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Marrying Facebook to your Website

Marrying Facebook to your Website

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Whether you like it or not, Facebook is the biggest social network out there and in spite of its recent drop in the stocks market, it keeps on growing. If you have a business or a brand, having a page on a Facebook is a great idea; according to SocialBakers’s social media stats, over 18 million Canadians have a Facebook account, which translates into 55% of the population. And according to recent statistics published by Environics, 1.5 million of Canadians are considered hardcore users, some of us (I’m probably included into those stats) spend more than 4 hours a week on the social network.

For companies, startups and freelancers who have their own page (I mean an actual brand page, not a regular profile), this means a considerable segment of your country is not only interested in following brands, but it will actually interact with them too. If you have a page, you most likely already know what I’m talking about.

Having a Facebook Page is a great way of getting new people to see and interact with your brand. But how can you bring back those prospects to your website, the real face of your company? How can you have both platforms linked so that your clients can surf from one to the other without difficulty?

Guiding your fans from Facebook to your website

While guiding visitors from your website to Facebook is relatively easy (something I will explain later), bringing people from Facebook to your website requires more ingenuity. Granted, some users will naturally look for a link to your website on your Facebook Page but most will be satisfied with liking your page before going back to their own business. What you will need to do to achieve this goal is entice people to visit your website.

Facebook Page - Links to your website

The first step to take is to make sure the URL of your website is on your Facebook Page, below your the description. This might seem silly but I’ve encountered businesses that have a website but don’t display it. Why, it mystifies me completely, so I generally assume they simply forgot to add that important component of their brand. Another way to make the URL even more visible is to have it written on your cover; it will not appear as a link but it’s a good way to tell people “Hey, I have a website, check it out!”.

The second step is to link back to your website in your status updates and links. If you have a blog, make sure to share your articles with your fans by publishing them automatically or manually on your Facebook Page. People will not always comment but they will very often click to see where the link takes them. In our case, Facebook is the third most important origin source of traffic on Veodesign.

If you have a business that sells products or services with fixed prices, you can go further and use promotions to bring people back to your website by posting rules and details directly on it, inviting Facebook users to visit your site for more information. People love a good rebate and will be more than willing to share your promo if they deem it interesting, resulting in new fans and clients as well as an increase of visits to your website. Everyone wins.

Building a Facebook presence on your website

Guiding the visitors from your website to your Facebook page is the easy part; unlike doing the opposite, it requires only a passive strategy that once implanted demands little to no work at all.

Business owners and freelancers will usually integrate Facebook on their website for two reasons: they want their visitors to become new Facebook fans, and/or they want Facebook users to share the articles, products or promotions with their friends.

The simplest way to have visitors converging to your Facebook Page is to add a visible link to it. Usually, you will find such link in the header, sidebar or footer of a website. Thousands of icon sets are available on the internet for free, including ours, Somicro and Somacro.

If you want something more aggressive, Facebook also offers the Like-Box which is made to sit in the sidebar of a site. Your visitors will be able to like your page, your newsfeed and see who liked it before them. I personally find it hideous and intrusive but I have to admit it is an efficient tool.

Facebook Sharing Icons on your Website

Finally, you can also promote your website on Facebook by inviting users to share the different pages of your website on their profiles for all their friends to see and reshare. The very known Like button which can take several shapes is an incentive for Facebook users who immediately recognize it. This official Facebook article demonstrates how to integrate the Like button on your website.

Easy, Accessible, Obvious

The most important thing to keep in mind when you are bringing users from your website to Facebook or from Facebook to your site is to be visible; make sure your links, buttons or banners are always apparent and accessible. If your plan is to make the users look for those links, you will soon discover that they will not walk the extra mile to uncover your hidden links.

Easy, accessible, obvious; those are the keywords that will help you build a strong connection between your website and your Facebook Page.

About the author

Tina Mailhot-Roberge is a graphic designer, web designer and illustrator located in Montreal, Canada. She holds a BFA in Design from Concordia University and practices her craft professionally since 2007 .

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