Friday, March 9, 2012

Biannual Blogathon Bash Mini Challenge – FACEBOOK

For your Biannual Blogathon Bash Mini Challenge in Social Media, start here.

Facebook is the most widely used of all the major social media outposts. It has become a kind of "must have" for anyone and everyone on the internet. People can share things they find interesting in all sorts of formats. Most bloggers choose to set up a Facebook Page as opposed to a Facebook Group. Facebook Help has a great breakdown of the difference in their article here, so I won't go into the details. A Page allows you to reach more people faster and easier. Your blog might reach a point where creating a Group makes sense, so you could always keep that in mind for the future. Onto the "how"...
  1. Login to your Facebook account. If you do not already have a Facebook account, you can create one specifically for your blog or you can set up your own account, and create the page from there. Here are Facebook's instructions for creating an account (although they are basically as simple as Twitter's -- name, email, password, boom!).
  2. Once logged in, go to Facebook allows you to choose what kind of page you will create -- Local Business or Place; Company, Organization or Institution; Brand or Product; Artist, Band or Public Figure; Entertainment; Cause or Community. Most bloggers select "Cause or Community" because most blogs are a sort of mini-community. One of the other categories might fit your blog better, so choose with your blog in mind.
  3. The first step will be to upload a picture. This can be your blog "logo" or a picture of you or something that represents your blog in some way.
  4. Then you will fill in your "About" section. You can describe your blog -- its goals, main features, etc. Then enter your blog address as the website. If you have a Twitter and Google+ page, you also have the option of adding in those links too!
  5. The next page you will see is the "Admin" view of your Facebook Page. Here, you will see several features about your page:
  • Notifications: You will be notified anytime someone writes on your Facebook Page wall, comments on a post, etc.
  • Messages: People can message you through your Page and it will show up on your Admin view at the top.
  • New Likes: The beauty of a Page is that people can "Like" your Page. This shows up on their profile, their friends see it, click on it, and they can "Like" your page too. It has this sort of viral effect, streaming from one person to the next. Facebook will tell you when you have new "Likes" so you can keep up with your reach.
  • Insights: Once 30 people "Like" your page, Facebook will start tracking activity to your account. You can see when people come to your page, what they do while they're there, how long they stay, and exactly how many people you are connected to through the people that "Like" your page. This is very valuable for you to track what your high impact actions are!
How can Facebook grow your blog? Through Shares and Likes! Share all your blog posts on your Page and people who have Liked it can see your latest posts. You can also update your status to advertise upcoming events and share other blogs you like. You can create a "poll" to gauge your readers' interest in different topics and help you find a new direction for your blog. If your readers "Share" your posts, all their friends will be able to see your posts and your Page.

I will use my Page as an example. Even though my blog was new, I chose to participate in a giveaway and used my Facebook page as my sign up link. People could "Like" my Page for an entry into the giveaway. In less than three weeks, I got over 1,300 Likes! According to Facebook's data, I have access to over 374,000 people through the friends of those 1,300 Likes. This is an incredible audience for just three weeks of exposure! Most of my readers access my posts through my Facebook Page and, if they share them, all their friends get to see them too.

Leave a comment on this post once you complete the challenge!

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