Regular readers of ProBlogger would know that over the last 18 months, I’ve put a lot of effort into Facebook – particularly by building up the Digital Photography School Facebook page.
I’ve worked hard in that time to grow both the reach and influence of the page and while there have been ups and downs along the way, it has paid off in a fairly major way – with Facebook becoming the second-biggest referrer of traffic to Digital Photography School on any given day.
In the last year and a half I’ve developed a publishing rhythm on the dPS Facebook page that works really well. I publish five posts every day – two posts link to new tutorials on the dPS blog, while the other three link to posts from the archives (all from at least a year ago). Occasionally I throw in a discussion-related post but almost every post links back to quality tutorials on dPS.
Facebook seems to like what we do, as they seem to reward links to useful content. But more importantly to me, our readers seem to like what we’ve built with the page (which in turn helps Facebook like it too) and I’m hesitant to change up the rhythm too much.
I have experimented with more posts in a day from time to time, but five seems to be about right. When I’ve gone with more I get reader complaints that we’re posting too much.
Two Other Strategies Bloggers Are Using to Good Effect
At the recent ProBlogger Conference here in Australia, I had conversations with a number of Aussie bloggers who were also doing very well with Facebook and was interested to hear that my approach is not the only way to grow an effective Facebook strategy.
In fact I heard 4-5 bloggers say that they’d noticed that their page did best when they did a couple of things different to what we do:
- they post more frequently – while we post five times a day, some of the other bloggers I’ve been talking to publish up to 10 times a day (spread evenly through a 24-hour period) with little pushback from readers.
- they link out to other sites regularly – while at dPS we only really publish links to our own site, these other bloggers see increased reach and engagement with mixing up where they link to other people’s sites.
While I’m wanting to mess with the approach I currently have on the dPS Facebook page, I’ve been wondering since our conference how I could experiment with these approaches.
Why Not Start a Second Facebook Page?
Just over a week ago I was pondering the issue and wishing I had another site to experiment with Facebook on when it struck me – why don’t I just start a second Facebook page that relates to my site?
Most bloggers have a Facebook page dedicated to their blog – but what is to stop us from having more than one? Facebook don’t seem to have a problem with a user owning more than one page – so I began to wonder if there might be a benefit from having a second one to experiment with and potentially support my blog in a different way.
On the spur of the moment I decided to start one and quickly did so. I didn’t put a heap of thought into what to call it and impulsively decided to call it Do You Like Photography?
The idea was to brand it as different to ‘Digital Photography School’ but to be up front about the connection to the site.
I quickly set it up and began to post to it. This is what I’ve focused upon doing:
- posing 6 posts per day – while only up by one on my regular page and not really much higher a frequency, I decided not to go with too many yet as we’ve been recovering from our conference and on a family holiday. I do plan to increase it gradually but will probably cap it at nine a day and watch how the frequency impacts the page’s effectiveness.
- to this point all posts are ‘link’ posts that link five times per day to other people’s photography tips/tutorials. The 6th post a day links to an old dPS post. I want this page to be tied to dPS but to be more of a place to curate content from other sites. This has the benefit of being useful to followers but also build relationships with other sites.
Note: in many ways this second page is similar to what we’ve been doing on our dPS Pinterest page for a year now (it’s largely just us highlighting great content that we find on the web with a few pins to our own stuff too).
I linked twice to the new page from our main dPS page just to let our regular readers know it existed. I shared it with them saying that the page is for those who want more photography tips and tutorials in their feed that come from beyond just dPS. The response from these two shares was fantastic – I had many readers thank me for creating the page.
The new page has grown faster than I anticipated. It took just six days to hit 50,000 followers! Things have slowed down a little since then but we’re well on the way to 60,000. Obviously many of the initial likes came from our main dPS page but since those initial shares I’ve started to see other pages sharing our finds and there’s been some nice organic growth too.
I don’t have any real firm goals for the page at this point but really see it as a great place to:
- experiment with a different strategies on Facebook
- growing relationships with other bloggers in our niche by sending them traffic
- expanding our own social reach/influence which will in turn send us some more traffic too
- sharing different types of posts to see what I can learn that might inform our own content strategy down the track
The only cost of the experiment is the time it takes to update the page. At this point it’s taking about 15 minutes each night to schedule the next day’s posts. I’ve also seen some nice engagement and sentiment coming from followers and it has already sent some nice little spikes in traffic to my blog so for now – it’s an experiment worth continuing with.
