Facebook — Friend Or Foe For Content Marketers?
I see it online quite often — someone publishes new content on their blog and then rushes over to their Facebook Fan Page to share the link.
The thinking is, “I have 10,000 ‘Likes,’ so here come 10,000 people to my blog post!”
Uh, not so fast — it does not work that way.
I’m not sure if you know this, but your Fan Page status updates only reach a small percentage of your followers via their Newsfeeds — about 16%, according to Facebook. In order to reach a larger percentage of your own fans, you have to pay for it via Facebook ads — or hope a lot of the fans that did see your update will like and share it.
To get that free exposure for your Facebook status updates, you have to expand your Reach. That requires time and effort to build up authority and a fan-base on a site you don’t even own.
So, that raises the question: Is Facebook worth all that extra time to expand your reach and get more fans when you could be generating new content instead?
Let’s “face” it — Facebook is where the people are, and we want/need people to come to our content, right?
I’ve been doing a lot of “niche” content marketing on Facebook lately. I work hard to expand my fan-base, my likes, my “talking about this” number, and my overall reach.
And, let me tell you something, it can be pretty time consuming. In fact, I am finding that balancing the time vs. reward ratio is a delicate art form. It’s not a science as much as it is employing creativity and timing.
How Am I Doing?
Here is a screenshot of one of my niche Facebook pages:
Not too shabby for a Fan Page that is only a few weeks old! =)
The overall goal of that Fan Page is to get people to my related niche website.
In other words, get them off Facebook and on my site.
But, People Don’t Leave Facebook
Therein lies the problem: people aren’t on Facebook with any intention to leave Facebook.
They want to look at funny pictures, chat with friends, and keep up with others that are also on Facebook.
But they really don’t want to leave.
In fact, I would say that the majority of those on Facebook lately are surfing Facebook from their cell phone. Clicking a link to leave Facebook to go load up a website is not something they really want to do.
Will Your Fans Leave Facebook?
Sure, they might “Like” your status update with the link to your site, but will they go to your site?
From my own stats, I can safely say that the number of people actually clicking through to website content is not quite what we’d all hope for. You have to really entice them to click a link that takes them away from their beloved Facebook.
One recent status update I put on that niche Facebook Fan Page had an amazing response. Here are the stats from that post:
As you can see in that stats screenshot, only 2,192 of my own fans (less than 50%) actually saw that post inside their Newsfeeds.
However, as shown in this pie chart screenshot below, 3,229 “stories” were created by my own fans. (A “story” is created whenever someone likes, comments on, or shares your post.)
In turn, those 3,229 stories created by my own fans turned into my post being seen by over 42,000 people (the purple “viral” column in the above stats).
How Did That Work In Page Views To My Site?
Let me show you the traffic stats to my site on that particular day:
From that post, my site received 1,553 visitors (about 3.6% of those that saw my post on Facebook) and 1,470 totally new visitors that had never been to my site before (about 3.4% ).
Now granted, this is not a perfect reflection of stats since I didn’t have advanced tracking going on from that link in that one Facebook post, but it gives me a good idea as to whether Facebook is my friend — or my foe — for my content marketing needs.
Is Facebook Worth My Time?
Being able to get 1,470 new people off Facebook and on my site with a free Facebook Fan Page post is totally worth it for me.
That’s 1400+ people that may have never found my site otherwise — and the best part is, those 1400+ people have Friends! ;)
But, it’s still important to consider the discrepancy between how many people saw or interacted with the post versus how many people actually clicked through.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you think Facebook is your “friend” for your content marketing needs?
Leave your thoughts in the comments area below.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.