Offbeat Bride's weekly reach: Facebook vs. our own website

June 27 | offbeatbride
At the top, the number of people who see our posts each day on Facebook. At the bottom, the number of users who see our posts on offbeatbride.com.
At the top, the number of people who see our posts each day on Facebook. At the bottom, the number of users who see our posts on offbeatbride.com.

Here's a mind-blower for you: Offbeat Bride's weekly reach on Facebook is now about 370k people. Our weekly reach on our own website is about 250k people. This means that Offbeat Bride is now reaching more people via Facebook than we are via our own website.

I've written a lot over the last year about my major shift in Facebook strategy. The tl;dr version of this strategy:

  • I stopped fighting the fact that people use Facebook to follow blogs. I might love RSS, but everyone else loves Facebook. I got over it.
  • We post all day, every day. We syndicate new posts in the morning, and schedule evergreen "greatest hits" all afternoon and evening. Algorithms are smart and generally show followers a comfortable number of posts.
  • Instead of discouraging Facebook commenting, now I'm like "Whatever, guys. If you want to leave comments that get lost in two days, that's cool." Moderation is a breeze, thanks to Facebook's "hide comment" function.

In other words, I feed the beast. Facebook's algorithms reward a steady stream of content that users find interesting. This makes perfect sense for them: if Facebook users find their Facebook feed interesting, they'll keep coming back to Facebook. So as a publisher, Facebook rewards me for feeding the beast with interesting content. Thanks to almost eight years of posts, I've got no shortage of food for the beast.

As a result of about a year of this beast-feeding (not to be confused with breastfeeding!), Offbeat Bride's Facebook presence has grown so much that we now reach significantly more people each week via Facebook than we do via our own site. There are challenges to this (acculturating new readers on Facebook is weird!), but there are also rewards (our Facebook page is becoming a significant source of affiliate revenue, and we're doing an increasing number of paid social media campaigns — vendors should of course get in touch for more info).

The weekly reach numbers and revenue shows that this beast-feeding strategy is working for now. Of course I know better than to assume it'll work next year (or even next month). On a personal level, it's of course extra fascinating to me that Facebook has become such a huge part of my business strategy since I refuse to use the site for personal networking. It makes sense, though: based on anecdotal evidence, I'd say I spend about as much time on Facebook as most of my friends do. Instead of arguing with my friends or liking baby pictures, I spend all that time sharing posts on the Empire's business pages. I guess if I'm going to feed the Facebook beast, I want it to feel like the time is valuable… and if that time is spent building the Empire's reach and revenue, then it's a good use of my time.

…wait, did I just construct the most elaborate excuse ever to fuck off on Facebook?

  1. Always SO very grateful to you for sharing your learning process with us! And best ending line EVER. Kudos from your biggest fan.

    5 agree
  2. How do you do the "greatest hits" scheduling? Can you do that through Facebook directly or do you use a separate service to do it?

      • Awesome, thank you! I'll definitely check into that. These posts are always so informative and enlightening!

        • Sure thing. Oh and just FYI: Facebook also has built-in post scheduling functions (look for the little clock under where you post on your page), but I prefer using Hootsuite.

          1 agrees
      • Follow up question! How do you pick which evergreen posts to share? With so much content, do you just pick a date at random or is there a formula to it? Right now I'm just going through my posts one by one and scheduling as I stumble upon something worthy; I feel like there must be a better way. Like a random post generator, or something.

        • OH GURL. You asked a great question. I actually lean heavily on my share and click stats from AddThis.com to see what readers are organically showing organic interest in this week. Then I do some editorial braining around seasonally-relevant topics and posts that have performed well in the past (high comment counts, traffic, etc), and make a lovely evergreen soup. The choices are about half analytic/data-driven and half editorially driven.

          • Thanks so much for taking the time to answer, Ariel! Do you keep track of the posts in a spreadsheet or anything? With my poor memory, I'm constantly like "Did I share this one last month? MAYBE." Or do you just share as the spirit moves you and not care about how often you're sharing the same evergreen link?

  3. I'm may already have seen this, but David Tennant shared the Barbies->Weeping Angels link on his Facebook page this morning. Right now it has 6,756 Likes, 175 comments, and just 1 share. I hope those are translating into click-throughs and ad revenue for OBB!

    • Oh THAT'S where all that traffic is coming from. All we know is that someone on Facebook shared it… now we know who. Looks like it's just his fan page, but still… HI DAVID.

      4 agree

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