OK I’ve finally cracked it and decided that if no one was going to show this idiot (Hi, how are you) how to start getting traffic from Facebook then he was just going to have to figure it out for himself.
Yes I understand the principles, I think we all do really – but that’s all I ever seem to get when I broach the subject of getting traffic from Facebook. I can bet you are in the same boat too. Ever asked the question of traffic and social networks and received an ambiguous answer? Let’s see if any of these responses sound familiar.
- It is important to engage with like minded individuals
- You need to share relevant and timely information with others
- It’s all about fostering community.
OK, I get it -and you know what, I totally agree.
But in relation to a tangible response as to how I can go about generating traffic to my blog from Facebook, really?
What I need is some substance, something I can DO.
I understand that the whole sharing of content and engaging with others is something I can DO, but I guess the question is:
- How do I get to that point?
And what actionable steps do I need to take to facilitate this process?
So I started to
waste my time on facebook study the facets of the social networking giant and I came up with Operation: Facebook Traffic. My goal with this post is to dumb down the process I followed to get a page up, fill it with content and start getting ‘Liked’, because to be honest, this whole process is like a riddle wrapped in an enigma – and that’s when it is making sense!
I decided, in keeping with the theme that I needed a pseudonym in order to covertly carry out this operation, so I chose the name Sergeant Smackdown because it sounded tough and ‘Operationy’ but after dealing with the interface that is Facebook for all of 3 minutes I quickly changed that name to R.Forfucksake-Wattsrongnow.
Preparing for Battle.
You don’t just march into battle without knowing the playing field, and likewise – you don’t go into the world of Facebook Marketing without knowing who the key players are. Here are the key players on Facebook, along with some of my own personal favorites (awesome benchwarmers).
- Mari Smith aka The Queen of Facebook.
Mari is who the big brands go to. Her site is an excellent resource for everything Facebook. Or check out her page for some inspiration
- Seth Godin aka The King of …EVERYTHING
Seth is beyond being the King of social media because it is fair to say that he helped shape it. Check out his Facebook page to see the level of interaction that occurs every day.*
*Turning the Comments off on his blog caused a huge outcry at the time but Seth was smart because he knew that the lack of commenting ability would drive his readers to interact on Facebook instead, a place much more condusive to viral marketing. Clever boy Seth.
- AllFacebook.com aka The Unofficial Facebook Resource
with over 316,000 LIkes and at least one post a day revealing new information on Facebook, this really is the no. 1 Resource and should be bookmarked now!
- SocialMediaExaminer aka Social Media… Examiner?
Social Media Examiner is a fantastic resource for keeping up to date on all aspects of social media, including Facebook obviously.
- Francisco Rosales aka. SocialMouths.com
SocialMouths is a fantastic resource for all social media marketing, especially Facebook
- Natalie Lousie aka. NatalieLousie.com.au
Natalie talks Facebook – all the time. Great resource for learning how to do this and that with your Facebook account and page.
- Lisa Irby aka 2CreateaWebsite.com
Lisa already dominates YouTube, and it looks like she is slowly taking over Facebook too.
*Thanks to Brankica for pointing out the fact I missed Lisa! (really Alex – how could you!)
- Ana Hoffman aka. TrafficGenerationCafe.com
Ana has a knack for marketing outside of the box, and her approach to social media and Facebook nearly always involves a clever little trick that you never would have thought of yourself.
Phase 1: Creating a Page
This is insane people! Seriously. Ever tried to Google ‘Build Facebook Page’? It’s like getting punched in the face by a disgruntled possum – somewhat confusing and overwhelmingly unpleasant. And honestly – the only thing uglier than the confusing myriad of results you get returned to you is any page on MySpace, but let’s not go there. No really – don’t go there!
I am not going to enter in the debate about why you need a Facebook Page because quite frankly, it’s a one sided affair anyway. Without a page that represents your brand/blog/business you are limiting your chances of getting traffic from Facebook and cutting off any chance of growth within that social network. Needless to say, a Page is a must, so let’s build one.
Here is a link to a YouTube Video I found that, although long (12 minutes or so) is quite good at taking you through the step by step process of setting up a Facebook page. (it’s also one of the few that is not about how to build a fanpage!) The video goes into the details of how to initially create the page and goes through some of the options you have as the new page administrator.
