By now most companies have come to realize the necessity of a social media marketing plan to grow their business. However, with so many different platforms to choose from, and so many different ways of sharing content – how do you know where to start? How do you get more traffic from social media? This blog post is for those of you who have gotten lost, spending hours upon hours trying to understand why your social media accounts are not getting the attention they deserve. Let’s go over the basic rules of social media. For the sake of focus, we’ll be talking mostly about Facebook in this post.
1. Find the best social media platform for your niche.
This may sound obvious, but many marketers feel like the social media world is one big candy store, and eagerly jump on every platform available. Don’t waste your time marketing on a social media platform that doesn’t address most of your niche.
Identify your target audience.
Find out where this target audience is most likely to be engaged.
For example, Reddit is a huge growing community of link sharing, usually intelligent and up to date individuals. However, it is predominantly male, and with so many rules to avoid affiliate link spamming, it is very tricky promoting your content in sub-reddits.
Pinterest is predominantly female, and it has done wonders for many e-commerce brands and beauty bloggers. The main audience is under 40, and 60% of users are from the US. If this audience suits you, you need to start working on dazzling content and just as dazzling images – visuals are the key for this platform.
Now, Facebook: Whatever your business is promoting, chances are that a big chunk of your audience is on Facebook. With 1.59 Billion active users, Facebook is the platform with the highest referral traffic in existence so far. Facebook users are very willing to click to external sources, therefore it’s an amazing platform for increasing traffic to your website. Whichever additional social media platforms you choose, I highly recommend that Facebook be one of them. Now let’s take a look at best practices to get your Facebook page kickin’.
2. When to share on Facebook
There have been several controversial arguments as to the best times to upload your Facebook posts, but recent analytical studies have revealed some interesting myth busters.
It would make sense to upload your posts during peak times for Facebook users – the hours during the day when most people scroll through their feeds. However, you need to keep in mind that with a growing Facebook community, most users follow friends, family, as well as multiple interest groups, businesses, and media pages. Your post may not be viewed by all of the followers who are on their news feed at that particular time, simply because you are competing with other posts on their newsfeed. For this reason, posting during hours that have less competition rather than more active users, would actually get you higher engagement. Perhaps you are exposing your posts to less people, but more people will see your post! For most countries, this goldmine lies between 10pm and midnight, but make sure to look up your local stats to be exact.
Another tip: leave your best posts for the weekend. Less competition from businesses, more active users – enough said.
Don’t spam your followers with posts. It has been noted that while Twitter users should tweet even 10 times a day, posting over twice a day becomes a nuisance to Facebook followers, and you risk losing your audience.
If you’re not a content machine with vast amounts of new content to share every day, you can definitely share your own posts every once in a while to make sure old content is used to the max and isn’t buried down your feed.
3. What to share on Facebook
Increasing your engagement (likes, comments, shares) will give you a substantial amount of organic traffic. Think of it as your dedicated audience providing you with free marketing. Every time they engage with your posts, their friends are exposed to the post as well – and you receive more likes. So, how do you increase your engagement on Facebook?
It’s important to understand what type of posts receive more response. This may vary between different types of target audiences – so the best practice would be to spy a bit on your competitors, and see what kind of posts they are sharing, and which ones have more comments, which ones are shared more, and which receive little to no response.
As a general rule, questions paired with an image or video tend to receive the highest response rates. Visuals attract our attention. Moving visuals even more. Questions catch our eye as they seem like a personal approach. Try it out, and see how people start interacting with your posts.
Play around with the options and content – vary your posts so that your audience doesn’t get bored. One way to gain credibility and interest among your followers is to share valuable content, not just self-promotion. Give your audience a reason to follow you. What do you offer them? Tips? Interesting photos? Occasional humor? Don’t lose your followers by continuously bragging about your business goals and conventions you attended – associate your brand with some fun facts and interesting blog posts, anything that will grab their attention and make them look forward to more posts from you.
On this note, remember also not to bore your followers with too much content. Most people don’t flip through their news feed to spend five minutes reading one post. If you have a long topic to discuss, give a brief intro, and link to the full article externally.
4. The best way to get your first 1,000 followers
Although social media is a great way of cutting marketing costs, you won’t get anywhere if you lecture to an empty auditorium. You need a first wave of followers to share, comment, and like your content to be exposed to more potential clients. While there are many relatively fast ways of doing this on other platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, where there is a lot of reciprocal follows, Facebook isn’t as simple. The best method, and relatively low-cost is running a paid CPC campaign for initial exposure. I wouldn’t recommend buying a fake audience as some do because this means no engagement – and no engagement means not only will Facebook show your posts less, you also won’t be able to accurately measure analytics from your group of followers. For a few dollars per day, you can slowly build your exposure and test out different messages that attract people to your page. This A/B testing will give you so great analytical data for your other campaigns as well, such as newsletters and Google Adwords campaigns. Try to be as focused as possible when defining your target audience, so that you are exposed to the right people and pay less per like. Hint: perhaps including your competitors in interest groups may lead you to a relevant audience.
Once you reach your first 1,000-2,000 followers, your traffic should grow organically as long as you follow best practices for posting content.
If you feel like you are producing good enough content, reach out to influencers in your field and offer them to share your posts. If they are relevant to their audience they may agree, and BAM – you’ve got yourself exposure to their group of loyal followers as well.
Target your audience at the right place. Facebook is a safe bet to start – along with another one or two platforms where you have fully researched the presence of your niche.
Create an organized schedule for sharing to keep up with when you share and how often. Simply changing the upload time of your posts can make the difference between huge exposure and no exposure.
Share interesting content. Facebook is not a banner ad! People who follow you are exposed to your content on a regular basis and can always choose to stop seeing your posts (unfollow) if they offer no value.
Don’t be afraid to invest some money. A well optimized CPC campaign can yield a great kickstart for your business page.