I never was into Facebook, although I use it every now and then. I guess I never really got the “super poking” and all the time-wasting other applications and game invitations. I suppose people hanging on Facebook (some) have nothing to do with their time.
I used to believe that Facebook was a place to share life with people you really knew, but instead I get “friend invitations” from a bunch of strangers. It took me some time to understand why it all happened like this, but it finally hit me: Facebook is a marketing tool. Facebook can send a lot of traffic to a site, of course, if used right.
There are too many articles about Twitter as a source of traffic, and not so many about Facebook. But if you compare Facebook and Twitter it becomes pretty obvious that Facebook has more “traffic potential” than its counterpart. At least now and only if Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t mess things up.
WebProNews author Chris Crum thinks that Facebook can even drive more traffic than Google and that the social network has the potential to become Google’s greatest threat in terms of where advertisers spend their money.
At paidContent.org Tameka Kee notes that Facebook is becoming a major traffic driver, but neither author explains how to use Facebook to drive traffic.
Actually Chris Crum did mention a few advantages for businesses, like traffic, customer service, brand awareness, online reputation and the possibility to post targeted ads within the network, but he made no mention of how to actually gain all these benefits.
Marketers have the tendency to write more about how to use Twitter to drive traffic, than how to use Facebook. The reason is simple, I guess: Twitter is an easy communication tool where even the most “unskilled” can build a community of followers. Twitter, with its real-time updates, makes conversations possible. Inserting a link in these conversations makes sense if the topic allows it, and it even makes sense if the user wants to let his/her followers know what is “new” in his/her life. Many blog owners already use automatic scripts that notify Twitter whenever they post new blog entries. Facebook can be notified too, but the effect is never the same.
In my opinion, the only real way to “drive traffic” to a site via Facebook is to create a Facebook application. It’s been like this since 2007 and things haven’t changed much, despite the market saturation. A good example of how idiotic applications can increase not only traffic but even brand awareness for a company is Centro’s “Claüs Naughty or Nice”
In the light of the recent events however, I am not sure how long will Facebook continue to maintain popularity. The most recent Facebook blunder is the redesign that transformed the network into a sort of Twitter in disguise, probably because Twitter refused to be bought by Facebook – a network that, despite popularity and ads clutter, is still losing money big time.