Are Facebook follow threads a good idea?
In the blogging world, one of the big races is to get to x amount of followers. Round 1 is 500, round 2 is a 1000, and so on until you hit the ever elusive 100,000 or more!
Then it happens, you get to 1000 and you’re scratching your head. And frankly getting pretty ticked off at Facebook, and asking all of your blogger friends “How is it possible that Facebook only showed my post to 26 followers today?!”
I’ll tell you how it’s possible.
We all know Facebook is run by nasty little algorithms, and as much as we want to despise them, we have to like them too. After all, they are the reason we see posts from people we like in our feed, and not from that skeezy guy you dated for 5 minutes in college but didn’t want to hurt his feelings by ignoring his friend request.
Based on how you react to the news in your feed, Facebook judges what it thinks you want to see and what you don’t. And the more you interact by liking and commenting, the more Facebook understands your behavior.
So you see, you really want Facebook to use algorithms.
Unless of course it means Facebook is only showing your post to 1% of your page followers.[bctt tweet=”You really want Facebook to use its algorithms. Unless it means only 1% of your followers see your content.” username=”jenkehl”]
Then you have to wonder what you are doing wrong.
Unfortunately something all of us bloggers do, could be the reason your posts aren’t getting out to people who genuinely want to see your content.
It’s called the Facebook follow thread. It’s basically a like for like. And if you are trying to grow from 1 follower to 1000, chances are you are doing a lot of those.
You may be making a crucial mistake.
Facebook pushes your content out to readers based on the amount of your current followers engaging in your content. We see this number on our Facebook content as reach. Reach can be composed of actual page followers and friends of friends of followers.
Facebook determines engagement levels by showing your content to a small amount of your followers and seeing how they engage.
There is no way to know if Facebook is showing your post to actual followers (people who genuinely liked your page for its content) or people who just liked you in a Facebook follow thread.
Facebook is testing your followers’ authenticity.
If it tests your content on non-engaged followers (people who don’t interact), it will deem your content un-interesting and therefore won’t show it to friends of friends, etc. This is your post that gets 1% reach.
Or, Facebook could happen to show your post to a decent amount of genuine followers, who engage and share, and that post has a reach of 34,765 when you only have 1000 followers!
This random sampling is why one post can see a ton of engagement and another can die, for no apparent reason. It’s all about the authenticity of your audience.[bctt tweet=”Facebook’s random sampling of your followers could mean the difference between a post thriving or dying.” username=”jenkehl”]
You may love your blogging friends, and want to see them succeed, but if you are following them to help their numbers out, and not following to actively participate in their content, you may be hurting them more than you are helping.
The best possible thing you can do to increase your reach is to create engaging content that is true to your brand and share the heck out of it. If people like your content and choose to follow you, they become a genuine follower who can only increase your reach.
If you’re a blogger how can you help your fellow bloggers?
I won’t be doing anymore Facebook follow threads outside of my niche.
But I can tell you how you can help your blogging friends gain that reach.
Try a social share thread instead.
A Facebook social share thread should include a link to a Facebook post you would like to see more engagement on. Your fellow bloggers should click thru to the post, then like it (or some other reaction), possibly leave a comment, and obviously the holy grail would be a share.[bctt tweet=”Help out your fellow bloggers with a genuine Facebook share. A simple Facebook page like can hurt more than it can help.” username=”jenkehl”]
The only genuine way to grow exponentially is to build a following of genuine followers. Interesting, engaging content is the best way to make that happen!