Facebook Reveals How To Increase Referral Traffic By Over 80%

    October 22, 2013
    Chris Crum

Facebook has some new advice on how to get more traffic out of your Facebook Page. Post more frequently. Yep, so simple. But there must be a little more to it than that, right?

Do you believe posting more frequently will get you more traffic? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Okay, first of all, let’s put this into context. This advice was specifically aimed at news and publishing sites. Facebook VP of Media Partnerships and Global Operations Justin Osofsky wrote a blog post discussing media sites’ use of Facebook, revealing that posting more frequently increases referral traffic by over 80%.

The company has been working with 29 partner media sites, and found that stat to be true over the course of seven days.

“Within that week, the media sites averaged an increase in the number of articles they posted to their pages by 57%,” says Osofsky. “This resulted in an 89% increase in average outbound clicks to their domains. Additionally, the amount of Likes per post increased by over 10% and the number of net fans per page went up by 49%.”

“While this experiment was run with a small number of media sites and does not represent every type of Facebook page, media sites which posted more frequently saw more traffic,” he adds. “Since every person has a unique relationship with the Pages they are connected to, there’s no magic number of how many more posts will impact referral traffic for all Facebook pages. Page administrators should test how increased posting impacts their referrals, Likes and overall engagement.”

There you have it. This experiment doesn’t represent every type of Facebook page, because it was simply conducted among media sites, but you should pay attention to that part where he says “every person has a unique relationship with the Pages they are connected to.” It’s your job to determine what kind of relationship you have with your audience (which you should be doing anyway), and craft content that caters to that relationship. Then, perhaps you can see similar benefits to what these media sites are seeing.

Your Facebook audience is your business audience, whatever your business may be. Write fresh, compelling content that your audience will find interesting. Do it on a blog or somewhere on your site. If you do this regularly, you’re effectively turning yourself into a media site/publisher for all intents and purposes. The key is writing about topics your audience cares about. Then, you can post content to your Facebook beyond self-promotional stuff, which will get your audience more engaged. When you have that kind of content to share, you can think about amping up your frequency.

According to Osofsky, referral traffic from Facebook to media sites, on average, increased by over 170% over the past year. Specifically, from September 2012 to September 2013, TIME saw a 208% increase, BuzzFeed saw an 855% increase, and Bleacher Report saw a 1,081% increase.

You’re probably not going to be seeing BuzzFeed-like numbers, but you can take a cue from the successful media sites on the kinds of things they do to get people reading their content. The key is to keep your audience in mind (and for the record, I’m not suggesting you post nothing but “27 Cats That Hate Their Lives” kinds of articles).

You might be happy to know that it doesn’t just end with content creation and frequency of posting. Facebook is actually testing a new tool that may help drive even more traffic to sites.

It’s called “Stories To Share,” and finds content on the publisher’s site that is already generating engagement on Facebook, and suggests it on the Facebook Page’s admin panel, where the publisher can then share it to their Facebook followers.

“Stories to Share makes it even easier for media sites to find the most engaging content they might want to post on Facebook,” explains Osofsky. “For instance, TIME can see suggestions of stories they have published to TIME.com but they have not yet shared to their Facebook fans. They can now easily post any of those suggestions to their page directly from their Insights Dashboard in their admin panel.”

Facebook stories to share

With the tool, publishers have the option of selecting stories from the past three hours, from the past day or from the past two days. Admins are then given the option to post the story to a Page they manage, to their own timeline, to a friend’s timeline, to a group or in a private message.

Again, Facebook is focusing on media sites with this for the time being, but it sounds like it’s probably going to be extended to other types of Pages in the future.

Osofsky says Facebook is “continually working to improve the experience of publishers of all kinds,” so we might see this feature come to Pages in general, at some point in the future. I don’t see why they wouldn’t offer it to all Page admins as it only serves to increase engagement with content on Facebook.

Of course, the feature is really only one of convenience. You can still look at your most popular content on your own and share it accordingly.

While it would be nice to see more numbers for more types of Pages, Facebook says that referral traffic from Facebook to media sites has increased by over 170% over the past year. What this tells me is that content is doing well on Facebook, so maybe when it comes to Facebook, you should act more like a media site. Luckily, blogs make this really easy to do.

Of course, the content you create has the potential to do well in search and other social communities. I know this is pretty obvious, basic stuff, but those Facebook numbers are worth paying attention to and remembering.

Have you seen an increase in Facebook traffic over the past year? Do you intend to increase your posting frequency? Let us know in the comments.

Image: Facebook + Media