Sharing Links on Facebook: What Business Pages Need to Know

Featured image about sharing links on Facebook from business pages

In the social media marketing work I do for clients, we run into a common challenge: Clients want to send traffic from Facebook to their websites. This is a fair goal; they want more eyes on their blog content, and more conversions happening (be it sales or leads), and what better audience to drive those actions from than warm social media followers?

Unfortunately, Facebook is a lot different than when it launched business Pages years ago. And while Facebook can be a valid part of your distribution plan, it’s really best suited for brand awareness, engagement, and relationship building.

So, if you want to share external links on Facebook that take users from their site to yours, there are a few things to keep in mind.

In this post, we’ll get expert advice from a social media practitioner about the best ways to create click-worthy link posts (and a few other strategies to consider, too).

Why Outbound Link Sharing on Facebook is So Difficult

If you’ve noticed that Facebook posts without outbound links have higher engagement rates and impressions than posts with off-Facebook links, you’re not alone.

Facebook does typically deprioritize outbound links that take users off Facebook. What this means is that your post with outbound links are less likely to receive as many impressions as other types of posts.

Facebook post with outbound link attached.


Jack Shepherd—Co-Founder of the social-first agency The Social Shepherd— explained why this happens.

“It’s true… Facebook prioritizes posts from business pages with outbound links… Facebook’s revenue model is to serve ads. So, if users are exiting the platform by clicking on an outbound link and then not returning to Facebook, they’re losing out on the ability to deliver ads to users.”

Losing on-site user activity combined with the increased urgency for businesses to pay for clicks was a powerful motivator for Facebook.

What This Means for On-Platform Marketing Strategies

Business Pages should ultimately prioritize creating engaging and valuable content that their audience wants to see. And, to ensure that they see it, it unfortunately means keeping outbound link sharing to a minimum.

This doesn’t mean to never share links— there’s a time and place for that, and we’re going to look at best practices for that in a minute.

But it does mean that Facebook shouldn’t be used primarily as a distribution channel.

“Businesses should focus on delivering high-value content on their Facebook page, whether that is inspirational or educational, without outbound links,” said Shepherd. “Both Facebook Pages and Groups should focus on community first and promotions second.”

Groups right now are particularly powerful, often being prioritized in the algorithm for existing group members. They also have high average engagement rates and a feeling of belonging to a true community. Some large, popular groups even have engagement rates over 100%.

Why Pages Should Consider Paid Advertising

If you want to drive significant off-Facebook traffic, many brands do significantly benefit from using Meta’s paid advertising platform.

And we know— this isn’t what you want to hear. Especially SMBs on a shoestring budget. That said, even a small daily spend in a paid ad budget can help your content reach more interested users in your target audience and actually drive clicks.

Shepherd strongly recommends leveraging paid advertising to drive traffic to key landing pages.

“Facebook advertising is a must and the priority when it comes to driving traffic to their website,” said Shepherd. “The benefits to this are that you can choose the most relevant target audiences to your brand, as well as select how the campaign optimizes, which improves the metrics you care about most, whether that’s conversions, traffic or engagement.”

It’s the most effective way to ensure that linked content is being seen, and Facebook’s targeting system does a solid job of showing the ad to people most likely to take your desired conversion action (like submit a lead form or make a purchase).

Best Practices for Sharing Organic Links

Outbound link sharing isn’t going to be the iron-clad promotion strategy many of us would like, but that doesn’t mean to never create posts that do have them.

While most of your content should be community- and engagement-focused, creating value and brand relationships, you can also implement a few best practices to get better results when creating posts with outbound links.

First: Link placement can be important.

“Place the link within the first sentence or two of the caption, ensuring it doesn’t appear below the “see more” button,” said Shepherd. A visible link may help drive clicks.

Shepherd also recommends highlighting the value of the content and the link early. “Businesses need to give users a reason to click… What’s the value for them?”

Creating valuable resources that customers actually want can be what drives them to click.

A mortgage broker, for example, might get clicks on an outbound link to a loan calculator helping interested leads determine how much their monthly payment would be on their dream house. That’s an immediate value offer for users, and a potentially lead-generating resource.

Facebook post for mortgage calculator with outbound link.


Users would be more likely to click on the mortgage calculator, for example, than a link to a client testimonial raving about the experience with the mortgage firm. This may be content that the firm wants to show off, but it wouldn’t offer immediate value to the users in question.

Keep in mind this important tip: “People use the platform to engage with their family, friends, creators and brands they like, rather than to find something which takes them off the platform.”

So if you’re going to add a link, it needs to add value, and users need to see it clearly.

Final Thoughts

We know this post may not be the most thrilling news for businesses and marketers who were excited to leverage Facebook to drive off-platform traffic. While you can strategically use posts to send users to your site, it’s important to focus primarily on engagement creation, valuable content, and relationship building.

When you do create outbound link content, test different strategies to see what your audience is most responsive to.

Want to learn more about marketing tips for small businesses? Check out our blog for more!