It might sound obsolete, but if you're not on social media you don't exist. Your website might look amazing but if it's not registering visits you're facing a problem. Whether you're new in the business, just launched your website or you're relying only on organic traffic, social media should be added to your communication mix. When done properly, it can drive traffic to your website, and generate the leads and conversion your business needs.
An optimized social presence is essential for a business, even so for a small brand. You might have already set up several social accounts and handling multiple accounts for your brand is not without hassle, but it will prove to be well worth your time when you become strategic about it.
A smart social presence can be an important traffic referrer for your website.
Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can generate a constant source of referral traffic and brand awareness. Today's article is the first a series of four teaching you how to optimize your social networks to increase your website traffic. The first in this series is dedicated to Facebook and gives you a few tips on where to start with your optimization and what actions to take to drive engagement.
1. Understand your goal on Facebook
The importance of a content calendar and a social media strategy is not to be ignored. Publishing posts on your page without a certain purpose, results in mediocre results and a scattered audience. Ask yourself what is your goal with Facebook? Does it fit your audience and marketing strategy? Do you want your Facebook page to sell, collect new leads or increase brand awareness? Understand what your primary goal is and then work out campaigns to achieve it. And yes, you can have multiple goals, just remember Facebook is a social network, where people come to be entertained, so:
- Keep it all together with branded unique content and regular posts
- Use the human factor and publish posts featuring happy clients, innovative aspects of your products and services, every day challenges you overcome in your business etc.
- Use all your tools, from Facebook cover to profile photo, the Pinned to top feature and various types of content
- Make sure your photos (eg page cover, event cover, page post, page link) are a match for Facebook's image dimensions.
A. Do you know your audience?
If you already have a Facebook page, it's time to start checking your Facebook Insights. Facebook Page metrics are available as soon as your reach the 'difficult' 30 fans milestone. This is a very, very useful tool, provided without charge by Facebook, as it helps you understand your page audience. I suggest you check out your reports at least twice a month; but if your agenda allows it, do it weekly and most importantly, after every single campaign. You will find out:
- when your fans are online
- where your fans are from (country and city)
- how many of them are women or men
- your fans' age
- how your posts have performed, organic and paid
B. See what others are doing right on Facebook
Facebook is different from any other social network and you should first make sure you understand how people engage and socialize on this channel. If you have no idea where to start, just take a look at how your competition is engaging with their fans. These are questions you should keep in mind when doing your research:
- what content are they using?
- how do people engage with video, pictures or status?
- how often do they post?
- do they use contests, sales or offers to encourage new page likes, comments and shares?
- are they working with influencers to bring in more fans?
C. Count your results
Remember when I said know what your goal is? If you don't work with a goal in mind, you will never know exactly how successful your Facebook marketing campaigns are. Looking at your results is a great way to ensure you are not throwing money out the window with Facebook ads. Counting post likes, shares and comments is a great way to see your content's performance, but don't stop here if you have a website. Social networks might be just one step in your marketing funnel, but if you use them correctly, you can make them a turning point in your client acquisition plan.
Depending on your goal for a specific time period, here some of the results you can take into account:
- Website traffic: check your Google Analytics dashboard to see how many visitors are coming from Facebook, paid or organic. Alternatively, you can use Bit.ly to publish short links and register clicks and shares.
- New subscribers: you can use Facebook's own "subscribe to newsletter" tab to get more awareness for your newsletter. It will connect with your newsletter client (eg. Mailchimp), where you will see exactly how many new subscribers decided they want to get news from you.
- Event Attendance: Facebook events are soooo useful to promote a specific campaign to a specific group in your audience. Let's say you're hosting a Super Sale and you've got tons of content to promote it. You can't overwhelm all your fans and chocking your Facebook wall with discounts. This affects your brand on the long term as it shifts your audience.
- Facebook page likes: when you invest in promoting your page on Facebook, you should definitely check out the Page Likes Report, available in the Insights tab.
- Actual Sales: if you're hosting a promotion in your store or online shop, use a code to count your clients. Make it specific to your Facebook page. Or you can use Facebook's very own Offers tool.
D. Keep your content up to date and stay in touch with your audience
People change and so does your brand. It might be new employees, a new website, a new phone contact or even address. Your Facebook page should give fans all the information they need to understand who you are and how your product or service is going to help. Even if Facebook is just a step in your marketing funnel, it is an important one. So keep your content and contact information up to date and in touch with your audience:
- Check the accuracy of your About section (category and description)
- Make sure your contact numbers are up to speed
- Is your Address correct?
- Check your reviews often: thank those that made an effort, address the negative reviews in a positive and helpful way
- Make sure messages are answered fast and accurately
- Say thanks and publish replies to your fans' comments
- Update your CTA button with every new campaign
- Change your page cover as often as you can (once a week for instance)
The steps above are just some of the many that will help you optimize your Facebook page, steps that will lead to an increase in your website traffic, as well as your post engagement. Now you know, so don't ignore these "technical" aspects in the future.
Bonus: How to make your Facebook Page more visible
You're a lucky one. I'm adding this bonus to help you grow your online presence on social media. The following should already be in place. These are basic steps that will make your Facebook page more visible. So make sure to check the basics:
- On your website, place social network icons and a call to action to announce and determine visitors on your website to go to your Facebook page. Same goes for your blog, e-newsletter, email signature.
- Ensure the link to your Facebook page is correct. I’ve seen countless small business websites with icons to social networks leading to either accounts that don’t exist or error pages. Use this tool to help you future client learn more about you. Making them go through a worthless experience, only gives them reasons not to work with you. If you’re only using Facebook and Twitter, then use these icons and don’t insert 5 – 10 social channels just because it shows you’re very communicative.
- Offline practices can also help build awareness for your Facebook page and other social networks. If your brand strategy allows it, use the icons on your business cards, on flyers, in-store announcements and outdoor advertising. Don’t assume your audience is going directly to your website. With Facebook being so popular, many will include your page in the first 2 steps they make into finding out more about your brand. If your website is difficult to browse or doesn’t browse naturally, your visitors will go to your Facebook page to get a feel of who you are. Some will go directly to your Facebook page, which helps with brand awareness. These potential leads can convert on Facebook with a page like, a share, a comment or simply a like post, promoting your brand to their friends, as their engagement on your page is shared in their newsfeeds.
- Share your Facebook page on other social networks.
- On Facebook, you should make it easy for people to find the needed information as fast and easy as possible. Most people don’t read online, they scan. So your About section, posts and notes should be short and concise. You can present your brand story and successful history on your website or aFacebook note, so make sure you insert a link in that About section, with a call to action.