13Jul2011

Facebook – What is it worth to you?

facebook money

I’ve wanted to write a blog on this subject for a while. I’ve been monitoring various clients’ analytics, checking direct referrals from Facebook and also keeping a close eye on our own website and blog’s traffic.

Thankfully the ever excellent Hitwise have beaten me to it, and they have access to a whole lot more stats than me!

The Stats

Hitwise say that 1 Facebook user = 20 additional visits to your site*.

We know that Facebook is huge, but to give you an indication of how huge; Facebook now accounts for 1 in 6 page views in the UK. That’s more than double the page views received by Google.

Facebook is the number one search term in the UK, it has an average session time of just under half an hour.  Over 20million hours are spent on Facebook in the UK every day!

So that should be giving you an indication of the scale of the opportunity.

*Retail websites – and a fairly questionable stat!

So it’s massive, how can I leverage Facebook?

If you own or manage a retail website and you haven’t embraced Facebook in my humble opinion you are certifiably mad.  It takes no great effort to ensure your products are shareable and likeable across Facebook, and this is what you should be doing as a bare minimum.

These are a few ways to ensure that you get your fair share of that Facebook downstream traffic:

1. Make products likeable and shareable

You can add the Facebook only snippets, or utilise an all rounder like “share this”.  Making sure that this code is on every product page on your website is a simple sure fire winner, and will be a very quick win, allowing you to ensure that visitors can share a product the desire or that a friend may be looking for with ease.

2. Monitor Facebook Traffic

Log into your Google Analytics and make sure that you are keeping a close eye on your sites Facebook Traffic stats.  Look closely at spikes in traffic and see if it relates to a particular blog article being liked or shared, or a new product going live.  If there is an obvious link then learn from this and ensure that you repeat it next time.  If a blog or product isn’t being liked then that should also inform your strategy.

3. Think time of day

Facebook isn’t like email.  With email campaigns you learn about what week/day/time of day is best to release a new campaign.  We know that Monday isn’t traditionally a great day for email marketing as people tend to be busy clearing the decks for the rest of the week.   Facebook is different.  Now the prospective buyers are busy tagging themselves in photos from the weekend, and talking about what they go up to.

That means they are active on the Facebook network, and if they are active then they are potential customers.

4. Develop a simple strategy

This can be as little effort as ensuring that you share each new product that goes live on your site.  The amount of effort that you put in with depend on what is at the heart of any marketing judgement; Time and Budget.   Maximise the time spent by having a plan in place, and sticking to it.  That said; don’t be afraid to try new things.

5. Try new things

If you are a clothing retailer and there are various lines to be released at various times of the year, or a business that relies upon seasonality then you could utilise the Events function.  Inform “fans” of your business about the new line of products.  Even better if there is a physical launch invite them to it. They will feel special and loved, and these fans are likely to become brand advocates, telling non fans why you are so great!

There are many other ways in which a business can leverage Facebook and gain potential incremental sales.  These are just a selection of straightforward tactics. If you are fussing over Facebook, or Google+ is gobbledegook to you, then drop us a line to arrange a chat!

Article by

Heehaw is an Edinburgh based production company working across promo, film and animation

2 Comments

Comments

  1. Espen says:

    I’m not saying Facebook doesn’t have great potential – and yes, making sure your products are likeable is a given – however, I’d also make the case that the overuse of fan page requests, event invites and general sales spam is what will eventually lead to Facebook’s demise. Even worse, people offering incentives to like their pages or products (competitions etc) will probably have the long-term effect of devaluing the like button. I mean, who cares if 1million people liked your product if they did it because they could win something? The only reason it currently works for me is that it’s still somewhat genuine. My friend likes this, so there’s a chance I will too.

    Cheers Pitbull,
    E-dog

    • David Goldie says:

      Thanks for the comment Espen. Good to hear from you!

      I agree on the spam issue. The volume of rubbish has made me ignore that area of Facebook, and thus miss out on a few genuine invites!

      Brands have to be careful, I think creating brand advocates in letting the public share and recommend your products is the way to go. Nobody wants to hear from a brand how good their products are. A friend liking and sharing pages has some kudos.

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