I however am not interested in this stuff, because this is the easy bit. It’s everything you do after your page is built that is crucial to its eventual success or failure, and it is some of these elements that I wanted to go through in more detail.
Phase 1 (cont.): I’m Outta Ammo!
Every Operation needs Ammunition, and in this instance it’s required in the form of inspiration. Here are some links to posts which analyse some pretty sweet looking Facebook Pages. Get your creative juices flowing and get a little insight into why they do what they do.
- Top 50 Branded Facebook Pages (courtesy of ignitesocialmedia.com)
- 20 Examples of Great Facebook Pages (courtesy of Hubspot Blog)
- 30+ Inspiration Facebook Page designs (courtesy of kiyok3wstiyo.com -side note: did you just mash on the keyboard to create that domain name?)
Phase 2: Creating a Profile Image
The image, or profile pic that accompanies your Facebook page is a crucial element, probably the most crucial element – so it is important that we know just what we can, and cannot do with it.
Here are some of the tips and tricks relating to profile images that I have picked up from both reading and spying on others.
- The Maximum image size allowed is 180 x 540 pixels. That’s 540 high folks, almost in skyscraper territory there. Facebook gave you the space – so use it!
- Part of the image is cropped to create the thumbnail – an image that will accompany you and your page wherever you go, so make sure your image is one that is conducive to being cropped or has a smaller image within it that displays your brand or logo.
- The Profile pic is always in the same position relative to the ‘Like’ button. Take advantage of this and direct your visitors to like you via the image.
The profile pic is only one aspect of the images that make up your page, but because it is always visible on every tab on your page and because it is also used as the image associated with your Facebook presence (meaning it appears next to all your comments, likes, and anything else you do relating to Facebook) it is by far the most important image you create. This is what I came up with (using Photoshop)
Too many calls to action? probably, but hey – it looks nice and I personally don’t think it’s too obtrusive. Keep in mind though that even those who have already liked your page will still see this image and it may start to piss them off (definitely something I am keeping in mind). It’s OK though because later I will show you how to create a landing page and then set it up to only show to new visitors to your page. Once we get this going the call to action on your profile image may no longer be necessary.
The thumbnail image needs to be manually edited in most cases, so after you have uploaded the image, click on the ‘Edit Thumbnail’ option underneath and toggle the image within the thumbnail box until you like what you see. In my case I chose to have the image of my ecourse front and center.
Phase 3: Creating a Facebook Landing Page.
The Landing page is probably the most important aspect of your page, and the main reason why Facebook is touted as the Marketing and List building powerhouse that it is. Getting this right then is obviously kind of important.
This also happens to be the stage at which my brain fell out of my left nostril and I promptly mistook my ass for my elbow – because honestly, creating a landing page is really made very confusing. Lucky for you though, I figured out the basics, learned very quickly what does NOT work, and managed to find a couple of resources that make the whole process that little bit more enjoyable.
It all started with FBML.
FBML is yet another acronym in the world of pointless acronyms that means something technical and code related that I have no interest in learning more about. It is also a way that you can build out a Page for your Facebook account and integrate it with links to your site, an opt-in form – basically whatever you like.
I found this fantastic (and really, I mean fantastic) post from Francisco Rosales of SocialMouths where he takes you step by step through the process of creating a Landing page for your Facebook Page. , detailing how to actually get that image up and working as it should. I strongly recommend checking it out, even if it is just to learn how to embed an image with hotspots (links to different URLs).
So I went through the process of building out my image and then installing the FBML App so that I could then import that image as a new Tab, only to discover that FBML is being phased out and is no longer supported or available.
I did however manage to find a link to the workaround – meaning you can STILL install and access FBML tabs if you so choose. Follow the link here to access and download FBML App. (skip the Ad to access it)
Here is the resulting image I built after going through the post at SocialMouths: (I’ve only pasted physical image here, but on the actual page all those images are actually links to my Twitter and RSS etc – see it in action under the ‘welcome’ tab on the left of my BuildRankProfit page)
We’ve moved onto iFrames now. Don’t ask me, I just work here.
