Facebook and Your Book Blog

Posted 4 January, 2013 by Amanda / 50 Comments

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As some of you know, I’ve begun to educate myself on the inner workings of social media. I want to share some of what I learned in case you find it useful. Most of what I’ll share is very simple and should help you to understand how to use Facebook pages to their full potential–both as a page owner and as a page fan. Ready? Here we go.

[ETA: As of Jan.15th, there will be new policies regarding FB pages and cover photos. Make sure your book blog’s cover photo is not in violation of the new policies (Read the policies here.)]

 

 

1. Cover Photos

Here are some things to keep in mind about cover photos.

  • Size: 851 X 315 pixels
  • Your profile picture takes up space in the lower left corner of your cover photo–don’t place anything important there.
  • According to Facebook TOS, you cannot include addresses or calls to action in your cover photo. This is mainly geared toward businesses and advertising, but it applies to everyone.

2. Profile Pictures and General About Section

Your profile picture is what shows up when you post or comment. If you do a lot of commenting with your page, you might want to make sure that it is different and unique (i.e., use a picture that is easily recognizable to your blog). I mention this because during promotion for Bout of Books, I had On a Book Bender and Bout of Books with the same profile picture. It got confusing for me as to which page was which. I was always paranoid I was posting on the wrong page. And if *I’m* confused, everyone might be, too. I’ve found that people are very visual, so they’ll look at your picture first.

You’ll notice that I have “add URL” to your About section. This is a trick I learned from Stacey at Hit the Mic Marketing and it has been INVALUABLE. All you have to do is copy/paste your URL into the About section. I find this invaluable because as a page viewer, I can quickly and easily jump to your website without having to click around to find the link. You’d be surprised how difficult it can be on some pages to find a direct link to the website. As a page owner, I want to make sure that getting to my actual website is not difficult.

3. Likes and People Talking About This

I’m not going to lie. When I found out that pages don’t count toward your overall likes count, I was pretty disappointed. In order to get stats, you have to have 30 likes. Having people like your page with their pages doesn’t count toward that. I completely understand wanting to keep your personal Facebook and book blogging separate. I GET THAT. However, this is just something to keep in mind. I know that I’ve started liking a lot more pages with my personal account so that I can better support my favorite sites. If you use your page to comment on other pages, you don’t receive a notification if people reply or like your comment. (Which is just another reason to use your personal account to interact. The downside to that, of course, is that your friends may be able to see your activity.)

The number of “people talking about this” reflects the general amount of interaction you get on your page. People liking your posts, commenting on your posts, or sharing them all count toward your number. And if your number is low compared to your likes number, don’t worry. While it sucks, you’re just not going to reach everyone. You can, however, experiment with different kinds of posts to see what generates the most interaction. I’ve found that pictures and posts that ask questions often receive the most interaction. It might be different for you.

[ETA: Having a Facebook like box on my blog has been huge as far as getting more likes for my page. I think maybe because it’s easy–you don’t even have to leave the page you’re browsing. If you can add a Facebook like box to your sidebar, I would strongly suggest doing so. All WordPress blogs should have that ability.]

4. Privacy Settings

The default privacy setting on Facebook pages is public to everyone. If you want to check this, look at the icon that follows the time stamp on updates. If it’s a globe, it’s public. You can see that my icon is NOT a globe, and this means my posts are restricted. I made a conscious and deliberate decision to make my page 18+. If you’re not logged in and/or you’re not 18+, you won’t be able to see my page. If you’ve seen my page, you know that some of my content is 18+. I don’t want to get into any messy situations where my page gets reported, so that’s my reasoning. You have to make your own choice.

5. Notifications, Stats, and Scheduling

Whenever you like a page, you probably want to see what they’re posting, right? Show in News Feed is pretty self-explanatory, so we won’t waste time on that. (Except to say that it’s possible with limited interaction and low likes number, a page’s posts may not show up in people’s feeds.) If you click “Get Notifications,” that means you will be notified in the notifications bar at the top of your Facebook page (as if you received a comment or like). I personally find this a little annoying, so I stick to news feed notification. The “Add to Interest Lists” option is supposed to help get around posts not showing up in your news feed, but I believe that it sorts by “top stories” rather than “most recent” so you still have items not showing up in your feed.

