How Brands Can Use Facebook’s Subscribe Button to Drive Referral Traffic to Their Website


Facebook launched the Subscribe Button for Facebook Profiles in September, which allows users to receive the public updates from people with whom they’re not friends without the other person having to reciprocate.

Users can click on the Subscribe Button on any Profile and they’ll begin seeing updates from that profile in their News Feed. Furthermore, the Subscribe Button can be modified on a per-Profile basis, so that you can choose the type and volume of updates you wish to receive.

While the Subscribe Button is limited to Profiles (and not Pages), it can be an additional source of referral traffic for websites if implemented correctly. Large businesses in particular could reap enormous benefits by encouraging employees to activate the Subscribe Button on their profiles and begin sharing relevant content, but brands of all sizes should also see a boost in referral traffic from Facebook if they have a strong and professional team.

Do You Have Content to Share?

Before taking any further steps it’s important to evaluate what (if any) content your website has to share. Essentially, the more often your website updates the more effective the Subscribe Button will be to your business.

If you’re already running a Business Page for your brand on Facebook and updating that regularly, then the Subscribe Button will add an additional layer of marketing that will nicely complement the Page, particularly as it will allow your team to heavily push important content to subscribers.

However, if you’re not currently running a Page for your business on Facebook then that would be a better (and likely far more effective) investment at this stage. The Subscribe Button can then be implemented at a later time.

How to Get Employees to Publish Your Website Content (And Who do You Ask?)

On paper, it would seem that the more employees you can have publishing your brand’s content to their subscribers the better, and this will always be the ideal for the companies with the most dedicated, professional staff.

In reality it pays to be selective, however, as not all of your employees will be suitable and not all of your employees will have the right kind of Facebook Profile, inasmuch as they will be representing your business and you should expect (and demand) a certain standard.

Essentially, you’re looking for employees whose Facebook Profiles are:

  • Professional
  • Civil
  • Clean
  • Likely to attract a high number of subscribers

While the biggest traffic gains will likely be seen from the employees with the most subscribers, this shouldn’t be the only decision when choosing whom to empower with company updates, as a professional feed will be a far better representation of the brand.

As a working example, Facebook (the company) has over 3,000 employees. Potentially, that’s a lot of people who could be actively representing and talking about the brand through their Profiles via subscriptions. However, while Mark Zuckerberg is likely very happy (and confident) that COO Sheryl Sandberg and director of product Blake Ross are active on Facebook and have very strong subscriber numbers (as they represent the voice of his organization very well), he may be less enthusiastic about non-senior and non-technical staff (not to mention ex-employees) doing the exact same thing. This isn’t especially about class, but it is about status — it’s about empowering the right people who are in the know to consistently make the best decisions on your behalf.

If you have any public or wildly popular figures on your staff roster then you should expect to see a significant bump in traffic referrals from Facebook via the Subscribe Button.

Employees should be encouraged to post company content as and when it’s published on the website.

For more on Facebook’s Subscribe button, including how to activate it on employee profiles and our tips for getting the most out of your Subscribe button campaign, check out the Facebook Marketing Bible, Inside Network’s guide to marketing and advertising on Facebook.