Facebook Traffic: How I Went From 553 to 36,604 Website Visitors In 12 Weeks Using Social Media

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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)

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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’

shareaholic

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:

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An amazing 2860 social media shares!

I continued with my tests and here is what happened:

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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.

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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:

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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 marketing, 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?

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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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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

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Jon has a great resource called Head Line hacks which is a free book (opt-in required) that gives you the best headlines ever!

Another super cool resource is the Sumo me article on headlines by Sarah Peterson. This is packed with 49 headline formulas that will skyrocket any blog performance.

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:

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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:

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That is 46,523 page views for just one article.

The social shares were equally impressive.

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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

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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

Andrew Holland head at Zoogly giving business owners advice

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:

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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.

And this is why you need a great content writing service 

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:

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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.

  1. Search for groups in your niche
  2. Choose 3 groups and be active in them, be genuine and comment on posts
  3. 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.

Facebook traffic

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?

Conclusion

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.

Andrew Holland

Zoogly Media.

  • Gary Evans says:

    Great informative post full of actionable content. Great results with the boosted post – nearly 5k clicks for only £35.

    Cheers

    Gary

  • AndrewCEO says:

    Thanks Gary, yes super cheap clicks from Facebook really helped it

  • gareth daine says:

    Great stuff Andrew. Really informative, actionable and inspirational, as per usual. Looking forward to trying these tactics on my next post. I have shared on social. Cheers!

  • Hi Andrew, this is absolute gold! Love the super actionable steps and the examples / results in there as well.

    The Reddit / Quora combo of finding content ideas is brilliant, and the headline tips tie it all nicely together.

    It’s amazing how effective the Facebook boosted posts can be if you are able to reach the right audience. Some very nice cheap clicks for you there!

    Keep up the great posts.

  • AndrewCEO says:

    Thanks Andrew for your kind words, yes I think if you get the right post doing well naturally boosting it really helps

  • AndrewCEO says:

    Thanks Gareth be sure to let me know how you go on and thanks for reading and taking the time to comment

  • Richard says:

    Andrew – this is an epic post. I must admit that in the past I have generally steered clear of viral content because merging “viral” with “business building” can be so challenging.

    This is one of the reasons why I get so frustrated with all the articles touting BuzzSumo as the answer to your content marketing dreams. In a lot of the markets I work in all the “top” content is what I call “viral b*llshit”. It gets clicks and shares – but does nothing to attract a “buying” audience.

    Unless you’re monetizing with ad clicks that traffic has very little value. That’s doubly so for most small businesses/corporate sites.

    Your article does things differently – and shows how to merge the two. It sounds fascinating and I already have a few ideas for using it on my sites and with some clients too. Nice work 🙂

  • AndrewCEO says:

    Thanks for the kind words. I think using content as a vehicle to help change opinions, get a reaction or allow people to even advance their career by providing an opportunity to connect with a boss, a colleague or even a new company is a nice way of looking at things. Rather than content becoming just another article it puts pressure on the writer to create something that can be used for the sharers devices. So when they click on the title it transforms the reader in some way

  • Arian says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Awesome article! I love articles that include own innovative approaches! You delivered!

    Cheers,
    Arian

  • AndrewCEO says:

    Thanks Arian, really appreciate the feedback

  • Taylor Harker says:

    Incredible article full of awesome ideas. This is the single best How-To that I’ve ever seen. I can’t thank you enough!

  • AndrewCEO says:

    Hi Taylor thanks for your amazing words, really glad you liked it, please let me know if you have any results.

  • Anonymous says:

    Very informative and useful article Andrew.

  • Clive says:

    Andrew, Epic Post. I can’t wait to try it myself. Clive

  • Hadar says:

    Hi Andrew

    Thanks a lot,
    I’m struggling writing my first articles,
    and i found your words very inspiring
    and practical at the same time.
    loved the way you defined the targeted audience
    and the benefits they come to achieve.

    looking forward to read more

    Hadar

  • Terry says:

    Addiction…unlikely, but a strong desire to share and engage with relevance. Great article Andrew and appreciate your detail and insight. To share ones experience so completely illustrates a genuine willingness to enlighten others to share in success.