Facebook allows you the option of scheduling posts. Why use this function? First, scheduling can allow you to space out your posts so that you don’t spam people with a bunch of posts all at once. And becase Facebook gives preference to links, statuses, pictures, etc. that are posted using Facebook, you probably want to stick with using Facebook to update. I’ve mostly stopped using any auto-posting applications and opt to post everything myself. (If you don’t have a lot of time, try scheduling your posts for the week at one go.)

And finally…STATS. Once you get 30 PEOPLE to like your page, you’re privy to stats. These will allow you to see how many people have seen your posts. Organic means views on your page. Viral means views through someone else. Generally, the more people like, comment, and share your posts, the more viral views you’re going to get. I mainly use stats to determine what kinds of posts are more popular. Do people like pictures best? (I’ll post more pictures.) Do people like discussion? (I’ll post more asking people what they’re reading.)

What are YOUR Facebook tips and tricks?

AmandaLovesYOU

Filed under: Discussion,

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50 Responses to “Facebook and Your Book Blog”

  1. I’m not sure I’m ready for a FB page. Actually, strike that. I’m lazy and probably won’t do one. BUT if I ever change my mind, hellz yes, I’m using your fabulous instructions. And now, I have to go like your FB page. :)

  2. That is great information!

    I try to like from both my personal and page account just because I look at the streams in both. It is sad that page likes don’t count towards the numbers though. They really should!

    I don’t use my FB enough. I am going to have to start leveraging it more :)

    • I try to like from my personal and page, too… but I usually only look at my personal account. Liking from my page is more so there’s a name recognition, and those likes will show up on my Facebook page (like creating a community!). I am trying to interact with Facebook pages more as my personal account. I think it counts more towards interaction?

      I think Facebook can be a really useful tool if you know what to do with it. It gives you the ability to do some things you can’t really do on Twitter.

    • You’re welcome, Paul! I’m glad this helped you–I’m planning on doing something with social media marketing in my business, and this is kind of the direction I want to go (helping authors maximize their social media accounts). :)

  3. Amanda! This is AWESOME. I seriously didn’t know about scheduling posts until you told me and it so much more elegant than hooking up certain posts via NetworkedBlogs or similar. Really SERIOUSLY AMAZING.
    I also didn’t know about likes not including pages, so ♥♥♥

    • You know, it’s possible Facebook doesn’t even provide stats for third party apps anymore. I’ve noticed recently that the dlvr.it posts for Bout of Books don’t show ANY stats, even if people like them (which should mean that SOMEONE saw them).

      I remember being so frustrated about the pages not counting toward likes. I was all, “BUT THAT’S A LIKE! SOMEONE LIKED ME! IT SHOULD COUNT!” Alas, no.

      • I hate that, too! I’ve been liking others from my book blog page rather than my personal account. I think I’ll start liking from both so I can still comment from my page. Doesn’t Facebook realize there are /people/ behind these pages? We should count!

        I have GOT to start making use of scheduling posts.

        Great post, thanks!

        • Yes. I usually like from my personal account and book blog page. Facebook makes it easy to like a page as your page while logged into your personal account, which is nice.

          Scheduling posts has been AWESOME for me. I usually do it in the morning, and then don’t have to worry about spamming people with links all at once or forgetting to link up.

  4. These are some great tips, Amanda! I’ve been on Facebook with my blog for awhile and have already adopted a lot of these, but there were still a few things I learned. Lately, I’ve had to physically share my reviews and posts on Facebook because WordPress isn’t doing it for some reason (even though it’s showing that the connections are all there), so I have to give myself a reminder to do that every day.

    It’s hard to keep on top of ALL the social media, though. I like that I’ve found my favourites.

