Facebook is excellent for driving traffic to your website, but a huge part of that excellence comes from the sheer utility and reach given to you through the Facebook PPC system. However, if you don’t want to pay for your traffic, you’re going to find yourself much more limited. Instead of worrying about pulling out a PPC budget from thin air, why not focus on methods to generate free traffic from Facebook?
Yes, organic reach is at an all-time low on Facebook. Yes, this means it’s more difficult than ever before to reach your entire audience without boosting posts. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, or that you shouldn’t try. Any traffic is better than no traffic, and a Facebook presence allows you to build into paid traffic later, if you find the budget to do so.
The first thing you need to realize is that Facebook is stacked against you, but it doesn’t have to be. See, Facebook has an algorithm in place that determines what a user should see in their feed. Sometimes, the best posts to show are posts from their friends and family. Sometimes they’re sponsored posts. Sometimes they’re organic posts from businesses. Paying for reach isn’t guaranteed, but then, neither is being the mother of the person in question.
The goal is to game the Facebook algorithm in a way that’s both perfectly legitimate and highly calculated to give you the best possible results. This means you need to bear in mind a few things; timeliness, post type, user engagement and post quality.
Timeliness is a measure of how fresh and relevant a post is. A new post is more likely to show up in a person’s feed than a post from an hour ago, which in turn is more likely to show up than a post from a day ago. To game this metric, post frequently, typically 1-3 times per day.
Post Type is a value assigned to the various types of posts you can make on Facebook. Text posts are the weakest, while photos are better and videos better still. Whenever possible, use multimedia in your updates, including graphics and videos.
User Engagement is the measurement of how the user interacts with your page. A user that frequently likes your page posts is going to see more of your posts than a user who doesn’t. A user who visits frequently will see your posts more often than a user who doesn’t. A user who shares and comments on your updates will see more than other users ever will. To this end, you need to encourage users to engage with your updates on a consistent basis.
Post Quality is the final, ineffable measurement of how great your content is. Better content is more engaging, so people like, share and comment on it more often. Better content tends to involve quality multimedia, so it has a higher influence. An weight. Better content is either valuable in an evergreen sense or valuable in a trending, timely way, both of which are important. Post high quality content to encourage the other metrics.
How can you take steps in a concrete way to increase your audience, refer more traffic and get more exposure, all for free?
1. Use Multimedia
Consider your Facebook weekly posting schedule. As a hypothetical example, figure that you would post three times per day, seven days per week. This gives you 21 posts to work with. Make, say, three of them video posts. This leaves 18 additional posts. Post one image per day, which prunes out another seven, leaving you with eleven. Of those eleven, most of them should be links, with a handful of text posts for special on-page announcements.
This can work as a basic framework, which you can use to adjust. Start out with a particular posting schedule and experiment. Move what days you post videos. Post more images, or less. Post links to more content, or more text posts. Measure each step of the way, paying attention to your analytics. Which posts work best, which fall flat? Tweak your plan and, over time, you’ll grow both your audience and your referred traffic.
2. Encourage Sharing
There are good ways and bad ways to encourage sharing your content. On the good side, you have sharing quality content and asking, occasionally, for shares. On the bad side, you have gimmick images and posts that try to guilt people or shame them into sharing. It’s easy to earn a label as a spammer, if you’re using transparent, boring techniques. Avoid spam techniques and, instead, focus on creating and sharing great content.
You can also encourage comments quite easily; just ask questions. Users love to respond to questions, even if the question is rhetorical and the answer is in the link you’re using.
3. Study Insights
This was touched on in point number one, but it’s worth digging into here. There’s a lot you can learn from your insights. At the basic level, you can see every post you’ve made and its reach, along with critical indicators such as when during the day and during the week it was posted. You can also create custom audiences, and then measure your performance within those audiences. There’s very little you can’t do with insights, and for that, you have your on-site Google Analytics.
4. Use Social Sharing Widgets
Add the social sharing buttons – a like button, a share button, a like box with the faces of your users, whatever fits your layout the best – to every page on your site. If you want users to be able to share your content on a whim, make it easy for them to do so.
You can also use the Facebook Comments plugin instead of whatever blog comments system you’re already using. This way, when a user comments on one of your posts, it will be shared on their news feed by default. This gives you one more avenue of exposure for every post.
5. Customize Website Thumbnails
Using the Facebook Open Graph attributes in the header of your webpage, you can customize how individual posts look when they’re posted on Facebook. This is essential, because a preview is generated when a user links to your page, regardless of whether they shared it in the way you prefer. You can customize the thumbnail, preview description and title all through these attributes.
6. Curate External Content
You don’t want to make your Facebook page a mirror of your blog. Rather than just mindlessly sharing your own content, curate interesting content from other sites. This content should be something your users would like to see, ideally something that hasn’t already been shared by ten thousand other Facebook pages. The goal is to become a unique source of information, so users are attracted to your page on its own merits. This helps you build an audience of people who will follow links to your site, all for free.
Growtraffic.com is the leading pop-under traffic network.
Get thousands of targeted visitors for wholesale prices.