032: Facebook Isn’t the Problem — You Are: Interview with Joshua Becker [Podcast]

Everyone seems to be complaining about Facebook these days. Too many ads. Too much clutter. Too little interaction with the people you want to reach. But what if Facebook wasn’t the problem? What if you were?

032: Facebook Isn't the Problem — You Are: Interview with Joshua Becker [Podcast]

Mark Zuckerberg and company have given us an opportunity. An opportunity to reach people and interact with others. And maybe it’s up to us to make the most of it.

But let’s face it. Facebook is a busy place with lots of people vying for your attention. So is it really possible to stand out and get noticed in the crowd? I brought that question to someone I consider an expert on the subject.

In this episode of The Portfolio Life, Joshua Becker shares his specific formula for using Facebook to reach more people. If you’re a content creator or just someone who wants to reach and help more people on the largest social network in the world, you won’t want to miss it.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (if viewing this in email, click here).

You can also download it at iTunes or on Stitcher.

About my guest

Joshua Becker is the founder of the super popular blog Becoming Minimalist. He’s also a good friend and incredibly nice guy (last time we hung out together, he bought everyone’s lunch).

In less than three years, Joshua followed a few simple strategies that took his Facebook page from 4,000 likes to over 190,000 likes. He describes being on Facebook as a small storefront in the middle of Times Square. It’s busy, crowded, and filled with people. You have an opportunity to connect with people.

But how do you stand out and be seen? His advice was simple:

Give people the content they are interested in seeing.

Simple, but not so easy. How do you know what people want? And how do you give Facebook the kind of content that it thinks people want? You have to find out what people want to see and then deliver that content to them in a way that resonates.

His basic process is:

  1. Post consistently to your page (a few times per day).
  2. Share relevant links with good descriptions and images.
  3. Use interesting images that people can immediately connect with (image quotes work well).

Following these principles that Joshua lays out in our interview will give you better engagement results with Facebook. I know, because I’ve started following his advice and have seen unexpected growth in my own Facebook page.

 Interview highlights

In this interview, Joshua and I talk about:

  • The switch Joshua made in how he viewed Facebook and why it made all the difference.
  • The specific formula Joshua follows (and that I have started following) for posting on Facebook.
  • How to get out of a rut when your engagement declines.
  • His thoughts on Facebook ads (and why he rarely uses them).
  • How Facebook rewards people who are posting great content and penalizes those who don’t.
  • And a lot more!

Resources mentioned

Joshua shared some important resources, including where to find free, high-quality photos, and how to edit them. Here are some resources to check out:

I hope you enjoy the interview. Feel free to download it and share with friends. And I’d love for you to take a moment and leave a review on iTunes.

What strategies are you using to stand out in the crowd? Share in the comments.

40 thoughts on “032: Facebook Isn’t the Problem — You Are: Interview with Joshua Becker [Podcast]

  1. Jeff – thank you so much for having Joshua on your show! As a ‘Facebook Fanatic’ who still believes in the power of the most popular social platform to drive engagement and erect brand advocates, this is going to be a MUST HEAR – thank youuuu #HUGSSS

    Kitto

  2. “This was gold”. Enough said. Also – Joshua’s Saturday morning link post is one of my weekly highlights. I almost always share something he links to Saturday with my Sunday morning group.

  3. A great blend of strategic and tactical advice; glad I took the time to listen when I saw it come up. I’ve now got it marked on my calendar to go back and listen to it with pen, paper and calendar in hand — perfect, as I’m planning my 2015 and one of my core aims is to explore a more robust social media strategy.

    1. I am glad you found it helpful. All the best to you in 2015 Breanne. Find the platform that works best for your unique message. And then combine what you see working with your own thoughtful experiments.

  4. Hi @jeffgoins:disqus,
    thank you for the podcast.

    I’ve been working on Facebook marketing for the past few years, so I completely agree with the thought about ‘knowing the language’ of Facebook in order to be successful. Posting high quality content, organising a Q&A session to interact with the followers, or using link ads to drive people to your home base is all great. However, there are some things that I believe you might still be missing on Facebook.

    I would argue that both you and Joshua are in a much better position in terms of engaging an audience: you’ve been providing superb content on your website and nurturing your subscribers for many years already, so people are generally much more likely to interact with you on any channel. But that might not be the case with a business that’s just starting off.

    I’ve looked at both of your Facebook pages and I believe you can take them to a stellar level by just changing one thing: instead of *broadcasting* to your audience, truly think of how to engage with them. So what do I mean by that?

    First, if you looked at your November’s posts, there was barely *one* post that sincerely asked for your fans’ opinion (Cool or creepy? – and just look how much participation it received), but the vast majority of the posts were plain statements, such as: “Here’s the difference between good writers and bad writers: Bad writers quit; good writers keep going”. Many photos didn’t have any text at all.

