As much as we like to complain about Facebook, most of us are still using it regularly.
In fact, over 70% of all Internet-using adults in the United States use it, and worldwide there are over a billion monthly active Facebook users (according to marketing firm Zephoria).
With so many people engaged and active on Facebook, it’s an ideal place to find your ideal audience, connect with them, and get more traffic to your website… especially since Facebook users interact with brands more than on any other social media platform.
But with all the other pages and brands competing for their attention – not to mention posts and messages from their friends and family – how do you stand out?
Need real results from your time on Facebook? Follow the strategies of the experts below to get more traffic to your blog.
1. Optimize Your Blog Posts for Sharing
The first step to getting traffic from Facebook starts right on your own website, as Facebook Marketing professional Christian Karasiewicz of Social Chefs points out:
With over 1.49 billion monthly active users, Facebook can be a valuable social network to drive website traffic.
To get your content to standout in the news feed, you need to make it memorable.
When creating your blog post, be sure you include a title, description, as well as an image that is sized at 1200 x 628 pixels and that is eye-catching.
To the right, you can see an example of a blog post that is optimized for Facebook.
If you want to take the guesswork out of adding a title, description, and image, one of my favorite tools for optimizing blog content for Facebook is the Social Warfare plugin.
This allows you to add social share buttons to your blog posts. You can also identify which images you want your social media channels to use when your content is shared.
By adding this information to your blog content, when your post is shared on Facebook, it can look its best!
2. Start With Your Existing Network
It’s hard to build an audience from scratch on Facebook – but if you’re already using Facebook to keep up with friends and family, you don’t have to:
Be sure you leverage your personal connections on your Facebook profile.
To do this, first share your blog post with your fans on your Facebook Page.
After you have posted your content on your page, click the share button, add a personal message for your friends, and share your content with them as well.
Try to balance how many posts you share from your page on your profile. This way you don’t inundate your friends with posts about your business that they might not be interested in.
~ Christian K.
3. Participate in Facebook Groups
Even if you don’t have the time and energy to invest into managing your own page or group, you can still connect with those billions of Facebook users and get traffic.
Web designer & virtual assistant Julienne DesJardins shares how she gets quality traffic from Facebook by participating in relevant groups managed by others:
Facebook groups are the number one way I drive traffic to my blog.
Many groups will have promo schedules – specific days where you can post Click to Tweets about your blog or a day to share your most recent post. Depending on your focus, like entrepreneurship or blogging, there are a lot of groups to join. And it’s not just traffic driving – but a place to chat with like-minded folks and get excellent feedback.
I’ve noticed that the months I’m diligent to connect with the groups throughout the week, I can increase my blog traffic by as much as 50%.
Just be sure you’re also giving: don’t forget to read and share the other posts that are linked up that day!
I can honestly say that since joining a few groups that intentionally discuss the everyday challenges of running your own business, that I have really grown.
Here are my top tips for choosing and participating in groups on Facebook so that you make the most of your time and don’t get carried away for hours reading threads you’ll never write on.
If you’re searching for a group that represents your areas of interest, try a few different versions of keywords. I found that it took a few goes of rearranging words and being more, or sometimes less, detailed to get to the types of groups I was interested in. Fortunately for me, writing is a huge subject for groups. Unfortunately, this means you have to really pick and choose!
Before you blindly click that join button, take a good look at the posts, if they’re available. I joined a couple of author promotion groups the other day (wasn’t a lot of info in the threads to see, but they had decent descriptions and were Aussie, which is what I was looking for), then quickly removed myself after a few minutes of being accepted. Why? The genre was definitely not my cup of tea! They did not make mention of the genre so as soon as I realised, I left. It’s okay to leave a group. Really. No one actually cares that much but if they do, just tell them the truth. Feedback is golden even if it’s not positive.
Stick to just a few groups and make friends. Be intentional in your participation. I try to participate in at least a couple of conversations every week (daily is just too much for me at the moment) and I find that just this kind of consistency is enough to make you feel like you’re making some inroads.
DO NOT go into groups with the express intention of promoting your business. Frankly, people who do this just suck. Sorry to be so crass, but it’s totally bad etiquette to do this unless the group is specifically designed for promotion. There are plenty of these groups around and are worth joining for that particular purpose. My pet peeve is when the group rules are clearly posted and regularly reposted out of courtesy and people still flood the wall with their own stuff. It’s just plain rude!
