I’m something of a social media fiend.
I’m not necessarily an early adopter, but my Facebook account is old enough that I started out by listing my class schedule to find other people on campus.
I’m probably an oversharer on Facebook (but you should see what I USED to share…), my Livejournal is pretty much dead but I used to blog over there with a freakish intensity, my Instagram is flooded with photos of wool and half dead mint plants-I never said I was a -good- gardener.
One of the issues I’ve always had with blogging is there seems to be this mentality that sticking a link on a social media site will guarantee you success with hits and views. The blunt of it: it won’t. If you’re lucky, and your timing is right, and you happen to have the right people share it, you might. That may sound bitter, but it’s actually just how viral marketing works-otherwise there wouldn’t be tutorials in existence on the right time of day to post recipes to Pinterest. There is, however, a sort of hidden blogging secret to Facebook that I sort of stumbled into by accident, via a throw away comment on someone’s link party: Facebook groups.
This should have been obvious. Like every other aspect of social media, there are some tips (and that overarching question, should you even do it?)
1. Figure Out What You Are
This is an odd one, but you need to know what your best fit audience or your largest need is. Are you looking for more traffic and have awesome food posts? Do you write fiction? Do you need signal boosting to social media? There are groups for pretty much everything; you may just need to do some digging to find them.
2. Follow the Joining Instructions
Make sure to read the group descriptions. There are some groups out there that are probably awesome, but I can’t get into them because I don’t know anyone already in them. That’s okay, it’s a big Internet out there.
3. The More You Join, the More You Find
Once Facebook catches on to what you want, it’ll be easier to find more groups. Facebook will start to recommend blogging groups to you once you’re actually in them.
4. Make Sure to Read the Group Rules
I have yet to find a group that’s fully ‘free for all’. Each group is going to have different requirements for membership. Some have threads that they want you to participate in daily/most days, some will want a thread a week. Each group has a different level of interaction requirement. Some of them will let you just post a link to the group and leave. Make sure you know what the group wants you to do.
5. Come Up With a Group Schedule [Or Other Form of Group Organization]
I’m trying to limit how often I bombard my Twitter feed with other people’s signal boosts, so I’m going to set up days for Tweet shares. I have a Pinterest board just for blogger’s pins from groups. It can get really overwhelming to try to stay on top of groups and everything else you need to do. I try to spend some time every morning and just check my groups list to see what updated, then I come back after work and update as needed.
But Do You Even Need Facebook Groups?
Where are your weaknesses? The groups haven’t done much for me in getting more Facebook hits, but they’re helping. However, my Pinterest shares and Pinterest hits are through the roof. I’m also slowly getting my Facebook like count up as I’m getting more exposure.
Here’s my stance: if you’re already comfortable with the group structure on Facebook (or have forum experience from another source) and have the time, then it’s worth it. But it is another layer of media responsibility to take on. If you’re a blogger with an already effective media presence, you may not need it. But if you like social media, have the time, and are willing to be patient, it’s probably worth at least a shot.
Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.
Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends!