent – from your voice to what you post and when (and in case you're wondering – studies show most people are active on Facebook around noon EST.) Ask questions. Balance original content (sharing your blog posts) and curated or reactive content (replies, comments, sharing articles or other bloggers' posts.) Keep updates short and to the point.
7. Read your Insights
Insights, Facebook's page analytics dashboard, are your key to understanding who is responding to what, when and from where. Check your Insights regularly to see what kinds of posts your fans are liking, sharing and commenting on. Insights are so helpful in showing you how to tweak your posts to best suit your Facebook audience.
Do you have any examples of blogs or brands with fabulous Facebook pages? Share them here!