Facebook Traffic: How I Went From 553 to 36,604 Website Visitors In 12 Weeks Using Social Media
Today I am going to show you how I delivered over 114,000 page views for one site in a matter of 12 weeks and using that same technique on another site we delivered 36,000 page views in the same amount of time.
Here’s how it all took place.
They say necessity is the mother of invention and that is exactly what happened to me.
In late 2015 I acquired a new client for my agency and they had a site that had been live for years with zero/ low traffic.
So after what seemed like weeks of negotiations, they came on board and after a site redesign, they wanted to get traffic levels higher.
This was their core metric, they wanted almost immediate, targeted traffic levels and after a few weeks, we were failing. (take a look below)
You see I tried to explain to my client about SEO and how it takes time, but that was not really on the cards for them.
They wanted results fast and with just 553 visitors in the first 2 months, I needed to get my act together
I am sure that if you run an agency or have your own website you have felt this pain too.
Week after week you look at your traffic stats and despite writing lots of new content, you see a mere trickle. I have been there and felt it too.
As I have a good knowledge of SEO, I know that a site can take 4 to 6 months before it starts to see returns from its efforts, however, this client didn’t have that time to wait. They had plans and 4 to 6 months with low traffic didn’t fit into their business plan.
And one morning, while I was on Facebook I realised that the answer was staring me quite literally in the face and this was the catalyst for the creation of ‘The Shareaholic Method’
How My Agency Delivered 114,925 Page Views In Just 12 Weeks Using ‘The Shareaholic Method’
After my ‘eureka’ moment (and some study on virality), I was keen to get started on my idea.
So I tested The Shareaholic Method on another blog I ran and boom here is what happened with my first test:
An amazing 2860 social media shares!
I continued with my tests and here is what happened:
In a matter of weeks, I received over 20,968 visitors from Facebook.
I then tested this method on another site and we had further great results.
In the end, I went from having a trickle of visitors to literally thousands and it took place in a matter of days and one of the best result’s we had was this:
A whopping 22,724 page views in just 2 days!
Right now you might be wondering what The Shareaholic Method exactly is, don’t worry I will take you step by step through this process.
How To Get Traffic From Facebook For Free With The Shareaholic Method
One of the biggest issues with any client is the budget.
Even if they can afford to use your services, very few of them are prepared to place an ad budget with you. I had to start getting traffic for free for this client as they too had zero ad budget!
And my ‘eureka’ moment happened like this:
I was sat at my desk just slowly reading Facebook posts from my friends and I started to notice the sheer amount of Conor McGregor posts and videos that were being shared on-line.
If you don’t watch the UFC, Conor is a top fighter in the mixed martial arts world.
Being a bit of a student of Social media, I started to examine the posts.
To my shock, there was nothing special about them. Just regular news posts or videos.
So I decided to take a different route and look at my friend’s timelines and that is when I noticed it.
Most of my friends were obsessed with sharing posts and articles. They didn’t go a day without sharing posts; sure there were posts about their weight loss, kids and stuff like that but mostly they shared content, and these people did it daily.
It was like an addiction…. my friends were ‘shareaholics.’
Then it dawned on me, if I could start to tap into these ‘Shareaholics’ I would have an unlimited stream of free website traffic.
This was about to bring about a fundamental change in my writing but to use this I needed to understand more about these Shareaholics.
Rather than writing for everyone and using social triggers to try and get my posts shared, I went deeper into the psychological nature of the sharers.
My decision to write content for the ‘certain types’ of people that share content actively and rather than just for everyone has transformed my success and today you will learn how I did it.
What Exactly Is A Shareaholic?
My research took me to a study conducted by the New York Times that provides an incredible insight into the mind of a social media sharer, here are some key ideas and comments from the study:
“94% Carefully consider how the information they share will be useful to the recipient.”
“49% say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action.”
“68% share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about.”
“73% share information because it helps them connect with others who share their interests.”
“84% share because it is a way to support causes or issues they care about.”
The study goes further and states there are now six personas for on-line sharers:
Altruists- A Person who cares for others
Careerists- Those that share valuable and intelligent information (often based on their career goals)
Hipsters- Creative, younger types
Boomerangs-People looking to post to get a reaction
Connectors- These are the types that put the right information to the right people
Selectives-People that think before sharing. They only share useful stuff to certain people
I made a decision that my best chances of getting lots of free traffic to my site would be to stop writing content for everyone and then hoping it triggered shares.
Instead, I decided to create content for particular types of sharers and these I grouped together as my Shareaholics
Who Are Shareaholics?
