As clients, colleagues and readers of this blog know, one of my jobs is to manage the marketing for my husband’s business – Steve the Bike Guy.
As with most new businesses, he is reluctant to commit any financial resources towards marketing and advertising (a topic for another day), so our focus has been on creating content to raise awareness of his location, his services, his expertise, and his involvement in the sport.
In the beginning, we relied heavily on Facebook to help promote the new Velo Studio, posting photos of the construction, creating events, and sharing regular updates. And while that helped build his following over the summer, it did little to drive traffic to his website. In addition, a review of his Facebook traffic revealed organic viewership was continuing to drop with engagement hovering around 8%. This drop is reflective of global trends as noted by Social@Ogilvy. and are expected to continue given Facebook’s most recent changes.
With this in mind, we are refocusing his strategy with the primary objective of driving more traffic to his site, while shifting social channels like Facebook to a supportive role.
We started with a major shift related to how we handled photos. Throughout the summer, we regularly shared photos through albums on the Velo Studio’s Facebook Page, and while that afforded us the opportunity to tag friends and clients, it also created a dead end, stopping traffic from flowing to the site.
Simply put – we were giving our potential traffic to Facebook.
Our new strategy? Post photos on SteveTheBikeGuy.com, sharing the link through all his available social channels, rather than depending on one. We also looked for specialized channels which would provide an opportunity to drive targeted traffic to his site – specifically, posting photos of racers from local races and sharing the link on CrossResults.com (a site aggregating cyclocross race results).
Reviewing the results from the week, we saw a significant increase in the number of page views received, with growth in both new and recurring visitors.
Digging deeper into the results, we saw nearly half of the page views received came from CrossResults.com, providing us with both a new opportunity and a new challenge – how to get these visitors to do more the next time they come to the site.
Moving forward, we are not giving up on Facebook, but as I stated will be shifting our use to a more supportive role (sharing links, supporting events and posting select photos), as well as diversifying through the use of other channels including Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Ultimately, our primary goal will be to build and strengthen the website, avoiding “giving away” our traffic whenever possible.