Adding iFrame pages to your Facebook Page
Much like the FBML app, iFrames are simply another way of building custom pages for your Facebook page. With iFrames the potential goes beyond just adding appealing images and welcome pages. If done correctly, an iFrame based Facebook page can act much like the sales funnel on your blog, with new visitors having to like your page before getting access to the good stuff. You can even add an opt -in form so that after visitors click like they can be directed to a page to sign up to your list.
Obviously I do not need to highlight the advantages to being able to set something like this up – I think it speaks for itself really, but I do need to highlight how on earth we go about doing all this.
Instant FanPage Creator
I recently stumbled upon the most incredible free service to help you build out instant Facebook pages, complete with built in opt-in forms and sales funnel type reveals – giving you the ability to ‘reveal’ certain tabs to visitors depending on whether they have ‘liked’ your page or not.
There are probably a few hundred of these types of services, both free and paid -and although what I am about to share with you is available as a PRO version for $4.97 a month, it is also completely free if you only want to build one Facebook page.
IgniteYourFanPage.com is an incredible service by a guy named Dennis Paul – which allows you to create fan pages at the push of a few buttons. Even the free version comes with preformatted templates so you can simple add your images of choice, add some copy and paste in your optin code. The program automatically creates a sales funnel type environment for you so that those who have not liked your page yet do not see the information. It’s also the easiest and most user friendly interface I have seen in relation to Facebook Page Creation.
I started playing with the free version and quickly upgraded to the EXEC version as I can instantly see the potential this product has. I also encountered a few problems along the way, and when I highlighted these to Dennis via the page he not only replied, but offered to chat with my on Skype about it.45 minutes later Dennis and I were having a great chat about this new tool and the potential it has to market.
I mentioned to him that my only concern was that the process was still somewhat technical (to a point) and some may struggle with the idea.
Dennis has this to say on the matter:
“The tool are pretty easy to use, and save a TON of programing time…. however, they still require playing with and taking the time to learn how to use it.
to cut down the “time to market” some people have asked me to build it for them, using the same tools so they can make their edits whener they wanted to in the future.
Here is what I came up with…. as long as they have their basic graphic and text elements… my guys will resize, touch-up etc, their content, setup their page and publish it for review for $27. Obviosly for that small price, we can’t spend too much time on it. So we usually get the page up and “live” within 1-3 hours.
This is just an option in case any of your readers/clients need to “set it and forget it”.
So with that in mind, hop on over to igniteyourfanpage.com (you will be redirected to his Facebook Page) Like what he has to offer and then go through the process of building out YOUR fanpage today! (and email him directly at Dennis@IgniteYourFanPage.com if you want to take up the option provided above)
You can see just how the FREE version of this application can boost the look of your page as well as provide a valuable Sales Funnel within the page by visiting my first attempt at it.
to find it, visit my BuildRankProfit Page and click on the Tab on the left titled ‘Test 001’
Default Landing Tab
Savvy Bloggers out there will notice that my Facebook page is still defaulting to the ‘Wall’ for all visitors, both new and old – when it really should be directing you to either the welcome page or the iFrame pages I built with the IgniteYourFanPage app. This is a problem I am having with my page and at this point it is looking like I am going to have to kill off the page and start again from scratch… BOO!!
Phase 4: Setting Up Your Sales Funnel
The whole point of creating specific pages on your Facebook page is to create another sales funnel for your blog or business. Being able to direct new visitors to certain tabs, reveal only part of the information until they ‘sign up’ or ‘like’ you and then being able to redirect them to the next point in your sales funnel is the whole reason you are here reading this post – or any on Facebook Pages right? I mean who wants to learn how to do this just so it looks prettier (don’t answer that)
Needless to say, the Tab that you set new visitors to see is the most crucial aspect of your new page, so let’s do that now.
