February 6, 2012

Use Facebook to increase engagement on your site

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John HaydonIf you want to increase pages views and site engagement, it’s critical that you create a more social experience when people visit your website.

For example, when people view an article from your blog, they can see which of their friends have already read that article. They also can share content on your site with their Facebook friends.

Gigya published data showing that Web users spend 50 percent more time on websites that use Facebook social plug-ins. They also view twice as many pages.

Use social plug-ins to increase engagement

time spent How Facebook Social Plugins Increase Engagement On Your Nonprofits Website

View your website as a fishing net. Web visitors either keep swimming on by your site or get caught in your net.

As you can see in the bar graph above, users spend most of their time commenting, which, according to Giya, “allows them to share opinions on content and interact with other users – including those from their social graph.”

This makes sense when you remember that people are busier today than ever before, but still want to converse with their friends on topics they care about.

Increase page views with social plug-ins

page views How Facebook Social Plugins Increase Engagement On Your Nonprofits Website

They also found that page views more than doubled for sites that use social plug-ins. Again, commenting and sharing were the two biggest activities.

What does all this mean for your website?

The more pages people view on your site, the more chances you have to convert them into an email subscriber or donor.

View your website as a fishing net. Web visitors either keep swimming on by your site or get caught in your net — subscribe to your email newsletter, etc. Social plug-ins encourage these fish to swim around a bit more, giving you more chances at catching them!

Which Facebook social plug-ins should you use?

Putting your organization’s goals aside for a moment, and viewing the data above, it’s safe to say that you should at least be implementing Facebook’s Like Button and Comments plug-in. For instance:

  • Like Button: When a user clicks the Like button, a news story publishes to his or her News Feed, and this story includes a link back to the content on your site. If your site offers a lot of content that users can like individually (such as in a blog), you’ll invariably increase referral traffic from Facebook to your site.
  • Comments: This plug-in allows you to add a comment box to your website content so that Facebook users can enter their comments, which can automatically be published to their Facebook News Feed. These republished comments also include a link back to the comments on your site.

Facebook has excellent tutorials on installing these plug-ins, and if you use WordPress, all you need is to install a few plug-ins. The plugins I use are Facebook Like and Send and Disqus for comments (users can log in with Twitter or Google in addition to Facebook).

Have you installed Facebook social plugins on your site?

John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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