Category: Facebook

How To: Basic Facebook SEO

How To: Basic Facebook SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is almost as important on Facebook as it is on your blog. Facebook pages show up in search as well as in Facebook Graph Search. If someone is searching for a topic you cover, you want your page to show up.

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Basic Facebook SEO

1. Pick a good name

You want your Facebook fan page to have a good name with your keyword in it if possible and you want to make sure it’s something that will stay permanent as you can’t easily change your name.  It’s the same with choosing your blog name and domain. You don’t want to have to change it, it’s a lot harder than it sounds.

2. Customize your URL

Which do you think will show up in Facebook Graph search more?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Biannual-Blogathon-Bash/260551190785913 ?

or

https://www.facebook.com/BiannualBlogathonBash ?

After you have 25 or so fans you can change your URL by going to http://www.facebook.com/username

Be careful! After you set it, you can only change it ONCE! This is why you want a keyword in your name if possible because you can’t just stuff your url with keywords, it should represent who you are.

3. Edit your About Section

For starters, don’t just put your URL to your blog or website in the URL section. Also put it in your About section. Only 140 of the 250 available characters will automatically show on the main page so make sure you include your keywords, very short about and url in that 140 characters.

facebook-seo-about

Fill out as much of the other fields as makes sense for your website. There is a section to go more in depth as to what you are all about and a spot for your start date. Make sure you include keywords here too.

4. Optimize your posts.

Use your keywords in your Facebook posts too. For example a keyword for this page is social media. So when I share this post on my Facebook page, I will preface it with:

{Social Media Tip} How To: Basic Facebook SEO

I can also include some appropriate hashtags. #socialmedia #Facebook. If you choose to use hashtags, stick with 1-3.

5. Optimize Your Photos

When you upload a new photo, add a description that explains the photo and ideally, has a keyword. Sometimes you can’t add a description when you upload the photo but after it’s live, you can click on it to add one.

facebook-seo-photos

For more helpful Facebook posts, visit a few of my favorite bloggers:

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How to Create and Run a Facebook Group for Bloggers

How to Create and Run a Facebook Group for Bloggers

blogathonwinter180This is a mini challenge for the Biannual Blogathon Bash. Anyone is welcome to read and use this information but blogathon participants may be eligible for prizes. It’s not too late to join!

If you’ve been thinking of starting a Facebook group for bloggers or you already have one but feel you need some direction in taking the lead, this post is for you. You may already have a Facebook page for your blog and that is great. Facebook pages are a great way to connect with fans and share your latest thoughts and blog posts. If you have a very dedicated fan base, you might even want to have a Facebook group for fans so they are better able to see what’s new with the blog and discuss the posts there. There are lots of Facebook features you may or may not already be using but today I want to talk about using groups for fellow bloggers.

Types of Groups

There are all kinds of groups on Facebook for bloggers and they don’t all serve the same purpose. Some are connected to a specific event or a group that runs events like the Blogathon FB group. It’s for those who participate in the events to stay up to date on event news and connect with other participants. There are groups which are for connecting certain types of bloggers such as Canadian bloggers or Fashion bloggers or book bloggers. There are groups for connecting those different types of bloggers together and talking about blogging in general such as Bloggers Building Bridges. There are groups that are designed for helping other bloggers to promote their blog posts as well.

There Are So Many

There are a LOT of groups on Facebook for bloggers but that doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t room for more. Many are very inactive or the group leaders may decide they don’t want to run it anymore or perhaps the members aren’t happy there. Bloggers who use Facebook groups are always looking for new groups.

How to Create and Run a Facebook Group for Bloggers

How to Create and Run a Facebook Group for Bloggers

Step One: Make a Plan

What is your focus for the group? Who is the group for and what will they get out of it? Where do you see the group in 6 months? 1 year? Brainstorm some ideas of how your group will be different or unique or well loved. You will also need to decide if you will be keeping membership limited (only a certain number of members or only personally invited members) or if anyone can join. Can anyone post to the group or only admin? Will posts go live immediately or do they have to be approved by admin first? Will you admin the group yourself or do you have a co-admin in mind?

