As a media professional (and a blogger), I rely on social media to drive traffic back to the content I write.
You may know already that I use many forms of social media, but today we’re going to focus on Facebook. (And, because I generally don’t like to talk about the goings-on of my job, we’ll be focusing on my blog rather than what I do at work. If you’re reading this as a journalist, keep in mind that using social media for general blogging is a bit different than it is for news outlets. Poynter is my favorite site for information about using social media with reporting.)
Facebook: a learning process
We’re looking at Facebook today because it’s been on my mind a lot lately. I keep wondering how I can use Facebook to gain readers on my blog. My biggest struggle with Facebook is turning likes into page views. No matter how much my Facebook following grows, my blog stats tell me that, at most, I’m only getting about two or three clicks from Facebook per day. I’ve been doing some research to try to fix that.
Unfortunately, most of the data I’ve found applies to businesses rather than media companies.
Figuring out how to use social media to bring in more blog views is definitely a learning process for me, and I don’t think I’m alone. Just look at all the how-to’s, infographics and other teaching tools populating sites like Pinterest, Twitter and Google+. These tools certainly aren’t hard to find, but they all say the same thing: post this item at this time for the most likes/shares/comments. I have yet to find an article that explains how to turn those likes/shares/comments into page views for my blog.
Maybe that’s because no one really knows.
I think we’re all still trying to figure out Facebook (and social media in general).
But I do have a theory about how to grab readers’ attention through Facebook.
I think it has more to do with content than anything else. It’s a lot like publishing a newspaper or magazine. What attracts people to pick up one publication over another (beyond easily-recognizable publication titles)? Photos. Headlines. Content.
Yes, many Facebook users enjoy looking at a nice photo, and photos will probably attract a good deal of likes and shares, but the I believe textual content of your Facebook post is what’s most important. Tell your readers why they should click through to your website. Otherwise, they may just like the photo and move on.
Here are a few articles I’ve read about improving Facebook stats (though, like I mentioned, most are to get more likes/shares/comments rather than clicks):
- [Infographic] How to Get More Likes, Comments and Shares on Facebook
- Five Tips for Facebook Success
- Now that they “like” you…what’s next?
- [Infographic] When to Tweet and Post to Facebook
- 5 Answers about Facebook Marketing
(As I find more, you can see them on my Let’s Do Business pin board.)
Bloggers, what do you do to make your Facebook friends/fans want to visit your website? Readers, what makes you want to click through the links you see on Facebook?