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Why (and how) Bloggers Should Use Facebook

Whenever I take part in Twitter chats about blog promotion, a common question that comes up is "how do I use Facebook to promote my blog?". 

And one of the most common replies is "don't bother with Facebook". Then I squirm in my chair. Me and my blog owe a lot to Facebook. I can very strongly argue that I'd be on the radars of a lot less people if I hadn't set up the mo'adore Facebook page

You see, the thing that Facebook can offer that not many other platforms can? It's the chance to get on the radars of people who aren't bloggers. Think about it. Who in your network uses Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr during an average day? Probably other bloggers or marketers or people who just love social media. 

Who uses Facebook? Pretty much everybody, even if they're not a social media nerd. I mean, I bet some of you have grandmothers who are on Facebook? So unless your grandmother is a blogging pensioner (and fist pump if she is) it just goes to show that Facebook has a wider reach than more niche social media platforms.  

But how to use it? Well, Facebook is a bit of a tricky one, and Zuckerberg doesn't always make it easy for businesses (or bloggers). It took me a while to establish my Facebook strategy but now I'm a full-believer that the Book of Face can  help your blog reach a wider audience. Ready? Here's some of the techniques that have worked for me. 

Give it a mention on your personal profile
The preference to keep blog life and real life separate is still a concern for many bloggers (boy, do I still feel it myself from time to time). I don't promote every single post I've written onto my personal Facebook page because that would annoy people and I'd get deleted. But just a quick mention, or invite a few Facebook friends to like your page if you know they'd love the topic. If you're serious about blogging, remember to list it as a job - I got a few extra likes after doing this (I'd been blogging for three years at this point and some friends still didn't know, you learn something new). 

Advertise your page or boost your posts
When small business owners complain about 'needing to pay' to use Facebook, I cringe. Facebook Advertising is a fuckload more cost effective than advertising in any magazine, or even on another blogger's sidebar (and you can choose keywords so your advert is highly targeted). I, out of curiosity, decided to try a bit of Facebook Advertising one day. I didn't have a clue what I was doing and effectively just pressed some buttons and hoped for the best. The result? £12 got me 60 something new likes. Even better? Some of those likes turned in active followers. 

(If you're serious about your blog you're going to have to spend money investing in things like advertising. Or a camera. Or sound equipment.)  

Learn how algorithms work
You probably know by now that not everyone who likes your page will see your posts. Facebook algorithms learn what users want to see and dresses up their newsfeed accordingly. I, for example, see a lot of posts relating to veganism, feminism, Glasgow and....results of studies on human sexuality. YE GET THE PICTURE? So whenever I share a post on my page? I always use a keyword to help push the post through to followers who would enjoy my content. 

For example, instead of saying "Check out the latest recipe on my blog" go for something that indicates to Facebook what your post is about "Today's recipe is a vegan chickpea soup perfect for keeping warm during the winter". 

Join Facebook Blogger Groups
Aside from pages, another way to promote your posts in to join Facebook groups set up for bloggers to share links. Okay, this move will only get you on the radar of other bloggers so maybe doesn't apply to the main theme of the post, but it did help grow my blog reach. Some of my favourite groups are Scottish Bloggers, Glasgow Bloggers, Vegan & Vegetarian Bloggers plus my own groups Dundee Bloggers and #cfbloggers.

Word of caution: check the rules of any group before sharing your newest post. There is one blogging group on Facebook I have received a warning from because I jumped the gun. And act with caution when sharing your link into a group that might be on the topic of your blog about but isn't a blogging group (like Dundee Vegans for example - people go to these groups to chat not have someone's blog spammed at them).

Working with PRs
Again, if you're wanting to turn your blog into a for-profit business, you'll need to start looking for brand partnerships. Many PR professionals use Facebook groups to find suitable bloggers for upcoming projects so being a member is a must. Join groups such as UK Blogger Opportunities and reply to suitable opportunities (focus on the word suitable - you don't want to land yourself a reputation as a blagger rather than blogger). I've also had PRs and small businesses contact me through my FB page and some brands require you to have a minimum number of Facebook Likes before they'll even consider working with you.

Have you used Facebook to grow your blog? What are your favourite strategies? 

morag | mo adore
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