Last September 21, with the able assistance of Lori Randall Stradtman of Social Media Design, I started a WagnerWrites Facebook page. This is a status update on my experience with Facebook, along with a few pointers and links from the “experts.”
My page now has 168 (or so) fans. That is slow growth–“organic” growth, if you want to put a nicer name on it. I began by asking friends and colleagues to like the page. Then Lori helped with a social experiment this summer called “Pages Gone Wild,” in which she encouraged small business owners and consultants to “like” each others’ pages. This not only gave a boost to my numbers but connected me to several savvy people who share great content.
My blog, Twitter presence, and Google+ have helped bring in more followers. It’s a good idea to continually cross-promote on all social networks and platforms–but do it within reason, because over-promoting is spammy and counter-productive.
Facebook aficionados will tell you lots of ways to attract followers, but almost everyone agrees that content is #1. You should be coming to my page to learn something (or, failing that, to just be amused). I admit that this is a challenge on a daily basis. My “fans” are a varied group and it takes time to find good quotes or links to post every day. But I don’t have any excuses. As a writer and social media lover, I should living and breathing quality content.
The latest infographic from social media analyst Dan Zarella says that the best time to post on Facebook is Saturday at noon EST. In fact, business blogging guru Denise Wakeman, citing Facebook expert Mari Smith, said she is giving up on automation. In other words, she stopped the automatic feed of her blog posts into her Facebook page (grandly called “syndication”) and she posts the links “by hand” now, in real-time.
So it doesn’t really work to “phone it in” with a pre-scheduled post that will magically appear at a time when I’m usually eating breakfast with my husband or out running errands. Unfortunately, though, I don’t like using social networks for business on the weekends, despite what all these experts say. And I think you should focus on your friends and family during the weekends, too.
The WagnerWrites page has not resulted in business leads thus far, but it has given me valuable community management and content generation experience. It keeps me on my toes in the ever-changing, ever-frustrating world of Facebook. And it’s opened my business to a host of new ideas about how to better serve people through social media.
I’m most thankful for the experiences with the smart, generous, and fun folks who like my page. Because of them, I’m going to stay for a while longer.
Please consider liking the WagnerWrites and engaging with us there.