Jun 14, 2011

What My Garden Blog's Facebook Page Has Taught Me

garden bloggers Facebook pages
A year ago I met a gardener for an afternoon of garden tours around Chicago. During the conversation she asked me what the benefit of having a Facebook page for my garden blog was. I responded by explaining that it was another outlet in which to share posts or find readers. A year later I’ve realized I didn’t know the benefits of a Facebook page and that I wasn’t administering it properly at the time.

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

14 comments:

  1. This is a great post! I wasn't using mine right for a long time either. I love the interaction I get with it now and I have many more followers. It's much more fun with the new FB page changes too. I'm actually surprised more garden bloggers don't have a FB page. I prefer to follow bloggers on FB than through the blog feeds.

    Here's the link to my FB page for my garden blog... https://www.facebook.com/GetBusyGardening

    Amy

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  2. I have been "growing" mine since I am not a well-known or much read blogger. Combining it with my Etsy garden shop Milton's Garden Menagerie was a good idea though because too often I keep the two apart when so much of one always involves the other.

    Here's the link to my FB page:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Miltons-Garden-Menagerie-Home-of-the-Garden-Blog-Amateur-Bot-ann-ist/197366510277184

    Wow that looks really long!

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  3. I recently created a FB page for my gardening blog. Definitely not using it in the right way. Thanks for all the tips.

    Here is the link to my page:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-Meadows/186714088036038

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  4. Very interesting article. Thanks for the tips. I have had a garden blog for 3 years, but just this year I began a Facebook page linked to my blog.

    GrafixMuse's Garden Spot Blog

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  5. My experiences generally match your own. I was basically using my FB page as a place to post links to my blog, and then I think I saw you say somewhere that you almost treat your FB page like a side blog (or something to that effect) and it made a lot of sense to me. Sometimes I just want to post a pic or a quick update, and I don't have time to write a full post. Facebook is perfect for stuff like that, and I've found that the people who liked my page seem to enjoy seeing a bit of the garden and person behind the blog. It's definitely a more relaxed way to communicate with other gardeners.

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  6. Seems there is more interaction on the Facebook page than on the blog itself. Comments, for the majority of posts ;-)are now more numerous on the Facebook page.

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  7. Guilty! We don't use our FB page to it's full extent. Your post is very helpful and interesting. We have just been using it to feed our Blog Posts, although we do add some photo content on the page itself. Thanks for the insight :)
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/A-Small-Holding/134021656659157

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  8. Great tips MBT! I definitely don't use my business page to full advantage, and haven't even activated my blog page (yet.)

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  9. Thank you for that information, it has made me re-visit my FB page to make it work for me. My link is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hurtling-towards-60-and-Beyond/165799700136469

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  10. I have a Facebook page for my blog, but I'm hardly using it at all. I started posting links to my blog posts, but haven't kept up with it. Anyhow, it's here:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tangled-Branches-Cultivated/208317955867219

    Umm, what makes you think (middle-aged) women don't like your racy thoughts and jokes? ;-)

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  11. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    @Entangled, I once used the word "ghetto" to describe a container garden I found syringes in and was chewed out by someone who was a "fan" of the page. On Twitter I can get away with a lot more. :0)

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  12. I just created a FB page for my blog and I'm having a hard time posted to both my blog and the FB page. Now that I've got a little more time, I'll see if I can find a way to use both together (and Twitter).

    Thanks for posting this!

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  14. I just created a FB page for my blog and I'm having a hard time posted to both my blog and the FB page.I really like this post thanks you are sharing a good post

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