Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sharing blog posts to a Facebook page instead of your personal profile

You can share from your blog to a Facebook page, instead of a profile, by switching to use the Facebook page before you carry out the share.

Sharing blog posts to Facebook

There are several  tools that anyone who is reading your blog (including you) can use to share it on Facebook, provided you have implemented them.  They include

And in the most low tech-option of all, anyone can just copy your post's URL and manually paste it onto Facebook themselves.

But no matter what option is chosen, one thing stays the same:   the place in Facebook is the share or like goes to is controlled by how the person doing the sharing is logged in to Facebook.   It is not controlled by you, the blog-owner who is providing the share / like / etc button.  This is true even if you are sharing your own posts:  it's your Facebook settings that matter, not the settings in your blog.

Switch to a page so you can share to it

If you want to share your own blog to a Facebook page instead of your personal account, then you need to switched to use Facebook as that page before you do the share (or like / recommend etc).  
Doing this is quite easy, provided you are an administrator for the page:

1   Log in to Facebook.

2   Choose Use Facebook as Page from the Account menu (currently a drop-down in the top right corner ... it may move around in future).

3  Click Switch beside the name of the Page that you want to share to, from the list shown.   (There may not be a list if you are only an administrator on one page)

This will take you back to whatever Facebook screen you were on before.  However when you do anything (eg click Top News or Recent, post to someone'e Wall, etc), it looks like it was the Page, not your Profile, that did the action.

This means that you can share a blogger link in the usual way, and it will look like it was shared by the Page - and it will be shared to the Fans of the page, not to your personal Friends.

And if you are not an administrator
If you're not an administrator for a Facebook Page, then you cannot switch to it.

You may be able to post to its wall, depending on the security settings that the administrator has entered - but you will need to share the blog (etc) manually.

Current limits and problems

I'm 99% certain that you need to be logged in to Facebook  and reading the blog using the same browser (ie in two different tabs or windows) for this to work.

Also, at the moment, there is a problem with Facebook's own social plugins (the Like / Recommend / Send buttons, and at least some of the other badges):  when you are using Facebook as a page and looking at a website which has the Facebook plug-ins installed, then the wrong thing is shown.   For example, on Blogger-HAT I'm currently seeing
  • My Facebook profile picture instead of the Like / Send buttons above and below posts, and
  • A big Facebook logo instead of the Like badge for my page.
This means that I cannot use the Like/Send buttons to recommend new posts to my Page.  However the old-style Share button does still look and work correctly (I just tried it out on BloggerSentral, to be sure - see the result here).

For my own posts, I don't think this is much of a problem:  I'd rather do the sharing manually, so that I can customise the message to the section of my audience who follow my blog on Facebook rather than on Twitter or through RSS or using a follow-by-email subscription.   But it may be more of an issue if you want your readers to share your blog, and they would like to do it on their own Facebook Pages instead of their Facebook Profiles.    Lets hope that Facebook fix this soon.

Automatically sharing to a Page

Many people would like a Page to be automatically updated when they post to their blog.  

I've heard lots of people saying that this can be done, and talking about doing it via RSS feeds etc - but personally I've not succeeded in making this work reliably.   For one of my pages that has quite a few fans, it worked occasionally - and it was a bit annoying when I couldn't control the timing of the page update because the feed seemed to be delayed.

Have you found a method that works every time?

Related Articles

Adding Facebook's Share button to your blog

Putting a badge for a Facebook page into your blog

Putting a badge for your personal Facebook account into your blog

Tools for linking Blogger and the social media

Putting "follow me on Twitter" into your blog

Why RSS matters to bloggers

Making an email sign-up option for your blog

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  1. very helpful. Thanks. My issue this weekend is the blogger follow is not up on most sites. Have you seen this (or not seen it).

  2. Yup, I've seen it. It seems that Blogger is having some problems showing Followers - you may notice that the followers gadget has moved to the very bottom of this blog, so it doesn't leave an ugly gap.

    Relax, it's not you, you can't do anything about it.

  3. RSS feeds are super easy- I have practically no experience developing but I have my posts atuomatically posting whenever I want- 30 min intervals, half a day, immediatly on 4 pages and websites.
    I am interested in the share buttons- all of mine work great the problem is on each site they do different things- on one, it willpost a random pic with the website description, on another the correct pic and post title , on yet another a random pic and an ungly url and no post title. All sites have the same domain, fb api app and meta tags. Any ideas?

  4. Hey Mary, I've seen several post to Facebook options that Blogs can use, but I don't use them either. It's not about the technology driving them as much as it's about crafting your message to perfection. That and timing. I may put the article out at 2am, and there are much better, proven times to publish to Facebook. I recently wrote an article on Facebook Profile Picture Creation, and I believe everything you do on anything outside your blog should be done manually. These automatic things save time, but always come at some other cost. Just as much time should be spent on your blog as sending out the message to the rest of the world. Maybe blog pinging is the one thing that can be left to the machines ;)

  5. Yup, I've been coming to a similar conclusion, Joshua. I still auto-twitter my posts, but for FB and now Google+ I think that manual intervention is better.