As you’ll see in the chart below, Facebook is continuing to see traffic growth. While Myspace is declining and Twitter is leveling off, Facebook continues to see serious growth. As a blogger or webmaster, you are out of your mind if you’re not leveraging this powerful social network to promote yourself and your content.

Facebook is one of the few sites that have been able to attract a global audience from amongst every possible demographic. Regardless of what topic your website covers, your audience is on Facebook and you’ve got to be taking advantage of that.
The Power of Facebook on your Website

Listed below, you’ll find five Facebook tools that I put to work here at Site Sketch 101. Some of these may seem like no-brainers, but I just integrated these into my site a few months ago and I’ve seen results since then. If you’re not using these tools, you should definitely get started.

  1. Sidebar Widget – The sidebar widget is a terrific way to attract people to like your site as it allows your readers to see which of their friends have already expressed their fondness for it.
  2. Site-Wide Like Button – The site-wide like button works very much like the sidebar widget with the exception being that you are unable to visually see who has already liked it. You’ll see that I have one of these installed at the very top of the page and one at the very bottom near the copyright information.
  3. Article Specific Like Button – You’ll notice a like button on the left just beneath the title of each article. This allows users to share your article in their timeline without using the full share feature. It’s much less obtrusive on their timeline which many people very much prefer.
  4. Share Button – Like the like button, the share button allows users to share your content in their timelines except this allows them to feature your image and a description about it.
  5. Fan Page – Having a Facebook fan page (I know they’re not technically still called that) is an amazing way to keep in touch with folks who enjoy your content. Every time you update the page, your fans (people who’ve liked it) will see the update in the same way that they would see an update from a friend.

Although there are others, I find that these provide an excellent way to get started. Use the comments section below to share with us how you use Facebook at your website or blog.

Nicholas Cardot

About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.

52 Comments

  • Brankica says:

    Hey Nick, I recently removed the fan box from the widget in the sidebar because it was slowing down my blog a lot. I see a lot of blogs loading slow (for me) until that box loads.

    I edited my widget to still invite people to like that fan page with a big button and the fan page “like” next to it, and I am actually getting more likes since.

    • I agree with Brankica here, many times when a page is slow loading, the lower left will show it’s hung on something related to Facebook.

    • Brad Harmon says:

      I run into this with my site and those I visit too, Brankica. I decided to sacrifice the speed for the upside potential of all those fans spreading the word about my site. I have a theory that that more traffic a page receives the faster these widgets load. I don’t know if there’s any truth to this, but I notice the larger sites don’t seem to experience the slow down as often. Has anyone else noticed this? Or, does anyone know if there is any merit to my theory?

      • Brankica says:

        Hey Brad, I think they just use better hosting and CDNs so they just load faster. I am happy to say that I haven’t experiences lower number of likes since I did it.

        My blog was loading so slow and I had to test something. It is loading faster than with the box but the fans are still coming, so for now it is a win-win.

        We will see what happens in the future 🙂

        • Brad Harmon says:

          You’re probably right, Brankica. How many fans did you have before you made the switch? I’m wondering if it’s wiser to have the full widget up for newer sites like mine?

      • That’s an interesting theory. I hadn’t heard of that before and I have no idea how to confirm whether or not it’s true.

    • I have a friend who actually invented a plugin that would cache the facebook fan box in the widgets on the sidebar so that it doesn’t take long to load. I do agree that I see that impacting load time a lot though.

    • I have the same problem on one of my blogs – it downloads very slow. I am glad I found this article and your comment. I’m going to remove the sidebar widget. Thanks for the advice. And that is true that facebook is a need on the blogs. It makes blogs more social and people trust your website more then.

  • My website will be launched in about a week. I’ve been researching the heck out of social media and how to use my time wisely in preparation for also launching a second website later this month.

    Twitter I get. It’s very straight forward, and I enjoy the challenge of composing something fun and engaging in such a short amount of space. (Although I’m not sure how people will find me on Twitter. It kind of feels like I’m putting stuff out there with my hands over my eyes.)

    But Facebook hates me, and I can’t figure out why. It totally confounds me. So before I can start loading up on Facebook plugin creatures, I need to find some articles on the basics of Facebook as a tool for driving traffic to my websites. I’m decently tech savvy, but this thing has me running up a tree. I just don’t get it.

