It used to be a lot easier to reach audiences on Facebook and drive traffic to brand websites. However, Facebook as well as the audiences are changing, and the field is more saturated than ever. The following tips by Ben Givon will help you stay in the race.
Know your audience
Experts often focus on the technicalities of marketing, such as the right links, keywords, timing, etc. These all certainly matter on Facebook. However, the most important aspect of marketing on Facebook is the audience. Remember that social media targeting is about narrowcasting, not broadcasting. Thus, it is crucial that you get an intimate grasp of your audience and post content accordingly. To understand what moves your audience, combine the following strategies:
- Observe dedicated Facebook groups. Facebook groups aggregate people who care about a similar issue. Find groups that correspond with your brand. For example, if you sell educational baby toys, join parent groups. See what people are talking about and questioning, study what makes participants happy, concerned, etc.
- Probe your existing audiences directly. Ask them to vote, rank, and share their opinions. To use the toy example, ask your followers what type of skills they would like to develop in their children through play. They key in this approach is to not just solicit opinion but create a dialogue. Respond to suggestions, follow up on them, give proper credit (e.g., by tagging followers in a post that announces the launch of a toy that was born out of suggestions).
Keep up with Facebook’s algorithm
Facebook’s algorithm, which determines how content is displayed in a user’s News Feed, is constantly changing, often in reaction to unfolding events and criticism (such as controversies about US election meddling and fake news). This directly influences marketing, as tricks that once got you attention will now get your content demoted. For example, content known as “clickbait”, namely posts with sensational, deceiving and partial information (aimed at luring the user to click through to the website) used to be effective. However, in an effort to discourage the practice, Facebook has announced that it would demote posts they identify as clickbait. The implication: Posts you craft should be informative and transparent about the content being clicked through. Since Facebook’s algorithm is a moving target, you should follow Ben Givon’s advice and follow Facebook’s news and announcements and examine their implications for the type of content favored by the platform.
Study your performance
Use Facebook Insights and Google Analytics to identify the Facebook posts that brought in the largest volume of traffic to your website. Try to understand what differentiated high preforming from low preforming posts by pin-pointing features that were shared within each category of posts. For example, did high preforming posts focus on similar topics? Did they use similar visual language? Was there a shared writing style? Perhaps they were posted in a better time of day?
By getting to know your followers, Facebook’s algorithm, and your own performance, you will increase the chances of driving organic traffic from Facebook to your site.