Step Two: Pick a Name and Create the Group

Come up with a great name for your group so that it’s clear what the group is about (if possible.) Search Facebook to see if the name is already taken. Go to Facebook Groups and click Create to start a new Facebook group. To make a group, you must add at least one other person. It’s best not to add people without their knowledge so you might want to ask a friend or family member for permission to add them to the group so it will let you create it. They can always leave the group afterwards. Do NOT invite anyone else right now. Only the obligatory one person.

Step Three: Set Up the Group

Look over the options for your group and make sure they are set the way you want them. You can make the group Open, Closed or Secret. You can also set if you want posts to be approved before they go live and if new members have to be approved or not. In the settings is a spot to set up the group email. By doing that, you can change your group’s URL from a random string of numbers to the name of your group. So set that up.

Facebook groups come in three types: Public, Closed and Secret.
Public – Anyone can join, find the group in search, see all the posts even without being a member and posts from it show up in the newsfeed.
Closed – Anyone can request to join but they must be approved by admin. Anyone can find the group in search and see who is a member but only members can see posts or see it in their newsfeed.
Secret – You must be invited or added by a current member and the group does not show up in search. Only members can see it in the newsfeed or see who else is a member

This distinction is often confused. A few times I’ve seen mention on Facebook that a friend of mine has recently joined a group about a topic I’m not sure they wanted everyone to know they were interested in. A closed group doesn’t mean private. You can read more about the different levels in Facebook help. NOTE: If you have less than 250 members, you can change the privacy settings of you group at any time in any way. After 250 members, you can only make the group MORE restrictive.

Create your own or find a graphic you can use legally for the cover image. Use picmonkey.com to create a simple one with the group name and perhaps a tagline or description on it. Edit the about section to explain what the group is about. If the group is tied into a website, include the url in the first paragraph of the about section so it will show up without anyone having to click more.

Decide on some basic rules or guidelines for your group and create a doc/file in the group with them to direct new members to. Include things such as what members are and are not allowed to post (newest posts, giveaway, affiliate links, questions, opportunities etc), who to contact if they have an issue (who is the admin and how do you want to be contacted) what the reason for the group is and what will happen if rules are not followed (tagged in the rules file, privately messaged, banned.) Some groups will only need 1-3 basic rules such as respect or posting certain types of things while others might need a long list of rules.

Add some discussions so that when members join, they will see the group is trying to be active and will have a discussion to jump into.

Step Four: Keeping it Going

Now you are ready to invite other people BUT please keep these common courtesies in mind:

  • It’s not a good idea to add people to a group without their permission. Instead, message them a link to the group and a description of it and let them decide if they want to join. The add people to group option doesn’t send them an invite, it automatically adds them. If you know their email, you can use the invite by email option.
  • Do not post about your group in other people’s groups asking people to join you. At the least it’s tacky and rude and at the most you could get yourself banned from that group. This would be like standing in Walmart’s parking lot handing out flyers for Target. Messaging everyone on the other groups members list is also wrong.
  • Do not spam every blogger email you can find or private messaging every blogger you see to invite them.
  • DO reach out to specific blogger friends to tell them about your group.
  • DO post about your group on social media or your website (unless it’s for a specific audience.) How to Run a Facebook Group for Bloggers - Leadership Quote

Your group will grow slowly at first but if you run a good group, members will tell other people about it and it will show up under suggested groups and you will gain members.

Start new discussions daily for the first little while. It will be quiet at first as you will have small numbers but keep coming up with interesting things to discuss and soon people will join in. People like to talk about themselves, especially if it’s something they are passionate about. Ask them to introduce themselves and where they blog or answer a question about how they do things. Invite them to share a recent post. If your group is going to have sharing threads, make the rules clear and make sure you follow through with what you promise (e.g. if you say a new thread will go up daily, put it up daily.)

Keep your group drama free. I feel every group should have the rule about respect and a drama free zone. Keep a close eye on what is going on in your group and delete posts that are not respectful or are spammy or are just there to create drama. If you don’t catch these and get rid of them quickly, people will leave your group in a hurry. It’s up to you if you message a warning first or kick the member right out but however you plan to handle it, it should be laid out in the rules.

Mini Challenge

Do step one  – make a plan for a possible Facebook group. Share some details of it in the comments if you want, in the Facebook group or if you want private feedback, you can email me.

