Is Facebook still effective to drive traffic
I still remember during those days when I first started Facebook page in 2007 while still operating my manicure shop in Malaysia. I literally get many likes the moment I started my page even without paying for any advertisements. During those days, Facebook was “cool” as you see “all” updates by your friends. All traffics are organic.
But now, everything needs money when Facebook gets serious with monetization. Whether you want to increase your fans likes, drive traffic to your site or even want your post to be seen, YOU NEED TO PAY!
Facebook filter your updates
In 2012, Facebook became public listed company and it needs to meet shareholders' expectation to earn more money. Since then, Facebook introduced “News Feed algorithm”. It decides which updates you see and you don't see regardless of in Facebook pages or personal profiles.
Facebook is pressing you to ADVERTISE
Well, Facebook is smart. To promote your page, you just need to press a few buttons. It made everything so easy that you will want to pay for those ads. You may not even realize how expensive it is. If you are really serious about placing paid ads on Facebook but not sure how to maximize its return, consider learning from @KimGarst, a social media influencer.
Today, some experts pointed out that only less than 2% to 6% of your fans or friends will see post that you share. This means organic traffic is DEAD.
Big Brands are Ignoring Facebook
It was really a big news in global marketing community when Beyonce decided to launch her new album in Instagram and not Facebook despite having 60 million fans on Facebook and only 8 million followers on Instagram. Maybe it is because Facebook is too noisy and do not offer organic traffic more than what Instagram offers.
Big brands like Mark Cuban is shifting its focus away from Facebook. According to Princeton University, 25% of U.S. teens are abandoning Facebook and it is predicted that Facebook is going to lose 80% of its users by 2017. This is really alarming.
It seems like the age of free social media traffic is over?
What are the choices left?
- Sing along with Facebook changes and adapt. You can try to use some of the commonly recommended strategies such as running more Facebook poll/competitions and posting more updates.
- Shift your focus from Facebook like what I did for my blog. I literally shifted my focus to Twitter for my social presence and focus to expand my online asset which is the blog you are reading now (Read: How to start blog for free). An integrated digital marketing strategy is really the key to modern marketing.
If you are also a blogger who are not willing to spent money on Facebook and want to earn traffic with persistent effort in creating content and engaging your audience, then you do have some options here.
How to drive and earn organic traffic
Here are some tactics to drive online traffic and create brand awareness without paying a single cent to Facebook which I find very effective in the long run.
Tactic #1 Search Engine
In order to get free traffic from search engines, make sure before you hit the publish button, optimize your post for search engine. Put in your meta title and description either using plugins such as Yoast or SEO for All.
Continue to provide high quality content focusing on 20 to 50 keywords and phrases if you want to be found on Google. From my experience, if you continuously publish 2 content every month, results can be seen within 6 months. Here are more tips on how to get ranked on Google fast.
Tactic #2 Email Marketing
Every marketer is growing their email list, this includes both big and small brands. I am doing this from day one when I started blogging, thanks to the good advice from @JeffBullas. The simplest way to build your list is by creating free giveways such as ebook, video tutorials, useful templates, report of resource list or even tools or software.
Tactic #3 Focus on other social media platforms
Facebook may be huge, but it is not the only social network that works. There are many others like Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and the most neglected LinkedIn to name a few. In fact LinkedIn surprises me. I have more organic shares on this social platform compared to others. Maybe because of the niche I am targeting.
Twitter is another one that constantly drives me traffics. But with Twitter, you may need to put in more effort to create catchy headlines and attractive image as it only allows 140 characters per tweet. Twitter is where my focus is now as it is not filtered and very unlikely to follow footstep of Facebook. Here are some tips to effectively grow your local business with Twitter.
The fate of Facebook in future
If Facebook still continues to push for pay traffics, in no time, many brands will turn to other networks for traffics. Well, I already stop placing hope to receive organic traffic from Facebook. What about you?
Are you currently still focus on Facebook as your traffic tactic or you have shifted your attention on other networks too. Do share with us your view on leveraging on Facebook as we would love to hear your thoughts about this.