Making Facebook Work for You

I write this daily blog, if you haven’t noticed. I like having a platform to express my opinions, and I really enjoy (for the most part) the interactions I have with people about those opinions. But all of that rests on one key component:

People have to be able to read my posts.

In an ideal world, everyone out there would use a feed reader to aggregate their favorite blogs (which would include mine, of course), thereby notifying them whenever a new blot post went up. (I personally use Feedly for this purpose. It’s not perfect, but it does the best job of what’s currently available. (A moment of silence, please, for Google Reader. We miss you.)) If you’re at all into following news from a certain number of sites, RSS feeds continue to be the best way to do that. You don’t need to remember all the different sites to go and visit them every day. You just go to one spot, and it automatically feeds every new update from the pages you follow.

“But wait!” you say. “I just get my news through Facebook or Twitter. There’s more then enough there to keep me entertained. Why should I use a different site?”

From a blog creator’s viewpoint, Facebook and Twitter are no longer really cutting the mustard. Twitter used to be better, but they’re now beginning to futz with the newsfeed some as well. Facebook has done this for years. It’s not invested in connecting you with the people you want to be connected to in the way you’d like to be connected. Rather, it’s invested in getting you to keep coming back to its site as often as possible, so that it can put ads in front of you.

And hey, more power to it, I guess, because it’s free. But what that means is that anything you post on Facebook gets promoted by Facebook how it wants. If some people start to interact with one of your posts? Great! Facebook starts to have it show up in more people’s feeds, and more people interact with it. A post can snowball that way, which is fantastic. On the other hand, if no one interacts with the post in a timely manner, the post can just disappear without a ripple. Because Facebook only wants to promote winning posts.

At the same time, it can’t very well promote all of your posts, because if it were to do that, then why in the world would advertisers pay good money to have their posts promoted?

I’ve seen some friends try a work around, and I’m going to give it a shot with this post. Basically, instead of sharing the content as a link directly, you write a status update and then share the link in the comments of the update. That way, Facebook’s computers think you’re just telling people about your day. Take *that*, silly algorithms!

Honestly, I have no idea if that approach even works. Hence the experiment. I do know it can be discouraging to work hard on a post, only to have no one see it or say anything about it at all. Could some of that have to do with the fact that it was a boring topic or a bad post? Sure. I don’t think I’m blameless in the equation, but at the same time, some of those topics . . . I’m very skeptical no one really wanted to read them.

Anyway. We’ll try this way of sharing and see what happens. How about the rest of you? Any great Facebook sharing tips you have squirreled away?

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