Do You Have a Second Facebook Page?
I’d love to hear whether others have experimented with different Facebook pages? I’d expect that it won’t suit everyone but do wonder if there might be some benefits for some to do it – particularly for those with bigger followings who might have lost traction with Facebook in the last year? Maybe having a second page with a very different strategy might unlock some learnings for you!
These are some great ideas Darren! Going to start on this today! Thank you….
I really do believe that your next experiment should be creating specific post graphics to use on social media. I think you will see a similar effect – a MASSIVE increase in traffic. At y Travel Blog, they spend more time creating graphics then pinning other peoples content. That accounts for a lot of their traffic.
One thing they’ve been doing is themed round up posts, called the sunday spotlight series. That does really well on Pinterest. Sometimes, the post can get thousands of pins. This can happen when one of the bloggers featured pins the post on their own account. Recently, I created a board on DPS for ‘the blue hour.’ This would probably be considerably more effective as a blog post.
(Disclaimer for others – I work on both the dps and ytravelblog pinterest accounts. Hence why I’m interested in the parallels between this experiment and how fb curation compares to pinterest)
Do you have any other data from the facebook page? Has it informed or changed your approach to content creation?
Can you curate some of the posts on there, create an article, and link to it via DPS?
What a great idea! I have a FB page for my blog, and one set aside for my novel whenever it gets published. But I never thought of starting an additional page. My readers have so many interests, it makes sense to have another page focused more intently on one specific subject. Thanks for the idea! I also am less scared to post more than once a day after reading this.
I’ve been using Facebook for the blog I started a couple months back, but haven’t had much success. Can you point me in the direction of a strategy you have that works well?
Thanks for sharing this..such nice ideas I just got from your article.
This is a good experiment, but you have to analyze that how well you have been rewarded for the facebook traffic coming to your website? What is the conversion rate of that traffic and does it really make economic sense to invest time and energy in building the page?
In time Mike – we do analyse FB traffic and find it converts pretty well to newsletter subscribers who in turn convert well for sales of eBooks and traffic (monetized with ads).
Thanks for sharing your FB experiment with everyone. Clearly it has worked amazingly well. 50,000 fans in just a few days! It’s incredible. Also very clever to give the new page a slightly different, but still useful purpose so that you’re not just making a duplicate page.
I have to admit I’m quite surprised at how often you and others are posting on FB. 5-10 times A DAY? Wow! Obviously you’re scheduling those posts, not adding each one manually in real time. I’m just wondering how the auto scheduled posts can do so well on FB, though. On occasions when I’m offline for a week or two, I have scheduled my FB posts via Hootsuite, always with disastrous results. Those auto posts only get seen by a meager 30-50 fans. That’s it!
As a result, I always go live on FB every day to schedule my posts in real time. That really limits how much and how often I can post on FB, not to mention chewing up an hour of every day, just to place one post and interact with people. EVen worse, as long as I’m here in Australia & NZ, I can’t get on during my ideal peak time…unless I want to work from midnight to 3 am. No thanks.
Is there a ‘trick’ to auto scheduling to FB? Is Hootsuite the wrong platform to use? Is there a better one for posting to FB? Thanks for any insights or tips.
Hootsuite isn’t great for scheduling Facebook posts. Schedule them directly on Facebook instead! It’s fantastic – it’s easy and posts came out exactly as if you’ve posted them manually, if that makes sense. Hope this helps! x
Yeah, I’ve noticed that about hootsuite! Awful posting to FB.
Thanks for the tip. YEah, Jummy just recommended the same procedure.
I’ll start using next week and see how it goes!
Facebook penalizes you for using third party programs like Hootsuite: https://www.facebook.com/notes/hike-those-likes-market-place/10-practices-to-avoid-that-facebook-will-penalize-your-business-page-for/602406719808660.
Use Facebook’s scheduler instead: https://www.facebook.com/help/389849807718635
I never use a third party application for Facebook and always do it from Facebook itself which allows you to schedule as many posts as you like. As you put your post into your page just look for the little clock icon under where you put your update and it’ll open up a box where you can put the time/date for when you want to post to go up.
