Growing an Audience with Facebook Friends

So you’ve been writing a blog and now you want to get people read it. Simple … send an email to your friends and tell them about your new blog. That will work … right? Of course it will, but how do you reach more people than just your email list? It can be accomplished by using your Facebook friends and let the world’s largest social network do the dirty work. Let’s talk about two simple ways to utilize this social giant.

First, let’s talk about the Notes Application. To get there you need to type “Notes” into the search box and then click on the “Notes Application” that pops up. This will take you to the “Notes” Application on Facebook. On the right side of the screen you’ll see a hyperlink that says “import a blog”.  Once you click on this link it will take you to a page asking for an external blog RSS feed. This is a simple way to go about adding your blog to your news stream.

There are a couple of drawbacks to this solution. The first … there is no trackback to your blog on the note. So it looks like a quick thought, but no direct link back to your blog. This doesn’t help when growing your blog readership, but it does give you some exposure which is good.

Second, the post is only the summary of the RSS Feed. If your RSS is only pulling summary information and not the full post then you will only get the summary information on your note. Like this blog, when you subscribe to the RSS Feed you only get the quick summary information. I didn’t want to drown your RSS readers with a lot of data so I only put a summary of the post. If I import this blog into Facebook then you will only see the summary without the link to the full article.

So even though this is an option there is a better option we should discuss. And that is Networked Blogs.

Second, Networked Blogs is a Facebook Application that imports your RSS Feed into a nicer, user friendly (Facebook style of user friendly) way to view a blog post. To get there you need to type “NetworkedBlogs” into the search box and click on the application if it appears. If not then just hit enter. This is a Facebook application which means you need to install it. Just follow the standard “Facebook Application Install” settings and you should be fine.

Once you have Networked Blogs installed you can click on the “Register a Blog” button. When you do it will ask for a Blog Name, RSS feed URL, Three Topic keywords, language and description of the blog you want to claim. Once you do that then you are taken to your “Blog Page”. Here you can invite friends to your blog (which you will want to do to prove blog authorship). Once you have 10 people confirm you are the author you can get a syndication offerings where you can place the feed in your Notification Stream. Once you get 20 readers metrics are created to help you understand who is reading your blog entries.

The nice thing with Networked Blogs is the ability to track back to your blog entries not just on your notification stream but also on a Facebook Page if you have created one for your business. it appears with a thumbnail of your Blog, the title and the summary from your entry. Plus there is a link to “Full Article” which drives readers to your blog to help grow readership.

This is a much nicer and more elegant way to grow readership without being super intrusive.

So what is your 10 minute tip for today? Take some time to look at these two methods of growing your audience on Facebook and implement one of them. Remember to think about what you would like to achieve from a strategy and decide which offering works the best for you. Both solutions are good and have merit so look at what can occur and choose wisely. Remember if you are using your RSS feed look into using analytics. For more information on that you can read Put in Tracking Before You Grow Your Audience, last week’s post!

Remember … Facebook is about growing relationships. Don’t be overbearing, but also don’t be afraid to push yourself. Your friends who want to help you will follow what you’re saying and help you grow. Those who are only in it for business and don’t care about you … well those are people to talk about in another post.

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