If you’re at all keen to drive SEO traffic to your blog, you probably know that social media engagement factors affect search engine rankings. No one knows exactly what that formula is, but this fascinating post from SEOMoz shows a pretty compelling picture of the correlation between Facebook, Twitter and high rankings.
That being said, “Correlation is NOT causation”. However, with the sheer number of people using Facebook daily, promoting your content on Facebook is a great way to get traffic, get your content indexed quickly, and send the right signals to Google for a bit of a boost.
Now, there’s an art to promoting content on Facebook. Engaging on Facebook the right way will attract all the benefits I described above. Engaging on Facebook the wrong way, will annoy people and quite possibly get you banned.
Setting Up Your Facebook Social Promotion Campaign
There are plenty of groups on Facebook related to all kinds of interests, whether it’s green business, non-profit activism, home solar, you name it. While Facebook search could be better, all you need to do is search by keywords and relevant Pages & Groups will turn up. Better yet, hire someone off of Odesk to do the grunt work for you – you can get 100-200 relevant Page and Groups researched for you for $25.
You’ll probably want to review the data and delete out anything that is not entirely relevant or delete Groups or Pages with little activity. Then set up a spreadsheet to track the URLs you are promoting against the Walls you hope to share the content on, and check off each cell after the content has been shared.
Facebook Rules of Engagement
Now that you have your workflow mapped out in Excel, it’s easy to just mindless paste links, check each box, and consider done at the end of the day. Don’t do this. And if you have hired a VA to help you with these tasks, make sure they don’t do this either.
Why? Well, it’s because mindlessly posting links to other people’s Facebook Wall is considered to be spam. Spamming simply adds to the overall noise of the web, it’s annoying, it cheapens your product or service, and could hurt you by getting you banned. How many people associate Ugg Boots with spam?
Social networking is about engagement. It’s about creating conversations around shared interests. It’s about sharing. Not only are you trying to find and join the right communities, you also want to share with them your expertise and information you think the community will be interested in. So if you’ve joined a Facebook Group of solar enthusiasts, relevant content could be a climate change petition, a solar news blog post, an online guide to solar financing options…get the picture?
There are certain rules when it comes to promoting online, and the last thing you want to do is try to force your product onto a random stranger. It might be tempting at times, but don’t do it!
Follow the rules, and most importantly, follow this list of do’s and don’ts:
Social media marketing is about building relationships and creating community. It’s about engaging with other people and creating meaningful online discussions.
- Once you join the group, do a personal introduction. Let them know who you are, why you are there, and what you intend.
When sharing links:
- Post the link with a comment as to what the content is about and why you think it’s interesting.
- Like the post.
- Comment again – you can ask a question and invite people to dialogue
- Remember to comment back if people comment or ask questions regarding your link
- Like people’s comments
While it may seem self promotional, liking your post and comments is very important because the Facebook news algorithm tends to favor posts that have a high level of engagement at the top of the news feed. This has an amplification effect. If the news hovers at the top of the news feed, more people in your network will see it, and be compelled to join the discussion.
Spam. If you spam, there is a strong chance that many will block your profile, or Facebook itself may even shut you down. Let me reiterate:
- Don’t fill your own page with random links – it makes you look like a spammer
- Don’t post random, irrelevant links to another Facebook Page or Group page
- If you aren’t sure that an individual will be interested in your link, don’t post it on their wall
The moral of the story is “Know Your Audience.” Chances are, you’ve spent a lot of time connecting with people, so if you get banned for spamming, all of your hard work go down the tubes and you’ll have to start building up a new profile all over again.
What thoughts do you have for getting more Facebook engagement and traffic?
This article is written by Lorna Li. She manages the small business WordPress themes & solutions division for a CRM company in the Bay Area.