I understand I’ve already posted a blog today, and yesterday for that matter, which doesn’t really align with my ploy to cut down on blog posts. But screw it – I’m buzzing from the launch of my new short story, so the more the merrier, right?
I actually wanted to talk about something whilst it’s fresh in my head, and that is the effectiveness of the Facebook Pages feature. I spoke in favour of the ‘author page‘ a while back, but some interesting developments have forced me to re-evaluate its effectiveness.
Initially, my blog posts got a lot of traffic through Facebook. Perhaps 15-20 clicks on some of the earlier ones, sometimes slightly less, sometimes slightly more.Over at my Facebook page, I post links to my own content, and the occasional image or update. Unlike Twitter, I don’t share content from others, as I feel the ‘longer lasting’ nature of Facebook posts could get a little irritating on readers’ news feeds.
Over time, though, I’ve found traffic from my Facebook page dropping a little. This has coincided with a serious spike in Twitter and search engine traffic. Whereas Facebook used to account for about 80% of my website views, it now sits at around 25%, with 25% coming in from search engines (yay for search engine optimisation), and the rest from Twitter.
This is probably for two-ish reasons.
1. Facebook author page is mainly a place for friends, not fans
I love my friends. They are supportive, and really understanding when it comes to my writing, and what I do. However, some of them just aren’t interested in books. That’s no bad thing – I’m not interested in some of the things they are into, either. Sure, they’ll buy my book, and I’ll check whatever they have to put out too, out of mutual respect. But really, posts about marketing and writing tips just aren’t relevant to them. That’s not a problem.
One reason for a dip in Facebook page traffic? I think a lot of the early visitors to my site through my Facebook page were probably those awesome friends who really helped me get set up and on my way. They probably checked every single post initially just in sheer awe of the fact that I actually had a website.
As time progresses though, the posts become less relevant to them. No doubt they’ll check in every now and then to see how things are going, which is totally cool. They’re the brilliant friends who have always been there to support me, and will always check out my work when I launch it. I don’t have to ‘sell’ to them.
1 1/2. People become more selective about what they read
This kind of ties in with the first point – over time, people become more selective about what they read.
Whereas at first, friends and fans just read everything simply because it’s ‘by you’, things may lose relevance to them as time goes on. Don’t worry about this too much. Again, these are the great people you’ve probably already sold to anyway. And, the fact that they are being selective is a good thing – refusing to read an article is evidence of engagement, in a weird sort of way.
2. A dip in ‘People who saw this post…’ views
Something weird seems to be happening on Facebook pages right now. Whilst at first, I noticed 150-200 views per Facebook post/update, this gradually slipped to well below 100, and sometimes below 50. I couldn’t get my head around it. Sure, not everyone reads my stuff, but surely if they saw it, at least they’d get the choice?
I did a little digging and found out about something called EdgeRank that Facebook utilises. Basically, EdgeRank does a load of fancy sums and works out how effective a certain post might be to an individual based on engagement, relationship to author page, etc. So in other words, the people who used to happily read but not interact miss most of my stuff now. Anne Chaconas wrote a good piece about the whole topic over at NovelPublicity.
My solution to the lack of ‘sees’? Repost your most important stuff from your Facebook page onto your Facebook profile, where all your friends are. If they don’t see one, they’ll see the other. Be careful not to post everything, though, just the major things. You don’t want your personal profile to become just a carbon copy of your author page, or people will see no reason to continue ‘liking’ it.
If you repost to your profile, it means your friends almost definitely will see your content, and that your Facebook fans will see it too via your page.
And a little bit of self-promo…
Now, it’s late in the UK, and the post-release buzz is wearing off slightly. If you do want to check my latest short story release out, then Silhouette is available to purchase from Amazon and Amazon UK. To celebrate the launch, my debut short story, Something in the Cellar, will be free tomorrow and Friday, so be sure to check that out if you haven’t already (if you subscribe to the mailing list over on the right, I’ll send you an email first thing to remind you).
How effective is your Facebook author page? Where does the bulk of your traffic come from?