In Facebook: Phenomenal Cosmic Power, I explained why Facebook has become too massive and significant to ignore. It doesn’t make sense for every business to market themselves on Facebook, but every web-based business should find a way to leverage the Facebook audience to their advantage.
Facebook is constantly creating new widgets and features that help you do just that; these bountiful innovations can be used to increase site traffic, quality and quantity of content, strengthen your brand, and even increase site usability. Here are my favorite innovative features and what they can do for you:
(B2B and B2C take note–there’s plenty here for each of you).
1) Facebook Comments Box:
This Facebook widget makes sense for content-based sites like blogs, industry authorities, and article sites that have (or want to have) reader commentary and increased traffic on their site.
How does it work? When you integrate the Facebook Comments Box into your site pages, below the content, visitors can use their Facebook account to log in and comment. If they are already logged in to their Facebook account when they travel to your site, they can comment without having to enter their username and password again. And, when they post a comment, they are presented with an option to share their comment on their Facebook wall at the same time.
Since most everybody has a Facebook account, you’re making it easy for a lot of visitors to comment on your content hassle-free. No separate account set-up just to leave a comment on your site. Lowering the barrier to commenting can increase user-friendliness and hence the number of comments. More comments can increases your perceived clout and more comments means that you have an opportunity to follow up with more potential clients, strategic partners, and resources.
It can also increase the quality of comments, since many/most people with Facebook accounts represent themselves–not a fictitious alter ego. People want thoughtful, impressive comments associated with their name and picture. Increased quality of comments benefits you because you now have something intelligent with which to engage, and suddenly your sight is “where industry experts go to engage with insightful dialogue.” Increased quality of comments also increases the likelihood of return visits to your site, repeat users, and time on site, because now your site is a much deeper, more useful resource. Visitors not only read your article, but read supplementary content in comments and discover even more sources of information–and you’re the primary source that brought them these riches.
Perhaps most exciting is that the Facebook’s Comment Box can also increase traffic to your site. When people opt to dually comment on your site and share their comment–they are increasing the visibility of your content by sharing it with their social circle, and that social circle’s social circles. Higher content/link exposure can increase traffic to your site, and engagement with the content and your brand via commenting.
2) Facebook’s Send Button:
This button is useful for a broad range of websites–ecommerce, purveyors of content–anywhere there are thoughts, products, ideas, events on your site that are worthy of sharing with someone’s Facebook circle–coworkers, family, friends, interest groups.
The Send Button is very similar to the Facebook Like button that you’ve no doubt seen spring up on millions of sites in the last year. But, it’s got a clever twist that makes it extra usable for the Facebook user, and that twist can pay dividends in traffic to your site.
Here it is: when a surfer visits your site and clicks the Send button, they get to choose to send your content to a segment of their Facebook social circle rather than the entire circle. That content link is then sent to the segment through Facebook’s messaging system, through email, or by posting to a Group. Users can opt to include a personalized message with the link they are sending…like “How cool would this vacation be”?
Why is this super cool and crafty? Sometimes some people hesitate to push the Like button and share your content with their circle because they don’t want everyone to see it. For example, someone may be hiding that they are really into Star Trek. They want to share the Data figurine that they just found on your site but they only want their “sci-fi” friends to know. Or, someone is planning a surprise party for their spouse’s birthday, just found the perfect location, and only wants to send it to friends who are in on the secret.
The Send Button defeats objections a user might have to sharing content, which would normally post to their wall for full social circle viewing with the Like button. Private content, privileged content, and content that is only pertinent to a segment can now be shared without hesitation. Which translates into more liking of your content. More liking of content means more visibility for your content, which can translate into more traffic.
And, the content link is guaranteed to be relevant because it’s been sent to a specific person or group of people. And, the content is being shared on a personal referral level–we all know how powerful referrals are. The relevance and referral factors can translate into higher conversion.
So there you have it–two Facebook innovations that can pay off in traffic, brand development, usability and conversion. Contact your Interactive Marketing Strategist or give us a call to get started.