I decided that my shareaholics would be made up of the following 3 groups:
These were the Boomerangs, the careerists and the connectors.
My reasoning is simple, selectives and altruists are likely to share less in my humble opinion, they are going to be more precise and ‘choosy’ about their shares.
To get traffic, I needed the people who were addicted to sharing!
Going back to my own Facebook feed and those sharing Conor McGregor posts, guess what. Those sharing taught martial arts and they fit the careerist model perfectly!
I quickly mapped out my Shareaholics and what they might do
I decided that if I was going to have a great chance at success I would try and create content that suits all 3 of these types.
Therefore my aims of each post were as follows:
Each article should create debate, be helpful, contain some facts or a strong opinion based on experience. If a post hit these goals, then it would stand a better chance of being shared by my Shareaholics.
My first experiment was using the site The Self Defence Expert.com. This was my first ever blog and has acted as a test field for a lot of my work.
Here is what happened and how I got my results.
Become Controversial And Create Value
After many years in the self-defence world, I can tell you that these types could argue with themselves. It is an industry which strives on debate because there are so many people selling ineffective systems of self-defence.
So I set out to write a short list post that would tap into our shareaholics.
This is how I got my ideas.
To start off with I have a great tool which I got from a Neil Patel post which is a content scraper and allows me to have super quick access to all the best sub reddits on a subject along with a host of other goodies:
However, I also personally go to the subreddit and check out each section for inspiration.
Remember I am looking for posts that generate discussion and I use the sections at the top to find the best content:
Once I have done this and taken notes, I head over to Quora.com to take a look at questions.
I always find an absolute treasure chest of questions and ideas for posts here:
However we need to remember that it is Facebook I am targeting here and as such I need to keep focused on my shareaholics.
In the end, I decided to write an article that would focus on what bad self-defence instructors tell their students.
I reasoned that it would tick my shareaholics boxes and get them sharing this content.
Boomerangs: They would love it because it would fuel debate within Facebook groups
Careerists: This would help those decent instructors to promote themselves
Connectors: People would share it to either ‘feed’ the boomerangs or use it as a vehicle to connect with others.
So I wrote the content in a short list format but after I had written the article I knew that to get traffic I would need to get a great headline.
Crafting a Killer Headline
It is without a doubt that crafting a great headline is key to getting clicks on Facebook and fortunately, there are some great resources out there to learn the art of headline writing.
First up is Jon Morrow
Jon has a great resource called Head Line hacks which is a free book (opt-in required) that gives you the best headlines ever!
These resources are pretty much all you need to get your headlines to improve rapidly and these are exactly the steps I followed.
My first post using The Shareaholic Method was called: 7 Lies Bad Self Defence Instructors Tell Their Students.
I took it from Jon Morrows headline hacks book:
Ok, so how did this post do?
Well to date by focusing on the very people that I KNOW will share my posts and writing content for them this has happened:
That is 46,523 page views for just one article.
The social shares were equally impressive.
Now I am not an idiot.
I thought to myself “is this a one off?” So I started to test this out on a clients site
5 articles that delivered a total of 25,790 visitors in 12 weeks!
All this was because I stopped writing for everyone and focused on the people that would share my work.
These days I write for clients knowing that my Shareaholics are either looking for debate, sharing for their own career interests or to help them to connect with others
If I write posts that assist them to achieve at least 2 of these elements I am doing well.
The Science Behind Shareaholics
I was chatting through this process with a good SEO friend and he told me that this was just using social triggers to get shares. A process written about by Jonah Berger in his book “Contagious: Why things catch on”, but I disagree.
While it does contain some of the aspects of Bergers studies, it attacks it from a different angle
If we look at Jonah Bergers superb studies we see some super useful insights and Derek Halpern’s blog social triggers has done a great job of breaking down Jonah Bergers ideas.
He breaks down social triggers as:
Posts that are Positive
Content that Is high In emotion
Content that is practically useful
However, I explained to my friend the key difference:
They are sharing this to achieve a pre determined objective that benefits them in some way
Shareaholics are not sharing content because the content itself is useful they are actually ‘USING’ content for their own devices.
In essence, I am giving people something they can use for their own business, their career or discussion. This brings the context of utility to a whole different level and content becomes a physical thing that can be used.
A key difference I have noticed is that Shareaholics use the content we create to make the experience of Facebook a more entertaining and useful one.
Going back to the New York Times study we see that 49 % of people share information to change opinions.
By knowing how content is being used on-line, you can make some serious impact!
