If you have a Facebook page for your blog or business you probably discovered a completely infuriating change in early December. Instead of showing your updates to all (or most) of the people who have actively chosen to follow you, Mr. Zuckerberg and Co. now show your updates to about 10% of your followers. And if you’d like everyone to see your stuff? Well, you’ll just have to pay up. I did the math and I’d have to pay about $2,000 a month if I wanted my 3,700+ followers to see my posts!
So I’ve spent the last month experimenting with different ways to reach my readers since Facebook is now pretty much out of the question. Here are seven things that I’ve tried - with some success.
1. Really commit to Twitter - and use the photo option
Twitter is much more egalitarian that Facebook and (fingers crossed) has not yet pulled any shifty algorithm changes, ala Facebook. You can connect directly with people, friending the editor of that publication you like, rather than just liking the publication’s Facebook page.
Also! Twitter has a relatively new option that allows you to add photos directly to your Twitter stream rather than linking to photos hosted elsewhere. It makes a huuuuge difference in your traffic, especially if the thing you’re promoting is visually appealing. If you want to be a level 10 tryhard, you can design images specifically for Twitter. Here’s a super helpful post about how to optimize your images for Twitter Streams. (P.S. Are we friends on Twitter? We should be.)
2. Promote business-y stuff on LinkedIn
I know, I know. You’re all “Uggggghhhhh. Who even uses LinkedIn?” There are people there! I swear! A friend of mine got headhunted for a super cool editor job off of LinkedIn, so someone, somewhere is using it and reading it. If you write about/consult about/work with business-y stuff, post your blog posts on your LinkedIn updates. Can’t hurt, might help!
3. Share select stuff on your personal Facebook page
I usually limit my personal Facebook page to posting vacation photos and inviting people to stuff, but very occasionally, when I write something that I think other people might find useful, I’ll post it on the Yes and Yes Facebook page, and then ‘share’ it as Sarah Von Bargen. Shares feed into the Facebook algorithm and show Facebook that your post is ‘worthwhile’ and then it’s more likely to be seen by others.
Use this method carefully. Your ‘real’ Facebook friends will pretty quickly get annoyed if you’re constantly promoting your business when they’re just trying to chat with your about who’s bringing what to that baby shower.
4. Create an amazing newsletter opt in
You already know that you need an email newsletter, right? It allows you to reach right into people’s inboxes and connect there, without the hubbub and distraction of the internet. Newsletters help you keep in touch with prospective clients, share important updates about your business, and build trust with your readers and followers. AND Mark Zuckerberg can’t mess with your subscriber list!
One of the best ways to get newsletter subscribers is to create an irresistible opt-in - a free ebook that they get for signing up, a set of private videos, or access to tools and platforms that will help them. When you sign up for my small business newsletter, you get my ebook 7 Tricks For A Polished + Impressive + Productive Online Life. People who sign up for Yes and Yes’s newsletter get three (3!) ebooks: How To Charm Anyone. All The Time. Ever, Be Your Own Style Icon, and 29 Ways To Enjoy Winter.
5. Tell your Facebook people what’s going on
Use that ‘boost post’ option to tell everyone who follows you on Facebook about what’s going on. Let them know other ways they call follow/befriend you (newsletter, RSS feed, other social media platforms) and give them instructions on how to subscribe to your Facebook posts, if they really want to see your updates. They can do that by hovering over the ‘liked’ button and choosing ‘get notifications’ from the drop down menu.
6. Dive into to a different social media platform
My personal policy for social media (and what I tell my clients) is “choose two, do them well.” It’s better (and less overwhelming) to do two things well, rather than five things poorly. If you’re not using them already, you could try out Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Vimeo or Vine. I’m still sussing things out, but I might dip my toe back into Pinterest. Or Youtube.
7. Occasionally suck it up and pay to promote
If you’ve spent years developing a following on Facebook, it’s a pity to let all that hard work go to waste and there will definitely be times (like launches) when you want to access everyone you can. In those moments, just spent $20 so all of your followers (and maybe a few other people) will see your posts. Track your incoming traffic to see if it was worth it and then lather, rinse, and repeat.
Have the Facebook changes affected you? How are you working around them?
P.S. Want more super helpful advice like this? Check out my Clever Sessions! People love ’em - one client said “Honestly, I learned as much, if not more, in Sarah’s 90 minute Clever Session than I did in a two day blogging workshop that I paid $700 for. ”