  • Definitely a good stating point, thanks Nick. no all I need is a facebook account. 😉

  • Wesley Wise says:

    Facebook is a great resource for creating brand awareness. I personally like the “Like Widget”. It is because my readers can share any article or content they like on my site. Have you also used the “Activity Feed Widget”? I used that widget before because it displays the latest article/post that were shared by visitors.

  • Jane Sheeba says:

    Hey Nick,

    Just as Brankica says Facebook widgets are always associated with slow loading times. And you have not mentioned about the Facebook comments here 🙂

    The blogs that I visit load really very slowly and especially the FB comments never load at all (most of the times). But I still have all the entities you have mentioned. FB is the second most traffic generator for me, the first being Twitter. I think it is because I am more active on Twitter than FB.

    Cheers,
    Jane.

    • I hadn’t thought much about the slow loading times. Did you notice a slow loading time here at Site Sketch 101?

      • Jane Sheeba says:

        Hey Nick,

        I have not seen slow loading times on Sitesketch.

        Another point I want to mention is that with FB comments, FB owns the comments. The comments are not truly on your server, they are kinda hijacked from you and FB is gonna be indexed and ranked for those quality content in the comments.

        So I am really thinking if it is worth the salt! Any thoughts?

        Cheers,
        Jane.

        • Hey Jane,
          I think he had some plans in Mind, This nick is one of the best blogging buddies i ever got.
          Hey Nick,
          I too also wanna know what Jane had asked..

        • That’s interesting. I didn’t know that they would own the comments, but it makes sense. Just another reason that I so strongly advocate the use of the default WordPress comments system.

    • Hey Jane,
      I got your problem, i am gonna suggest you the remedy although i am the rightful man to answer your comments when there is Nick.
      Jane you can use Facebook Fan Box Cache to cache your Facebook fan page widget, it will dramatically improves your site speed and it will display Fan box widget too..

  • I use your same systems Nicholas and my FB fan base has been growing since I implemented them, I don’t point too much on it (for now at least) but, as you mention, it’s still a very good way to get started, and it’s relatively easy to setup (with the exception of the fan page itself, it can be daunting for people without some sort of HTML knowledge to setup a custom tab/landing page).

    • It’s true. It took me a little bit of work to get mine set up, but for the most part, I just try to post stuff to it every day and I try to create discussions on it and it seems to keep growing and doing well.

  • At the bottom of my posts (which are mostly latin jibberish at this point) you’ll find three “soon to be links” for Stumble, Twitter and Facebook. I chose those three based on this website and a few others that I really respect.

    So that much about Facebook I understand. People can click on that link and my post will be mentioned on their … (and this is where I start going buggy-eyed) … their wall is it? Their Facebook thingy? So that their friends (if they have any) can see it and possibly gobs of other people who might stumble upon their Facebook whootchie?

    About sites slowing down while Facebook plugins load, I’ve not noticed a significant enough slow-down to turn me away. Are you using WP Super Cache? What size are your photos? These plugins that Nicholas mentions has made a noticeable difference in his traffic, so I’m more inclined to look at other ways of improving a page’s loading speed before I start yanking important plugins.

    • I use W3 Total cache and it helps keep the page loading fairly quickly. I would highly recommend that you get yourself a Facebook account and just connect with some friends and play around on it a bit to get the hang of how it works. I think that could be highly helpful for you.

  • Brad Harmon says:

    I’ve been struggling with integrating Facebook into my sites, Nicholas. I’ve added most of the items you’ve mentioned in your post, but I just find it harder to be interactive with Facebook. I guess I’m just spoiled with how easy Twitter makes it (or the myriad of third party apps).

    I added Facebook comments to Big Feet Marketing, but I don’t have the programming knowledge necessary to have it notify me when there is a comment. It also doesn’t fit in well with the overall look of my site. I’m going to give it about a month to see how I like it.

    Any suggestions to being more conversational on Facebook using your pages? You are the king of this on Twitter.

    • Each day I try to post something that’s fun enough that people will want to like it and leave comments on it on the Facebook page. I also use it to post the latest articles. When folks leave comments, I respond. That’s about all I do and I find that it seems to be working quite well.

      Just use it as another medium to build conversations.

  • Ashvini says:

    Hi Nick,

    I am using four out of these five tools and they work really wonders. I am a fan of sitewide like widget because a click on it indicates that whole site got a thumbs up from someone. In my opinion that does wonders for your site.