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Using Interest Lists on Facebook

Using Interest Lists on Facebook

Using Interest Lists on Facebook: A Tutorial

Interest lists are used to group pages on Facebook (not personal profiles or groups, just pages) by topic. There are some premade interest lists you can follow or you can create your own. When you are viewing an interest list, you are seeing a feed of most recent updates from the Facebook pages that are on that list. After you’ve created one though, you need to remember to check it. This tutorial is about finding your interest lists and adding them to your favourites list.

Using Interest Lists

This tutorial isn’t about making interest lists but about accessing and using them afterwards. See my post about 10 Facebook Features You Might Not Know About to learn more about interest lists and your favourites section.

Step One – Find Interests in Facebook Sidebar

It’s near the bottom so keep scrolling, past groups and apps. Hover next to the word Interests and the word more will show up. Click on that so see a list of ALL your interests (only some are shown in the sidebar.)

using-interest-lists-1

Step Two – Pick What Interests You Want in Favourites

Here you can see all your interest lists. You can also add a premade list from here. Just like with Facebook groups, you can see how much new activity there has been since your list visit. The little wheel on the right is where you can make changes. Click on that for options.

using-interest-lists-2

Step Three – Add to Favourites

Simply click add to favorites and it will be added to your favourites.

using-interest-lists-3

Step Four – Rearrange Favourites

If you want to rearrange everything in your favourites section (what shows in the sidebar on Facebook) then you can follow these steps as well. On anything in the favourites section, if you hover over it, the option wheel appears. Click on it and choose rearrange.

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Everything in the list will become draggable and you can move things into whatever order you want. My favourites list includes Facebook groups and interest lists I use the most as well as quick links to my own Facebook pages and groups that I run. I group them according to frequency of use and type.

using-interest-lists-5

When you have it the way you want, make sure you click done at the bottom of the favourites list to save changes.

using-interest-lists-6

That’s it! Now you can see in your sidebar when you are on Facebook if there is something new in your interest list. You can also easily click on it anytime to view the feed.

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10 Facebook Features You Might Not Know About

10 Facebook Features You Might Not Know About

10 Facebook Features You Might Not Know About | Biannual Blogathon Bash

1. Favourites List

Your favourites list is what shows up on the left in Facebook under News Feed, Messages, Events and Browse. Use the favourites list to keep the pages, groups and interest lists that matter to you most on the sidebar in the order you want them in. When they are in the sidebar, you can easily see if there is new posts or notifications to take care of so you can turn the group notifications off if you want and just manually check there.

To add to your favourites list, you can do it a few ways. If a group or interest list is showing up in the Facebook left sidebar, you can hover over it’s name to see a wheel. Click the wheel to add or remove from favourites. Alternatively click on groups or interests or pages to see a list of all of them and then select which ones are in your favourites list. You can rearrange your favourites list as well, to group together similar things or put certain things near the top. Just hover over one of the items in your favourites and click on the wheel and choose rearrange. Drag and drop the way you want and then click the little word done at the end of your favourites list.

Favourites List

2. Schedule Facebook Page Posts Up to Almost 6 Months in Advance

You can schedule posts on your Facebook Pages (but not profile or groups) for almost 6 months in advance. Create your status the way you normally would by including text, photos and/or links and then click the little clock to pick a date and time. When you click on the calendar to pick a date, it will tell you the farthest in advance you can go. When you start typing a time, it will give you suggestions. If what you want isn’t suggested, just keep typing how you want. Once you have some scheduled posts, a spot will appear where you can see how many are schedule, when the next one will go live and you can click to view them.

Scheduling Facebook Page Posts

3. News Feed: Top Stories or Most Recent

Your news feed is by default set to show top stories. You may have noticed that you see a post again and again after more people have liked or commented on it, even though it was posted days ago. That is why. If you want to see yours news feed in order from most recent to least recent, you can change your newsfeed to show most recent. You can always change it back, or alternatively, if you log out of Facebook, the next time you log in, it will be back to top stories.

Editing News Feed

4. Year in Review and A Look Back

These are two relatively new features to Facebook and when they first came out, it seemed like everyone was trying it out and posting them. Year in Review is a collection of your biggest moments on Facebook from the past year such as life events, popular posts etc. It’s a mostly static page which includes your top 20 posts from the past year.

Facebook Year in Review

A Look Back compiles your highlights since joining Facebook. Most people will get it as a movie but if you haven’t been on Facebook long or haven’t shared much, you might get a collection of photos or a thank you card. Below is just a screenshot of my movie as it starts.

