Thursday, August 6, 2020

History Pages

Facebook enables anyone to create a "Page" about any sort of topic they may desire. For the past few years, we have belonged to various Facebook History Groups.  A Group is vastly different than a Page.

Groups are almost always "by invitation only" and requests to join must be approved by an Administrator.  Groups often insist than those who wish to join answer one or more pointed questions.  New members must agree to all sorts of rules which vary from Group to Group.  In most cases, any posts made to a Group must be reviewed and approved by an Administrator.  However, the most annoying aspect about private Groups is that you absolutely cannot share any post made to a private Group.  What happens on the Group stays on the Group.

We love to write about historical topics just as we love to talk about such stuff.  We know that few of the Friends of our personal Facebook care much (if at all) about history.  However, we DO know numerous of the nearly 600 Friends of our personal Facebook who DO care about "all things history."  Meanwhile, we were (and remain) loathe to clutter up our personal Facebook with history-related posts of interest to only a very few readers.  So what to do?

Why create Facebook History Pages, of course!  It's EZPZ to create a Page and insanely easy to manage a Page.  We have 100% control over a Page and don't have to worry about the rules and regs of anyone but ourselves.  We can posts whatever we want whenever we want however we want.  The Major Bonus of a Page is that we can easily share ANY of the posts we create on any given Page with anyone or any Group of our choosing.  Meanwhile, ALL history-related posts are now taken off our personal Facebook page and relegated to a specific zone.

We started by creating an Arizona History Stories Page in late 2019.  It proved to be immediately popular and quickly grew in numbers of Likes and Followers.  In early 2020, we then created a companion Utah History Stories Page.  Finally in May 2020, we added an Idaho History Stories Page.
As of August 6, 2020, the combined total of Likes for the three Pages is 2,376 and the number of Followers is 2,525.  There's a difference between Likes and Followers. Here's a short summary.

When someone Likes a Page, it shows their Facebook name and profile photo.  Other people can see who Likes a Page.  Just because someone Likes a Page doesn't necessarily mean they will see all of the posts on any given page.  Now someone can be a Follower of a Page without having their identity visible.  There's no way to know who your Followers are.  However people who choose to Follow a Page will see all of your posts to that page.  So, it's definitely good to have more Followers for a Page than Likes.

The Arizona Page just recently cleared the 1,500 benchmark in Followers. Idaho cleared its own benchmark of 500 Followers and Utah is close behind with 476.  Utah is such a history-rich state that it's very slow getting either Likes or Followers there.

Another statistic we watch is known as "People Reached."  Basically it's Facebook's way to quantifying who SAW any given post or post component.  That doesn't mean they were "engaged" in a post or post component--just that they saw it.  We keep a keen eye on People Reached because it is a barometer of how our work is received, so to speak.

As of August 6, 2020, our combined People Reached for all three Pages is a whisker over 32,000.  That breaks down with 14,000 for Idaho, 7,700 for Utah and 10,500 for Arizona.  Idaho and Arizona play tag for which Page has the most weekly People Reached.  Utah always lags behind but still has healthy numbers.

We've had combined People Reached stats as high as 44,000 for a two-day weekend time frame.  We can't offhand remember our biggest weekly total but it was in excess of 70,000.  Since we started this history page gig, our aggregate People Reached measures in the hundred of thousands.

We first began reaching out to people about history-related topics in the early 1980's.  By the mid-1980's we were earning a significant amount of our annual income by giving paid history-related slide shows to various groups.  A typical attendance for any given slide show would be around 50 people.  It was a VERY Good Day if there were 100 or more people in the room.  Without exception, some people came up after each slide show to ask questions or tell stories.  Typically two or three people stayed around to gab.  The most I ever recall coming up after a slide show was perhaps ten people.

So, back in those days, our "People Reached" stats were pretty danged low, maybe 150 a week max. but most often far, far less.  That's just one reason why it's so gratifying to see today's People Reached statistics.  It's amazing.  We can also keep track of the People Reached stat for any given post on any given page.  One of our posts on the Arizona Page now has over 13,000 People Reached.  And that just for a single post.

So, how do we accumulate such eye-popping numbers?  Well, it's EZPZ.  We belong to many, many Facebook History Groups in three states.  Some of those groups have over 30,000 members.  All of them have several thousand members and none have less than 2,000 members.  So, we simply share our Page posts on various groups.  We typically design our own posts to appeal to certain specific groups.  Think of it as if we were preparing a post to a Group.  Well, we do the same thing on one of our Pages.  And then we simply share it to the appropriate group(s).

Meanwhile, by doing so in this manner we retain the ability to share a Page Post with another Group or a personal Friend.  It's a win-win for us and creates compelling content for whatever group we aim to please.

We have a common theme for the appearance of all three pages.  We use each state's very first official seal as our profile graphic.  All three seals are far, far removed from the appearance of modern state seals.  We typically change the cover photo on a frequent basis.  Most of our posts involve some aspect of trails, roads, highway and transportation infrastructure.  We keep a close eye on all commentary and remove any irrelevant comments.  So far, so good.

One of the most fun things about our history gig is the commentary we receive.  Most of the time the comments are appended to the posts on private history groups so they aren't seen my readers of our pages.  It's incredibly gratifying to read the comments we receive each and every day.  Sometimes they make us laugh and sometimes they make us cry.  But either day they are priceless and special benefits of the time and effort we put into out posts.

Well, we've been meaning to do a thorough explanation of our history pages and so there ya go.

Thanks for reading.  Happy History!

History Pages links:

No comments: