Because of my Facebook marketing efforts over the last week, my blog has gotten more traffic than in any other week over the last two years.
In fact, this blog got twice as many visits in one day last week than on my highest traffic day in all of 2014.
I’m about to share with you what I consider to be “The Ultimate Facebook Strategy”.
Does that sound interesting? Then continue reading.
With the changes that they made to their algorithm on January 1st, in essence eliminating the reach of promotional posts made by Facebook pages, I definitely understand why so many people are tripping.
But could it be that we’re missing something? Like, something BIG – especially for bloggers and other marketers?
Last week I wrote an article on why you need to change your Facebook strategy in 2015 and that really seemed to have struck a chord with many bloggers.
For the last week, I’ve been experimenting with Facebook. I knew that changes were coming and that I needed to be prepared.
I was also extremely optimistic about what it could mean for bloggers and marketers who do Facebook the right way and felt that I could use Facebook to drive a considerable amount of traffic to my blog despite all of the doom and gloom predictions out there.
Now I will admit that I’m sharing this strategy with you pretty early in my experimentation, and there’s a risk to doing that. I can’t give you months or years of data.
However, I'd rather share this with you while I’m doing it so that you can test out the concepts yourself and be on what I consider to be the cutting edge. I try not to hold back any secrets from you if I think they can help you. So here goes.
Your Facebook page as a gateway, not a platform
What I’m about to share with you is a strong deviation from what is typically taught.
Many of us marketers have been taught to look at our Facebook pages as a platform, and while that holds some merit, I think it’s thinking a bit small.
I would encourage you not to view your page as your platform (especially not one of your main platforms) for the following reasons:
The fact is this – Yes, Facebook is a great place to get the word out there about your blog or website, but since it’s not a platform you own, you don’t control it. You own your blog, your website, your inventory, your products and yourself, but you don’t own your Facebook page.
Facebook can decide tomorrow that they don’t want you on there and from one day to the next, your “platform” can be gone. Don’t believe me? Well that’s what happened to some gun sellers a few months back.
Reason #2: Facebook doesn’t care about you
Yes, I know – that wasn’t the bed of roses you expected, but I’ve come to believe that it’s true. Facebook isn’t in the business of growing your business. They are in the business of growing Facebook and their businesses. When it comes down to it, it’s about their bottom line. If it’ll make them more money, they want to do it, regardless of how it affects you (once again – my interpretation).
Reason #3: Your business, your time
If you’re going to invest a ton of time into a business, shouldn’t it be your own? Shouldn’t you be more concerned with feeding YOUR family than helping Zuckerberg make more money? Nothing against the guy – I actually kinda like him, but I like my family much more 😉
So, instead of looking at your Facebook page as a platform, I would encourage you to look at it as a gateway for reaching people. It’s a place where you can put content out there to attract people to your brand (or in our case, your blog). Because THAT’S where the REAL value happens.
With this model, your number of likes isn’t the strongest indicator of how effective your Facebook page efforts have been. In fact, I’ve heard personally from a number of bloggers that they have a ton of likes, but are only reaching a small fraction of those people, in a way making their Facebook efforts seem almost worthless.
However, if you do it right, I believe that your reach can extend WAYYY beyond your number of “likes”. Here are my Facebook Stats for the last week:
As you can see, although my page only has 2,480 people who have liked it, in the last week, I’ve been able to reach 12,338 people, which is an increase of 3,971.9% from the previous week.
Of that 12,338 people, 1,225 people actually engaged with (liked, commented, shared) my content (an increase of 3,400%) and 2,225 people actually took action and clicked on my post.
But that all means nothing to me if it doesn’t result in an increase in traffic to my blog. Well, here’s what Google Analytics has to say about that.
As you can see, there was a SIGNIFICANT increase in traffic last week (red arrow) and that makes me happy.
*Please note: The increase that you see with the orange arrow is actually artificial. It mistakenly includes traffic from my Biology blog during that week. Don’t ask – it was a technical mess-up on my end, and I don’t want to revisit it, lol.*
So, if we are to look at that one week, one of my main goals has been accomplished – more traffic to my blog (which also resulted in more engagement on my blog).
The TRUE Value Of Your Page
It’s not in the brand recognition you can receive from having people see your content on Facebook.
It’s not the social proof you get from your potential audience seeing the number of likes, shares or comments on your posts.
