Facebook was a neglected part of my social media strategy up until a couple of months ago. Ever since their algorithms drastically reduced the reach of the FertileBrains page and I made the conscious decision of…
- Not sharing each and every post on my personal profile
- Not using Facebook ads to promote FertileBrains page or its posts (till FertileBrains is generating enough revenue to justify ad costs)
…my blog engagement, in terms of FaceBook traffic, became negligible and hovered dangerously close to the zero mark. Then a couple of months ago, I discovered these less frequently used, but powerful “hidden” Facebook features which are helping not only increase my blog engagement many-folds (334% to be exact) but also increasing the number of likes on my page slowly, yet steadily.
So, without further ado, here are 5 hidden Facebook features for you to help increase blog engagement 2-3x times:
1. Schedule your posts on Facebook Page
For as long as I had the FertileBrains page up and running on Facebook, my posting schedule was erratic, to say the least. Sometimes, I would go days without posting a single update and then post 5-6 updates within a few minutes of each other. Turns out, no one – neither Facebook nor your followers – like unpredictability. And I saw a drop in engagement (and a good number of unfollows) due to that. Not anymore. Now, I plan my posts and schedule them beforehand for at least a month ahead of time. The question that arises next for newbie bloggers is how to go about scheduling posts on Facebook?
How to schedule posts on Facebook?
You could either use a scheduling app like HootSuite or Buffer to schedule your posts on Facebook or do it directly on Facebook. Yes, you read it right! Facebook allows you to schedule your posts directly on its platform too. Here’s how you can do it without using any 3rd party tools:
- Navigate to your page’s “Publishing Tools” tab.
- Click on the “Scheduled Posts” link.
- Click “Create” to create a post and schedule it for an appropriate date and time in future.
- Upload an image to go with the post (if needed). And that’s it. You are all set. Easy-Peasy!
- Here’s the link to the corresponding Facebook Help Page just in case.
All the options suggested above are free to use for Facebook and super easy to set up. However, I personally prefer scheduling posts on Facebook directly because it lets me preview (and edit) my posts exactly as they would appear in my final feed. Also, I am quite used to Facebook’s interface. But if you ask me if there is a difference in engagement levels using 3rd party tools or scheduling directly, then I will not be able to provide any evidence for or against either option. I have used HootSuite for a month and Facebook directly for (almost) a month now, but in either case, the engagement has been comparable. So, it’s ultimately your choice how you schedule your posts (as long as you do it!).
2. Use relevant hashtags
There is some debate on whether or not using hashtags helps a post’s engagement or not, but in my particular case, I have found that using 1-2 relevant hashtags have helped increase the reach and searchability of my posts on Facebook and subsequently my blog engagement. So, for this particular point, you must do your own experimentation and see for yourself, whether hashtags are increasing or decreasing your reach and of course, if you do use them, you must use appropriate and only a couple of hashtags (at max.) per post. For example, this post could be shared using hashtags #bloggingtips, #socialmediatips etc.
Unrelated Trivia: Remember that time when hashtag was called a pound sign? 😉
You can go through below authority posts to decide the most optimum way to use hashtags for Facebook in your particular case.
3. Invite people to like your Facebook page, even when they are not on your friend list
Did you know you can invite anyone, I mean ANYONE, who has liked your posts in the past, to like your Facebook page? That is a great way to increase your page’s reach further; that too to a relevant audience different from your Facebook friends. When you wrangle out likes from your friends or join Facebook groups and exchange like for likes with fellow bloggers, it does you good only up to a point. Your friends or your FB Groups may not necessarily be the right audience for your posts and so despite having a healthy count for Facebook Page Likes, it may not necessarily translate to blog traffic.
But when you invite people who actually are interested in your content (and have shown it by liking your posts), this will definitely guide your blog (albeit slowly) to a more relevant readership.
How to invite non-friends to like your Facebook Page?
- Scroll through your Facebook page feed and pick any post with likes on it.
- Click on the like details link to reveal the list of people who have liked your post.
- Click on the “Invite” button against the names where it is not disabled. (If a person has already liked your page, the button will show up as “Liked” and disabled. If you have already invited a person to like your page, the button will show up as “Invited” and disabled).
4. Share quality content and add relevant horizontal images to your post links
This is not exactly a Facebook feature per se, but I thought I would add it considering how many people (including me) neglect this important point. Your page is your brand, which means you have to share quality and interesting content ALL THE TIME. Here’s how.
How to ensure your page quality on Facebook?
- Share posts from authority sites in your blog niche
- Never share a post before reading it completely first (It’s not necessary that you agree with the post, but it’s a good idea to keep it in sync with your general readership).
- Share posts with relevant horizontal images (Use Facebook open graphs to ensure right images get picked or add your own images while scheduling the post).
This is dated information but, Did you know: Photo posts get 39% more interaction? [Source: Buffer Blog]
- Share something to make people laugh
- Share inspirational quotes
- Don’t forget to mark your images with your blog’s URL.
5. Spy on Industry Leaders
I love spying and stalking my favorite niche blogs and bloggers online 😉 in the hopes of learning from the best. Facebook helps me extend this spying to their Facebook Pages by the not-so-apparent feature of “Pages To Watch”. It can be easily configured to observe Industry Leaders and your competitor’s FB pages and learn from the type of posts that they create, posting frequency, engagement data etc.
How to watch pages on Facebook?
- Navigate to your page’s “Insight” tab.
- At the end of the page, there’s a button called “Pages To Watch”.
- Click on it and add five of your favorite blogs to watch and learn from.
- Here’s the link to the corresponding Facebook Help Page just in case.
But wait, that’s not all!
Since you made it to the end of the post, here’s a bonus tip for you 🙂
Bonus Tip: Email Integration
You can convert the visitors to your Facebook page into email subscribers by integrating your email service directly to your Facebook page. All top email services like Aweber, MailChimp etc. provide this integration.
So, there you have it: 5 Facebook features to help increase your blog engagement by 2-3x times.
Download the key points PPT here
Now, it’s your turn
Which features from the list are you using currently and how has it impacted your blog’s traffic? Which one’s have I failed to mention? Don’t forget to share your views in the comments section below.