Driving Traffic to Your Site from Social Media: Why Facebook is Still King

Dec 26, 2013

You may have heard a rumor that Facebook is dying. Millennials are supposedly ditching the platform. Because grandparents are flocking to the service others are leaving in droves. Don't believe the hype. To parapphrase (and possibly misquote) Mark Twain, the rumors of Facebook's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

When Mark Zuckerberg and his Cambridge cronies coded "the facebook" in the middle of the night while drinking Heineken, it was designed as a way to get girls. Then it quickly became a way to connect with your college classmates (and get girls). Then, through the guidance of many savvy "exit-focused" Silicon Valley investors, they relaunched Facebook with a plan to connect the world.

And soon enough, they did.

As viral ideas tend to do, it spread like wildfire and became the place you "had to be." Which brings us to today. In late 2013, Facebook boasts over 1 billion (with a B) users and grows in internet space by a petabyte (1,000 terabytes) every 24 hours.

It's still the big guy on the block. Twitter (even with Vine) can't touch their reach; Instagram is a Facebook brand; Google+ is growing but does not yet have significant influence, and Pinterest and LinkedIn are specialty sites. Facebook is still the king.

Your goal, like many content creators is clicks, right? Attention, time, trust, affinity. Right?

Look no further than Facebook. But (caveat coming) bring your wallet.

Those same savvy investors, sipping Starbucks in their hooded sweatshirts and jeans, took Facebook public in 2012. Along with the public stock offering came a new way of thinking at Facebook. Today, if you want attention on Facebook and those oh-so-precious clicks to your site from social media, it's gonna cost ya.

But, let's first examine what you can expect from a normal post. Here's an example from my company: Through bit.ly tracking, we are able to see a normal post achieve over 68% of the social clicks come from Facebook. This is without boosting. In actual numbers, that is 236 out of 347 clicks. All others, including about 20% from Twitter, came from other sources.

I bet you all the money in my pocket -- which is not much by the way -- that companies across the world are seeing similar results from their Facebook posts.

That post reached about 50,000 people. Your first goal needs to be building a large, authentic, and engaged crowd. Then, you need to consistently provide them with desirable content and hope it resonates.

When we took a similar post and put a $100 Facebook boost behind it, the reach of the post doubled to over 100,000 people. But, and here is where the rubber starts to meets the road, the percentage of Facebook clicks increased to 77% with a whopping total of 781 clicks.

Most folks who know how to operate a calculator can build a simple ROI algorithm to help translate these findings.

Hypothetically, if I can get prospects through to my site, that usually equates to X number email sign-ups. Of that X number of email sign ups, X number of those convert to paying customers so...

If we can get 781 people to our website, and of those 781, 100 of them become email subscribers, seven of them then become paying customers and the average transaction ring is $85. 7 x $85 = $595

Boom. That $100 seems like a no brainer now, right?

Facebook is still king because of attention and virality. Posts have a longer shelf life (21% longer than Twitter in fact), and they are shared and can affect more people than any other social platform. Sure, you can spend $15,000 on a promoted tweet, but give me Facebook every day and twice on Sunday. There I can take my hard earned $10, $50 or $100, and I can turn it into more. You get more clicks, more time, more attention and more dollars, all with minimal risk.

But, if the content is not compelling or your site or store is not optimized to sell, this example is a moot point.

So my advice is this: Go write an epic post. Optimize your site. Start building your Facebook following and solid blog traffic. Soon enough it will pay off and 10 clicks will happen. Then 10 clicks becomes 50 clicks. Soon enough you have sold $100 worth of ebooks, vintage t-shirts, or (insert product here). Then, naturally, it will be time to turn around and spend $100 in profit boosting the next epic piece of content on Facebook. This is a strong tactic and will help take your business to the next level.