  • Isabelle Debernardi says:

    Very good article! Thanks for sharing the way you found a new approach to develop the traffic on a site, the details of it and the results! I don’t need it for a company, but for my personal work and I will share this article with other people who might need this!
    Thank you!

  • Kristina says:

    Hi Andrew,

    your article seems really usefull and concrete. I will use your tips for my new project and write you back my results.

    Thank you very much for sharing.

    Br,
    Kristina

  • Andrew Holland says:

    Hi Kristina, thanks. Yes, please let me know how you go on.

  • Andrew Holland says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing Isabelle, I really appreciate it

  • Andrew Holland says:

    Hi Terry, thanks for those Kind words. Really appreciate the feedback

  • Andrew Holland says:

    Hi Hadar. Thanks for the comments. Yes, it can be a struggle to write. Somedays my head just is not in the game. I have started to find that I am most productive at certain times of the day and I focus my work around those.

  • Andrew Holland says:

    Cheers Clive. Let me know how you go on with the post, I would love to hear about it.

  • Sergey says:

    Andrew,
    Nice methodology.
    I am preparing to repeat your success promoting my fintech startup website.
    What length of the blog post do you recommend?

  • Andrew Holland says:

    Hi Sergey, thanks for the kind words my view is that you should stick with between 1200 and 2700 depending on the subject

  • GREAT info! Just started blogging this year and having a Facebook page. I noticed that my friends are superficial when it come to my subject. They read the headlines, but almost never click to the web site to read the full post. I went through your post, in which I am trying out your ideas. Will let you know how it goes later.

  • This is a very well thought out Facebook strategy and is supported by the numbers. Targeting buyer personas is a well known tactic, but this article lays out the process of determining them very nicely – and the results that are possible if it’s done well. Well done.

  • Claudia says:

    Andrew,
    Nice article. really enjoyed reading it. I question nevertheless the quality of the traffic you bring on the site and the bounce rate/ duration of stay on the site after reading. As you mention shareaholics are there for the post and results for it, so at the end it is maybe a reflection to Address to your customers and help them reflect what kind of traffic they want instead of only a number of visitors …

  • Andrew Holland says:

    Hi Rebecca, thanks for the kind words. If your friends are superficial to your content I would try and find a group where like minded people hang out, that way you can swap ideas, get traffic and more importantly start to build your fan base. Let me know how you go on.

  • Andrew Holland says:

    Hi Paul, thanks for the kind words.

  • Andrew Holland says:

    Hi Claudia you raise a really good point there. The shareaholics are using the content for a purpose rather than because they want to add value to the world so it raises the question of if the visitors are good or not for the site? After all, a high bounce rate is not great for SEO but social signals are. My view is that the content should be constructed for long term SEO as well. So a title with the keywords within, LSI keywords included and of course the other all important on page SEO factors. However, I also think any site using this method needs to be set up to get email subscribers as well. That way your shareaholic post gets short term traffic from social media, long term traffic from SEO and of course email subscribers.

    That is the challenge. To create a post that doesn’t only get clicks but adds so much value that the reader leaves feeling that the time they spent reading the post was worthwhile. Think of it a bit like Buzzfeed but posts that deliver truly epic value.

    All of which is challenge to achieve but I think it sets average content apart from truly epic content. Really appreciate the feedback and you raised some great points.

    Thanks

  • Lydia says:

    Thanks for this post, it was re-assuring to know someone else has felt that pain. I’ve bookmarked 2 of your blogs now for future reading and reminding! I think theres a lot to learn from the two blogs i’ve recently read written by you

  • Andrew Holland says:

    Hi Lydia thanks for the kind words. I was down at Foamy media the other week. Say hi to Stuart for me

  • […] great model for this is Andrew Holland’s Shareaholics method for targeting sharers. Andrew breaks sharer behavior down into six overlapping […]

  • […] Now I appreciate that many of you will be thinking 'yeah that is all well and good but I work in a B2B market, content just won't work like that for me'. ​Well if that is what you are thinking check out our article on generating Facebook Traffic.  […]

  • […] A following made of Shareaholic's. […]

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