In a previous post we showed you how to get to know your user and ways to improve the speed of your mobile website, but any of this won’t mean much if you don’t manage to attract users to your content. Building social proof can be hard, especially if you’re starting from scratch, that’s why we’re here to help you grow your mobile traffic by putting in practice some of the most efficient ways.
Before we begin, you need to have a Facebook Page or Facebook Group in place. If you already have either of these, jump to 1st tip.
Creating a Facebook Page
If you’re serious about growing your business and raising awareness about your brand, you’re going to need to create a “brand” Facebook page that links directly to your site and shares your content on a regular basis.
Once you’ve made sure that you’re logged into your personal Facebook profile, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/ to get started. There are various business categories you can choose from, so make sure you select the type of Page that you want to create. Since we’re on the topic of online publishing, we’re going to give you a tutorial on how to create a page for a website.
This next section is all about optimizing and connecting with your followers. Add a relevant description, your website address and make sure to choose a unique Facebook web address, so that people can find your page easier. Next, set your profile picture, either directly from your website or from your computer. You can also add your Page to your Favorites on your Facebook account, so you’ll have easy access to it when you log in.
The last step, setting your Preferred Page Audience, is the one that deserves the most attention. It’s your best chance of attracting a relevant audience, which is often a most engaged audience. You can personalize location, age, gender and interests, according to your brand and objectives.
Starting your own Facebook Group
According to Ryan Stewart from Webris, Facebook Groups have more organic “reach” than Pages and on top of that mobile users receive a notification whenever someone posts to the Group, thus driving even more traffic to each post.
Starting a Facebook Group is a pretty straightforward process: after you’ve located the downward arrow at the top left-hand corner, click the “Create Group” button and you’ll see this pop-up:
When selecting a name for your group, keep in mind what people would be searching for when looking for you online by using keywords.
Deciding your privacy setting is one of the most critical steps in assuring the success of your group. You can either go “Public” and risk becoming a spam-magnet, or “Secret”, making sure that nobody ever finds your group. The middle option is by far your best: the “Closed” setting provides the privacy you require, while offering a degree of exclusivity and protection to your members, but still keep your group searchable. Once you’ve done that, you should arrive at this page:
Choose a compelling image, that best describes your brand or/and your objectives for a group. Including an URL or a CTA is not a bad idea, since exposure is what you’re looking for. In terms of size, keep the image at 801 x 250 pixels for best results.
The next step is adding a description for your group. Make it easy to see what the group is about, whom it’s for and what prospective members can expect. You can add members by name or e-mail address, or even start a new chat with existing ones. Below your description, you can set your tags, in order to help people on Facebook find your group in search.
Now that we’ve covered the formalities, here are the 12 tips to grow your mobile traffic from Facebook.
1. Use Big Images
According to Wishpond, Facebook posts that include images get around 120% more engagement than posts with no images, with photo posts receiving 84% more link clicks than text and link posts. Even though Facebook has updated their algorithm to crack down on photos with URLs and click-bait headlines, they’re still a key way of garnering engagement on your Facebook page, so keep in mind these three key image dimensions that fit what Facebook allows for posts:
- News Feed Image: 1200 x 1200 px
- Shared Link Preview: 1200 x 628 px
- Shared Video Preview: 504 x 283 px
2. Use Short Updates
Presenting your content as brief posts might be one solution of attracting mobile users, since research indicates that mobile users scan rather than digest. Since you’re creating content that’s intended for mobile viewers, try to keep their attention span and the size of their screens in mind. A lower attention span is specific to mobile users, who prefer situation-related and leisure-themed content. Limit yourself to short, clear and intriguing teasers for your website content, which will generate the most engagement and click throughs.
If you’re looking for specific numbers in terms of characters, according to Buffer’s blog, shorter seems to be better, with posts with 40 characters receiving 86% more engagement than posts with a higher character count.
Reading “Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley, we discovered that you can actually apply the following framework to choose a catchy headline for your post:
- Quiz. Test Your Privacy IQ
- Skeptic. You Don’t Control Your Privacy Anymore
- Explainer. The Online Privacy Debate in Plain English
- Case study. How One Person Got Control Over Privacy
- Contrarian. Why Online Privacy Concerns Are Overblown
- How-to. Five Steps to Improving Online Privacy
- Quick How-to. Three Stupid Simple Things You Can Do to Keep Your Profile Private
- How NOT to. Five Ways to Compromise Your Online Privacy
- First person. My Personal Privacy Horror Story
- Comparison. How Privacy Protection Services Measure Up
- Q&A. Five Common Questions About Online Privacy with Edward Snowden
- Data. Are Privacy Problems Worsening? Yes, Says Surveys
- Man on the street. Experts Offer Opinions on the State of Online Privacy
- Outrageous. Why Online Privacy Is an Oxymoron
- BuzzFeed-style Outrageous (not advised, but good for a laugh!). This Woman Insists Online Privacy Is a Joke, and You Won’t Believe What Happened Next
- Insider secret. The Online Thing You Need to Know About Your Online Privacy
- Literature treatment. Online privacy haiku, epic narrative poem, comic book treatment, or whatever else your imagination can muster!
3. Skip the Link
Unless you’re posting a full sized image, there’s no need to keep the link in your text as well. Eliminating the link from the copy of your post will go a long way towards keeping your update clean and more readable, while keeping it clickable. It will also help keep your post shorter, which will drive up engagement.
