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?