Thanks for the info!
Unfortunately, this week I tried the auto scheduling posts on FB and it works just as badly as scheduling with Hootsuite! My scheduled posts during my supposed peak time only were seen by 30-60 peeps! That is BAD.
bummer. Thought I’d found a good way to do it. :( sigh
Hi Darren Rowse,
I have been using Facebook page only one websites only and i posted regularly. But i never tried using another Facebook page in the same account.That’s really interesting concept and i will try to use my upcoming projects.Thanks for the lovely post.
Is there a trick to auto scheduling in facebook?
No trick, just follow these instructions: https://www.facebook.com/help/389849807718635
Furthermore, there are a lot of tools which can be useful to manage various social media accounts. Using this tools, you can plan your posts several dasy in advance. greets from germany
Thanks for that. I’ll try it.
As I mentioned above, previously I’ve auto-scheduled posts to FB via Hootsuite and that works terribly! FB only lets about 30-50 people see it!
Does scheduling via FB avoid that? Will FB show it to as many fans as if I were posting it in real time while on FB myself?
Thanks for the info!
Very interesting, Darren. I’ve started experimenting with a second Facebook page as well, but not related to my first. But like you, the page is more of a passion page built around an interest instead of being clearly brand related. I’m actually spending some money on ads, and the cost is incredibly low because it’s around a passion. My goal is to eventually sell to those people once I build it to a certain point.
My experiment is definitely much less about posting and more about growing/profiting. I’m not sharing much organic content at the moment. Definitely let me know how your experiment goes!
I can just imagine! Wow, I envy you having the chance to stay at ALL these places!
I do love small boutique resorts & hotels, especially because they each have their own unique designs & charms. I’ve stayed at several amazing ones around SE Asia.
I do know quite a few independent boutique & luxury hotels in the area, which is why I’m a bit surprised I don’t know any of these. Have you ever visited or stayed at Four Seasons Sayan in Bali? Wow, that is one of the most amazing buildings, let alone hotels, that I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s crazy! Check it out if you get a chance.
Wow, I do not know how THIS comment ended up on this post! It was for an entirely different article and site. Sheesh!
Sorry about the mix up.
Articles are great details! I am applying for my niche site, and wait for the test results it done in a month.
Interesting, would you say the second page helped you a lot? Was it worth the effort you put in?
How did it go so far? We started posting more frequently (10-15) times and have our growth rate explode. 40% increase last week.
I just have a single page that is for my blog. You properly analyse what the benefits of 2nd page. Thanks man for sharing with us.
It’s always good in a sense to create multiple Facebook pages simply because it allows you to:
a) Target specific audiences solely based on niche content
b) Optimize Facebook fanpage content for targeted followers
c) Analyzing % of conversions on individual fanpages
d) Allows you to view your own marketing strengths and weaknesses
The list goes on. Most importantly, it’s good to have multiple pages because it helps the affiliate marketer-blogger stay innovative.
So it sounds like several people here are updating to FB 5-10 times every day with great success.
Do you run the same posts a few times per day or per week?
Or do you run completely different posts & comments each and every time?
Are you posting a mix of comments, questions to readers and articles from your sites?
Or is each FB posting about an article on your site?
Thanks for ANY help on posting effectively to FB! I am not cutting it at all, even after 3 years of steady posting – usually 1 per day or 2-3 mixed postings back to back (an article, a personal update, a question to my readers). Not working!
I believe manual sharing is better than auto sharing facebook fan pages cause due to some recent change in facebook manual sharing are getting better preferences than auto sharing on fan pages.
Yeah, I’ve tried the auto scheduling posts on FB adn it works just as badly as scheduling with Hootsuite!
bummer. THought I’d found a good way to do it. :(
Thank you so much Darren for sharing these useful informations.
Great article Darren and thanks.
Question…You said you were doing 5 “link” posts a day and that the time was about 15 minutes each day in the evening to schedule the posts for the next day. What tool are you using and even more importantly, during the day when you are “finding” those links what do you do with them? I’m thinking you fine links, keep them somewhere and then that evening schedule them. I’m sure you have some great time saving tips on that process..