Facebook A Look Back

5. Hide From News Feed

If you are sick of seeing statuses about games (Farmville, Criminal Case etc) or you don’t want to see updates from a certain person or page in your news feed at all but you don’t want to unfriend or unfollow them, you have the option of hiding from your news feed. When you see a status you don’t care for, click on the little arrow and choose hide from news feed. The choices it shows depends on what it is. Even though I’m a game lover in general, I don’t play Facebook games and the constant posts about them got annoying. I’ve hidden all from most of the games my friends play. I had to HUNT my news feed to find this post so I could take a screenshot.

Hide Games from News Feed

 

6. Your App List

Every time you log in to another site with Facebook or use an app on Facebook whether it be a game or you enter a sweepstakes, that app is added to your app list. If you are no longer using a game, a website or a contest is over, you should remove it from your app list to minimize the sites that have access to your information and account.  For the apps that are naturally a part of Facebook such as News Feed, Messages and Events, you can’t delete them but you can choose whether they show in your favourites or not. The extra ones you added later you can remove. Make any changes by clicking on the little wheels to the right.

Facebook App List

7. Interest Lists

You can use interest lists to group together Facebook pages with similar topics or from a certain group of people so you can see a news feed of JUST those pages. For example I have an interest list of Facebook pages that have to do with blogging or social media so I can see what’s new with my favourite blogging/social media pages all in one place. You can follow interest lists others make too. I follow lists for three different blogging groups I’m in. This way I can see what’s new with bloggers from my favourite groups and easily give their pages support with my likes and comments without wading through other statuses.

Interest lists can be public, only for friends or private. I have one titled Content Curation with pages that have funny memes, photos and interesting facts that I might want to share with my Facebook pages when I need some content fillers. You can choose the types of statues from those pages you’ve added to show. There is a section for Interest lists in the left sidebar on Facebook.

Facebook Interest Lists

8. News Feed For Your Facebook Page

You may have noticed that you can like a page as your page. This doesn’t count towards the like count for a Facebook page but shows up in the pages that this page likes section. However if you switch from using Facebook as your personal profile to using Facebook as one of your pages, you can see a news feed of all the pages YOUR page has liked. Than you can like, comment or share AS your page.

Like As Your Page

9. You Can Archive All Your Facebook Data

Have you ever wondered what would happen if Facebook servers crashed one day and everything ever posted on it was lost? What would happen to all those photos, statuses, cute kid quotes, milestones and other things you’ve shared? Facebook gives you the option to back up your Facebook data but most people don’t know about it because it’s hard to find. The link to it is on your General Facebook Settings page in plain text at the bottom.

Facebook Archive

Your downloadable data isn’t just your statuses and photos but also your about me text, your account status history, the ads you have licked on, your deleted friends, list of friends, IP addresses you’ve logged into Facebook through, all your likes, notes, messages, privacy settings, searches you’ve done on Facebook and MORE!

When you click to start your archive, you must re enter your password and then give them time to compile it all. You will receive an email when it’s available for download and they will check your identity again.

10. Graph Search

You can search all kinds of interesting things with graph search on Facebook but it only works when you are using Facebook on the desktop in English. Just click in the search bar at the top and it gives you some ideas to start with.

Graph Search

As you type it changes and gives you more suggestions. You can find all sorts of things. The Facebook Graph Search Help section can give you a better idea of how to use it. I was able to find groups about blogging that my friends had joined. The three shown below I am already a member of but there were others I haven’t joined yet. I can further filter it to see another topic, or groups joined by a certain friend of mine or all kinds of things. Just play around! Got a Facebook friend you really admire and look up to? See what groups he or she has joined to see if you want to join!

Using Graph Search To Find Groups

So there you have it, 10 Facebook features you might not have known about. It’s amazing what you can learn when you click around and explore.

Tell Me in the Comments: Which of these as new to you? Do you see yourself using any of these features now?

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A Professional Cover Photo For Your Facebook page

blogathonsummerThis is a Guest Post Mini Challenge for the Biannual Blogathon Bash event. Anyone is welcome to read this post and try the challenge but only blogathon participants are eligible to win prizes for completing it. It’s not too late to join!

You can read more about the guest author at the end.

