Facebook has over 2 billion members, so the potential number of people you could reach with posts promoting your site and articles is incredible. However, you need to do this carefully and thoughtfully or you can be banned from Facebook groups, banned from posting to your own page or even anywhere on Facebook.
You should share your website and articles as much as possible on Facebook because of the tremendous reach that is possible, but you must do it without triggering spam detectors. Have you ever heard of Facebook Jail? It is often used to describe the situation when Facebook prevents you from posting anywhere because it regards you as a spammer. Your website URL can be blacklisted too.
It is best to err on the side of caution and stay safe by avoiding over-sharing on Facebook. However, you can share some links with the right strategy and you could be rewarded with a lot of traffic to your blog or website. Let’s see how to make the most of Facebook’s massive audience in part 5 of this 7-part course.
Business vs personal accounts
Is your Facebook account for personal use or business use? You could post links from your website or blog to your home feed to promote them. However, the family and friends that are among your connections are rarely the target audience of your site.
Your personal home feed probably isn’t the best place to promote your website. In fact, it is a good idea to avoid family and friends. It they like your posts, Facebook may regard them as being only for family and friends posts and then limit their exposure to the rest of Facebook’s members.
Tell family and friends not to like your posts so Facebook does not regard them as personal or private. Better still, don’t post business posts on your home feed.
Create a Facebook page
Instead of sharing your website and blog posts on your Facebook home feed, share information, status updates and links on a Facebook page. This can be branded and presented in a way that reflects your website, business or work or personal blog. A page can drive traffic to your blog or website.
Click the plus button in the top right corner of Facebook menu and then click Page (we’ll look at groups in a minute).
The page can be dedicated to your website, blog, or simply the subject area you cover. A Facebook page can be created to share your links, share your page and grow your audience with likes and follows.
Before you create a page, think carefully about the name because there are restrictions on changes that prevent them from changing too much. Get it right from the start.
You need a large image for the page cover photo. This, according to Facebook, should be 851 x 315 pixels and less than 100k file size (see Facebook page image dimensions). A .png file produces the sharpest image, but .jpg image is usually smaller and faster and looks just as good.
You need a small profile image that appears in the top left corner and this should be 170 x 170 pixels. Profile photos are cropped to be circles when displayed in certain places, so don’t put anything in the corners. Keep your face or logo in the centre.
You don’t have to enter much to create a page and most of the information is added afterwards. A name and category is sufficient to light up the blue Create Page button at the bottom. There are many categories in the list on the left, go through each one because some are important. For example, you can target specific audiences with your page.
After creating the page, a menu appears in the sidebar on the left and there are two important sections, Edit Page Info and Settings. Visit Edit Page Info, it enables you to enter a description, links to your website, email address, location, phone number (if you have a business), and so on. It depends on your blog or website and not all sections apply. Just fill in those that do.
How often should you post? It depends on what you are posting. Don’t share more than one link a day and don’t share the same link twice. Post other things and to just links to your site, for example, status updates, photos, and so on. As your page grows, you can increase your posting a little. Very large pages can post five times a day, but small pages should limit their posting.
People that like your page may see your posts in their Facebook news feed. Unfortunately, Facebook limits free exposure, so you may find that few of your followers see a post. Facebook mostly wants you to pay to boost posts and advertise your page.
Your aim with Facebook is not to post a lot, it is to post a little, but get a lot of people to see your posts. It has been getting harder to do this for free in recent times.
Use Facebook groups
There are hundreds of millions of Facebook groups, so no matter what the niche of your blog or website, there is bound to be many groups dedicated to it that you can join. Use the search facility in Facebook to find groups that are in your subject area and join them. Focus on quality rather than quantity, so 10 good groups are better than 100 poor ones.
Groups can contain thousands of members, sometimes tens of thousands. If the group’s area matches your blog’s target audience, there are tremendous benefits from sharing links with them and it could result in a lot of website traffic.
Some groups allow you to share links to your site, blog, Facebook page, Instagram account, but others don’t. Read the rules. If you break them you may be banned from a group.
There may be special days for sharing links and they may be restricted to within a thread rather than a post on its own, so visit the group regularly and get to know it before posting any links to your content.
It is easy to join groups, but there are also benefits to creating your own not the least being you are boss and make the rules! Building your own group takes time and effort, but it could be worth it and a group can drive traffic to your blog or website.
Some groups have thousands of members and some have tens of thousands. They can be a good way to promote your stuff, but only if you are careful.
How to promote your content
Facebook is always watching and trying to identify spammers. The trick is to promote your content as much as you can, but without Facebook labelling you as a spammer and blocking you. To be honest, it is getting harder and harder.
You can be blocked from posting anywhere on Facebook for days or even weeks, depending on how serious the offence was or the number of times you have been caught before. It is sometimes called Facebook Jail.
The wrong way to promote your content is to share a link to a post on your website or blog across multiple groups and pages. It triggers a spam alert at Facebook HQ.
Facebook counts the number of times you share a link and how fast. Share the same link 10 times in 10 minutes and you could be instantly flagged as a spammer and have your account blocked. Don’t do it!
The right way to promote your content is to share a unique link to a post only once on any one day. Include a brief description with the link and try to invite people to discuss it – comments are good.
Secret sharing tips for Facebook
It helps if you have more than one website because you are then not posting the same links to the same site every day. If you had two sites for example, you could share a link to one site today and the other site tomorrow.
Facebook seems to prefer internal links to external links and they obviously want to keep people on the site. You can use this to your advantage by posting a link to your website on your Facebook page. Then share a link to that Facebook post. The way to do it is to go to your Facebook page and right click the time/date of a post. Copy it.
You can then paste this link into groups, if they allow sharing of links, and it appears as an internal Facebook link. Write unique accompanying text that has not been used previously. Before you paste a link, type in a few sentences telling people what it is about and what to expect if they visit the link. Everything you post on Facebook should have a text description.
Be personal. In other words, use the word I. So instead of ‘Click here to visit my site‘, something like ‘I had a great idea for…‘ It depends on what you are sharing, but using I looks less like you are posting an advert.
Be a good Facebook member. This means engaging with other group members in discussion, sharing other things apart from links to your site, such as photos, thoughts, ideas and opinions. If you engage with others, you are less likely to be tagged by Facebook as a spammer and are more likely to get shares, likes and followers.
- Avoid posting your website, business or blog links on your home feed
- Create a Facebook page to share links to your site/business/blog
- Tell friends and family not to like posts to your page
- Post to your page no more than a couple of times a day
- Share other people’s content on your page
- Use Facebook search to find groups in your subject area and join them
- Create your own group and grow its members
- Engage in discussions in your and other’s groups
- Share links to your site in the groups, but only if allowed. Check the group rules