How to Drive Facebook Referral Traffic: Focus on Engagement

How to Drive Facebook Referral Traffic: Focus on Engagement

There is a simple equation between social engagement and organic website traffic. The more people you can engage around your content on any social platform, the more people you can bring to your website. Both ad-based and subscription-based business models can benefit from this logic.

The formula is simple, but how can you apply it in your newsroom?

1. Make engagement visible to build awareness

Culture is the toughest hurdle to overcome when rolling out new processes. Visualize your engagement so that everyone in your team can see how you’re doing in real time.

A good way to go about this is to set up an EzyInsights TV mode on a big screen that’s visible to everyone in your central desk. Journalists, editors, and social media editors will see right away what’s working online and how your own content is performing against competitors.

Swedish broadsheet newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, for example, use one of their common screens above the newsdesk for the EzyInsights TV mode.

Pro-tip: Don’t have big fancy screens? Use the device in your pocket: download EzyInsights app for Android or iOS and let the news come to you. If you set up alerts and enable push notifications, the app will also notify you when a relevant story starts gaining traction.


2. Know what content is engaging your audience

Apart from looking at your own metrics, see how much engagement other publishers in your vertical are getting and how they package their stories. Stretching the limits of your content bubble will give you a good sense of how the market is behaving overall.

As Julien Sofianos, Social Media Editor at Le Parisien puts it:My job is mainly editorial. With EzyInsights I can see what pictures and titles our competitors are using and how that’s working for them. This information helps me adjust my strategy accordingly.”

Pro-Tip: Keep an eye on your competitors by selecting your country and category (e.g. France + General News, like in the picture above) or by creating a list with you and your key competitors. The latter approach works particularly well for niche or regional publications.


3. When you want to drive traffic, pay attention to engagement

Today’s readers are not simply passive consumers of information: they want to share, comment, and discuss the stories that interest them. Tapping into that engagement can help publishers stay relevant and attract more readers to their own sites.

Huffington Post Spain used that approach to grow their engagement and web traffic. As Guillermo Rodriguez, Subdirector, shared in a recent case study: “EzyInsights gave our team confidence to know that we are writing about the right news. It’s a psychological issue. Our editors and writers now have the feeling of having everything under control. It is not the same to think ‘I missed something’ and ‘This tool is telling me what is interesting for our readers in Spain right now”.

Pro-tip: Pay close attention to web shares – engagement that happens when people share an article from a publisher’s website to their own social media accounts. Web shares often amount to 50% of total engagement. You can check them by clicking on the image of any article in EzyInsights.


4. Stay up to date with the general trends on social platforms

Facebook make constant adjustments to their News Feed algorithm and the latest changes have affected virtually all publishers. Take the hype with a grain of salt and keep an eye on real numbers. Data can help you stay on top of what works best in the new situation. Engagement on videos has declined in Germany, for example, while engagement on photos has grown in the Netherlands.

Pro-tip: Check EzyInsights Intelligence for historical engagement trends. Content Type tab (above) will show you exactly what type of posts have been winning or losing engagement for you and your competitors.