Sending a Newsletter to your Google FriendConnect Followers

Bloggers everywhere let out a deep sigh (and perhaps shed a few tears) when Google made its announcement that it was discontinuing GFC widget service on all non-Blogger sites as of March 1, 2012. Google’s advice is to instead migrate your community to a (surprise, surprise) Google+ page.

Within the blogging community, GFC widgets are primarily – if not completely – used as a subscription method. Blogger users can view new posts from sites they have followed via a GFC widget, from within their Blogger dashboard. So the elimination of this function means that all bloggers – Blogger platform users or otherwise – will see either a marked decrease in new posts in their dashboard reader and a loss of several new post updates, or a marked decrease in follower number. Adding to that are those bloggers whose large GFC follower number has aided them in PR pursuits. Losing several hundred or even several thousand followers overnight may have a detrimental effect on securing future campaigns.

Google-FriendConnect-widget

There is a way to take advantage of your current Google FriendConnect widget to help transfer your GFC followers to an RSS or email subscription option: Send your Google FriendConnect followers a newsletter directing them towards an alternate subscription option.

How to Send your GFC Followers a Newsletter

1. Sign in to your Google FriendConnect account, either through the widget on your blog or by visiting: http://www.google.com/friendconnect/.

Google-FriendConnect

2.On the FriendConnect home page, you’ll see a menu of features that are part of using Google FriendConnect on your website or blog. These features are also the “community features” Google is referring to when it recommends encouraging your community to migrate to a Google+ page.

Google-FriendConnect-Features

3. Choose Newsletters from the list. You’ll be taken to a screen that allows you to title your newsletter, personalize the Sender name and compose the content of your message. One suggestion would be to include links to your RSS and email subscriptions to make it easy for people to click through the link and subscribe a new way.

Google-FriendConnect-Newsletter

4. Once your newsletter is complete, you can choose to send it to all of your subscribers, preview it and then send.

Sending your Google FriendConnect subscribers a newsletter encouraging them to subscribe in another way is just one idea to ease the blow of losing your GFC widget following.

Speaking of…if you are a GFC subscriber of Eli Rose Social Media, consider signing up for our RSS feed or email subscription!

What are your thoughts on Google FriendConnect widgets disappearing? Do you think Google’s move is a sign that GFC widgets are doomed entirely?

28 Comments

  1. Alison@Mama Wants This

    Thanks for this, I was just wondering how on earth I was going to reach everyone.

    Reply
    • admin

      MIght as well get all that you can out of GFC before it goes away, right?

      Reply
  2. Tracie

    Thank you for this!! I’m still on a blogger blog, but I’m going to send out a newsletter and try to transition away from the GFC now – because I don’t trust that they will keep it forever even for the blogger blogs. And because one day I am going to change over to wordpress (I know! I know! I have been saying that FOREVER!), and I don’t need the extra headache of getting everyone to switch their subscription in the midst of moving.

    Reply
    • admin

      I think that’s very wise. I think eliminating GFC from non-Blogger blogs will in turn hurt its use by Blogger bloggers. I know that I prefer to get all my new posts in 1 form, so if I was a Blogger user and couldn’t read everyone through my dashboard, I’d migrate to a different option.

      Reply
  3. Mirjam

    I’m on blogger too, but I think GFC will die a slow death because of this move.I wish they would reconsider.

    Reply
    • admin

      I think you are right. I feel like GFC’s days are numbered regardless of a chosen blogging platform.

      Reply
  4. Carri

    Awesome! Thank you for this.

    Reply
    • admin

      Might as well get what you can out of GFC for the time being, right?

      Reply
  5. Nicole @MTDLBlog

    You are a godsend. Thank you for sharing this idea with us!

    Reply
  6. Nicole @MTDLBlog

    I have drafted my newsletter and it says that it’s sending it to 178 members but I have 212 subscribers…what am I doing wrong?

    Reply
    • Admin

      Nothing. 🙂 People can subscribe to your GFC widget in ways besides their Blogger profile (for example, they can subscribe via Twitter). That’s why you’d have the difference.

      Reply
  7. Karen Peterson

    Unless there is huge blow back from this change (and let’s face it, I’ve never seen blow back big enough to get Google to change their minds about anything), this is probably the beginning of the end for the GFC widget altogether. They really want Google+ to take off and will do whatever they can to try to force us there.

    Reply
    • admin

      I think you are exactly right, Karen!

      Reply
  8. Missy | The Literal Mom

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m taking my GFC down before March 1, so I can send this out anytime.

    Reply
  9. Heather McD

    Thank you for the tip. Even though I am a blogger blog I sent an email out.

    Reply
  10. OneMommy

    Thank you for your very informative, and easy to follow, directions on how to send a newsletter to my followers!

    Reply
  11. Lisa Michalek

    Thanks! This provides a perfect solution to notify our followers – and is super easy!!

    Reply
  12. Rusti

    thank you SO MUCH for the help on twitter – I *think* I just successfully sent out my newsletter – WOOT! 🙂 I appreciate all of the help!!

    Reply
  13. Marie

    Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information!!! I’ve never sent a newsletter before & just noticed that it says:

    “Important! Prior to composing newsletters, be sure visitors have a chance to subscribe using either of these options:…”

    I hope my newsletter will still reach my subscribers, since I never had the option available to subscribe to my newsletters before:(

    Reply
    • Admin

      I’ve been receiving dozens of newsletters, so I think you’ll be OK. Thanks!

      Reply
  14. Admin

    When you first sign into your GFC account, does it show 264 subscribers? Or are you only seeing the 264 on your widget on your blog?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Admin

      It sounds like you must have a different account login for the GFC account that has your followers.

      Reply
  15. Admin

    Did you have someone help you transfer from Blogger to WP? I know that my GFC login is not the same as my Blogger login.

    Reply
  16. Ellen

    Thanks for this great post! It’s the only one I’ve found that clearly explains what to do. My problem may be related to the fact that Friend Connect is already retired but I thought I’d ask you anyway. When I follow the link to Friend Connect provided in your tutorial http://www.google.com/friendconnect/ I am redirected to a help page. From this help page I go in circles around to the same page – including when I hit the ‘sign in’ tab on the left. It seems there is no way to sign into my account anymore. Do you know how I can sign in, or if it’s just too late to send newsletters to my followers? Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Admin

      Since you are still on Blogger, I would think that you would be able to. Though I don’t really know if perhaps Google eliminated a lot of that functionality for anyone using GFC. I know that Google has now pushed Blogger users to have a G+ profile vs the previous, standard Blogger profile. Do you have a G+ profile set up?

      Reply
    • Carolyn @ Book Chick City

      That’s exactly what happens to me. I just go round and round in circles. It’s very frustrating. I’ve tried to find another way but with no luck.

      Reply

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