Facebook, when it works, is great for funneling engaged traffic to your website. The problem is, it’s getting harder and harder every year to reach those engaged users. Facebook’s organic reach drops, Facebook users grow more skeptical and businesses stick with using techniques that fade in utility over time.
What can you do to keep your fans active and interested? How can you keep them clicking your links and visiting your website? Try this:
Post Content Regularly
If you lapse in posting content, you’re going to fall in the eyes of Facebook’s news feed algorithm. The longer you go without posting, the fewer users see your posts, and thus the less they engage with them. The less they engage with your posts, the less they’ll see them. At that point, you’re stuck in a downward spiral that takes quite a bit of effort and investment to escape. Maintain a regular schedule, at least one post every day, with more if your audience is large enough to handle it without considering you a spammer.
Post Quality Content
High quality content is virtually required for engagement. Grammar errors, spelling mistakes and poorly formed posts are all deal breakers for the average Facebook user. They see you as not putting forth the effort they think they deserve, and so they don’t bother clicking your posts. You need to offer high quality, valuable content on your website, and you need high quality posts on Facebook to draw them to said website.
Clickbait is the style of Facebook post that teases with a headline but offers nothing of value. The idea is that users have to click the link to find out what the topic is, and only then decide if they want to read the piece. The method was popularized primarily by Buzzfeed and Upworthy. Facebook, rightly enough, has decided clickbait is a black hat technique meant to game their engagement tracking, and has thus begun to ban the practice. It is now against their terms of service to post clickbait. You need to at least tell your users what your content is about, so they can make an informed decision to click.
Offer Free Content and Value
Giving away something free is one of the best methods to attract users. Free content is like a deep gravitational well, drawing in users from all around. What can you give away?
- Free trials of software and apps.
- Free ebooks or other extended, valuable content.
- Free products or trials of products.
- Free accessories with purchase, and other offers.
On the other hand, you should avoid giving away “generic” items. If you’re holding a contest to give away an iPad, the people who click through to your site are going to be people interested in a free iPad, not people interested in your content and products.
Use Website Social Sharing Tools
Social sharing buttons and widgets are important for your click-through rate. Your traffic is not, and should not be, one-way. Implement social sharing buttons on your blog, so that when users find valuable content, they can share it with their friends. This cycle gets some of their friends to click through, and with luck, some of them will share as well. This is what the “viral reach” metric on Facebook is; anyone who clicks through your posts who doesn’t follow your page and didn’t see a sponsored version of your post.
Streamline Facebook Posts
In addition to paying attention to your content, you should make sure you’re posting properly. When you paste a link into the Facebook post submission box, Facebook leaps into action to generate a preview of the content. Once that preview is available, remove the original link. The preview stays and acts as your link, and it’s much, much more visible in the news feed. Want to customize that preview? You need to make use of Facebook’s graph attributes, which allow you to specify the text, title and image for any link posted to Facebook. It’s a bit more meta data for your page, but it’s worth it.
Study Your Audience
You can learn a lot about your audience on Facebook, simply due to the amount of information the typical Facebook user makes public on their page. You don’t even need to go out of your way to do the legwork; Facebook compiles it all in their Audience Insights. Your goal is to learn as much as you can about your audience, so you can compile Facebook custom audiences within your post and ad targeting systems. This in turn allows you to target both those audiences directly, and lookalike audiences, which share the same interests but aren’t following your page.
Run Facebook Offers
Facebook offers are a way to draw users from other locations around the Internet to your Facebook page. Once again, it’s the gravitational allure of free stuff that brings them in. Once they’re on Facebook, you can encourage them to follow your page, which exposes them to an ongoing stream of your posts. Essentially, building your audience gives you more people, which means more chances to earn clicks. It won’t necessarily help your click rate, but it can help with volume.
Use Facebook PPC
Facebook’s pay per click advertising is incredibly effective, in part due to the detailed audience information you can use. Jon Loomer is a Facebook expert, and this guide is high up there in terms of utility. The only thing you need to watch out for is his final advice to like gate content, which Facebook has banned recently.
Use Other Social Networks
Other social networks can work very well in conjunction with Facebook. You should strive to maintain a presence on any network that supports your audience, and interlink them. Use Facebook to link to your other profiles. Use your Twitter to link to your Facebook. Use LinkedIn to link to your Twitter, and to your Facebook. Generally mix up where you send people, trying to merge your audiences as much as possible.
If your CTR on Facebook specifically is important, you should strive to funnel users to that site in particular. If all you want is a higher CTR to your website, you can use your combined audience and link to your site from every profile.
Twitter is great for short messages and timely responses to customer questions. LinkedIn is excellent if you can find industry-related groups, as well as for networking with other industry bloggers. Instagram has an insanely high engagement rate, if you can leverage graphical content and make a place for yourself. Each network has a purpose; put it to work for you.