If blogging is part of your overall marketing strategy, one of your goals is to get as many eyeballs on your content as possible. Using Facebook status updates to send people to your blog is one tactic that any business or brand with a meaningful following should investigate.
Here are six ways you can use Facebook to send people to your blog.
1. Use a Facebook Page app to highlight recent posts, or the ones that convert best for you.
Whether people are checking out your page for the first time, or they're a repeat visitor, one key to having a robust Facebook page is offering visitors a mix of entertaining and informational content. Yes, the latest cat meme or inspirational quote might get lots of likes, but don't your readers want something more when they come to your page?
Try hosting your most valuable and/or recent blog posts on a Facebook page app. The app would be called "Most Popular Posts of the Month" or something along those lines. (By housing certain posts in an app, you also have a place to send readers from Facebook ads - if you happen to be running them. More on that, later!)
Ian Cleary at Razor Social does this and seems to update the app every couple of days, adding his most recent posts:
2. Enable Facebook's Comment plug-in on your blog.
We recently installed Facebook Comments on our blog and my content team prefers it to what we were using before. It has cut down on the comment spam and trolls because comments are tied to the Facebook accounts of real people.
The other benefit is that it offers the potential for social virality. When someone comments using Facebook Comments, the comment appears in their Facebook stream with a link back to the post (unless the commenter chooses to opt out of this feature). People who see that their friends have commented are, theoretically, more likely to check out posts - the proverbial Facebook loop!
Of course, since not everyone likes to use Facebook for activity that's not Facebook related, we also have the native WordPress commenting feature enabled and it seems to be working so far.
Here's a look at how the Facebook Comment plug-in looks on Post Planner, which happens to have a pretty robust comment stream going for most blog posts:
3. Use a choice quote from a post as a status update, choosing one sentence from a post that will motivate your readers to click over to learn more.
This is a tactic that works well on Twitter and the same principle goes for Facebook: Entice your readers with a little snack and then lead them to your blog where they can enjoy the whole meal.
Try alternating between text-only status updates and visual ones, like the example below, which was made with an iPhone app called WordSwag:
4. Link to your blog in the "About" section of your Facebook Page.
The number of Pages that don't do this very easy thing is surprising! But since Facebook has pretty extensive space allotted for information about businesses, this is a natural place to link to your blog, if one of your goals is to drive blog traffic. So few companies include blog links in their "About" sections, that I looked at about 20 Facebook pages before finding one!
Here's what you'll find within Simply Measured's "About" section:
5. Repeat links to recent blog posts.
As most Facebook users know, only a small percentage of a page's fans actually see their status updates on a regular basis. If you're using your page as a way to promote new blog content, don't be shy about posting links more than once.
On my company's page, we usually do a status update right when the blog post goes up, typically at about 9:00 a.m. PST, and then again in the middle of the night. We know that a sizeable number of our fans live many time zones away and repeating a status update post increases the audience.
We also routinely repost links to "old" posts. Check out the example below. The first time we posted a status update about a new infographic it reached 1,029 people. But the second time, a few months later, it reached five times that and had three times as much engagement.
While lots of Facebook page admins are grousing about the fact that they - we - have to pay to promote posts we want people to see, the fact remains that Facebook's advertising options make it pretty easy to get your ads seen by precisely the people you want to see them. Facebook's Demographic Targeting and Interest Targeting options, for example, allow you to select exactly whom you want to see that ad for your blog's email sign-up, or even an ad for a specific post.
At ShortStack, we're currently experimenting with something we've dubbed Hybrid Content Marketing. It boils down to combining our content - blog posts, PDFs, eBooks, etc - with a tightly focused advertising strategy. We only promote about 10 percent of the content we create, but it's been an effective way to drive traffic to our blog and to some of our other resources.
Here's an ad we ran recently that takes readers straight to our "12 Months of App Ideas" PDF, which is housed on our company blog:
These were six easy ways you can use your Facebook Page to drive readers back to your blog. Are there any other tactics you've found effective? Please share them in the comments below.