    • As far as book blogs and authors go, I think Twitter and Facebook (with a dash of Goodreads) are really the main social media sites. Everything else is relativity superfluous (though I can see how Pinterest could become popular that way). A lot of what I’ve read is that it’s better to limit yourself to a couple sites and do them well rather than spread yourself thin and not update regularly.

      I usually try to schedule all my posts on Facebook in the morning. Then I don’t have to worry about it the rest of the day.

  5. I use Networked Blogs to automatically publish my posts to my page…it makes things seamless, and I don’t have to remember to publish a preview of my post because it’s done for me!

    I’m still not fully convinced of Facebook’s ability to share my content though, with it’s new “promote” feature where I need to pay to show my content to all of my “likers'” news feeds. I’m actually only reaching a small portion of my readers through Facebook, because of how Facebook controls who gets to see my posts.

    • I’m not sure that reaching small portion of your readers on Facebook is really any different from say…sharing on Twitter. I mean, sure, Twitter doesn’t control who sees your posts BUT you have to contend with followers in different parts of the world, people who never look at their stream, people who only check Twitter at certain times of the day, and so on. In reality, you’re only reaching a small portion of your Twitter followers as well.

      • True. I guess I just assume that my efforts are less wasted on a forum like Twitter, since the potential for all of my followers to see the content is at least there. Facebook doesn’t give me that option (for free, at least).

        That being said, I still think having a Facebook page for my blog is a great idea! (Which I probably should have included in my original comment). I definitely find the interactions I do have go much further than on Twitter.

        • I’ve begun to approach all social media with the mindset that I’m only going to reach a small portion of my followers/likers, regardless of the reason why. I think a lot of it (with both Twitter and Facebook) is just a matter of hitting on the right time, the right people, and the right content. (Which is really, really hard to do.)

          But like you said, having Facebook for your blog is good. I think you probably reach a slightly different portion of your audience on Facebook. And you can have different kinds of interactions that aren’t quite as possible on Twitter.

  6. Oh goodness, I am NEVER on Facebook anymore lol. I just sort of fell out of using it I guess. I have considered doing a page for my blog, but I’m lazy, and I really do want to keep the pages separate (for both directions – I haven’t told most of my facebook friends that I blog, and even the ones I have told don’t have the address. I like them SEPARATE) On the other hand, how hard would it be to set one up, right?

    Out of curiosity, do feel like you get lots of traffic from having a Facebook page? I figure a lot of the people who would like etc. my blog already interact on twitter, or my blog, or whatever. Then again, I was sorta against Twitter for a long time (I mostly joined because of Twitter chats for events), and it led to me meeting some great friends!

    • You can keep the pages separate. I mean, other than liking your own page, your page and personal account can be completely separate.

      Facebook is a vehicle for promoting your blog. You have abilities on Facebook that you don’t have on Twitter or your blog. There are people I interact with on Facebook that I don’t interact with on Twitter. (It just doesn’t happen for whatever reason.) If you really want to promote yourself, it’s less about what social media sites you like to use, and more where your readers are.

  7. I’m not on Facebook but I feel like I should be. I feel all out of the loop by not having an account! It’s just the thought of one more thing to have to constantly update gives me a nervous twitch. I have a hard enough time updating the blog and Twitter and Goodreads:)

  8. Thanks for the tips, Amanda! I don’t have a Facebook page for my blog yet, but if I do decide to start one, I’ll come here. :) I just try to keep those certain “friends” away from my blog, but since I post on Twitter, it kind of failed. I guess it should bother me too much about what they’re saying about me, since I do this because I want to anyways.

    • It’s human nature to want to have good things said about you. Nothing wrong with that. That said, I do keep my book blog as separate from my personal spaces as possible. I like having things compartmentalized. I’m odd like that. ;)

  9. This was such an incredible post!! I learned so much so thank you very much, as always. I need to use the scheduling feature more often!

    • I’m glad you found it useful! This is something that I’d like to include in my new business services, so yeah. It being helpful is music to my ears.

