by Aimee Sway from Print Express
When scientists discuss Facebook, they cite a network theory phenomenon called Metcalfe’s Law: The strength of a network is proportional to all of its elements, squared. In that case, Facebook’s 500 million users make it 62 billion times stronger than the thousand people who read your blog and your blogroll. It’s a mathematical fact–you need to integrate your online content into Facebook. Thankfully, it’s easy to do.
Make Facebook a part of your blog
You’ve been to blogs that practically bleed Facebook functionality. The sidebar includes a collage of recent viewers, a list of your friends’ activity on the blog, a prompt to be the first of your friends to promote an entry. By association, the blog’s content seems popular and worthwhile, and the blog’s creators seem to be in touch with their readers.
These Facebook integrations seem achingly extensive, but you can have them all with a single plug-in. Facebook Connect WordPress plug-in gives you a suite of integration options, and asks you only to do a very simple installation. For the time investment of a few clicks and checked boxes, you can use Facebook to make your blog a social experience for your readers while spreading your content via their own social networks.
Make your blog a part of Facebook
By activating the Facebook Connect plug-in, you’ve effectively harnessed other people’s social ties to spread your content. Use the Wordbook plug-in to make the most of your own social network. Wordbook is a plug-in that creates a Facebook clone of your blog.
If it seems like overkill to give your blog a doppelganger, remember that your WordPress blog and its Facebook counterpart aren’t completely redundant. Though they share content, they provide completely different paths for reader interaction. Use your Facebook posts to foment discussion and outbound links, since high user interactivity is Facebook’s strength. Use your WordPress site as a lasting archive, a portfolio, and a monument to your web design strengths. If users like your Facebook content, they’ll end up at your WordPress site eventually.
Use your setup wisely
No matter how many Facebook integrations have been lovingly ensconced in your code, your blog’s landscape will remain barren if you don’t nourish your blog. In other words, if you don’t update your blog, and if you don’t attempt to assist the networking process, Facebook plug-ins are just useless bells and whistles.
For a single-author blog to gain a following, it should ideally update daily and definitely update no less than weekly. This is doubly true for Facebook-integrated blogs. You want your Facebook audience to treat your blog posts as a habit, not a novelty.
You also want readers to react to your words and comment. Train them to speak up by example. Post a follow-up comment to your Wordbook posts–it only takes a few words to nucleate a discussion. An even more effective plan is to trade comments with some blogging friends. Help start a discussion on their Facebook posts in return for a discussion on yours.
Congratulations! Facebook is now your blog’s newest, strongest tool. You’ve also helped the world’s strongest online social network get just a little bit stronger.