Within the Manage Permissions Tab of your Page (available when you are in EDIT PAGE mode) look for and change this:
In this case it is set to Welcome (the name of the Tab we build with either FBML or iFrames Applications) meaning that any visitor to your page who has NOT YET liked you will be greeted with this message. Obviously by now you can see the advantages this would have, especially when you can make the landing page a two part reveal (like you can do with igniteyoufanpage.com)
SO why is it that my page is defaulting to the wall and not any of my fandangled new pages? This is what my Manage Permissions Page looks like:
As you can see, I do NOT have an option available to set a default landing tab. Not having this option available when I have all these pages built is like owning a Ferrari without an engine. Sure it is nice to look at, but apart from that it does not really do anything. I have written to Facebook about this, but I think I have more chance getting tomorrow’s Lotto numbers from a fortune cookie at this stage so I think I am going to have to cut my losses and start all over again!
Stay tuned for the post that begs you all to come across to the new page – a page that by then will look insane because I will have mastered this iFrames App from Dennis
If You Build it, They Will Come.
No, No they won’t Kevin. This isn’t baseball – and we sure as shit ain’t in Cansas anymore either. (by the way – your movies suck!)
Building an awesome Facebook Page is only part of the battle. The real trick comes afterwards, because
getting people to not only like you, but stay and engage is where the battle for Facebook supremacy is ultimately won and lost.
Phase 5: How do I get more Likes?
Facebook works in much the same way as blogging. Engage with like minded individuals and share relevant content and you will see your blog/page grow. Again though, we are back at those ambiguous answers that don’t really tell us anything. Here’s HOW you engage and share on Facebook – the lazy way.
Share Relevant Content.
This bit is easy, and in fact once you have set this next step up, you can sit back and relax – from a content sharing point of view anyway.
- Register a FREE account with Dlvr.it – an incredible service that allows you to share RSS feeds with all of your Twitter, Facebook, and other social media accounts.
- Pick 5 to 10 of the best sites/blogs related to your niche that are always producing quality content and grab the RSS feed.
- Add the feed to your account and then ask that feed to be shared with your Facebook account. Dlvr.it will then ask what specific page you want to share that information on so simply choose the applicable page and you are good to go.
- Edit the ‘feed delivery’ so that it is not posting content every hour (set it to once a day or something)
- Repeat this for each RSS feed you wish to share – and while you are at it, set them up to be shared with all your Twitter accounts too!
I will be writing an indepth post on how to setup Dlvr.it and what it does – but in the meantime, here is a screenshot:
As you can see, not only am I automatically sharing content from some really top blogs to my facebook page, I am also able to automatically tweet and share it on multiple Twitter accounts, as many Facebook pages as I like, and of course my LinkedIn account. This service is truly a must have for every blogger, regardless of whether you have a Facebook page or not.
Check out and have a play with Dlvr.It today – and keep your followers up to date with the latest posts from authority blogs in your niche. Here – start with this one: http://feeds.feedburner.com/alexwhalley Too subtle?
Engage with like Minded Individuals.
Unfortunately (no actually – FORTUNATELY) there is no way of automating the engagement part of the deal. You want to build relationships on Facebook then you need to spend time there. Here’s how to make sure your time engaging on Facebook is actually beneficial to the growth of your blog. (and not the growth of your Farm or your Cafe, or your Mafia Family)
- Use Facebook as your page and not as yourself
- Visit the Wall of some bigger blogs/brands on Facebook and using your page as you, comment on and engage with others on that wall.
- Every like and comment you make will then link back to your page and not your personal profile
- Make sure your own wall is constantly kept up to date – not just with content via Dlvr.it but through comments and replites in general.
Facebook Marketing Summary and Take away
Since investing the time in creating images and feeding my site with content from my favorite blogs via Dlvr.it I have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of likes my page receives. In the last 2 and a bit weeks my page has gone from having 123 likes to 251 at last count. Clearly the process for getting more likes is working, but this is as far is it goes so far.
Having almost doubled my likes in the last few weeks, one would expect the amount of general engagement and post shares to Facebook to increase, but they have not. I attribute this to the fact that I have not invested the time in engaging with others on Facebook as of yet, so the only ones who know it exists are those who already know t hey can engage and comment on my blog directly.
If you want more likes and shares then you need to go to the place where this type of behaviour is normal – Facebook itself. Start engaging within the community and you too will notice not only an increase in likes and engagement, but an increase in traffic too.
Now I’m off to kill this page and start the whole process again – Yay for me.