After several years in the blogosphere, I have learned some things about social media that have been instrumental in the growth of my blog. These are the things that have worked for me and may be helpful to some of you that are just starting out or looking for ways to increase your social media presence. I don't claim to be an expert in social media, just someone who has been in the trenches for several years and figured a few things out along the way. This is the second post in a monthly blog series called Social Media Sunday! Today's topic is Facebook fan pages!
There was a time that Facebook was my largest traffic source, but those days are long gone. I have worked really hard over several years to build Facebook followers, but then had to start my fan page over from scratch last year when I changed my blog name. Unfortunately, as my page numbers grew on my new page, Facebook changed their algorithms and started to show my posts to less people. I think it has to do with the fact that they want page owners to buy advertising to boost their posts. I don't claim to understand how the algorithms work, but I do know that I have about 3000 followers and my posts, on average, are shown to 900 people. I still try to grow my numbers and I do feel like Facebook has some of my core blog followers, but it is becoming increasingly less important in my social media strategy (Google+ on the other hand, is becoming more important. More to come on that in a future post). With that being said, I still use Facebook to share my posts and more importantly, to exchange dialogue with my readers and other fitness fans.
5 Tips To Increase Likes and Engagement on Your Facebook Fan Page
1. Increase Engagement:
If you want to increase your own likes, the number one way to do this is to engage on other related pages in your niche. Get out there and comment, share, and like! Sign in as your page and like the all pages you find interesting (you will also need to like from your personal page, but more on that in a minute). Share content from other relevant pages on your page, enter the contests, comment on other people's status updates. Do it all under your page name account to get your name out there. Let people see you being active in the community. Give freely without expecting (or requesting) anything in return. It will come back to you, I can almost guarantee it.
Increase engagement on your own page by asking questions. Every single status update shouldn't be a link to your latest blog post. Remember what we said about not always talking about yourself? I like to ask people about their workouts, or their upcoming races. People want to tell you about themselves, you just need to ask. When people leave comments always respond! Ask people to leave the links to their own related fan pages so you and your followers can follow them too. People are engaged when you get them talking about the things they want to talk about, not always about your blog.
2. Like Pages from Both Your Personal Facebook Page and Your Fan Page
Even though I said to engage with other pages using your fan page, it is important to show your support by liking from your personal page also. When you like another page from your fan page it does not count in their number, only likes from a personal Facebook page count. To give your support to another page you have to like them from your personal page. I usually like a page from my personal account and my fan page at the same time, then I hide them from my personal feed (but keep the like). That way I can follow along their page from my fan page, but they still get the credit for my like from my personal page.
3. Give Shout Outs
Call it whatever you want: Friday Follow, Shout-Out Saturday, or Must-Follow Monday. Share a status update with the links to 10 other related Facebook pages and invite your readers to follow them. I'll share pages that my readers might find interesting, funny, or helpful. I share both big pages and small ones, whether they need my help or not. I often share the pages who's page owners are most active on my Facebook page. I invite my readers to like the pages and then offer for them to share their own page in the comments. This falls into the category of helping others without expecting or requesting anything in return.
4. Link in Comments
Why do bloggers put the link in the comments? You may have noticed that a lot of bloggers are not including the link to their blog post in their Facebook status update, but instead just a description of the post and a note that says that the link is in the comments. This is because Facebook does not favor sharing outside links. A status update from a page with a link in the status will be shown to considerably less people than one with link in the comments. It is sort of a work around to avoid being penalized by Facebook for sharing a link. If you want your link to get a further reach, do not put the link in the status.
5. Join Blogger Support Groups
Blogger support groups on Facebook are a big help if you find one within your niche. These are groups where bloggers leave their blog or social media links and agree to help the other people in the group by sharing and/or commenting. I have found that the smaller niche groups are most effective. For example, If 50 couponing blogging moms share my Facebook status, it is likely not to increase any engagement, because their audience doesn't care about my fitness content. However, if only five running bloggers share my post, their audience is more likely to be interested in my content and I am likely to receive more engagement from just those five targeted shares. I am part of a Facebook group called Fitness Media in Motion which is small, focused and effective for me. Look for support groups within your niche to increase your reach, help others, and discover new blogs.
You can follow the Running with Ollie Facebook fan page here, and if you leave the link to your own fitness page in the comments, I will follow you back (from both my personal and fan page). If you leave your link please also follow the other people who leave their links too! Growing your Facebook page is all about community. Help others to grow their networks and your network will grow too.
Up next month....Twitter! Oh, I have so much to share with you about Twitter! Stay tuned!
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