I have a dirty little Facebook secret that no other blogger is using, and today I'm spilling the beans. I grew my blog to more than 10,000 Facebook fans in the first year, which was not a stroke of luck, or a coincidence. Here's how I did it and why:
I approach Facebook in a totally different way than any other blogger out there (that I've seen). I don’t treat Facebook as a follow-up to my blog, or a supporting material, I consider it to be a totally separate blogging platform. Some people use Blogger as a platform. Some people use Wordpress. Others use Tumblr. I blog on Facebook.
What that means – is that I actually post all of my content on Facebook so people can comment there. I don’t ever post links to my blog posts – my Facebook page IS my blog essentially! What this does is utilize the world’s #1 website and the billions of people who are already on there. You are bringing the content to them, to a website that they are already comfortable using. Why is this key? Because there are countless people who have no idea what a blog is. I hear daily from my Facebook fans, who will admit to me that they don’t read other blogs or even know what blogs are. Being in the blog world can make us forget that not everyone is blog savvy. Why miss the millions of people who could love your content, but are only using Facebook at this point? It makes no sense whatsoever to force people to digest your content on the platform YOU are most comfortable with, it's all about bringing the content to where the readers are. (This is why I will be adding Pinterest to my blogging repertoire this month!)
So what’s the catch? Why is no one doing it this way? The main complaint bloggers have is that Facebook takes away from page views. So if you have banner ads on your website, then you want as many people on your blog as possible and you could care less about Facebook. I totally understand this way of thinking, but I also think it’s totally wrong. Here's why:
1. What is more valuable to you – a dedicated, hardcore fan that loves your blog and tells everyone they know about you? Or a banner ad? The engagement is SO much more worthwhile! A banner ad may satisfy your immediate needs, but a large, engaged group will give your blog longevity and ultimately more fans. Let's dream big for our blogs rather than focusing on the immediate (banner ads).
2. That dedicated fan I mentioned? They will go out and tell at least 20 people they know about you. And guess what? Some of them may have blogs, and those blogs will start giving you those page views you wanted immediately. One hardcore fan on Facebook can equal 20 new blog fans. Facebook will eventually feed your blog, I am living proof! I started my Facebook page first, and then added Blogger later. A year later and my Blogger numbers are kicking Facebook’s butt. Facebook leads will turn into page views on your blog eventually.
3. Banner ads are the only type of ads that don't work on Facebook. There are still tons of ways to put sponsorships on your Facebook page through content and links. And many companies will be very interested in getting in front of 10,000 Facebook fans - especially when they understand that these are two totally separate groups of people that you are reaching! (That's twice the audience!) A view of your content has the same weight, no matter what blogging platform you are using.
4. At the end of the day, I truly believe that it’s not about you – or what makes you comfortable as a blogger. It’s about your fans, and what they want. That's just plain customer service.
So let's talk logistics. How do you post your content on Facebook? There are tons of ways of doing it. A few are:
1. Use the Notes section.
2. Post a single photo or photo montage. You have unlimited space for text and links. (This is how I do it! See left.)
3. Post a new photo album with chunk of info in each caption.
I sometimes have to alter my content a bit to make it work on both platforms, but I think this extra time is totally worth it, because I'm talking to two separate groups of people. If I haven’t convinced you yet, here are a few more reasons to love Facebook:
1. Facebook allows you to interact with your fans in a way that other platforms will never be able to compete with. Fans can post questions, photos of themselves, links to interesting pieces of information. Blogging is a two-way street (in my opinion) and nothing is as interactive as Facebook. It's the best platform out there!