There are some very specific ways to leverage Facebook traffic to gain more exposure to your content, whether that is internal (on a Facebook page) or external (on a web site) content. In this article I will discuss a few different ways, and provide very specific how-to’s for each one.
Below there are also two different screencast videos where you can look over my shoulder while I walk through some of the steps.
One method requires becoming a paid advertiser with Facebook. You need to setup a payment method with them so that you can post-pay for your advertising.
I won’t get into specifics for the different targeting options for advertising on Facebook as those are really self explanatory. What I will do is discuss the important initial steps, and explain how to create the images to use for advertising in news feeds and in the right sidebar.
I recorded a video (embedded below) where you can watch while I create the image to be the correct size that Facebook is looking for.
Beyond that I will talk about some free and paid ways to gain more exposure to Facebook posts on your fan pages. A video walk through for this is also provided.
Get The Right Image Sizes When Advertising On Facebook
You can use a square image for your Facebook advertisement but doing it that way you could be losing out on one half or more of the 1,000 words that an image is worth.
You are allowed to use a rectangle image and there are various sizes that it ends up being, depends where it is shown. If you upload the image too small, Facebook will still use it but it will create a square image from that image for news feed advertising. A lot of people end up opting out of news feed advertising because the square image takes too much off the sides.
So, if you stick to the recommended image size of 600×315, then your image should look good in all areas, including the news feed, because the full rectangle will now be used, since it’s now “big enough.”
With that said, don’t use the minimum square image sized at 120×120 if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your Facebook advertising campaign.
How To Create Your Image To Maximize The Allowed Space For News Feeds And The Right Sidebar
Some people will run separate campaigns and use a square image in the news feed, and a rectangle image in the side bar. They may have thought this was the only way. I did at one point.
If you want to create two campaigns, one for sidebar advertising, one for news feed advertising, for the purpose of split testing, by all means do so. But when using the correct image size, you can advertise in both spots without losing anything on the image (as explained above).
So in the following steps, I will discuss just creating one image for use in both the news feeds and the side bar ads.
Your image should be within the aspect ratio of 600×315 to maximize the space. Facebook will shrink it down to the appropriate sizes depends where it is displayed, but my suggestion is to shoot for exactly 600×315.
This image sizes is in reference to advertising an external URL. I wont cover it in this article completely, but advertising a Facebook fan page has different dimensions altogether.
Image Sizes For Advertising Facebook Fan Pages
For a fan page you can split test up to 6 different images in one campaign. For these, square images are fine but the recommended sizes are 100×72. The 600×315 image might scale down fine to that size anyway.
It’s not extremely important to get the exact dimensions for images because Facebook does a relatively good job of shrinking and cropping images so they “work.”
But, if you want to maximize the space that you have and don’t want any unnecessary cropping, follow along in the video below where I show you how to create images with a free tool (GIMP) for use in Facebook advertising.
In the video I will create an image that is 600×315 merging two images for a campaign I am launching. The images are specific in that they are before and after photos to promote a weight loss offer, but the concept can be applied for any campaign in Facebook. The key part is the dimensions for the Facebook advertising images.
Getting More Organic Views For Facebook Posts, Plus Paying For A Boost
One thing that I have found about posting to Facebook fan pages is that images posts generally do much better than any other kind of post, in terms of how many likes and shares it gathers. Sometimes image posts will even get a handful of comments.
As a result, they gain more exposure, and in a viral sense, stay higher up in news feeds, and for longer periods.
While ‘likes’ have value, comments and shares carry more weight. So, when a particular post gets more engegement in terms of comments and shares, and to a lesser extent, likes, it sticks around longer before getting lost in the archives.
Ideal Image Sizes For Facebook Fan Page Image Posts
Just like images uploaded for paid Facebook advertising, images for image posts have specific dimensions that help maximize their effectiveness. In general there are two different views for an image in an image post.
The post can be viewed on its own page, or within the news feed. A good size to go for for the upload is about 960×740. Other sizes will work too. It’s best that the main viewable area fits into a 730×730 or 740×740 square so that it is viewable in its entirety in the news feed.
Now, if you intend to include one or more links within the content area of an image post, be sure and upload the image first so that a preview of the URL isn’t displayed instead of the pic.
Testing a Facebook Image Post by Setting the Date For Some Time in the Future
You can set an image post to be displayed in the future so that you can preview what it looks like before publishing. Just click the left most icon (the clock) below the post edit screen.
You can then let it auto-post at the set date/time or modify the date so that it publishes right away.
Also keep in mind that you can edit the text description and date of an image post at any time. Just click on it from within the timeline and click the edit link on the right side of the screen. Make your changes, then click the “Done Editing” button.
Sharing URLs to Your Facebook Page
As you probably know, you can also share URLs to your Facebook fan page news feed.
I follow many pages where that is all that they do. They have busy sites with new content being added constantly so they share one or more pieces of the content to their Facebook pages each day. And that’s really all they do. They share their own links.
And, all that they do is share the plain URL, and do not add any commentary or encourage any comments. Things just tend to happen on their own.
Well, when you share a URL, Facebook does its best to automate the gathering of the title, description, and thumbnail. I have never seen it get the title wrong. The description is usually OK, but it can be better (and controlled by the site owner). The image I would say has a 50/50 chance of being correct when left to automation. This can be controlled by the site owner as well.
The site owner can control the values of the title, description, and image before being shared to Facebook.
Here is the order that Facebook will look for each one:
Title: Open Graph tag; HTML title
Description: Open Graph tag; Meta description; First couple sentences of content
Image: Open Graph tag; Usually the first image (it might skip the logo, or ads if recognized as such)
So, it’s best to add some Open Graph tags to be sure of the accuracy of a share in Facebook. This gives you more control of it displaying properly which can help encourage sharing. Since you control the description, you can even include a call to action that may encourage click throughs to your site or commenting on Facebook.
Paying to Boost Facebook Posts
You also have the opion to pay to boost a Facebook post. This ensures that more people see the post. In other words, it’ll stick around in news feeds longer.
How many more people that will end up seeing it is determined entirely by the range that you purchase, and even this is just an estimate. This doesn’t include organic views though. As people see the post, they may share it. If that’s the case, those views that come from the share will be over and above the paid views.
Your targeting option include people that like your page, and also:
a) their friends – or –
b) people that you choose to target
You can target people by geographic location down to the city level, and by age and gender.
Prices vary on many factors including the initial targeting option. Naturally, there are more potentials viewers (in most cases) when you target beyond the friends of your likers. You could be looking at anywhere from $40 to $600 depending on how many people you want to reach with your message.
Watch the video below as I provide a visual and verbal explanation for much of what I discussed above.