While my blog recently joined Facebook, personally I'm not a stranger to it. I've been on Facebook since the early years, joining when I was in college and you needed a college email to join. But it wasn't until recently that I started joining Facebook groups that were started by people other than my friends. The Facebook groups I've joined are mostly for bloggers. I joined these groups in the hopes of getting more knowledgeable about blogging and blog promotion.
To get the most out of the Facebook groups I'm a member of I've read several bloggers opinions on the benefits of Facebook groups and the best way to use them. I'm not sure why, but the many of the opinions I've read are on the negative side. They don't see Facebook groups as a way to gain readers or grow your blog.
That can't be true I thought. The purpose of many of these groups is to help your blog grow. So against seemingly popular opinion I began joining Facebook groups. So far I've joined 14 groups focused on blogging and blog engagement. This ranges from sharing posts in the groups to get people to read, comment and/or share to discussing issues, questions or wins around your blogging experience.
Believe me, I have NO issues with there being roles or requirements for being a part of a Facebook group. I also don't have issues with reciprocating likes, comments or social shares. That makes sense. What I do have issue with the specified number you're required to like, comment and share. Some of the groups I've joined require to to reciprocate to 10 or 12 other bloggers. That can be a lot.
This can be hard to do if
- You don't find many of the blog post titles compelling
- You don't have a lot of time to spend reading 10 or more blog posts, leave a meaningful comment and then share them on social media. A lot of that time could be spent on bettering your blog
- A lot of the blog posts don't have images that match your Pinterest aesthetic
- You have to write descriptions to post on social media because post doesn't have one that automatically populates
- The blog posts don't fit your blog focus and aren't on topics you're audience is interested in
I have a few other reasons for why it's hard but those are my top five (not necessarily in that order). In an effort to get around these things I started to
- Set aside a specific time for participating in Facebook groups
- Confirm there are at least 50 blog posts in a thread. Then I go through and see if I can find enough posts in the thread to meet the requirement that interest me. I do all this before even including my post in the thread
- Stumble blog posts that don't have attractive or pinnable images instead of sharing them on Twitter or Pinterest. It's also easier than sharing on other social sites
- Only share my blog posts when the reciprocation requirements are low or there are none
While I haven't gained a lot from several of the Facebook groups I'm a part of there are some that have been helpful and are my favorites
- Blog + Biz BFFs
- Photography For Your Blog + Biz
- Blogging Boost
Because these are my favorite I'm more active in these groups. Here are some tips for participating in and getting the most out of Facebook groups
- Pick a handful that will be the main groups you'll participate
- Don't just self-promote by only posting your content. Participate by answering other members questions. You can also share content from other bloggers that would be helpful for the group
- Set aside some time each week to post in your Facebook groups. It can be an hour a week or an hour a day. Whatever works best for you
What's been your experience with Facebook groups? Have they helped your blog to grow?