In the world we live in today, there are a plethora of social media tools that can make (or break) business depending on how they are used. This is the first of a series of articles that will show you how to best use social media to drive increased levels of traffic to your website. In this series we will cover Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, and show you how to best use these platforms. We will also cover the website builders that work the most efficiently with social media. We will begin with the most popular social media platform used today: Facebook.
Before you start sending traffic anywhere, you will need a website. There’s a ton of website building platforms you can use to create free websites, where you can begin blogging and showcasing your services. No longer do you have to depend only on WordPress for such things. It is very easy to create your own website from scratch, even if you have no experience. To get started, check out this article on the 7 things you need to know when choosing a website builder.
With over 2.07 billion monthly active users the old joke of ‘If you are not on Facebook, you don’t exist’ really applies.
Making Your Website Known To The Public
You may have the most fantastic business with a wonderful website, but if you aren’t attracting traffic to that website none of it matters. You need to make prospective customers aware of your service/product/business, and the best way to do this is through Facebook.
The most important thing for your business is to create a Facebook page. Once you have done this invite all your connections to ‘like’ the page. Once this is done start posting on your page. You can post for free or you can use paid Facebook marketing which can prove highly effective if done well. These are the things you need to know before you start posting:
The Difference Between Paid Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts
Paid Facebook Ads
While scrolling Facebook you will often see adverts that pop up on the sides or the center of your Facebook newsfeed. That is a Paid Facebook Ad.
These sorts of adverts have marketing copy which draws you in. The content is specific, unique, and relevant to the product or service it offers. It will have a CTA (call-to-action) such as ‘Click to find out more’, ‘Buy now’, ‘Tell me more’ etc.
The content in these ads will contain written content as well as links with images, videos and more. Because they are paid for they will be seen by more people and work as a fantastic Marketing Tool for your business.
The Paid Facebook Ads are there to get you an increase in:
- Engagement (Likes, Shares, Comments)
What’s great is the fact that you can have many ads doing their job all at the same time. All these ads can also be tailored to target a different and specific target audience. For example, if you own a sports store you can advertise men’s sports gear in one ad and women’s in another.
The Target Audience Feature
There is a Target Audience feature in Paid Facebook Ads:
This allows you to play with:
- Locations – You can choose which areas of the world you want your Facebook Ad to run. This can be really specific. You can choose your target audience based on country, state, province, city, congressional district, zip or post code.
- Age – Are you selling the latest trendy bikinis or denim miniskirts? There’s certain age ranges you will want to apply when creating Facebook Ads.
- Gender – Maybe you are selling ‘DIY false nail kits’ or ‘Calvin Klein underwear for men’. With Facebook Ads you are able to choose the gender you want your ads to target.
- Languages – With this option you can target users who speak certain languages.
- Extremely Detailed Targeting – this option allows you to include or exclude people from an audience based on certain behaviors, demographics and interests.
- Connections – You are able to include or exclude people from your target audience based connections to your Pages, apps or events.
- Custom Audiences – These are target audiences of people that you already know that has been created based on information that you provide or from information generated on Facebook’s products. Custom Audiences can be created from customer files, the Facebook pixel, the Facebook SDK (software development kit) as well as engagement on Facebook.
There is also a feature called Lookalike Audiences, which is part of Custom Audiences. This is a target audience that you create from a “source”. It has the ability to find people on Facebook who are the most similar to the people in the source list.
People can be included or excluded in a Custom or Lookalike Audience from your target audience.
With these target featured ads your ads will be exposed to the people it will most appeal to and you will be able to choose a CTA button.
Facebook advertising allows you to set budgets that suit your pocket and you will have complete control over the life of your Ad. It makes the whole process easier to manage and you will the time to plan your digital marketing campaign long before it actually runs.
What’s great is the fact that since Facebook owns Instagram, you are able to display your adverts on 2 of the world’s most popular Social Media platforms through the one campaign, at the same time!
Facebook Paid Ads exposes your business to your target market, gives you the choice to retarget your site visitors who weren’t convinced the first-time round and solidifies your business’s brand.
When normal content is posted on your Facebook page, it will be seen by only a small percentage of your followers – in fact, apparently only a miniscule 2.6% organic reach. Boosted Posts are a way of exposing this organic content to a larger crowd of followers more quickly. The process is quite simple when it comes to boosting posts. You can boost a photo, status or video. When first posting Facebook will automatically give you the option of boosting. When boosting you are able to choose the budget, audience and time for boosting. Your post will then get sent to the Facebook team for approval.
