Hobo Mama by over 1,000 fans, from 3,500 to more than 4,900. (Don't bother looking at my Lauren Wayne page. I'm concentrating on one page at a time. Yeah, that's it.)
Here are my ideas for increasing your Facebook page fan count and interactions, for what that's worth (with all the Facebook changes making it harder for pages to get views, it might be worth less and less…). I'm indebted with gratitude to Jennifer of Hybrid Rasta Mama and Laura of Authentic Parenting, who have a gazillion followers each (ok, 11,000+) and mentored me, passing along most of the following tips.
- Post at least daily. Some people post every hour, some once a day. When I am being hardcore at building my fan base, I post about 4 times a day, with at least 2 hours in between posts if possible, and keeping them all within daytime hours in U.S. timezones. (This depends on your audience, of course, so you can experiment and see what your FB insights tell you about when the most engagement happens on your page.)
- Ask questions! Ask silly, goofy things, like "What did you have for lunch?" I kid you not. I thought this was so dumb, but I swear you'll get a million people responding. Ok, maybe I don't swear it since I'm exaggerating. But it's funny how the banal questions tend to get the biggest response.
- Do roll calls: "Where do you live?" "How old are your kids?" "I'm looking for new pages to follow. If you have a Facebook page for your blog, tag your page in the comments!"
- Ask advice. Even if you don't need it or intend to follow it. People love giving advice.
|My 2013 stats trend|
- Post something pithy (or not) and TELL your followers to click "like" or "share." For instance, "Like this post if you love cheese!" Make it at least semi-tailored to your audience, but it doesn't have to be profound. The more you can get people interacting, the more your page's posts will show up in newsfeeds as worthy.
- When posting links, you'll have to experiment with how you get the most views and click-throughs. For me, I find the best way is to use a URL-shortening site (I use bit.ly) and post the shortened link. THEN, click X on the photo preview. Seems counterintuitive to hide your pretty photo, but I get barely any views on links with previews. (This is all subject to change with Facebook's whims.)
- Post a variety of types of updates — photos, videos, links with previews, links without previews, straight text updates, shares from other pages. Facebook will penalize you for doing the same thing over and over. So post a variety with your important thing (say, your shortened link to your own awesome article) in the middle of some less important filler.
- In the same vein, post a variety of material: links from your blog, links from others' blogs, life updates, questions, jokes, photos of interest to your readers, etc.
- You can straight-up beg for followers from your current fans. Tell them when you're really close to the next big round number ("I'm almost at 500 fans — please like my page and share with friends!"), and it will usually work!
- Some people have great success with meme photographs — photos with pretty sayings on them. Keep them short and share-able. I don't have the magic meme touch, but that works well for those who do.
- You'll get barely any views on your page when you "share" something from another blogger's page, though that doesn't mean it's a bad thing to do. You'll be boosting the views of the other page's post by sharing it. In a group like this, that can be a nice way to reciprocate — sharing, liking, and commenting on each other's FB posts to mutually boost views and keep each other in the newsfeeds.
- In that spirit, I do recommend encouraging your bloggy friends to comment on, like, and share important posts. Don't do it constantly, of course, but if there's something you really need eyes on, it's appropriate to go to a group of like-minded bloggers (perhaps on Facebook!) and ask for support in persuading Facebook to show your post to more people (without paying them any money!).
- For the most views, it's best to post straight onto your Facebook page rather than through third-party services like Hootsuite or similar. You can, however, take advantage of Facebook's scheduling feature (which has been updated and made even easier since I wrote that tutorial). You can also use Facebook's native apps for mobile devices, such as Facebook or Pages Manager. That way, you can schedule out multiple posts when you have the time and have them autopopulating your Facebook page while you're elsewhere.
- Interact with your page yourself! Talk to your fans. Make it a conversation. Make them feel welcome and like your fans are part of your special FB team. It's a win-win situation, because they're more likely to stick around to see your posts and share them with others, and you'll have built your own little community online.