Add a professional and amazing cover photo to your Facebook page

Facebook is the largest social network on the planet so far, it has over a billion registered users and it is a great resource to promote an online or offline business. The amount of people that can be reached is huge and chances are that your audience will grow just by creating a Facebook business page. Even when Facebook is so powerful we still need to do our job in order to reach as many people as possible, and one of the big things that we can invest our time and resources on is in creating a professional and amazing cover photo for the page. If you want to know why this is important as well as how to do it I invite you to stay tuned and learn more about it.

You know the saying: An image is worth a thousand words, and in the case of the cover photo it could be worth more than just words. A cover image is perfect for sending the right message to the right audience, it also allows us to have fun while creating it and to the visitor while seeing it; it all depends on what we want to share and how. A cover photo is a great piece of digital land to describe your business in a very creative, interactive, and compelling way so that people not only can but actually want to learn more about you. In order to stay on the safe side there are some guidelines that must be followed while creating the cover photo.

Something that you should be aware of is that the cover photo must not have any call to action, offer, product description, or URL. The cover photo is intended to describe the nature of your business and if these guidelines are not followed, Facebook has the right to delete your page without previous notification. It would be really sad to invest a big chunk of time, effort, and dedication on the page just to lose it because of something that Facebook clearly disclosed. The best way to learn more about Facebook rules is to actually visit their site and make sure to follow them.

How should a Facebook page cover photo be created?

As I mentioned before, a cover photo is a place designated to explain the nature of your business in a creative and compelling way. This means that if your business is about photography you can definitely create an image where your skills as photographer are displayed., Also it is a great idea to include a short sentence describing the photography business. The idea is to display as creatively as possible a beautiful and professional image that explains the nature or the motive behind your business or your cause. This cover photo should have a compelling message so that people can’t resist being drawn to it.

 

Ok I get it, but I am not a graphics designer… What can I do?

Having an amazing cover photo is neither difficult nor expensive. If you don’t know how to design your own image it is a good idea to outsource this task and hire someone to do it. A professionally designed image can be very cheap and here I want to talk to you about two places where you can find professional designers that can help you with this; it will depend on your requirements and budget to determine which option is the best one.

  • Elance.com: This place is an amazing source for hiring professionals of any field. A good graphics designer here can charge you anything between 75 to 150 USD depending on what you want. This place is really helpful as it allows you to fund the project without putting your money at risk. , Once the designer sees the project funded he can start working on it. , The funds are released by you at the moment that you decide that you got what you asked for. Elance allows you to see the feedback of a specific professional so that you can determine if he or she is a good option for your project or not.
  • Fiverr.com: It is impressive the amount of people that are willing to do something for five USD, and fortunately one of those things is to design a professional and simple image for your cover photo. Fiverr works a little bit different than Elance as you first pay and then get the product. The money is secured as well and can be refunded if you don’t get what you want. Fiverr allows you to see the feedback of a specific vendor so that you can decide based on data if that seller is a good choice or not.

There are more places like Elance and Fiverr, these are just two that are very famous and that personally I can recommend.

The challenge: Start to brainstorm your cover photo and get started on creating it

Now that you know how easy, affordable, and important is to create a custom, professional, creative, and compelling cover photo, I want to invite you to create or have one designed for your brand or business. If you already have a predesigned logo it is a good idea to keep those colors and style to increase the branding of your page. In the event that you don’t know how to create the image by yourself there are other people willing to do it for as low as five dollars and it will depend on your budget and requirements how much you will invest on it.

Comment below to tell me if you have redone your cover photo (and you can include a link to your Facebook page to show it off) or if you want to change it, what you are envisioning and who you will have do it (yourself, one of the sites mentioned above or another designer.)

Don’t forget to grow the conversation and enrich the topic by leaving comments or questions here; we are more than willing to help you. Also if you already had your image designed following this guide let us know how it was and what your recommendations are for those who want to do it but are still hesitating a little bit. To Your Online Success!

Jose LozanoAbout the author: Jose Lozano is fan of creating Facebook business pages; he knows that this social network offers a very valuable piece of digital real estate that must not be ignored. Recently he created a Facebook page for his site about RC toys where he enjoys posting content such as a CX2 Blade RC helicopter review and tips for people wanting to buy the mQX quadcopter, Jose has seen that Facebook is a great place to share this content as other hobbyists can reach him as well.

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