Things are moving faster than the speed of light over at Facebook. There are new things being introduced all the time, and it’s a challenge to keep up with. Basically, Facebook is bent on taking over the social media space. They no longer want you to go to YouTube to consume video content, for example. They want you to watch videos right inside Facebook.
If you’re a blogger, you may want to get into the loop about Facebook’s New Instant Articles.
In the same way that they don’t want you to go to YouTube to watch videos, you can now consume blog content right inside Facebook. Now, this, of course, has its advantages. First of all, Facebook is the #1 social network, so there’s that. Additionally, Instant Articles is so named because the blog posts load up instantly when you click on them. Your blog may not be that fast.
The downside, of course, of having everything on Facebook, is that you lose control and the ability to monetize. Because Facebook is borrowed media, at the end of the day, you don’t really have any control there. FB and its algorithm determines your traffic, and your page could be shut down without any real warning if you do something to violate FB’s terms of service.
So, in my books, while of course social media is a huge part of my life and my marketing, it’s important I maintain my owned media, and that, primarily, consists of my blogs.
So, while I’m not recommending that you abandon your own blog for Instant Articles, I am recommending that you repurpose your blog posts as Instant Articles. It’s another way to get them out there, and perhaps reach a new audience.
The final result will be that your blog posts will be automagically posted to your Facebook Page as an Instant Article. These work on mobile only, FYI, and they have only been available since April 12 to everyone.
Facebook Instant Articles:
- Add Instant Articles to your Facebook Page. Go here and select the page you want to add your Instant Articles to. Agree to the terms of service and then click the green “access instant articles tools” button.
- Install the Instant Articles Plugin on your WordPress blog. I’m using Instant Articles for WP, but there are a few to choose from. Activate the plugin, then scroll down in your dashboard until you see “Instant Articles” there. Click on that to configure the plugin. You have to create a Facebook App in order to access Instant Articles, and you can do that next by clicking here. You may already have Facebook Apps created (I have several) and you can see that by clicking here. Either way, you’ll be assigned an app number, and if you click on the name of the app, you’ll get the App Secret (password) as well. Plug these into your Instant Articles Plugin. You can only use FB App per website, as each one has to be customized to your blog’s URL.
- Log into Facebook, and go to the page you installed Instant Articles on in step 1. Click “Settings,” and in your main navigation menu on the left-hand side, you’ll see Instant Articles. Click on that, then scroll down to “Tools.” Here, you’ll be given a line of code you need to copy and paste into your Header Info on your Blog.
- Copy the line of code. Navigate back to WordPress, and in the Dashboard, click on Appearance–>Editor. On the right, scroll down until you see “Theme Header.” Click on that, and then paste the code in. Look for </head> and then paste it into its own line somewhere below that. Now navigate back to your Facebook page, and put your blog’s URL into the box below the metatag code and click on “claim your URL.”
- Production RSS feed. Paste in your blog’s RSS feed. Most feeds are http://www.yourblogname/feed.
Now you have to wait a couple of days for Facebook to populate your feed. Keep checking on your phone under the Pages app. Tap the elipsis at the bottom right of your Facebook page on the app, and then you’ll see Instant Articles as one of the options. Eventually, this is where your blog posts will start showing up! NOTE: Big shoutout/hat-tip to Robert Caruso for talking me through some of the stickier bits of this one.
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