This is a comment I posted in response to a post by Andrew Robinson on Facebook traffic to student publications’ websites . Figured I’d throw it on here for more eyes to see since it’s pretty relevant info.
I‚Äôve seen the same thing working with http://theboar.ca. About 40% of our visits are Facebook referrals, and a lot of those are simply from contributors posting their own works. For us, Facebook is even more essential considering we‚Äôre online only. The great thing about Facebook and college publications is that you have a very healthy, active community on there,
Two things I‚Äôd recommend:
– If you have regular staff contributors/writers, tell them to set up their Facebook account to automatically pull their stories into their account as notes. WordPress has dedicated feeds for authors that they can add to their accounts. See this Support Forum post for details: http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/author-specific-rss-feed
– Avoid catchall ‚ÄúShare‚Äù widgets (in your case, you have the ‚ÄúShare and enjoy‚Äù). They‚Äôre often cluttered and people ignore them. Instead, I‚Äôd suggest targetting a few key networks (No more than 3 ‚Äî Facebook and Twitter would be the main ones, and the rest based on what your userbase is using). I recently swapped out our ‚ÄúShare This‚Äù button with dedicated share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and Email, and their usage has significantly increased. You can see an example of our share toolbar here: http://theboar.ca/2009/08/heather-hughes/
Also, should point out, Facebook has some good tips on how to optimize your pages for sharing. Definitely take a look: http://www.facebook.com/share_partners.php