Be yourself. If you decided to join a supportive group, such as ones that I frequent, you’ll find a lot of other people there who are going about their days trying their best to get their businesses off the ground too. It’s an awesome feeling to be able to tell your group that you just got your first email subscriber without feeling like a total dweeb and annoying your friends and family…again! A really thriving group will encourage you, give you likes, make comments and share ideas and suggestions to help you keep going. Reciprocate and you’ll reap the rewards.
I encourage you to join some groups asap and start building a network of peeps who you can really relate to.
Christian uses the same strategy:
One other way to drive traffic to your blog from Facebook is to leverage Facebook Groups.
Some groups prohibit you from sharing blog posts in their group. Other groups might let you share your content on a specific day.
When sharing content in a group, be sure you’ve read the group description first. This way you don’t get banned from the group for not following their rules.
4. Create Your Own Facebook Group
If you can’t find relevant groups that you enjoy participating in on a regular basis, why not start your own?
I started the Careful Cents Club on Facebook out of selfish reasons; I wanted a spam free place to talk all things freelance and blogging, and was having a tough time finding groups that were encouraging and offered help when I needed it.
In order to join the group of 800+ members you have to sign up for the weekly newsletter, which includes roundups of that week’s conversations, as well as announcements and other wins from members.
We’re a very supportive group and this has helped my blog grow in subscribers, traffic, and revenue (most of my coaching clients and sales come from members of this group). I also receive amazing feedback about the community I’ve built, which established my brand as an honest place for freelancers to learn and collaborate.
Having a Facebook group like this has been invaluable to the growth of my blog.
Carrie was able to grow her blog not with pushy advertising or blatant self-promotion, but by staying true to her principles and creating a fun and useful group she enjoyed participating in herself.
To use this strategy, start by brainstorming about how you enjoy using Facebook yourself, and what kinds of groups and pages you would find to be fun and useful. Be sure to tie your idea into your blog, but don’t worry about promoting yourself too much – just have fun with it, and be yourself.
5. Take Control and Be Strategic
As you market your blog on Facebook, don’t forget that the ultimate goal is to build your own audience – not Facebook’s.
My answer is going to sound rather counterintuitive and not sound like much of a FB marketing tip, but bear with me.
Facebook is a powerful platform that has a lot of potential, but the key to harnessing that potential is having fewer and more engaged followers that regularly like/share your content.
That’s the most effective way to boost your organic reach.
So here’s what I’d recommend:
Focus on building an email list first (still, bear with me!)
Offer new subscribers a “bribe” to join your email list (checklists, templates and courses work great)
Use your auto-responder to let your subscribers know more about you and help them out with more content
Encourage your subscribers to join your Facebook page or better yet, use a group to develop more of a sense of community
The reason you want to build your email list first is because you’ll avoid relying too much on Facebook for traffic.
Your email list is yours so you won’t be building a house on rented land (so to speak).
It’s far too easy for someone to navigate to your Facebook page, spot a link you’ve shared off someone else’s site and end up not coming back.
Your “bribe to subscribe” gives people more of a reason to become a subscriber so your conversion rates will be higher.
Once someone is a subscriber, you’ll reach them far easier and you can then encourage them to join your Facebook group or like your page.
And because those that do join you on Facebook will likely appreciate the content you share more, they’re more likely to engage with you (e.g. resharing your content).
This is great news because Facebook’s Newsfeed Algorithm now focuses more on interactions so organic reach will be far better.
So how can you encourage your existing subscribers to join you on Facebook?
Here are a few places you can add a call to action (CTA) to make this happen:
In your welcome email
On the download page for your opt-in bribe
At the bottom of regular email broadcasts
Ultimately, don’t forget that focusing on one promotional channel for your blog is dangerous.
Your marketing activity on Facebook should be part of a larger and more diverse strategy.
How Do You Get Blog Traffic From Facebook?
With so many people engaging on Facebook, it really pays to get involved and get some of that traffic to your own site.
But marketing doesn’t have to be a chore! There are so many ways to engage on Facebook, from running your own page, to participating in groups.
Do you get blog traffic from Facebook? What strategies and tactics have you tried out? Share your own expert advice in the comments below.
Article by KeriLynn Engel
KeriLynn Engel is a copywriter & content marketing strategist. She loves working with B2B & B2C businesses to plan and create high-quality content that attracts and converts their target audience. When not writing, you can find her reading speculative fiction, watching Star Trek, or playing Telemann flute fantasias at a local open mic.