There is a big difference between boosted and paid for ads, even though they are both displayed as ‘sponsored’ as boosted posts have a lot less features than Paid Facebook Ads. With boosted posts, you are unable to target specific audiences. You reach all your followers. It’s kind of like ordering a glass of Jack Daniels at a party for 100 guests not being aware that only 10 of those guests actually like drinking Jack Daniels. That’s a lot of wasted time pouring the drinks and a ton of money lost. In a way, paid Facebook advertising can be cheaper than boosted posts because in the long run you know who you are targeting specifically!
Boosted posts are also attached to your Facebook Page. They are not a separate Campaign which could lead to your Website’s Homepage, or a product page of your Online Store. So what are Boosted Posts good for? Well, Boosted Posts are good for:
- Profile Building
They do not directly invite leads, traffic and sales to your Business – and that is exactly what you are looking for!
At the end of the day, you are looking to generate traffic to your website. For the most effective Digital Marketing strategy, Paid Advertising definitely is the way to go!
Now that you have an idea about which kind of posts you wish to choose for your business, you need to know a few things with regards to the posts you send out:
1. Expand Your Images
Graphic Facebook posts with images attract around 120% more engagement than plain posts just with text alone. By using attractive images, you are going to get increased Facebook comments, likes, shares as well as click throughs.
Use eye-grabbing images that are full sized. Things to keep in mind when choosing images to upload:
- Make sure it looks good on a mobile device. Most people scroll through Facebook posts on mobiles, so it’s really important that the images can be clearly seen, especially if there is any sort of text in the image.
- Adopt the KISS method – Keep It Simple, Stupid. The simpler the image and the more directed it is towards the message you are conveying, the better.
- The subject of the image should be closer to either side of the frame, instead of the center, or even along the top or bottom. The only exception are faces, which can be placed anywhere in the frame.
- Play with varied perspectives. Create contrasts bringing the main subject of your post into focus.
- Use images with interesting layouts with regards to objects.
- Use images that play with light and shadows. An image with good lighting can do a world of wonders for your post.
- Funny images also bring in a lot of traffic.
- Very importantly, the image should be aesthetically pleasing and attractive color combinations should be taken into consideration. Warm colors such as red can play against cool colors such as green. Also keep in mind that colors which complement each other most are colors that naturally oppose each other on the color wheel, i.e. red vs. green, orange vs. blue and yellow vs. blue.
Check Facebook Insights to keep track of your success with the full-sized images that you choose.
It’s also important to use a link at the end of the text that is short to keep your posts looking neater and cleaner. Platforms such as Bitly can be used to shorten links.
2. Keep Your Updates Short
Your updates should be well thought out as well as short and witty. Your update should be under 140 characters. The text needs to be effective and not too long. Think of yourself as a copywriter when creating the text using words that sound catchy and will grab attention. Using alliteration, assonance as well as a play on words, euphemisms, and puns – all work well, for example, ‘Bake beautiful boutique style cakes and watch your profits grow!’
3. Ask Questions
By asking questions on your posts people naturally feel the urge to answer them. This creates engagements, likes, shares and comments. Facebook has also created the option to add a polling feature to posts, so you can survey your Facebook followers and aggregate the data to understand user needs.
4. Add Lifestyle or How-To Blog Articles & Videos
If you own a restaurant for example, create recipes and show people how to make certain dishes that are appealing to the eye and look delicious. This will create engagement and many shares. Live video, which has proven to be one of the most effective social engagement tools thus far, will also work extremely well. You can manipulate it by taking your viewers inside your restaurant and even into the kitchen. This will make them want to visit your restaurant and try out the meals themselves.
If you are a fashion designer write a blog about the season’s latest fashion trends or create a video with a fashion model displaying your clothes. The more ‘alive’ your posts are, the more engagement they will generate.
5. Create Contests
By creating contests, you will generate excitement and a lot of engagement. You can even ask people to share your post in order to qualify for the contest. Keep in mind, it’s also important to use images of your contest prize/s when posting these kinds of posts to Facebook.
Integrating Websites and Facebook
Wix is one of the premium website builders in the world. Wix was founded in 2006 and gives its users the ability to create professional and beautifully tailored websites both for free or paid subscriptions with their own domain. They provide a platform for website building to over 110 million users in 190 countries.
You can showcase your Wix store on Facebook and attract an increase in traffic to your site. It’s a fantastic way to boost sales and gain more exposure. This can be done with a Facebook Store App. You can add social media tool apps such as ‘Facebook Like Popup’, ‘Live Messenger’, ‘Facebook Comments’, ‘Facebook Like’, ‘Facebook Page Like’ and ‘Facebook Share’ to your Wix website. Wix works very effectively with Facebook in a very user-friendly and simple way.
No matter which way you look at it, if you want to drive massive traffic to your website Facebook is definitely the starting point!