Social media has created a shift in the way those of us in marketing and advertising get our jobs done on a daily basis. We pride ourselves on being able to connect with people, and the central purpose of social media is to connect with different people. Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ allow us a new medium through which we can cultivate a new customer base and generate traffic for our own websites or those of clients.

As marketers and advertisers, we’ve all been part of the conversation about the value of social media in our industry. The question for many of us is not always why should we do it, but rather, how should we do it. In this how-to guide we’ll discuss six valuable tactics for generating website traffic through Facebook ads.

Keep Your Content Fresh

The worst thing anyone can do for the visibility and viability of their website is to allow the content on it to become stagnant. What do we mean by this? Well, how often are you creating and sharing new content on your website? Facebook is a great advertising tool when it comes to generating website traffic, but no one wants to click on links to the same content over and over again.

Content marketing is the name of the game today, and if you aren’t creating fresh content your site’s traffic will level off or dwindle. Fresh, engaging content is critical in Facebook advertising, but it is also important for your page’s visibility in search engines. Google, and others, reward sites with a steady stream of new content by ranking them higher in search results. The key to creating quality content is relevance. We recommend following these tips to help discover ideas for new content on your site:

  • Create blog posts with helpful tips regarding your market niche on a weekly basis
  • Post short news bites on a weekly basis, and include a photo whenever possible
  • Conduct an interview with someone from your industry and share it on your site

Publish Your Engaging Content

Creating fresh and engaging content is only half the battle when it comes to increasing your website traffic. You can create the best content on the Internet, but if you aren’t sharing it to your social media accounts, no one will see it and your Facebook advertising efforts will be wasted. In fact, when we looked at the Facebook for Business page, the first suggestion for increasing website traffic through their service was (not surprisingly) to share your content.

Now, when we say share your content, we don’t mean blast your followers and friends with a new post every 30 minutes. Instead, we’ve found it helpful to share your interesting tips, news bites, pictures, and product/service information on a daily basis. Keep your posts to a minimum, because too much activity can turn followers away. And don’t forget to link directly to the content you’re promoting. You want people to be able to click directly to the content you are advertising in that post.

Add Social Share Plugins or Facebook Share Buttons

One of our favorite tactics for generating website traffic with Facebook ads is to allow our current visitors to spread the word and create buzz for our website. Your current visitors represent a loyal fanbase. Whatever your product or service is, people love it for a reason. Social media is the perfect outlet for people looking to share random information about the things they love, brands they trust, or services they believe can’t be beat.

By adding a social share plugin and/or Facebook Share button to our page, we allowed our fans to spread the word for us. These features allow your fans to post, retweet, and share content from your site directly to their favorite social media platforms. This will, in turn, help generate new website traffic with Facebook ads from the friends and connections of your current viewers. A few tips we’ve found helpful include:

  • Digg Digg: This plugin has buttons for all the popular social media platforms, including Facebook. More importantly, it floats along the side of your page as visitors scroll through content so it is always visible.
  • Inline sharing: Digg Digg is great, but it doesn’t hurt to keep the individual share buttons from each social media platform at the bottom either.

Optimize Your Landing Page

We alluded to this earlier, but proper links and optimized landing pages are critical. If you share a post about a specific product, such as a new pair of high-heel shoes or a men’s tie, you need to ensure that the landing page for your link is optimized for that specific item. Your fans don’t want to read a post on Facebook about a new product and then click a link that directs them to your homepage. When they read that post, they want to go directly to that product. Optimizing your landing pages will not only generate traffic, it will increase your conversion rate as well.

Use Facebook Ads

You can do a lot of advertising and marketing on Facebook without spending a time, but there are times when we’d recommend that you dig into your pockets a bit to spend some marketing cash. Facebook Ads promote specific products or services your company offers, and they appear as large, clickable images on the Newsfeeds of Facebook users. These are optimized to bring visitors directly to the product or service page advertised.

Target Your Ads

In the last tip, we mentioned using Facebook Ads. We did so because it offers powerful tools that allow you to target the customer base you want visiting your site, consuming your content, and purchasing your products and services. Facebook Ads allows you to specifically target the social media users that generate revenue for your business. You can use the ads to target your current consumer base, a group you already know more about, as well as new customers.

Targeting options include location, age, gender, interests, connections, and even specific audiences. Facebook allows you to target a custom audience using an uploaded list of contacts, or a lookalike audience by finding people who are similar to your best customers. Additionally, Facebook Exchange allows you to target people who have visited similar websites or conducted searches for products similar to yours.