How Slate doubled Facebook referrals in less than a year


A case study on Facebook’s new media portal looks at Slate’s rocketing Facebook traffic over the past year. Psychology explains some of the rise: “Slate’s stories frequently have provocative, attention grabbing headlines,” Facebook notes. But publishers without Slate’s gift for those can benefit from some of the other tips in the study:

It puts “share” and “like” buttons in a couple of places: One up by the headline, another at the foot.

The share dialog prompts a user to add a comment to the article, creating a strong signal back to Facebook. story pages have both Share and Like buttons prominently visible, so readers can choose how they want to post the story to Facebook.

It makes calls to action: “The descriptive comments from Slate editors often directly solicit feedback from followers.”

Here’s a recent example:

It optimizes Open Graph tags. If you don’t know what that means, print out this page for your Web folks.

Related: How journalists can measure engagement | How news orgs are reaching millions through Facebook’s new apps

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