Start your Facebook Status update, with the link to your blog article:
Next, delete the link and enjoy a clutter free post:
4. Use Short Video Posts
Remember what we said about mobile users being productive? This also applies to the way they process your Facebook posts. Get creative with your posts by embedding a short blog video using Vine straight into your post and letting your fans get a taste of what your article is about. Chances are, if they like what they see, they’ll be more than willing to click through for more.
Wishpond uses this tactic quite frequently, making a 6 second video on Vine to show a summary of their article.
5. Steady Stream/Schedule Posts
If you’ve already created a brand Page, devising a social sharing schedule could be what’s missing from your social media strategy. One of the advantages of managing your own Facebook Page is that you can create and schedule your posts accordingly. Here’s how:
- Start creating your post at the top of your Page’s Timeline
- Click next to Publish and select Schedule
- Below Publication, select the date and time when you want the post to publish
- Click Schedule
6. Post Content When It Matters
Research conducted at Microsoft and by the Financial Times shows that mobile user activity usually peaks during morning (6AM to 9AM) and evenings (6PM to 11PM), while desktop users performed their online activities mostly during working hours (9AM to 6PM). Taking into account these timing differences, tailor your posting schedule to maximize the outcome.
7. Include a Blog Tab
If your online publishing activity relies on the likings of a blog, using a Facebook Blog Tab could be another valuable way of sharing your content and having your target audience click through. The way it works is by automatically streaming your articles to your subsequent tab page.
There are multiple ways of doing this, but the easiest ways include using an app such as Symphony Tools or making your own iFrame.
Here at Appticles, we use a Facebook tab for our blog, in order to stream our blog articles and link them right back to our site. This provides easy access to our content, without users having to leave Facebook in order to see what’s new on our blog.
8. Pin Relevant Posts
A very useful feature, that’s also present in Facebook Pages, is setting a pinned post at the top of the page. As the first thing potential/existing members see when they land on your group, this should be one, if not the most important of your posts. Since you’re trying to get more traffic, make it a welcome post, include a CTA and a link back to your website and provide some visual stimulus, in photo/video form.
Once you’ve selected the post you’d like to pin, just hit the in its upper right corner and select Pin to top.
9. Use #hashtags
While Facebook hashtags haven’t gotten the traction they have on Twitter, they allow people to see a flow of information, in accordance with what the algorithm might be providing them with, on their newsfeed. Plus, it will make it easier to integrate all your social media channels as one, especially if you’re using Twitter or Instagram. There’s a few things you need to keep in mind, when using hashtags:
- Keep them short and as a single word, without any spaces
- Don’t use too many. 1-2 should be enough. Remember that going from 2 to 3 might cause a drop in engagement
- Include numbers but no punctuation characters
- Make sure it matches up with your message by doing research on it. You can search for a hashtag using the search bar at the top of any page.
- Use Hashtagify.me to find other related hashtags.
10. Tag Influencers
Did you know that you can be perceived as more famous just by being near to a famous person? A study has shown what’s called the “false fame effect” actually has an effect on the perception of those around you. Apply this principle to your social media strategy by tagging influencers related to your work in your Facebook posts.
For example, if your target influencer creates content, engage with it. Share it on social media, tagging them in your post. Once you’ve established that connection, the relationship has a chance of developing into a mutually beneficial one. In fact, chances are, if the content is good and makes them look good, they’ll frequently share it with their own audiences, providing you with a change of rising in search rankings and gaining more followers.
11. Measure the Engagement and Visits
You need to constantly measure your activity and experiment to improve your results. Starting from Facebook Page Insights to Google Analytics.
It seems that this particular article reached 400 people and 10% of them clicked on the post. That means that we should be able to see these 40 visitors landing on your website. To find out how many of them are mobile users we’ll have to use Google Analytics.
Using the left panel, navigate to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels and notice that the report that has been generated contains data on: Referral, Organic Search, Direct, Social, Email. Be careful to filter all your mobile traffic by clicking on “+ Add Segment” and select “Mobile Traffic” and “Tablet Traffic” from the list of segments.
Of course, you’re interested in the mobile and tablet traffic coming from “Social”, so you’ll need to click on that. It will open up a new report that should look something like this.
This is where it becomes interesting and you should ask yourself: how much time did they spend on my website? Who are they and what are their age and interests? Are they mostly women or men? Are they new users? How many of them returned afterwards?
Check out this extremely comprehensive article that will guide you in finding the answer to all of these questions: First Steps to Understanding Where Your Mobile Presence Fails
12. Facebook Ads
In essence, getting the numbers right is critical to deciding whether you should use Facebook Ads or not. It might be that you’re just going to pour money into a wishing well with little or no impact on your mobile traffic – the key is not to get that first click, but to actually understand what makes them keep coming back.
Once you understand your mobile users, than it’s time to scale that up by boosting your content using Facebook Ads. Don’t worry; we’ll follow up on this subject in an upcoming article.
And the lucky 13th
Boosting mobile traffic has become a growing interest for online publishers, as audiences are increasingly shifting to mobile, an area in which Facebook holds a strong position. What we’ve covered so far are but a few ways of making your mobile social presence stand out.
But what about the future?
Get ready for Facebook’s upcoming Instant Articles which is going to be a game-changer for online publishers, especially when it comes to mobile users. A fast and interactive experience for reading articles directly in the News Feed, the system is powered by the same technology that loads photos and videos quickly in Facebook’s mobile apps, making sure that Instant Articles display as much as 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles.
It is announced to be launched on April 12th at which point it will become available for all of us.