Over the past few years a number of big marketers have proclaimed that “email marketing is dying”. I’ve always dismissed it since it normally coincides with their most recent launch which offers an alternative to email marketing. Surprising, that!
And while I still don’t believe that email marketing will ever “die”, I have found a marketing channel that I believe has now become more powerful…
Facebook Fan Pages
I’ve been late to the game with Facebook fan pages. I set my first page up on March 16th – just two months ago. The page was for my health and beauty blog and you can see it here.
With virtually no marketing I have accumulated 602 “fans” in two months. All I have done is include a Facebook icon on my blog sidebar.
Yet Facebook has become my second biggest traffic source sending over 8,200 visitors in the month of April (although not all of those are from my own fan page I must add).
In this blog post, I’m going to share why I believe Facebook fan pages are becoming a more powerful marketing channel than email and at the end I share an exciting case study revealing how I generated nearly 1,500 visitors in just a few hours from a Facebook fan page.
I pay $149 per month for my Aweber account since I have over 10,000 subscribers in my database. It’s more than worth the investment, but to have your own Facebook fan page requires only a Facebook profile – which is free.
If you want a visitor to join your email list, they’d probably have to enter their name, their email and click a confirmation link. If you want a visitor to become a Facebook fan, they simply have to press the “Like” button.
To send an email to your subscribers you need to write an email, usually in both plain text and HTML, check for formatting, send a test message and then queue it for sending – which could take anywhere from a minute to a few hours.
With Facebook you simply need to post your link, write a really brief summary of just a few lines, and then click Share and then it will be posted to your fans walls instantly.
No Spam Filters, No Bounce
When you send an email message to your subscribers, a small proportion will be filtered into the spam folder and a small proportion will also bounce.
You also have to alter your messages to avoid being incorrectly flagged as spam. For example, I have an email list about weight loss, but if I mention “losing weight” or “burning fat” in my email message Aweber tells me my message might get flagged as spam.
There are no such problems with Facebook.
Better Click-Through Rates
Reports from MailChimp – a leading autoresponder – suggest that email click-through rates are 2.65% in the Beauty & Personal Care industry (the industry I’m in).
Meanwhile, research from AdAge suggests that Facebook updates to fan pages yield a 6.49% click-through rate.
This means a message sent to 1,000 Facebook fans will yield 65 clicks, while a message sent to 1,000 email subscribers will yield 27 clicks. That’s without considering that Facebook messages get liked and shared which exposes the update to more people.
Multiple Updates Daily
I regularly post four or five updates to my Facebook page each day, each with a link to a post on my blog. I’ve never had one complaint, and instead get thanked for sharing.
If you were to send four or five emails per day to your email subscribers, it wouldn’t be long until they had all unsubscribed – or simply reported you for spam.
Updates Get Shared
When you post to Facebook, your fans can Like or Share your update. If they do either of these two things it will share your update with their friends too which could be 200+ people per person.
If you send a message to your email list, the chances of them “Forwarding” your email onto their friends is slim to none – and even if they did so it would only share the message with a handful of new people at most.
Your Fan Base Grows With Each Update
When someone does share one of your Facebook messages, it shares the message on their friends’ feeds and also includes a link back to your Facebook fan page. For example, it would say:
Their Name shared a link via Your Facebook Fan Page
If their friends like the update then they may click-through to your page and become a fan therefore increasing your fan base.
When you send out an email message to your subscribers, your list size will always shrink as readers unsubscribe.
When you post a Facebook update, it is easy for others to comment. This is a great way to increase interaction with your readers and customers and to become friendlier with them.
The friendlier you are and the more interactive you make things, the more likely they are to share your content and buy your products.
Greater Social Interaction
The point I’m about to make here is based only on my observations from my first two months running a Facebook fan page and definitely aren’t statistically relevant.
I’ve found that whenever I post a link to a blog post on my fan page, I also get a number of people sharing that post to places like Pinterest which multiplies my traffic tenfold sometimes.
For example, at about 11pm on April 30th I posted this to my Facebook fan page.
Over the next 25 hours (the last hour of the 30th and the whole of the 1st May) that post generated 1,284 page views. On a normal day it would generate around 30 visitors.
The Facebook update sent 167 visitors since it was liked by nine people and shared by four – including two fan pages with 350 fans each.
Of those visitors sent by Facebook, some of them Pinned the page to Pinterest and as a result Pinterest sent 615 visitors in the 25 hour period.
I find that every time I post a link to a blog post on my Facebook page, I get three or four people Pinning the post, too and that’s usually enough to generate an avalanche of traffic from Pinterest.
Facebook Fan Pages are incredibly powerful marketing channels, and if you aren’t building one yet, then you should start as soon as possible.
A Facebook Fan Page Case Study – 1,467 Visitors In 24 Hours
Here’s a really quick case study revealing just how powerful a Facebook fan page can be…
On Saturday April 21st my blog traffic was taking off. I checked my stats to see where everyone was coming from and was surprised to see a Blogspot blog sending me hundreds of visitors. In total, this one blogspot blog sent 1,467 visitors to my blog in just 24 hours, and has now sent over 2,000 visitors.
Here’s a screenshot of the traffic it sent on April 21st…
I visited the page where all the traffic was coming from and was even more surprised that it had sent so many numbers. Take a look at the page here.
It looked to me like a pretty spammy Blogger blog and I couldn’t understand why it had so much readership and how it could possibly send me so much traffic.
So I did a bit of digging, and I found something interesting.
That was the source of the traffic and is how the 1,467 visitors had arrived on my blog in the space of just a few hours.
I’ve been following that Facebook fan page for a few weeks now to see what they do and it’s really, really clever.
They simply find really cool things around the internet related to home living, money saving, gardening, food and natural remedies, they then post a link to that on their blogger blog where they add a bunch of Amazon affiliate links to related items, and then they post a Facebook update linking to their blogger blog. They do this 10-20 times per day and if you consider that each update sends 1,500 clicks (like it did for my update) then that’s 15,000 to 30,000 visitors per day!
Each time they post an update it gets liked and shared by hundreds of people which helps them spread their page around Facebook and grow their fan base. When they shared a link to my blog they had 65,000 fans – now they have 92,000.
Can you imagine being able to post a 30 second update to your Facebook fan page and then getting 1,500+ clicks in the space of a few short hours?
I’m going to be focusing a lot of my time and effort on growing my fan page in the future and if you want to as well then I suggest you download Dr. Ben Adkins Seven Sneaky Facebook Tricks report for growing a huge Facebook fan page.
I went through it last night and it reveals seven fantastic and really easy to implement ideas that you can implement to help grow your Facebook fan base fast. Each “sneaky trick” takes just 30 seconds but can help your page go viral.
Plus, watch the video below (just press play) where Dr. Ben talks about Facebook EdgeRank. It’s an important principle that you need to understand when it comes to managing your own own Facebook fan pages.
I will be posting the things I’ve learned about getting traffic with Facebook fan pages over the next few days, weeks and months. As I learn new things I’ll be sharing them right here on this blog.
To make sure you get notified each time a new post is published, then Like BigBlogTraffic On Facebook. I’ve only just started this fan page so it looks a bit bare right now but I’ll be sharing lots of interesting things from this blog and around the blogosphere.
And if you can’t wait for any Facebook marketing advice, then have a read of this blog post from CopyBlogger.
I’ll be back soon with more blog traffic tips, so for now, like us on Facebook, download Seven Sneaky Facebook Tricks, watch the video about EdgeRank and check out the CopyBlogger post above, and leave your comments below sharing your opinions on the Facebook vs Email Marketing debate.