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?