Early on I fell into the trap of using my garden blog's Facebook page as a channel for my content and ignored the social in the social web. Ironic since the reason for the page was the blog where I’ve been having conversations with visitors for years.
1. While my page is about me, the most popular updates are the ones where member are given an opportunity to communicate with each other, share tips and ID plants.
2. Questions about what members are doing in their own garden are popular & create engagement that makes your page look alive. I started a garden blog because nobody I knew in real life had an interest in talking about plants. Maybe the same is true for people on Facebook, but they get their fill of “blogging” by commenting on the Facebook pages of fellow gardeners.
3. Updates that are open-ended questions garner more reactions than just links to my latest blog post.
4. Humor goes a long way to get people to “like” you. Sometimes I change the lyrics of earworms to be garden specific and post them as a status update.
5. Photos of blooms, bugs and other interesting things I come across are more popular when they’re posted to Facebook and the member doesn’t have to leave the site to see it. Photos also give people and opportunity to participate who may not feel comfortable giving gardening advice or chiming in with the rest of the crowd.
6. For me social networking websites aren’t so much about the interaction or networking, but the crowd’s ability to bring news and information that I find relevant right to me. Links to interesting or funny garden related items in the news get shared often and there’s usually an increase in “likes” after your fans share it on their wall.
7. Filtering your content keeps fans from being overwhelmed by multiple updates. I keep the majority of local news items and events filtered to those in the immediate area so as not to inundate those in other areas with information they may not find interesting.
8. Finally, according to metrics provided by Facebook-the majority of people who “like” and interact with my page are women. No real surprise here since the same demographic is what populates the comments section of my blog and I can tell most likers are women by their names and pictures. What the information has taught me is that maybe that isn't the right outlet for some of my more racy thoughts and jokes. I keep those on Twitter where just about anything goes.
A Facebook page that’s fun to administer and read should be diverse and requires a little bit of thought beyond loading a plugin that will automatically post your blogs latest entry. You'll also have to surrender some of it the people who like your page to create a sense of community. Unless you’re committed to making one an offshoot of your garden blog a Facebook page may seem like work to administer, but the benefits of interacting with people who may never comment on your blog are worth it. If you don’t have a Facebook page for your garden blog see this post for making one.
Do you have a Facebook page for your garden blog? Post the link below and I’ll “like” it with the garden bloggers Facebook page.