Facebook has a reputation for switching things up frequently, and these changes are often accompanied by groans from users who were happy with how things were. Some Facebook changes directly affect the effectiveness of the content you post there, and others don’t.
There are some fundamental principles for using Facebook to drive traffic to your website that stay constant despite changes, so Facebook remains an important part of audience development efforts for most sites. Here are five timeless tips for driving traffic through Facebook.
1. Vary Your Facebook Content
Most digital publishers know not to pour out a continuous stream of sales pitches on Facebook. While it’s OK to occasionally pitch a product or service, for the most part, you should share engaging content that’s entertaining and educational. Photos tend to prompt more interaction than simple text or link posts, so be sure to share important photos and videos from your website. It’s also smart to occasionally share industry-wide content, even if it’s not from your own site or blog. This shows fans that you care about establishing a relationship and don’t just think of them as receptacles for endless sales pitches. Try to keep sales pitches to around 20% of your Facebook content.
2. Post at Optimal Times and Frequencies
In August and September of 2012, Facebook changed their EdgeRank algorithm, and this change seriously curbed the average reach of posts. They did it to reduce clutter in news feeds and to promote paid reach techniques, and the result was that posts now only reach a fraction of the number of fans they used to. Because of this, you may want to increase the frequency of your posting to extend your reach. You can use the information in this video tutorial to learn how to calculate the best time to post on Facebook based on your analytics to help your reach even more.
3. Offer Special Deals Through Facebook
Special offers, giveaways, and contests tend to create enhanced engagement through Facebook. When you promote a special on Facebook but link to details on your website you stimulate your site’s traffic development. People follow brand pages on Facebook in order to take advantage of special offers, so make sure you give your Facebook followers a reason to return to your page. Mention promotions and discounts in posts, and include a specific call to action. Otherwise maintain consistent high quality in the content you post to help shore up brand awareness and loyalty.
4. Have a Terrific Cover Photo
Your cover photo occupies a valuable chunk of your Facebook page real estate, so you should take advantage of it. Facebook doesn’t allow you to include your URL, but you can include your site name without the http and www. You could also include your logo or tagline. Remember, however, that you can only use 20% of your cover photo space for text. Make your cover image showcase what your brand is all about. If you aren’t able to hire a graphic designer to help you create a cover photo, Pagemodo has a free tool you can use to create your own striking and eye-catching Facebook cover photo.
5. Use Custom Tabs to Streamline Functionality
Adding custom tabs to your Facebook business page helps you run contests and promotions, add contact forms, showcase products, or even allow fans to opt in to your email list without leaving Facebook. You can have custom tabs made for you by companies like Shortstack, or you can create them yourself. If you want to tackle this job yourself, position2 offers this step-by-step tutorial that shows you how. Customizing your Facebook tabs is a terrific way to boost audience development through Facebook, and you can create them to go along with specific needs, like for increasing the number contest entries.
Great content is what drives social media and audience development on your site. Some of that terrific content can drive revenue development as well. A great example is a white label job board geared to your website’s audience. At RealMatch, we offer recruitment advertising solutions to digital publishers and media companies so you can develop your site’s audience and revenue streams all at the same time.
Photo Credits: David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net, stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net