For the astute marketer, the TRUE value is the Facebook page Analytics – or as they call it, your Facebook Insights.
Why do I say that? Simple, because that’s where you are able to track the performance of your posts, see what your audience resonates with and make decisions on the type of content you should be sharing.
The Ultimate Facebook Marketing Strategy
Alright, with all of that said, lets talk about what I did last week that generated an increase in engagement (and traffic).
This entire strategy revolves around three questions:
Question #1: What is my (compelling) brand story?
Question #2: What does my ideal target person want to share with their friends related to my brand story?
Question #3: What’s hot right now related to your brand story?
Allow me to take you through this process for my blog, and while I do that, think about how this can apply to yours (or whatever else you do online).
My (Compelling) Brand Story
Story time: Once upon a time, there was a guy whose name was Leslie. He was a simple guy who had use blogging to do very cool things. His biology blog landed him his dream job as a University Professor and made money each and every month even though he has hardly worked on it over the last 3.5 years.
Blogging has made it so that he could leave that dream job to work on building the life of his dreams – a life where he is building a very successful business, has time to spend with family and have the freedom to get up and go whenever, wherever.
A life where he makes enough money to not only take care of his family’s needs, but to also help out a significant amount of people.
A life where he can share his message with the rest of the world – the message that we all have something of value to share, and that by creating content and putting it out there, we can inspire others AND change the world, all while building successful online businesses.
This is the story that’s at the heart of what he does. It’s what he wants you to know, and as a result – it is what he shares, regardless of the platform. (story time is over)
Here’s an example of that:
I’m currently in the Bahamas on a 35 day trip. How was I able to do that? Because of the type of location-independent business I’m currently building. I share that journey with my audience.
This is all a part of my brand story.
The Sharing Factor
It’s for one simple reason – it’s because people shared the content I created.
And they shared it because I thought about the question of what my ideal target person would want to share.
So what do people want to share? According to a study conducted by The New York Times Customer Insight Group, we share content for one of five reasons:
- To bring valuable and entertaining content to others
- To define ourselves to others (give people a better sense of who we are and what we care about)
- To grow and nurture our relationships (helps them connect)
- For self-fulfillment (allows us to feel more involved in the world)
- To get the word out about causes or brands
What’s at the heart of all of that is one simple word – relationships. Not starting a blog. Not studying biology. And no, not even making money.
So, as I create content, I need to think about these factors because I want people to share my content. Here examples from my posts from the week:
It’s January 2015 and people are thinking about what they want to accomplish. Of course with that comes fear. It’s an emotion that everyone deals with and in many cases, it holds us back, because it can be such a strong emotion.
As a result, 50 people have shared it so far and it has reached 9,384 people (probably more by the time you read it).
Notice anything? Yep, it’s directly related to the video. In fact, it was posted on the same day. It appeals to the same emotion and people will also be likely to share something along those lines.
This is something I learned from Mitch Wilson from Sports Chat Place, an EXTREMELY successful Sports website that provides insightful analysis and predictions about a ton of games that are happening right now.
Here’s the thing – because all of his content is about games that are going on right now, those games are the hot topics for the day (or a few days). His content is not evergreen, but they are very time-bound and very HOT.
Because of that, he gets A TON of traffic from those daily “hot topics”.
Well, I’m trying the same thing for my blog. What’s the hot topic right now? You guessed it – Facebook’s algorithm changes. So what do I talk about right now? How to survive when Facebook has a mood swing (inside joke for the podcast listeners).
Because a lot of marketers are very concerned about that right now, there will not only be a lot of searches – you will also be more likely to share.
(side note: if you’re finding this article helpful, please help prove me right and share it with your networks 😉 )
Are there key events that are happening that you can comment on in the context of your blog? Are there key emotions that people are feeling in response to specific hot topics that you can tap into?
Do it – over and over and over and . . . well, you get the point.
Amplifying your reach
Look – we all know that Facebook reach for pages isn’t as good as they used to be.
But you know what? If you are building the kind of brand that I encourage you to build – the kind where you are so proud of your content that you want to share it with the world, then you should get the ball rolling.
You can help to amplify your reach by using your very own Facebook profile to share the awesome content you are posting to your page.
Here’s the key – your brand has to be something you believe in and what you share on your personal profile should be an ongoing story that is congruent with the brand you are building.
The benefit here is that you get to combine the power of your personal profile with the detailed analytical insights you get from having a Facebook page.
