This is a guest post by Galen Mooney, founder of SuccessMeasured.
So you’ve probably set up a Facebook page for your business and you’re wondering how all of this engagement is paying off. Social media can be a major time waster if done incorrectly, and where is this so-called return on investment?
I work with so many business owners who don’t understand that you can’t just do social media to build your brand online. You really have to be social but at the same time you can’t forget to think about how social marketing plays a role in the customer lifecycle.
And it’s not just about publishing fluffy, shareable content purely to get noticed. It’s about building a profitable social marketing strategy where you don’t waste your time (or money).
Facebook business pages are designed to help you connect with your audience while giving readers the opportunity to share your content with their community.
This doesn’t work so well when, according to Facebook, the average brand post only reaches 16% of fans.
But, you can cheat the system. Well sort of…
Let’s Talk About EdgeRank
You probably already know about EdgeRank if you read SocialMouths frequently, but just in case here is a quick explanation:
EdgeRank is the algorithm Facebook uses to determine where your post shows up in the newsfeed and how long it stays there. There are three main components that you should know about:
Affinity: By measuring how connected you are with the user or brand, Facebook delivers relevant content based on your ongoing relationship including any relationship your friends have with a certain page.
Weight: Facebook considers posts with photos or videos more valuable than posts with plain text or links. This type of visual content will rank higher in the newsfeed. Facebook also takes into account the level of interaction a particular post receives so the more people engage with your post, the more you can increase overall reach.
Decay: Social media is all about finding the latest and most relevant information as it happens and Facebook is no different. You will notice that most of your post engagement happens just minutes after publishing. Content quickly loses value as time passes to avoid irrelevant posts showing up in your feed.
Now that you know what EdgeRank is, manipulate your content to encourage engagement and spike interest in your Facebook community.
This means adding photos to your posts whenever possible. If you are posting about your latest blog article, add the featured image to your Facebook post and include a link in the message.
If you’re super fancy, you can add text to your image using Photoshop or even Paint so that your fans will know right away what your post is about.
Don’t Forget Your CTA
So now you’re wondering how all this talk about EdgeRank is going to help you drive more traffic to your website. If you can get your content seen by more fans, you’re on the right track, but you have to remember to add a “call to action.”
Don’t just assume your fans will click a link just because it’s there. Tell them.
Not only do you need to consistently produce amazing content, you need to hone your marketing skills and promote it effectively.
People won’t take action unless you tell them to and it doesn’t take much to be convincing. You just need to be specific.
Don’t simply copy and paste the title of your article into a Facebook post. Craft a message that calls out the value you are offering and why they need to read it now.
For example, for this article I would write my Facebook post like this:
“Want more traffic from Facebook? Click to read our latest blog post and find out how you can turn your brand page into an insane traffic driving machine: [insert link]”
“How to Turn Your Facebook Page Into An Insane Traffic Driving Machine [insert link]”
Even though this post has a pretty awesome title, see how much more personable the first option is? Show your fans that you’re not a robot. You care about the content you publish and you want to help them solve real problems.
Follow the Rule of Thirds
The best way to increase traffic is to grow a community of Facebook fans that consistently expects great things from you. Publishing promotional content all the time is not going to convince your audience that you’re worth their time.
Following the “Rule of Thirds” will help you maintain a balance by making sure that ⅓ of your content is promoting yourself and your business, ⅓ of your content is engaging and builds relationships with your audience, and ⅓ of your content is amplification of outside resources and information.
Promotional content doesn’t have to be all sales talk. This can mean talking about an upcoming webinar you’re hosting or your latest blog post. It could be any content that talks about your products, services, or general business updates.
Engaging content is crucial to building a strong relationship with your audience and providing value through conversation. Show your fans that they matter to you and treat them like you truly care about any contribution they make to the conversation.
Amplify content from other relevant blogs or websites to show that you stay updated on industry trends and to avoid looking like you only post content from your own website. It’s a nice break for your audience and it will help them discover other useful resources and informational sites.
REI does a great job of sharing both promotional and engaging content as you can see below:
By consistently publishing interesting and relevant content, they have created a community of dedicated fans who love to engage with and share their posts, leading to more and more traffic.
Get to know your fans and understand what types of content they connect with most.
Don’t be afraid of a little trial and error.
Chances are the same content that performs well on your blog will do well on Facebook if you create clever headlines and promote it the right way.
Custom Facebook Tabs
Growing your email list is so important to your business’s success online, so why not let Facebook do some of the work for you? You can design an email opt-in tab so that fans can subscribe without ever leaving Facebook.
You can also generate traffic by running a Facebook contest which allows you to give away prizes or reward fans with free content.
I recently launched a contest to help generate hype around my new website. I’m offering my consulting services to business owners and entrepreneurs in exchange for entering the contest and sharing their entry with their friends to get more votes.
This is a great way to generate awareness of your products/services while building your Facebook fan base and overall interest in your brand. Make sure you give away a prize related to your business so that you only attract your ideal customer.
After all, I hope you plan on collecting emails with each submission so you can grow your subscriber list and continue building relationships once the contest is over.
Check out the Facebook Page Guidelines before running any campaigns to ensure that you aren’t breaking any rules.
And don’t let the technical aspect scare you; it’s easier than you think and you can find tons of helpful information online to get you started. Make sure to sign up for Francisco’s free mini-course to learn how to build Facebook tabs if you haven’t already.
Promote Important Content
Running Facebook ads is hit or miss for many small business owners, but mostly because they often spend too much money and see minimal results.
If you are looking to generate a little extra traffic to an important page/post on your site, try using Facebook’s promoted posts feature which allows you to spend as little at $5 to get your message out to a wider audience.
I recently used this feature to promote a post about our contest:
That way your budget is small and the return can be big if you have followed all the recommendations from earlier in this post.
People are much more likely to trust and engage with a promoted post over an ad in the sidebar because it appears directly in the newsfeed along with other relevant content from friends.
This also means that it shows up on mobile devices while sidebar ads are only visible from a desktop or laptop.
If you’re new to Facebook ads, you don’t have to worry about ad targeting because with promoted posts, you only have the option to target your own fans and friends of fans.
It’s easy and well worth the small investment for that extra visibility when it comes to promoting important content on your page.
Now, It’s Your Turn
Do you consider Facebook a main traffic driver to your site? How do you engage with your fans to get the biggest return on investment?
Comment below and tell me one thing you want to better understand about Facebook marketing.
Want more tips? Check out the free bonus content I’ve prepared especially for SocialMouths readers. Enjoy!