Lisa Jane of Travel Loving Family has a gift on Facebook. She gets great engagement and starts real conversations. She’s also tried out several different methods of sharing on the platform, to see what works best. We’ve asked her to pass along her best advice. Read on for tips that will have you excited and energised about using Facebook for your blog!
Jen and Susanna have asked me to share my tips for developing a following on Facebook and gaining interaction on posts. I’m honored to be asked as I have a fairly average following of just 1.7k. I have had some posts flop with a social reach of just a few hundred, however my most popular posts have reached 8-21k people.
I launched my family travel blog – Travel Loving Family nearly two years ago and set up my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TravelLovingFamily/) shortly afterwards. It drives about 40% of my blog traffic. Some of my basic tips were featured in this BritMums post, “15 things you need to do on Facebook right now“.
In this article, I’m focussing on what I works well for my page. I’ve also asked a couple of my fellow blogger friends to share their insights into their most popular Facebook posts.
4 types of posts that work well
There are four types of posts which work really well on my Facebook page:
- Articles that appeal to my local readers
- Posts featuring just photos (with no links to my blog)
- Videos (posted directly to Facebook)
I am going to give you some examples of these posts with screen shots so that you can see the social reach and interaction.
Facebook has a policy regarding running giveaways on pages. You are not supposed to ask readers to tag a friend or share your post. (Lots of companies and bloggers do it, myself included on a couple of occasions, but you are not supposed to). You can read the full policy here. This is the important bit:
Personal timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted)”
Here is an example of a giveaway I am currently running for Cornbury Music Festival.
I chose not to boost this post and it only reached 1.8k people, (with a good amount of interaction). I posted at my optimal time, (check out on FB insights when your followers are online). I also had one of my Rafflecopter entry methods being “Click here to like and comment on our Facebook post promoting the giveaway. Sharing the post is also appreciated.” It’s just a play on words but it means I’m not directly asking my readers to share the post to enter the giveaway.
Branded Content on Facebook
Important note on Branded Content: The reason this post states ‘Paid’ at the top is not because I have paid to boost the post but because I have used the new branded content tool to show that I am working with Cornbury Festival. In this example, I am receiving a family weekend pass in return for running a giveaway on my blog. It’s important to note that the exchange between you and a brand does not need to be financial. Facebook introduced this policy recently and they now “require creators and publishers to tag their business partners in their branded content posts.” The Branded Content Tool is only available for Pages (not Profiles). You can request access to the branded content tool here and once the tool is enabled, you select it when writing your updates.
In this second example posted four days later, I opted to boost the post, (represented by the dark orange line). It had a significantly better reach — 8.3k, less likes and comments although a good click-through rate of 431. (I was also rather naughty and asked for people to tag friends, which boosted the reach).
A couple of days ago I shared and boosted this post promoting a giveaway in an Italian villa. It has so far had a reach of 6.2k and 300+ post clicks. This giveaway is also being promoted by the brand I am working with, Bookings For You, and so I am benefiting from their Facebook followers and vice versa.
I never used to boost posts and then I read this advice on Hub Spot, which describes how the Facebook News Feed algorithm changed again in late 2016 to “further prioritize content from friends and family over Pages.” It was this quote that convinced me to start paying a few pounds to boost the occasional post. “It’s likely only a matter of time before organic reach hits zero, so you might as well hone your paid strategy now,” the post says.
It’s important to note that boosting a post does not guarantee any interaction, readers will only interact if a post is useful, interesting and/or sharable.
Articles which appeal to local readers
I have a good percentage of followers from my home county of Gloucestershire. I know this because when I post local information it is shared many times. I am currently working with BritMums and British Tennis on the Tennis For Kids campaign. It is a UK-wide campaign, however I decided to include local availability in my FB posts because I knew the free tennis sessions would be of interest to my Gloucestershire readers. My first post featuring the campaign had a reach of 8.7k via 18 shares. My second post, which shared my article about the programme, had a reach of 13.9k via 14 shares. Neither of these posts were boosted, they just worked well because the free tennis sessions appealed to my readers who shared the post with their friends.
Strategise with evergreen content, says North East Family Fun
Samantha at North East Family Fun has an FB page with 11.6k followers: https://www.facebook.com/NEfamilyfun/. She has a great rapport with her north-east based Facebook followers because she frequently shares local relevant information.
Samantha advises: “Rather than writing about a one-off event at a local attraction, try and write about the attraction as a whole and produce evergreen content that can be re-shared across social media in years to come. Don’t be scared to re-share popular local content. At the beginning of each month I go through my blog archives for the same month in previous years and re-schedule any local evergreen posts to my Facebook page. For example, this local glamping post was first published it in April 2015, yet when I re-shared it in April 2017, it still reached over 15,000 people.”
Posts featuring just photos
I don’t share photos on their own very often, simply because the main aim of my Facebook page is to drive people to my website by tempting them to read an article. My photo posts do however get good reach and interaction. For example, after reviewing a cottage in Cornwall I shared these photos, which were seen by 3.4k people (double the number of my Page followers) and received 132 reactions.
I tend to share a photo post, sometimes a few posts, whilst on a press trip, tagging in the relevant brands. I will then post to my page again when I have published my review. A good tip is to go back to your photo-only post and add the review link in the comments so that anybody who commented on the photos can then read the review if it is of interest.
Posts featuring videos
I am beginning to share more videos whilst on press trips, usually just short video tours of our accommodation, uploaded directly to Facebook. This video of our caravan at Tattershall Lakes was seen by 2.3k, watched by 1.3k and received 139 reactions. Not bad for a video that took me two minutes to film and upload.
This is the best reach I have ever had on FB: a short video taken at a festival last summer that had a reach of 21k!
What works with videos, from Five Adventurers
Nisbah from Five Adventurers creates stunning videos of her family’s travels. Unlike mine, her videos are not just taken on an iPhone and uploaded directly to Facebook. Rather they are filmed using aerial footage of drones (!) with subtitles added.
Her FB video tips: “Make the first 5 seconds the most captivating. The algorithm of Facebook looks at how many people watch the first three seconds and the more you can keep then that, the more people your video will be shown to, so improving your reach. Second one would be to always have text, as most people watch videos on auto play, so no sound is there.”
Nisbah has shared two screenshots. It’s the same video shared on Facebook two different ways. The first example shows the video shared via YouTube, which only attracts a reach of 680 people.
The second example shows the video uploaded directly to Facebook which had a reach of 5.5k and was viewed 1.4k times. A significant difference!
As you can see, there are lots of ways to engage people on Facebook and they don’t necessarily take loads of time and effort. With a bit of planning and foresight, you can reach thousands with your great pictures, text and videos!
I hope these tips and insights help. If you share these types of posts to your Facebook page, we would love to know what you have found works for you. Please pop your insights below!