Think about it – I currently have 3,310 friends on Facebook and 475 followers. Because my brand story is essentially MY story, you can see a lot of my journey on my personal profile.
Yeah, I know – I probably share too much, but it works for me. I’m an open book.
Because of this, and the fact that I’m very proud of what I’m building, I’m happy to share it with my friends. I no longer ask people to share stuff that I’m not sharing myself.
I want the world to hear my message, because I think it can transform lives.
If you REALLY want to take this to the next level here are two additional tips:
- When you have something REALLY awesome that you can tell is resonating with a lot of your audience (like an awesome video), reach out to a few influencers in your niche (that you’ve developed a relationship with) and ask them to share it.
- Connect even deeper with your most engaged “fans” (and I hate using that word). If you notice that there are a few people who are really engaging with your content, reach out and try to connect with them on a deeper level. You’d be surprised at what people will do once they realize that you actually care.
Now some of you will inevitably be thinking something like this – “Leslie, that’s good for you, but it won’t work for me. I’m not friends with a bunch of influencers and I only have a few hundred friends on Facebook.”
My response is simple – GET TO WORK! When I started on Facebook, I had zero friends and I didn’t know any influencers. Relationships take time and effort. Make it Happen. Start reaching out there and connecting with people.
Tip – Get on that video stuff
Yeah, I know – video isn’t new for Facebook (or any other social networks).
However, they have been working significantly (behind the scenes) on their video features and capabilities.
They’ve added autoplay (even though some people find it annoying) and now you’re seeing the video views at the bottom of their videos.
A few months back, it was even revealed that Facebook video views have surpassed Youtube.
Mark my words – Video on Facebook will be HUGE in the future. Well, it kinda already is. Starting posting videos.
Here’s the key – let your videos be an extension of your brand. Have them tell your brand story not just attempt to sell a product or service.
Where it all comes together
You’re also doing it consistently (very important).
I need you to remember that I said that the platform you’re building shouldn’t be on Facebook.
This is something that I’m in the process of working on right now and is an important element of the story.
Your goal in building your gateway is to get them on your email list – not just to your blog.
To do this, you need to have one consistent call to action. This was the shortcoming of my strategy last week, but it will no longer be that way.
I’ve made the conscious decision that when someone signs up to my email list, they will get the best free content I have to offer. I want to share tips to help people (like you) build the kind of lifestyle business I’m building.
I know that it won’t be an easy road and I want to help people on this journey.
So, whenever I engage with people on Facebook (or any other platform), the goal is to get them to that squeeze page to sign up for my email list, so that they can get my free training, and ongoing support. And of course, my email list is directly tied to my monetization strategy – but that's another post for another day 😉
BTW – if you aren’t on my email list, you’re missing out on my “10 hour blueprint” where I walk you through how to build your blogging business in 10 hours/week. You're also missing out on my updates with new content whenever I have something available to help you. Go ahead and sign up here:
The future looks bright
Yes, I know that I’m speaking very soon. I’ve only been actively doing this strategy for about a week now. However, I’ve been doing a ton of research. I’ve taken courses, read blogs, looked at research and the future looks bright (from my perspective).
I will be actively engaging in more thorough research when it comes to Facebook marketing, especially for bloggers. I will be compiling data and doing some in depth analysis to really figure out what works for businesses and entrepreneurs like myself.
The absolute best way for you to keep up to date with my research on the topic is to make sure you’re subscribed to my email newsletter (as I mentioned above).
You’ll get lots of free stuff to help you on this journey.
Question: Which of these tips resonated most with you? Let me know in the comments below.
Proof This Works
This section was added after the fact. It's something I just HAD TO share. Two days after I posted this article, I got this comment on Facebook:
THIS STUFF WORKS. That's all 🙂
- New Facebook Rules Will Sting Entrepreneurs – Source: The Wall Street Journal
- News Feed FYI: Reducing Overly Promotional Page Posts in News Feed – Source: Facebook Newsroom
- Facebook shuts down some gun-selling pages, Abilene businesses upset – Source: KTXS
- A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Insights – Source: Kissmetrix
- The Psychology of Sharing – Source: The New York Times
- Busting Facebook’s Most Widespread Myth (or why you are not reaching 16% of your fans!) – Source: Agorapulse
- Facebook Passes YouTube for Desktop Video: comScore's Fulgoni – Source: The Huffington Post
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