      The scheduling feature is awesome. I love using it. :)

  10. I have a saying: Everything I learned about Facebook, I learned from Amanda.

    *blinks innocently*
    Okay, not everything, but you were really instrumental in helping me get my FB page for the blog up and running and looking good. I salute you!

  11. Facebook. So far I’ve stayed away from it for blogging. I think more from a reader standpoint. Why want to follow the exact same content on RSS, twitter & FB. I had an AP World History page back in the day, because the kids would use it. Though I preferred Twitter, so I couldn’t see what they were posting. I guess I’ve just segmented my life into FB being only for people I know face-to-face & twitter for my blogging & hobbies.

    But logically I know some people love having their whole world at their FB fingertips. I should give them bookgoonie there too. How did you set up On A Book Bender? A Fan Page linked to your personal site? Did you set it up like a person? It’s been 6 years since I set up my class page, just wondering what is the best approach if I decide to do it. ??

    • I can’t speak for everyone but I’ve been posting links to reviews (and other things) that never make it to my site. I can also do these silly mini-updates as I’m re-reading the Dark-Hunter series. So, my content is not *exactly* the same between blog, RSS, and Twitter. I look at it as a different platform to interact with people and a place where I can be a little more in-depth than I would be on Twitter (due to character restraints).

      (And, yes, I do know what you’re saying about seeing the exact same content on multiple social media platforms. I have a friend who has her Twitter, FB, and Tumblr all linked. I see the same update in three different places and it kinda drives me bonky.)

    • I completely understand that, Amy, and I try very hard to put content on my Facebook that DOESN’T appear anywhere else. I also think that Facebook reaches a different portion of your audience–people who prefer Facebook over Twitter.

      Well, the way it works now is that you have to set up any page with a personal account, but you don’t ever have to link up the two. (So my book blog doesn’t have to say who runs the page.) And you should be able to go to any Facebook page and find a “create a page” button. All you do is click on that, and set up the page. (Mine is set up under the website classification.)

      If you decide to create a page for bookgoonie, I’d be happy to help you through any part of the process. Just email me! :)

  12. GDI! I had no idea that pages liking other pages didn’t count. I’m kinda pissed that it doesn’t, because it doesn’t make sense. I was hoping to use it to promote my blog more, because I don’t have GFC as I don’t use blogspot. I like to keep things nice and separate, even though I do use my real name on my blog and make no effort to hide my identity.

    With Feedburner gone, I’m not sure how to track followers anymore. I’m guessing my best solution is to create another facebook personal page, and use it for interacting with book blogs, and hope that I can get my blog’s Page out there more, if that makes sense?

    Grr, I’m so frustrated right now.

    Thank you for the post, though — it cleared up a question that I had a hard time figuring out the answer to. As in it took me months :(

    • Leeanna, Feedburner is actually still functioning. I use it for On a Book Bender. (I subscribe to my Feedburner through RSS and email, so I know it’s still working, and subscribers counts are still available–I just checked mine today.)

      Even though I’ve started using my personal FB account to interact with blogs more, I don’t find it to be an issue, even though, like you, I try to keep things separate.

      • Really? I thought Feedburner had quit working. But I heard subscriber counts weren’t updating in September… and then I somehow broke my RSS feed, so I could be wrong. If it’s not broken, then YAY! I will FIX IT!

        Thanks for the quick reply. I’m going to rethink if I’m actually going to use Facebook or not for my blog now. If I do, I think I’ll create a new personal page — I like everything organized.

        • Nope. There were some crazy rumors going around last year. The stats did stop working for a while, but with Feedburner that does happen occasionally. They’re back up and running–and have been since September. They got rid of Feedburner developer API, which is only important if you wanted to develop a program for Feedburner. Everything else still functions perfectly.

          • Ahhh. I had to take a break from blogging right about then, so that’s why I thought it was broken. I feel a whole lot better than an hour ago, lol.

            Now I just have to figure out how I broke my feed, and debate what I’m going to do about Facebook. But thanks again for this post — it’s been invaluable!