Facebook Hates Bloggers (What to Do About It)
Are your engagement rates and post reach on Facebook just plain depressing? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Facebook used to be a blog marketing playground, but if you haven’t noticed, in recent years it’s gotten harder and harder to get your content seen there.
It’s really a shame, too, because people are sharing a great deal of content on Facebook, and if you CAN get seen and shared there, it can mean big traffic for your blog. Luckily, there are some things you can do to boost your blog’s presence on Facebook, and we’ll discuss a few of them here.
Let Me Start By Saying
To cite the title of one of my favorite parenting blogs, Let Me Start By Saying that I lied a little in the title of this post. Truth is, Facebook doesn’t really hate bloggers– in fact, they love them… but there’s a catch. Facebook will only show you love as a blogger if you’re getting a whole lot of love from Facebook users on your posts. Of course, this presents a bit of a problem as of course, no one can show much FB love to post they’ve never seen.
So what do you do? Here are some ideas to get you started:
Now, there may be varied opinions on this one, but I find that it’s most effective to share my new posts to my Facebook page and then share that same post to my personal account, rather than sharing to each one separately. I do this because that increases the visibility of my page and reminds anyone I know personally that I have a page for my blog if they want to follow it.
When people see a post from my personal blog’s page, for example, they see something along the lines of “BrittanyBullen.com originally shared…”
In fact, I try to do the same thing with my Google plus page… but that’s a post for another day.
I don’t share every post to my personal account, mind you, because I always try to keep in mind the type of content my friends and family might be interested in, but I do share everything to my page. The degree to which you do those things is up to you– just know that more sharing is not always better– think quality over quantity.
Find Shareable Content
Curating and sharing the kind of content that people are more likely to pass on can work wonders for the engagement you see from Facebook. I know people who swear by using a service called PostPlanner, which makes this super easy to do. They scour the internet for share-friendly things you can post (think funny stuff, inspiring memes, that sort of thing).
I can definitely see how a tool like PostPlanner could benefit businesses, but for your typical mom blog I’m not sure it’s worth the minimum monthly fee and in my experience, you don’t get all that much help from the free version. In my opinion you’d be better served to just find cool stuff and share it yourself. Remember, it’s good practice to make a mental note of the things you share as a user of these platforms– the things you learn will be invaluable to you as a creator.
Embed Posts Into Your Posts
Have you ever embedded a social media post into a blog post?
If you haven’t, now might be an excellent time to start. Some of my blogging heroes do this very successfully. I’ve seen G+ posts frequently embedded in Ana Hoffman’s posts at Traffic Generation Cafe and I know Pauline Cabrera over at TwelveSkip and Canva superstar Peg Fitzpatrick often include embedded pins in their posts to make it super easy to share the post to Pinterest.
I don’t see this as often, but I have seen Facebook posts embedded into blog posts, and I always engage with them when I do because, come on, how cool is that?
I’ll show you how to do it. It’s super simple, actually. Here’s a post on my facebook page from last week:
All I’d need to do if I wanted to embed the post into my post is click that little downward arrow up in the corner, select “Embed Post” and grab the code to put in the HTML of my blog post.
There’s a similar option on pins, tweets and google plus posts (maybe even more, but those are the ones I know).
Putting the social media post into your post could significantly increase the chances of people clicking and liking (engaging with) it, and of course the more engagement your Facebook post gets, the more Facebook will show it to other people.
Use Facebook Comments On Your Blog
Remember the awesome parenting blog I mentioned at the beginning of this post? One of the great things the author, Kim Bongiorno, does is to give her readers the option of commenting via Facebook. She also includes the standard commenting option if that’s what you prefer, which is nice too. I’d venture to say she probably gets much better engagement on FB since she started incorporating that.
I used to have that option available on my site, but I was having some issues with the plugin so I took it down. If you want to focus on boosting your Facebook presence, though, I still think using their commenting system can be a great way to go.
Ask For Shares
As far as I can tell, shares are the very best kind of engagement for getting your stuff seen on Facebook. Sadly for many bloggers, people are quite reluctant to share things unless the content stands to make them look good to their peers. That’s why interesting, touching, inspiring, beautiful and funny content will always be the most successful– these items make the sharer look like they’re smart, classy, funny, interesting, generous, etc.
Not all good content achieves this (although I’d venture to say that most of it does) so if you’re not getting many shares, you might want to consider asking your audience directly. You can do this in a couple of ways:
Call to Action Within Post
Of course, the most obvious way to ask for shares is to say something like “Please Share” in your post– but if you don’t give much of a reason for people to do it and your post isn’t all that shareable (see above for potential reasons why) then you probably still won’t get great results. Think of why a person might share it and then include that with your call to action. Let me know what happens!
Ask People Specifically
If you really want something shared, you might want to reach out personally to some people you know who might be willing to share it. Close family and friends might be willing to share, or if you’ve featured/linked to someone else in your post, there’s a good chance they’ll share it as well. Make sure you use this tip selectively, though, and only ask people to share if you have a good relationship with them or you’ll get on their radar as annoying and/or selfish. Nobody wants that!
Looking for a way to seem generous… to me? This post, of course, wouldn’t be complete without this:
Find Your Tribe
Joining forces with other bloggers, preferably those in your niche, can be a fantastic way to help get your content seen by other people. Generally I’m not a fan of “share for share” arrangements, but there are some places where bloggers can go to find a supportive community of other bloggers who are willing to help each other.
Triberr is one of these places, as is the International Bloggers Association, the blogging community I founded earlier this year. I know blog commenting whiz Harleena Singh has a similar community over at her site, Aha-Now, that’s definitely worth checking out.
Ultimately, where you find your tribe is less important than how you choose to build relationships within that tribe. There are groups of people all over the internet who are helping and supporting each other, but if you come into one of these groups with a mind only for self-promotion, you really won’t get all that much out of it. If you’re willing to really help and contribute, however, the possibilities for you and your blog really are limitless.
One of the quickest ways I know to get a great deal of engagement on Facebook is to have your post, image, video or status update featured on a really popular page. I’ve had some friends recently have huge success this way, just because they happened to get noticed/featured by people with large followings.
Step one if you want this to happen to you? Create something awesome, of course! Step two is just to get your awesome stuff in front of someone who might like it. You can send it to them directly, just be aware that most bloggers won’t share your stuff if they’ve never heard from you before– unless that stuff is awesome enough to let your lack of previous relationship slide. If you decide to do a more “cold call”-ish approach, you might have success… just be careful. It’s always better to get to know them first.
Over to You
Have you ever had a SUPER successful post on Facebook? How did it happen? How did your blog benefit from it?
Do you have any more Facebook secrets I haven’t mentioned here? Make sure to leave a comment so my readers can benefit from your experience!
Thanks so much for stopping by. Happy Blogging/Facebooking!