When it comes to getting targeted traffic, Facebook has a lot of great plug-ins and now, they have released one more. You are most likely already familiar with their Like, Share, Comment, and Invite buttons, and if you own a company, you have likely used their advertising services as well. All of these are great ways to get feedback for your company, get exposed to new potential visitors, and most importantly to drive targeted traffic. Now though, once visitors come to your site and Like something, Facebook has created a tool to inspire them to see even more of your site, so they can share even more. It is called the Recommendations Bar, and it was released just this week.
What is the Recommendations Bar?
The new plug-in they are calling the Recommendations Bar will not be visible upon first glance at a page. Instead, you will see the usual Like and Share button at the bottom of the content. When you decide you Like that content and click the button, the Recommendations Bar will pop up. Once you have finished writing your comment, you will be able to peruse a list of other content from that website. The bar will also pop up once visitors scroll past a particular point on the page and have spent enough time on the page for the content to be considered viewed or read. As you can see from the picture, the titles you see on the bar are suggestions based on what your Facebook Friends have also Liked or Shared from that site.
On the bar, you will see the titles of the content, how many people Like it, and even a thumbnail image. The bar pops up over the content on the page, so if you do not want to follow where it leads, you can simply minimize it. Otherwise, you can click one of its recommendations and continue browsing on that site. Unfortunately, once you have Liked the page and minimized the bar, you can’t go back and bring it up again, because the Like button has already been triggered. So if you like the Recommendations you see but can’t get to them right then, be sure to save the URLs. Perhaps they will add the option to pull it up again once it has been tested thoroughly by the public and people start providing feedback on this issue. For now though, it’s still an effective tool.
How Will the Recommendations Bar Get Site Traffic?
You may have already discovered that when people see that their Friends Like or Share something, they too want to check it out. These kinds of plug-ins are very effective when it comes to driving targeted traffic. With the Recommendations Bar, this is even more so. Not only will people stop by to see your content because their Friends Liked it, but now, they will be explicitly encouraged to see even more of your site. That means what started out as one click, could lead to two, or three, or four, or more, depending on how much great content you have. In their tests with sites such as Mashable, The Mirror, and Wetpaint, Facebook found that websites received three times the amount of click-throughs due to the Recommendations Bar. Anytime your site can see a 300% increase in click-through rates from one source, that is an impressive and profitable jump that can really bring traffic to your website.
Get the Recommendations Bar on Your Content Now
By now, you are probably chomping at the bit to get that bar embedded beneath your content. You can get it right now on Facebook’s Developers page. There is a form there that you can fill out to make it visible on your content. You can also set the triggers, how long the “Read” or view timer should be, what the button should show, whether Like or Recommend, and on which side of the page you’d like it to appear. In order for it to work properly, you will need to make sure that you included an Open Graph Markup on the content. This will let Facebook know how the titles and images should be displayed. If you forget this part, your Recommendation Bar will only list an error message. For more information about how to get the Recommendations Bar and to add an Open Graph Markup, check out Facebook’s Developers pages. It won’t be long before you can get it from a number of sites though. Right now, almost 7,000 people have Liked the Recommendations Bar installation page, and it’s likely 7000 more have already installed it.
Getting the Most out of the Recommendations Bar
As of now, the Recommendations Bar is meant for articles, blogs, and other types of creative content. It is a way to encourage people to explore and share more great content coming from great creators. If you plan to join this group, you will want to have a lot of content on your site for the bar to recommend. Ideally, having sets of related articles would work even better. Then, not only will they see other content you have made, but they will be more likely to click it because it is related to what they were just viewing. This is a great way to capitalize on multiple related keyword phrases, web traffic, and exposure.
Although for now, the button is meant mostly for articles, eventually it is likely to roll out to products, services, and more. Some people may even be able to use code to make the bar work for that kind of content now. If you will have to wait for Facebook to add that feature though, it is a good idea to subscribe to their developers feed so that you are ready when they announce the release. In the meantime, to make the most of this great new way to get site traffic, install it anywhere you can, as soon as you can.
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