Does it feel like your Facebook posts have gone invisible? Have you sat at your computer in utter shock after advertising a blog post on Facebook and finding that it has received zero attention from your friends and acquaintances? If you can relate to this, then take a nice, deep breath. No, you are not crazy. And no, it’s not that your family and friends detest your writing.
If you have the nagging feeling that your Facebook posts have become invisible, it’s probably because they have!
That’s right. The average user has 200-300 Facebook friends at least, and there is absolutely no way your Facebook newsfeed can show you the hundreds upon hundreds of posts that all of your friends generate in a given day. So Facebook has designed a formula which helps them guide users to the posts they think they’ll be more interested in. The posts which head to the top of one’s newsfeed are: 1.) Posts by people you’ve interacted with recently, 2.) Posts which are experiencing a lot of activity, and 3.) Posts which feature pictures – because let’s face it, most people create Facebook accounts for the pictures!
Now think about the typical post which shares a link to your blog. It probably doesn’t include a personal photo (the photo attached to your link doesn’t count), and if people haven’t had a reason to visit your site in a while, then your post will be buried under hundreds of other messages. In other words: you’ve just created an invisible post. So you see, it’s not that your friends and family don’t want to support you and your work… it’s more likely that they simply aren’t seeing it.
What’s an aspiring writer to do? Here are a few quick and easy ways to make your Facebook posts more effective (and visible):
- Share Personal Quotes and/or Photos Often: This is, after all, why most people log onto Facebook. These type of posts will generate activity and draw people to your wall, and once they’ve visited they are more likely to see the next link you share.
- Time Your Posts Wisely – Don’t feel like you have to post a link to a blog article the same day you publish it! Hold on to those really good blog articles until you strike a gold mine with a funny quip or cute dog picture that generates a flurry of Facebook activity, and then post the link to your article. More people are likely to see it, and this lets you present your best work to the maximum number of readers… striking while the iron is hot.
- Include Personal Photos and Stories – This is what makes the Facebook world go ‘round! Even when sharing a link to your blog or artwork, share a personal photo or story in the same post as a way of introducing the article. More people are likely to see it, and a lot more people are likely to click that link. For example, I once posted a book review, but introduced it on Facebook with a brief memory of how my father had encouraged me to take pride in my writing. This was much more effective than my typical “link share” on Facebook.
If you play your cards right, you can make the Facebook system work for you. So the next time you post a link and hear electronic crickets chirping, don’t be rash and delete your account or publish a long, angry rant.
Post smart. Post visibly.
This post was designed for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a fellowship of writers who agree to encourage one another by sharing writing tips and encouraging posts for writers on the First Wednesday of every month.