Facebook Groups: How we Drove a 700% Spike in Traffic with no External Links

September 2, 2016

Facebook has a group for almost every niche you can think of – with thousands of engaged people interacting with posts and discussions.

We drove a 700% increase in our daily traffic, from one post across multiple facebook groups with no EXTERNAL LINKS to our site. And we weren’t admins.

For a while now it’s been speculated Facebook news feed algorithm is favoring posts with no external links (outbound). This effects groups, as people usually post links to websites / videos, and most people consume group chatter, via their news feed.

Where we saw problems…

1. Too much friction – between seeing post, clicking a link to a facebook page and then on to the site.

2. We had no facebook page! – Yep, we have only ever used Twitter

3. Not well optimized – Who is going to read long type facebook post?

The steps we followed…

The text only post

I had the idea of posting a small case study of one of our clients whistlerwashco.com. This way it could both serve as a useful story and still promote Maître in a soft way.

Make the case study not to sales’y (in some people eyes I failed ). The headline numbers were impressive on this one, so even if wrote it in a bland way it still would have looked spammy, as quite simply – this case study was one of our best.

Here is an image of what I wrote…

Remember: no external links to our site

And here is the full text version.

HOW TO ACHIEVE A COST PER EMAIL OF $0.001 (via referrals)
We worked with Jake from Whistlerwashco.com – a chemical free Men’s soap company. Jake wanted to create some buzz for his pre-launch and build up his email list.

A few months earlier he read a post about Harry’s (Men’s shaving gear) pre-launch campaign in which they managed to build an email list of 100,000.

A lot of their growth they found out was down to a simple but clever pre-launch waiting list, which incentivised sharing and lead to viral growth.

Shortly after, he stumbled across @Maitreapp
Purchased a copy and paste ‘Viral List’ widget for $59.

Installed it on their homepage in minutes, and began driving traffic to their site.

After a 2 week campaign, he achieved 36,000 emails collected by the widget, BUT…
Now comes the good part: Of those 36,000. They referred 22,000 of THEIR FRIENDS.

Bringing their TOTAL EMAIL COUNT to 58,000 emails!
Let’s do a quick calculation – Purchased a widget for $59, leading to 22,000 referrals. So…
$59 / 22,000 emails = $0.001!

$0.001 – that’s an insane number

Imagine if your Click Through Rate on facebook ads was $0.001, you’d be ecstatic!

But, we’re not talking about mere traffic here.

We’re talking about a REAL CUSTOMERS, who have been RECOMMENDED BY A FRIEND.
I told you I wasn’t joking.

Comment bellow or on our page @Maitreapp

In total there were two links to a facebook page. And no outbound of course.

We don’t have a facebook page!

I almost didn’t run the idea because of this, as I thought it would lose all credibility and people wouldn’t click through after landing on our Facebook page.

I decided to go for it, created the page and to do some things that would make the page look good. One way was to populate it with posts from our blog (who reads the ‘facebook post’ date & time anyway)

What’s interesting is, when you have 0 likes, there is no count, you don’t see the counter, so it looks better than if you have 3 likes.

Also, I made sure the last post was a Call to Action (CTA) with a link to the homepage, this way it would reduce friction.

I added tracking links using google analytics to the bio, last post and button with Google Analytics URL builder.

Once built, checked it as the if I were not the owner of the page.

Find some facebook groups

In the search bar type your niche, e.g ‘growth hack’ or ‘coffee’. I am quite active across a few so I didn’t search for any new ones.

We decided to post at around 1830 so it would pick up the early morning US traffic and evening UK .

In all, I posted across 7 groups

Optimize it

People were going to see this on their news feed, in amongst all the noise, funny dog-vids, friends baby photos, so it needed to grab attention.

I don’t like to use all-caps as it can look spammy, but in this case, I figured it was best to annoy the spam police in the hope that more people would read.

This was all they would see on their feed…

(Minus the page name, it would just have my name)

5 lines & a ‘see more’click through.

Top-Tip: press ‘ctrl + cmd + space-bar’ for emojis on Mac!

The Results…

After the splurge of posts, roughly all at the same time, we saw a huge uplift in traffic and sign-ups

Usually we get around 1,000 users (visits) a day, and of those, it tends to be around 75% new-users.

On the 22/08 we ended up with 7,000 users heading to the site and 90% of those being new! It also carried over onto the next day

It also lead to one of our most successful sign-up days since launch. A lot of these weren’t ready to purchase just yet, but they were kind enough to give their emails.

Conclusion / Improvements

In future I would like to trial it with a manually uploaded facebook image and attach it to the post. This would increase CTR on the news-feed.

Could even make it a meme, but I suppose that would detract from the seriousness of the post.

My future prediction is that Facebook will try and compete with Medium at some point and thus add to the long form functionality that blogging mediums have. They’ve done it for everything else.

But I suppose the biggest takeaway is. Whether or not you are an admin for a group or you wish to post in it yourself – trial posting with no outbound links.

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