At the beginning of this week we told you about our ongoing Facebook study. We started actively collecting data on February 2012 and the process is still ongoing. Our goal is to identify the types of social post and interactions that will not only build your interactions on Facebook, but also bring people to your website.
It's important to get people to your website because that's the only place you can truly control the user experience and the marketing they are exposed to. The ultimate goal, of course, is to get people into your store, which you could do successfully through Facebook itself, especially with Events. Discovering the success of our suggestions here relies entirely on whether or not you have a face-to-face customer lead source tracking system. In other words, you have to ask the people who walk into your store.
Although we don't have 100% conclusive data from our own study, we have some Golden Nuggets that we can share at this early stage. We have confidence in these suggestions below because they came from our rough data and are reinforced with recently published papers by WildFire, Econsultancy, Buddy Media, and Pew Internet & American Life Project (links below).
We're seeing most Facebook referral visitors are arriving on a jewelry store's home page. From there they are clicking deeper into the website. Our early estimates show that about 24% of referrals from Facebook will visit at least 3 pages. Many of the commonly visited pages include product catalogs, special offers, and store hours.
Although 24% sounds like a potentially good number, the question still remains as to how to get people off Facebook and onto your site or in your store. We hope to have a reliable answer at the end of our study, in the mean time here are our current general suggestions.
1. Pay attention to your posts. Every one of your posts needs live attention so you can interact with your Likers. When someone comments on your post you need to immediately reply back as your page. Make sure you are using Facebook as your page when you comment back. If you have an iPhone you should download the Facebook Pages Manager App so you can get immediate push notifications when people interact with your pages.
Your EdgeFank will increase every time you interact with one of your Likers. Your interactions will increase the chances that they comment a second time, which in turn will increase the visibility of your post in the News Feeds of their friends. It also guarantees that your Page posts will continue to show in the Liker's News Feed.
2. If you really want to hire someone to manage your Facebook account you should hire someone local, as in, your home town. We're pretty sure every Facebook management company is going to hate us for saying this, and you will never ever hear another Facebook expert say this because it's going to take money out of their pocket.
Here's what we know... Facebook understands local users and your local customers will assume that another local user is genuinely heralding your store. You might want to ask one of your customers to secretly do this for you in exchange for special perks and offers. You would want them to occasionally share links from your website to your store's Timeline.
You would have to limit this type of heralding to once a month or once every 3 weeks, otherwise you Herald's friends might become suspicious. Which of course means you could still hire a management company if you wanted.
3. Photo posts are popular, but only if accompanied by a written message. Posting a birthstone of the month photo with a description of the birthstone seems to be worthless, for EdgeRank and website visits; but posting a jewelry photo with the birthstone and asking things like "Hey June birthdays... you have a choice of 3 birthstones. Which is your favorite? Pearl, Moonstone, or Alexandrite?"
If you post photos of jewelry then you need to ask questions to create interactions. Sure you might be posting a photo of a beautiful halo diamond ring, but few will interact with you if you start saying things like "18kt White Gold Halo diamond ring with 2.1ctw." Instead you should say something like "Yes or No: This is a trending style in halo diamond rings; would you wear it?"
While you're at a trade show you could also post photos of potential new styles and ask for feedback. Post a photo from your smartphone and ask: "Yes or No: Do you like this style? Should we carry this in our jewelry store?"
We're definitely seeing photos with longer descriptions gaining more interactions.
The above 3 ideas are what we have so far in terms of working methods to increase Facebook popularity that surfaced right away in our ongoing study. Unfortunately we still haven't identified constant methods to get visitors to your website other than paid Facebook ads.
The below reference sources were referred to when analyzing our own collected data.
Pew Research Source: