Trying to drive new traffic to your blog isn’t always easy—especially if you’re relying on Facebook to help you generate an audience.
Yes, Facebook is still the largest social media platform in the world, but many marketers have seen increasingly diminished returns as of late.
The drop in organic reach from Facebook pages has been well documented, but recent data has even questioned the effectiveness of paid advertising. One recent survey found that 62% of small business owners felt their paid Facebook advertising wasn’t reaching their target market.
Now maybe those people just didn’t know how to dominate Facebook ads. I admit, those survey numbers sound a little extreme, but at the same time, there’s no denying that many companies struggle to gain much attention for their blog content through Facebook.
Despite these increasing difficulties for marketers, Facebook continues to be all about community. About helping people connect.
The thing is, most people don’t form meaningful connections through marketing. Sad, but true. And when it comes to using Facebook to drive traffic to your blog, trying to market your content through your company’s Facebook page or via paid advertising won’t always get you a devoted readership—even if you can hack the formula for audience targeting.
So Now What?
The good news is that there is a silver lining to all this. A place where you can form meaningful connections with your exact target audience, and where your content will actually reach everyone you’re trying to target.
This isn’t some mystical, Holy Grail-esque thing either…I’m talking about Facebook Groups.
Even as other Facebook marketing methods have faltered, forming and participating in Facebook Groups has remained as a consistent way of building a community and generating interest for your blog and company.
Here’s how you can get it done.
Joining the Conversation
The simplest way to start using Facebook Groups to drive your blog traffic is…to join a group. “Well, duh!” you might now be screaming at your computer screen.
But before you start grabbing your torches and pitchforks, the reason this is worth talking about is because it doesn’t pay to simply join any group.
To actually get your time’s worth out of other people’s Facebook Groups, you need to make sure you’re joining the right conversations and participating in the right way.
Not all Facebook groups are created equal. For example, some groups are public and have virtually no regulations whatsoever. Unfortunately, these groups seem to have the unfortunate tendency to get taken over by spam content.
Trust, me, you don’t want to waste your time competing with posts like this:
Rather than waste your time with spam-laden public groups, your best bet is to seek out private Facebook groups in your niche. You need to submit a request to join these groups, and group leadership will decide whether to admit you or not.
Once you’re in the group though, you can’t just start posting links to your blog content like a madman. Private groups generally have strict rules regarding the type of posts you share, and failure to follow these rules could easily get you booted out of the group entirely.
Make sure you carefully read the rules of a group before posting links to your content. Some groups may only allow you to share links on certain days. Others may not have specific rules regarding link sharing, but it’s best to be somewhat conservative in your link-sharing approach.
A good rule of thumb is to not include a link on every comment or post you make in the group. Answer other group members’ questions, share your insights, and when you have a piece of blog content that is relevant to someone’s question, share it as an additional resource.
Remember, these are communities—not promotional platforms. The more you engage authentically in the group, the more likely you are to build a strong reputation and get positive feedback when you share your blog content.
While finding groups specific to your niche can be extremely beneficial, don’t rule out blogger support groups, either. Groups like Bloggers Supporting Bloggers can be great places to share your content without coming across as spammy.
Starting Your Own Group
Of course, many companies have found success by creating one or more Facebook Groups in addition to participating in other communities.
Ultimately, you can cast your net as wide or narrow as you wish as you create a Facebook Group. For example, some companies create private groups to provide exclusive information to their subscribers or that serve as a discussion platform for their blog followers. Others go for a broader approach, creating a group that is relevant to their industry or niche as a whole. You don’t need to limit yourself here.
It’s important that you determine the end goal of your Facebook Group in advance. Most likely, if you’re trying to build new traffic for your blog, your group will need to focus on your niche, rather than just your blog.
By making your Facebook Group niche-oriented (rather than blog-oriented), you reduce the barriers for entry—so that anyone interested in your niche can feel involved in the conversation.
This means that the conversations that take place in your group won’t always directly involve your blog content—and that’s okay. After all, you’re in charge of the group, which means you can share your blog posts to start new conversations, or even include a link to your blog in the group description page.
Of course, creating a quality Facebook Group requires much more than simply clicking “Create Group” on Facebook. Put your group on the path to success by making it Private (so you can avoid spammers) and creating a detailed, keyword-rich group description. Including info such as the who, what, and why—and some of your group rules—will help potential members know they’re in the right place.
You can’t simply create a group and hope that new members will magically show up. I suppose there’s always a chance that could happen, but you’re much better off putting a bit of work into promoting your group to build a following.
Your easiest ways to promote your group? Include a link in your email signature or blog menu. Better yet, promote your new group through your Facebook page, LinkedIn account, or email list—or even as part of a call-to-action in your blog posts. You can also invite friends to join your group. All of this serves as a great way to encourage your current audience members—the people already interested in what you have to say—to join your group.
You can also take things a step further by engaging in cross-promotional campaigns with other Facebook Groups or reaching out to get niche influencers involved in your community. And of course, you can always tap into your current group members to invite new people to join.
To get continual traffic to your blog, however, you’ll need to create a lasting, vibrant community with quality conversation. Get the ball rolling by asking interesting questions, encouraging discussion of your blog posts, and even asking top group contributors to start conversations of their own.
As you consistently promote your blog and start relevant conversations, you’ll build an engaged Facebook Group community that will be interested in your content and drive new traffic to your site.
Get Your Group Going!
Whether you find meaningful ways to bring your own content into other group’s conversations or devote your energy to building and maintaining your own vibrant Facebook Group community, this underutilized resource is a surefire way to help you boost your traffic.
So don’t just sit there! Get online and find your people so you can give your content the boost it needs!