This article is one that I'm writing specifically to help my blogging friends, so if you aren't a blogger or a business owner, you might want to move on or recommend it to someone who is! I am on Facebook as SHABBYFUFU and if you want to see my page, it's conveniently linked in the name for you.
Facebook Can Still Generate Blog Traffic!
As you may (or may not) know, I've been blogging for around 9 years now and Facebooking for almost as long. For the last two years I've started taking blogging more seriously and trying to switch my focus off of the selling aspect of being on-line to the writing and photography aspect of full time blogging. I don't advertise myself or claim to be an expert really at anything, but I feel that as an internet pioneer being on-line since the late 1990's I have learned a few things that I can definitely pass along to others. For free. I'm not selling a course, and you don't need to sign up for my MAILING LIST unless you want to.
So let's chat SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING and especially FACEBOOK and why I have a long time love/hate relationship with the platform. I know that hate is a seriously strong word, so maybe I should say dislike. But no...there have been times in the last year or so that I've wanted to toss in the veritable Facebook towel as I listened to the advice of the self proclaimed experts.
I digress...I don't proclaim expertise, but I should point out that I have over 405,000 FACEBOOK FANS that have been gained completely organically.
I started early in building up my FACEBOOK page and have never given up, despite my raging fits of how lately nothing seemed to work. My poor husband listened to some screaming hormonal rants about how Facebook (hereafter referred to as FB) sucks the life out of my social media efforts lately and how he should sell his FB stock immediately! He listened but was not impressed.
The problem of course is with the constantly changing algorithms on FB and other SOCIAL MEDIA such as PINTEREST and INSTAGRAM as they went from babyhood to adulthood and were then were seeking to monetize. As bloggers we are doing the same thing...and the free ride is nice, but not ever lasting. It's a form of FREE website traffic for us...bu things have changed as they always do. Back when I had my website early on I advertised by paying for magazine ads every. single. month.
I'm talking about some serious advertising budget for that, but I knew that I had to spend money to make money and it did pay for me to make that investment. My business was into the six figures and I owe that to those ads. There was NO SOCIAL MEDIA back then and no other choice!
Then SOCIAL MEDIA started blooming and FB and TWITTER were the early on outlets for connecting to your followers. I chose to place my efforts and my time on FB. I started my BUSINESS PAGE at SHABBYFUFU and posted from MY BLOG, photo shoots, and a lot about the projects that I was working on for my website. My page took off like hotcakes and I was very true to myself and what I was doing and didn't really look at what others were up to. It wasn't unusual for me to post a photo of some floral arrangement that I did, go to bed and wake up with several hundred new followers and loads and loads of comments! I saw GREAT GROWTH by just BEING ME. No tricks necessary...just posting what I do and what I love.
At some point the bottom of FB started dropping out. It started out with subtle changes but became an avalanche in the last year or two. You probably already know this though because you are a blogger and are reading this piece ;-) I wasn't sure what to do because my BLOG TRAFFIC was dropping instead of growing. I felt totally betrayed, like I lost my best friend and gambled on the wrong platform when maybe I should have concentrated on PINTEREST like many of my BLOG FRIENDS who were seeing great growth while mine was coming to a halt.
I started taking a course or two on-line, listening to the "experts" (most of whom had less followers than I do) and trying all of what they suggested. Mostly what they suggested was to share viral content and guess what....THAT DID NOT WORK FOR ME! I paid once or twice for FB ads and it did nothing but bring me further into the hole of no views. I signed up with a scheduler and did what they suggested in sharing memes, quotes, random bits of info and again....viral content.
And then I had a FB epiphany a few weeks back after comparing my GOOGLE ANALYTICS to my FB analytics. They simply didn't synch up. AT ALL! I was feeling really down in the dumps about the fact that some of the pages I was following were getting great FB REACH, while my page wasn't. The world according to Facebook.
Although my FB reach was dismal, it just didn't equate to what I saw on my blog. After all...FB wants to keep you on their page and not have you EVER LEAVE. I have talked with others and although no one is saying much of anything publicly about the analytics comparison others are seeing it too. Equation learned...FB reach does not necessarily mean BLOG TRAFFIC.
WHAT HAS BEEN WORKING FOR ME LATELY
What is working for me lately (besides sharing on other platforms) is SHARING MY OWN CONTENT. I am going back to my roots of FB and why I got my page up to that ridiculous amount of followers in the first place. THEY SEEM TO LIKE WHAT I DO and it's worth trying on your page whether large or small to gain followers and/or engage the ones that you have by SHARING YOUR OWN CONTENT. It is an authentic place to be and I have always believed in that word and mantra of staying true. I also want to point out that I feel that people on FB (and the internet in general) LOVE to look at photos and move on quickly. You post the content of others found on Pinterest or other sources and they don't necessarily even realize that it's not your content. I don't want that...but I see other pages that have built up to hundreds of thousands by doing just that. When they do post their own work it can become obvious. It's a choice though...and when I've seen MY OWN CONTENT on some of those pages and "scraper sites" with no credit it's slightly infuriating when the source isn't give.
1. I post 10 times a day, taking content FROM MY OWN BLOG. I do share friends though...because they inspire me and no blog is an island:-)
2. I try and engage in the comments at the end of the day, and encourage people to click over to MY BLOG. Some of them don't even realize that FACEBOOK IS NOT MY BLOG!
3. I have been using POST PLANNER to plan out my posts which is a HUGE TIMESAVER. I find a hour or so during the week and sit down and plan out a week's week's worth of posts. They take care of the rest, so I just log into my SHABBYFUFU Facebook page at the end of the day and do some engagement. Post Planner is very inexpensive starting at I think $7 a month and saves me a morning headache. If you decide to try it...here is my affiliate link at POST PLANNER
4. Do not trust FB analytics, always refer to Google Analytics for the honest truth!
Ultimately I feel try everything and you have to see what works for you, as again...I am sharing what seems to work for me and am not a social media expert.
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Let me know if you have any questions and I'd be curious to know if this helps you too and come visit me on FACEBOOK.