WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM 100,000 FACEBOOK SUBSCRIBERS3 years ago
About a year ago or so, I wrote a post called "What I Learned From 50,000 Fans." It was back when I had a "fan page" on Facebook. It was filled with information I gleaned from my "fans" around that time. I keep "Fans" in quotes, because I've always hated that term. A-Rod deserves fans. I don't deserve fans.
Anyhow, a bit after that, someone from Facebook contacted me and asked me if I'd like to merge my fan page and my personal page into one, giving me much more control over what I shared, how I shared it, and with whom it was shared. I did it, and the results have been outstanding. Below, I'll share some of what I've learned since I did it, now that I'm just about at that 100,000 honor.
What I've learned from 100,000 Facebook Subscribers
1) Know that not everything is for everybody! The ability to quickly post something to your family, friends, and subscribers is a huge bonus, but can also be your worst enemy. Know your audience. Something generally interesting? Post to the world. Photo of you and your family having dinner? Consider limiting it to friends or closer. Make sure you know to what audience you're posting, every single time. It's not hard to do, just ask yourself - If it wasn't you, would you care? If someone else to whom you subscribed posted the same thing, would you hide the photo, or worse, unsubscribe?
2) Always check your settings! You can post to any segment of your audience through your mobile device - Make sure you check, each time. You want to be 100% sure each time where you're posting. To your overall audience? To just a few people? Be careful. There's nothing worse than boring 100,000 people because you posted something to everyone meant just for family.
3) Not everyone has the same sense of humor as you! I've learned that lesson hard in the past few years. Just because you find something hysterically funny, doesn't mean everyone else will. I'm not saying censor yourself, but I am warning you to be careful. Nothing hurts more than a post, followed by silence, followed by 300 people saying "Dude, not cool," followed by a lot of unsubscribes. Have fun with your followers, they want to laugh, no doubt. Just err on the side of caution.
4) Remember why your subscribers subscribed in the first place! My subscribers have told me that they read what I write because I mix it up - I talk about marketing in one post, skydiving in another, and check in from some random country and invite people for coffee in a third post. I try to keep it interesting. Even if people subscribe to you because you're an expert on that one thing, it shouldn't stop you from keeping it interesting. Interesting equals people sticking around.
5) Invite comments and debate! Whenever I post content to my subscribers, I ask for their input. I do this for several reasons - Not just because I want to know what they're saying, but also because it engages the rest of my audience. Sub-debates break out all the time on my page, and I love that. People bring across their opinions, share them with others, and create conversation. This helps to grow my subscriber base as a whole, because other people see the conversation on their friend's pages, and want to weigh in. This is a good thing.
6) Be transparent: Own what you say, both good or bad. Make a mistake? Own up, apologize, and move on. Don't hide. Nothing turns a non-story into a story faster than lying and getting caught, when it would have been so much easier to just admit it, take your lumps, and get past it. (Not doing this is defined as being Weinered.)
7) The bigger your audience, the bigger your chance to screw up. Simply put, be careful: Don't post while drinking. Don't post while angry. Definitely don't post passive aggressively. Can't overstate that last one enough - If you're pissed at someone, TELL THEM. Don't waste everyone's time reading a post because you're not mature enough to call someone on their crap.
8) Finally: Be careful who you tag. You might be great at making sure your Facebook settings don't bother you during the day. Not everyone else is. Be careful when you tag people, and offer them a heads up when you do - Otherwise, you might see something like this... Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that...
9) Say thank you once in a while. Remember: Having an audience is a privilege, not a right. Just like wearing spandex.
By the way: Not subscribed yet? If you'd like to, you can, here. Go forth and produce great content!