Shareaholics Case Study
The above image is from a training session I gave to a client’s franchise owners.
Each person has their own fitness franchise and the brand uses my services to create their content.
These are a classic example of Careerist Shareaholics
Whenever I write a piece of content that endorses their brand in a good light I am guaranteed that each franchise owner will share the post, this taps into what Jonah Burger calls Valuable Virality.
The franchise owners are sharing content because it helps their careers. This turns every bit of content I craft for the business into a sales weapon.
The Art Of Crafting Valuable Virality
If you made it this far, you would now be starting to get The Shareaholic Method and how I use it, but incase it is a little fuzzy still here are the essential parts.
1. Identify your market Shareaholic (remember your shareaholics are careerists, Boomerangers and Connectors)
2. Create Content That They Can Use On Facebook
3. Share The Content (more on this later)
Now the more experienced marketer might be asking yourself this. “Isn’t it better just to create content that goes viral rather than having limited reach?”
This is a great question.
However Jonah Berger has mentioned this in an article:
Therefore, the goal is not to make something to go viral, but for every piece of content to be valuable.
Knowing this you can create content that is valuable and not just viral.
How To get Traffic From Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are filled with people that will read your articles and visit your website (they just don’t know about you yet.)
And luckily there is a group for virtually every type of niche, check out these results for fly fishing:
I have run numerous groups on Facebook and they are excellent sources of web traffic, but they come with a downside, to keep them active you need to engage with members and discuss things. This becomes time-consuming.
However, Shareaholics offer you the ability to reach groups with zero work!
If you can remember the types of people that make up our shareholics, they are careerists, connectors and boomerangs.
Luckily Facebook groups tend to be filled with all 3!
When writing your content, you need to make sure that you are creating content that can be used by these groups. Controversial content works best for groups because they can talk about and debate the content within the post.
I previously wrote about how I used social hubs to get a new site to 40,000 visitors in a matter of weeks, and that post does a great job of breaking down the process. However, the basics of the process are simple.
- Search for groups in your niche
- Choose 3 groups and be active in them, be genuine and comment on posts
- When the time is right, post your articles and links in there.
Because your groups are filled with Shareaholics, they will also share posts that they see in groups and this fuels your site traffic even further!
You will also find that many group members run their own smaller subgroups that you have no idea about and because of the names you would never find in a search. These group members often re share your content to subgroups
How To Drive Traffic To Your Facebook Page
Once you grasp how that Shareholics use content for their own devices you are free to start grabbing traffic, however, there is a way to supercharge those results.
If we look at the articles I have written using The Shareaholic Method we can see the true results:
The 10 Best Martial Arts For Self Defence: 686 Facebook shares
7 Warning Signs Your Self-Defence Is Useless: 538 Facebook Shares
7 Things A Crooked Self Defence Instructor Won’t Tell You: 453 Facebook Shares
The Shocking Data That Shows The Decline of Judo in Britain: 188 Facebook Shares
7 Lies Bad Self Defence Instructors Tell Their Students: 2800 Facebook Shares
Bruce Lee’s 7 Tips For Self Defence: Over 2000 Facebook shares
5 Uplifting Martial Arts Insights By Dan Inosanto: 1085 Facebook Shares
As you can see while the other posts did well, my biggest post at 2800 shares simply out performed everything by a large amount.
So what was the difference?
Simple….. I boosted that post once it hit 500 organic shares.
As you can see, I only spent £35 and it got 4,744 clicks!
In the end, that helped to deliver my 46, 526 visitors to that post, not bad for £35 and yes I will be repeating the steps for my other posts.
Why Shareaholic Posts Must Be Evergreen
Phew, nearly at the end of this epic post folks, so stay with me for this last important detail.
Over the last 3 months, I have used this method and other types of posts and I have learned that the posts that provide the best returns are evergreen ones.
By this, I mean that these posts will be every bit as valid now as they will in 3 years time.
So I can repeat the process above for all my posts, can you imagine how my traffic will develop with just a small advert budget?
I have found without a doubt that if I create content that people can use within Facebook itself, I can get some kick ass traffic to both my own and my client’s sites.
The fundamental difference between using The Shareaholic Method as opposed to other types of social triggers is that I am writing content that my shareaholics use for their benefits.
When I use this type of content I want it to fuel debate, I want my shareaholics to use it to help connect with others and I want them to use it to help to improve their careers.
When I create content that combines as many of my Shareholics goals as possible, it does well, and finding that balance is the key!
So what do you think of this post? Have you tried using these techniques? If so then let me know
Thanks for taking the time to read this post.