    Thanks for sharing these tips.
    Ashvini

  • I love how you can always spot the older Facebook users; they use the old terms because it’s just what they’re used to. It’s kinda funny.

    They’re not called fan pages anymore, but to be honest, I can’t remember what they’re supposed to be called now.

    Delena

  • Alex says:

    Hey Nick,

    I would be interested in your thoughts on how to go that next step and get this traffic to start interacting. I have noticed my facebook traffic increasing but not the interaction that you would expect as a result.
    Do you find this too?
    Any thoughts?

    • You need to post interractable content and not just links to your blog. Post some quotes, some questions, some polls, etc., and then be sure to respond conversationally with those that reply.

      • Well, I have a Facebook account, and I’ll start interacting with Mike like you suggested above. But how do people who don’t know me find me on Facebook? Is there some place that magically shows everyone’s latest comments so that you can easily choose which profiles/walls to visit and like? Lots to learn, but I guess the first step is making my Facebook icon an active link.

        (BTW, does anyone know of any tutorials on how to turn text links into sharing links for Facebook, Twitter and Stumble? Instead of icons I’m using text at the bottom of my posts. I’m going to try experimenting with ShareDaddy again and see if I can make this work, but I’d really welcome some input. Thanks!)

  • Ileane says:

    Hi Nicholas, I can say that the Facebook sidebar widget is helpful because I just became the 613th person to Like your page 🙂 But it’s interesting that the like count on your site wide button is still stuck on 612 🙂

    I’m curious about something – since you have thousands of followers on Twitter can you tell if most of those 613 are people that were already following your Tweets?

    Thanks for the tips Nicholas and best wishes with your efforts on Facebook.

    • Iliane, there’s actually a consistent glitch between the like button and the sidebar widget on this site. They are always 1 number away from each other and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to correct that issue.

      As far as the Twitter follower vs. Facebook fans question, I have no idea if they are or aren’t. I imagine that many are, but that’s only speculation. I’ve never really sifted through them.

  • Hey Guyz,
    I am using facebook drive drive me a lot of traffic, and i works fine too. Some months before facebook had introduced the Group function and i am benefiting from it. It is good idea to make a Group and name it your blogs name and everytime when you bring up a post or article, post the link there, but the problem is you are gonna get connection based visits to your blog and not worldwide traffic from it. I had successfully used its(Groups) power to publicize my local football club website… And the thing you have to keep in mind is that Never over share your links, because group members will misunderstand your group as spam like thing.

    • I’ve used the group function as well, but I find it more useful to discuss issues and ideas rather than just to self-promote on it. I prefer the fan page for that.

      • I too Nick,
        The trick i used to follow here is creating a group for a specific issue(like Ban Endosulfan). When my group is filled with comments and discussion gone hotter, i will shre my link there. I am sure that i had earned a couple of visits from taht way.

  • Warren says:

    Hi Nicholas,

    Thanks so much for creating such a wonderful site and your heart to empower leaders. Awesome.

    Quick question? What plugin do you use for the little share links on your home page? They look really tidy.

    Screenshot at:
    http://cl.ly/3l1m0V1K0G1M0e2Y2U1z

    All the best mate.

    Kind regards,

    Warren.

  • Nick,

    Thanks for sharing. We started the like button widget only 2 months ago and have 200+ friends in that short of a period of time! Using facebook widgets has been huge. So if you haven’t used any of these ideas, use them all. It will certainly give your website a boost.

  • Peter says:

    I agree with you, Facebook packs a whole lot of punch when it comes to exposing your posts. I think of the highest unique hits I had on my site was after a post went viral on Facebook, much like it does on Stumbleupon.

    Anyway, Nick, you forgot about installing the Facebook open-graph on your site. I had it up on mine, with which I used to create a linked Facebook Page for the site, it’s quite something.

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  • Really interesting post, I like the moving side widget. I use the Wibiya toolbar which I found super easy to install. But I worry that because there is so much info on it people are put off from clicking.

    Are you looking to put the new Facebook send button on your site? I’ve popped it on because it was straightforward but I don’t think many people know what it is yet.

  • pupu987 says:

    gld my posts got under your skin.i dore seeing individuls flip out whenever you cll them on their bullshit

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