First of all, I'd like to thank Kim Roach for a killer traffic growing guest post last Friday, and I'd also like to thank her tribe. Many of Kim's loyal followers came by SPI over the weekend, and to all of you I'd like to give you a warm welcome and a big thank you!
Secondly, I'd like to welcome all of the visitors coming from the Internet Business Mastery Blog today, linked here from a guest post that I wrote that went live today about ebooks. Thanks for stopping by! (full disclosure – I earn a commission if you purchase)
As many of my long-time followers know, a few months ago I wrote one of my most successful, most widely-spread posts EVER, entitled THE Blogger's Guide to Facebook. It goes over 2 months of hardcore research about Facebook as a means of traffic generation, including instructions on how to setup everything from scratch and maximize your results.
Since then, I haven't let up on Facebook one bit. Now with over 1,550 Facebook Fans, I realize even more the power behind Facebook—not only for traffic generation, but for building a long-lasting, deeper relationship with your audience. Besides an email list, I believe a well built Facebook Fan Page is the next best thing in a blogger's business-building arsenal.
Let's get into it…
As I mentioned in THE Blogger's Guide, Facebook is decent at driving traffic to your blog or website, but not the best as far as the quantity. However, the traffic that does come from Facebook tends to be of a much higher quality. By higher quality, I mean:
- The bounce rate is lower.
- The time spent on the site is longer.
- The number of page views per visit is higher.
- Conversions for various metrics are better.
Even today, all of the above still hold true for me.
Doing the Work For You
A lot of people have told me that a Facebook page is just a waste of time and their energy and efforts could be better spent trying to implement other means of traffic generation.
“My Facebook Fans would be my subscribers and followers on the blog anyways,” they say.
True, but think about this:
Facebook is all about connections and this is something we can use to our advantage. When your fans comment, paste links, or do anything on your Facebook page, their actions get posted on their own personal profile for all of their friends to see. Many of them will be interested and click over to your own page.
This means you can reach people (virally) that you would have never been able to reach otherwise, without having to do any real extra work. By participating, your fans are doing the work for you.
Like I said, besides an email list, I think Facebook is the next best thing for your blog.
Because of the way you can interact with your audience.
- You can easily organize multiple discussions with several different people at the same time. You can't do this with Twitter, especially when it comes to going back to the history of certain conversations that you've had, and all of the pieces of the conversation involved.
- Other people can easily join in on existing discussions.
- When people leave comments, others who have already contributed to the conversation are notified. In most cases, they will return and read the latest comment and contribute even further.
- You can easily post links which conveniently allow you to select a graphic to go along with it. Choose one that is eye-catching and relevant, and you're sure to grab people's attention.
- Other people can easily post links or pictures to add to the content of whatever is being talked about. Your fans will feel like they can help contribute to the community, which is always a great feeling.
- You have a bit of control over some of the things that people post on your Page. It's best to not be a Nazi and let people say what they have to say, but if people are shamelessly promoting things that aren't relevant, you can easily delete them and keep your wall clean.
- And last but not least, people really get a sense of community on your page.
So you've setup your Facebook Page. Now what?
Here's a list of things you can do on your fanpage that I've found to work quite well over the past several months:
- Post Links to Your Blog Posts: You can have this done automatically, but I don't have it setup that way. I like to manually copy/paste my blog post urls into my status, which allows me to also add some additional commentary to go along with it. The commentary is vital for getting people to click your links, and it makes it seem less like you're spamming. Here's an example:
Notice the eye-catching graphic (imagine this showing up on your Facebook wall), and my commentary as well.
When you paste a link, Facebook automatically detects the Page Title and the Page Description, so if you have the All in One SEO Plugin for WordPress, make sure you optimize your Page Title and Description because that's exactly what will show up here.
- Post Links to Other Helpful Posts: People will appreciate that you're sharing what you find useful on the web. Seriously. Again, don't just post the link—add some commentary to go along with it.
- Keep People Informed: Heard any breaking news lately? Why not share it? Chances are you'll be the first one to inform them (because a lot of people breath Facebook), and this will strengthen your authority.
- Keep People Updated: If you're working on any cool projects (which I know you are), keep people updated on your progress! It can even help create some buzz for things that you might have planned for the near future.
- Test Certain Topics: One cool thing that I've learned to do with Facebook is to test topics out before they become blog posts. If certain topics generate a lot of interest, I usually write a blog post about it. And to take it even further, I make sure to mention that the Facebook page is where the discussion started (to get more Facebook fans), and I also make sure to link to the blog post in the discussion where I tested out the topic (for instant traffic, since the people who are in on the discussion would want to read more about it).
- Ask For Help: If you need help with anything, your fans will be right there to assist you, sometimes within the minute.
- Be Personal: Step away from the usual content and give people a glimpse of what your non-blogging, non-business life is like. They will appreciate it and you'll seem more like a real person that your fans can connect and relate to.
These are just a few of the things you can do on your page if you're looking to update it. Mix it up, but keep the updates consistent, and it will do wonders for you and your brand.
Insight—Your Facebook Page Metrics
When you setup your own Fan Page, you'll see something in the left hand sidebar under your profile picture that is called Insight. This is only visible to you (and any other admins for your page), and it's where you can check all of your stats. I won't go over the details, but you can check to see how many interactions your page has received, the growth of your page, the demographical breakdown, etc.
In case you're interested, here's the breakdown of all of my fans so far (as of April 16th):
Also, once a week Facebook will send you an email with a summary of the metrics of your fanpage, which is pretty cool too.
The Part That Sucks About Having a Facebook Fan Page
I love Facebook and how the Fan Page system works, but there's one thing that I hate about it:
As the admin, I don't get any sort of notification when people leave a comment on my wall.
I have no idea why this is the case, but in trying to find a solution, I came across a forum post on Facebook that has over 6000 people complaining about the same exact thing.
The only real way to stay truly updated on your wall is to check it every so often, which is exactly what I do. It sucks, and hopefully Facebook will have a solution for us soon, but I don't mind because of everything else I mentioned today.
If you find a solution, please PLEASE let me know. If I find one, I'll update this immediately as well.
Show Off Your Facebook Fan Page!
Since THE Blogger's Guide to Facebook was written, I've received at least 100 emails from people who have created their own Fan Pages with the help of my guide. That's awesome!
Now's your time to show them off. If you have one, feel free to leave a link to it in the comments below. I'd love to have a look.
Thanks everyone, and I wish you all the best. Cheers!
p.s. If you have yet to join me on my Fanpage, come check it out!
(Editor's note: As of 2021, we’ve chosen to move our student course communities off of Facebook. As we strengthen our commitment to fostering strong community for the SPI audience, we believe that Circle is a better community platform for us. We launched our private membership, SPI Pro, on Circle in July 2020. We’ve had such a great experience that we decided to use Circle to host SPI Academy, a shared space for all of our course communities.)