    And that might be ok for you, you would still receive clicks because you’d already established a strong audience, but the post itself doesn’t evoke any participation from your fans. If you really wanted to engage the audience, how about you started asking questions? Would you be more willing to comment, if there was a question in the post? I bet you would, at least internally – and I know you know the power of questions in writing. 🙂

    Second, asking questions is a great way to get more participation, but it shouldn’t stop there. Again, I looked at your and Joshua posts and noticed that there was barely any replies coming from you to the posts comments of your fans (less than 10% of comments are replied to) – engagement is a two-way communication, so every single comment should be treated as gold and an opportunity to strengthen the connection between you and the fan (I’d say Pat Flynn is doing a great job on this). Yes, it takes time, but that’s the only way to build a strong connection – as important as replying to comments on your blog.

    Third, people buy people. You could make your audience 10 times more engaged if you started showing off your personal side, rather than just broadcasting content. Tell us about the work that you’re doing, the article you’re writing, the conference you’re going to – things that we can actually relate to, and you will form a stronger relationship with the audience.

    So although you might already be seeing good results on Facebook, I think you can get even more value from it by becoming more social. 1) Instead of broadcasting information, invite your fans to participate by asking questions, 2) if you get a comment, at least like it as a page or reply, so that your fans feel more appreciated, 3), showcase the social life that you are having, something that people can relate to.

    If you do this, I am certain your Facebook page will take off like you’ve never imagined.

    Cheers!
    Adomas

    1. Thanks for the comment Adomas. I appreciate the encouraging and thoughtful advice.

      I agree that everything starts with a culture of you-centered writing that focuses on the reader and genuinely adds value to their life. I would not expect any blog, platform, or business to grow that does not add value to the life of another person.

      I also don’t disagree with your emphasis on engagement. All business is still done face-to-face.

      But at this point, I am just not able to commit the time to addressing each comment on a post. If I see a trend or question arising in the comment section, i will take the time to address it and help steer conversation. But you are right, I do not reply/like each of them.

      This would help explain why I don’t ask questions in my posts—on Facebook or my blog (I also spend very little time replying to comments there). I agree that it is an opportunity. But I have chosen to focus more time and energy creating new content than replying to comments on existing content—that’s just always been my personal preference.

      1. Hi Joshua and thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it!

        I do believe you’re a good job in terms of interacting with the audience – although infrequent, any of your replies help the fans to feel your presence and show them that you’re still following what’s happening on the page. Any company that’s on Facebook would be jealous about the amount of engagement you’re already receiving.

        So if nothing else, would you still consider sharing some moments from your personal/business life, to help your fans to get to know you better, or is that out of the question too? 🙂

        1. Yeah, that’s a good question Adomas. I can tell you my philosophy towards it—whether it’s best or not, I’m not sure. But I share very few personal highlights on my Facebook Becoming Minimalist page. I share quite frequently personal things on my personal account (which people can follow, probably 75% of my posts are shared publicly) and I tend to share life happenings on Instagram. But to this point, I keep the Becoming Minimalist page focused almost exclusively on links and images (other than a Christmas family photo or something). I usually figure people can find me elsewhere if they’d like the personal stuff. I do see a lot of people find healthy engagement by posting personal updates on their blog page, so I know it works. It’s just not something I use it for. And to be fair, most of the webpages that I see sharing personal updates successfully on Facebook tend to be driven by femaie authors. For me, it’s as much a matter of real estate as anything else and not seeing as much engagement from personal type updates.

    1. I don’t think Facebook needs to monopolize a lot of time each day to grow (this system certainly doesn’t). But I have found that it takes dedication to be consistent over a long period of time.

    1. Marcy, that is a good question. I did start this method after having a few years of posts in the archives. If I was starting the system without a robust archive list, I would post links to fresh, helpful, and relevant articles in the field/niche I was hoping to gain an audience with. They can spread well on Facebook. And while the FB traffic may not be heading to your webpage all the time, you will be building a community of people who like clicking on links and reading content.

  5. Really good post. Thanks for all the valuable information. I find when I put on pic/quotes I get people responding pretty well. So it didn’t seem like Joshua redid blog posts that didn’t do particularly well, but instead he focused on those that did well. Hmmm.

    1. That is correct Anne. And I’m pretty picky about which blog posts I do repost (probably less than 1/2 of my existing posts are re-used).

  6. Thanks for the insight, guys! I tend to post a lot early in the morning, because that’s when I have the time. Will see what I can do about that, and see if it makes a difference for me. I do notice as well, that when I post links to my content, I do get more likes. I also have noted that if I post a link to something I thought was interesting, I get more likes if I don’t use the headline, but post something about wants in the piece. Be well!

  7. Great insight. I appreciate what both of you guys are doing. The image design is something I need to begin doing.

  8. Nailed it. Love the simplicity and transparent approach. Know what your audience wants and give it to them consistently. I’ve been in the social space for awhile and this is the most concise strategy I’ve seen yet. Way to go.

  9. Excellent podcast episode! Loved the content here. Very useful. My strategy thus far has just been just to post a link on Facebook of any new post on my blog. I am going to begin to use all of the principles Joshua laid out to increase my Facebook traffic. Thank you for this episode Jeff and thanks Joshua.
    clarkgaither.com

  10. This was a very helpful podcast. In the interview Joshua Becker mentions that when he posts on Facebook, he adds an seo description. I was wondering where & how to add the SEO description to a facebook post.

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