Facebook is one of the most popular social media sites & it has remained popular for years now. Some marketers have figured this out, and others are still trying to figure out how to use Facebook to their advantage.
With all of the recent changes Google has made, with starting and stopping features at a fast rate (about three weeks for one of the features), it’s no wonder Facebook is grabbing attention from those who are not comfortable using Google.
It would seem like marketing on Facebook is (or should be) easy. That’s not the case. If it were the case, you’d see quite a few more small businesses and marketers having success on Facebook.
Let’s learn how to “do” Facebook marketing correctly by looking at common mistakes that are made by other would-be Facebook marketers.
Mistake #1: Thinking Paid Advertising Is The Only Way
Many marketers, especially those with an adequate or larger advertising budget, think paid advertising is all you need to “make it work” on Facebook.
This is likely what Facebook wants you to think(especially since advertising revenues line their pockets). However, there are a couple things you need to know, in the context of Facebook advertising. First of all, Facebook really does provide ways to reach your potential customers and add to your lists without paying anything. Yes, free! Why not take advantage of all free marketing options before paying for advertising?
Next, people have figured out how to tune out the Facebook advertising (any advertising, for that matter). This behavior is normal. People don’t make a conscious decision to “tune out” Facebook advertising. Instead, it’s a normal human response to tuning out things they don’t want to see. If you put all your stock in paid Facebook advertising, you’ll be missing out on the free advertising available on Facebook.
Mistake #2: Forgetting to Socialize
Facebook is full of engaging conversation. It is a place to share insights, thoughts, and anything you like. Sometimes marketers forget that. They forget the social aspect of Facebook. At least, it sure looks like that is what is happening in some cases, with these marketers.
Remember the objectives of Facebook marketing. This can be broken down into three things:
- Likes on your posts.
- Your posts being shared.
- Receiving comments on your posts.
These activities, performed by your fans, demonstrate you’re providing them with engaging content. Congratulations, you have an audience!
While you may not have the time to engage with every conversation or comment thread your customers and fans start, it isn’t too much effort to pay attention to activity on your Facebook and interact when you can contribute value. This demonstrates you care and will encourage even more loyalty. Also, with Facebook’s edge ranking, the more engagement you get, the more your content is shown to others, even the friends of your fans, who likely have similar interests. So dive in there and socialize a bit!
Mistake #3: Looking Like a Spammer
Too much of a good thing is simply too much. This goes for some posts, comments and “liking” activity. If you’re inundating followers with new Facebook posts, they’re more likely to “unlike” or “unfollow” your page altogether.
Ifyou’re out there posting constantly and tooting your own horn on Facebook, your fans may view you as a spammer, and your message won’t be heard. Facebook notices “unfollow” and “unlike” activity and will limit the visibility of your posts. You want your audience to listen and to read what you have to say- so keep it reasonable, ok?
Mistake #4: Not Learning Facebook’s Rules
All sites have rules of engagement and Facebook is no exception.
An example of one area of Facebook rules is the cover photo. The cover photo can’t include a URL or any sort of call to action. This means you can’t include the www.mysite.tld on your cover image, even if it’s normally a part of your logo.
There is a high cost associated with not keeping “in the know” when it comes to Facebook’s rules. Facebook can limit your page’s visibility or shut it down altogether. Yes, the rules can be daunting, but it’s worth it to review them and get to know them well.
Mistake #5: Not Spending The Needed Time
If don’t have time to spend on your Facebook marketing, maybe a VA (virtual assistant) or college intern is the answer. It doesn’t happen without effort.
You can teach someone how to perform the tasks of responding to your page fans for you, in return for the valuable learning experience. Just make sure this person is versed in how to write knowledgeably, and in your “voice.” It takes time to insert the information into the page and upload the cover photo. Also, with Facebook’s frequent changes, ensuring the graphic continues to work well for the page is another area of responsibility.
It bears repeating, if you’re not willing to take basic steps, then your efforts for Facebook marketing will be lost and not worth moving forward. In summary, don’t be lazy.
Mistake #6: Paying Too Much Attention to the LIKEs
It’s fun to watch those “Likes” come in, whether it’s the page itself or individual posts and images, but don’t pay too much attention to them.
It’s human nature to get hung up on the “Likes,” but even if the “Likes” are doing well, it still isn’t a measurement of how well you’re doing with Facebook marketing.
It’s better to measure:
- Engagement levels (comments)
- Sharing (posting on other profiles/pages)
- Return on investment (ROI)
The ROI is a big one, and it’s a better use of your time to figure out if you’re getting new customers or repeat sales.
Mistake #7: Writing Long Posts
Keep your posts in short, digestible chunks. If you have a lot to say, divide it up into shorter, manageable posts. There might be some long posts on Facebook that get read from top to bottom, but they’re the exception to the rule. Some big names and “gurus” can get away with the occasional lengthy post, but remember, those people have spent years building a reputation of providing valuable content to their subscribers – they’ve earned the right to post the “occasional—saga.”
For your business, keep it short and sweet. It doesn’t need to be as short as a tweet (140 characters), but it should be concise. Play around with the length, and eventually, you’ll figure out what works best for your business and personal brand. Also, draw the audience in with visuals. Use graphics and videos to draw the attention of the fans and potential followers. Keep the content engaging, fun, and to the point. This should help in getting a better response – and more “shares” from your fans. This builds out a potentially longer discussion thread, but visitors will still read your original message, even if they skip the whole conversation.
Mistake #8: Posting Irrelevant Content
Your objective shouldn’t be to just “get attention.” Goofy and irrelevant posts might get attention for your personal page, but your fan page represents your business, so all of your content should be business related.
Make the content relevant to your brand.
This doesn’t mean you have to avoid fun or silly content. Ensure everything you post relates somehow to how your business can help solve a problem. Everything needs to tie into your business’s relationship to the reader.
Mistake #9: Not Looking at Facebook Insights
Earlier we mentioned you shouldn’t worry about paying for Facebook advertising when you have so much information available to you for free. This is definitely the case when you look at your potential reach, via the Facebook Insights tool.
Facebook Insights is to Facebook what Google Analytics is to your website. You can see everything happening on your Facebook page. One of the most helpful metrics, as it relates to your potential reach, is the ‘Friends of Fans’ metric. This gives you an idea of how many eyeballs may be able to see any single post. Granted, if the post goes wildly viral, it could be seen by even more. Another helpful metric is the ‘people talking about’ metric. If you take a few moments to view your Facebook Insights daily, you can get an idea of how much activity is happening on the page. This saves you the time from analyzing it, manually, yourself. Of course, you don’t have to check it daily, but you should check Facebook Insights frequently.
Another tip with Facebook Insights is you can download the data to a spreadsheet format. If you have another program for analyzing data (or if you’re a spreadsheet lover), this may appeal to you.
So, pay attention to those Facebook Insights and keep tabs on what you’re doing.
Mistake #10: Dull Content
Content needs to be relevant and current. When sharing or asking for comments on newsworthy events, make sure the content is actually “news.” Bringing up an irrelevant celebrity or world event from 3 or 4 years ago will result in a significant drop in engagement and brand credibility (unless you can find a way to tie it to something relevant right now).
So, go out and find related content that entertains your audience. Content like:
- Related/relevant news stories
- Conversation-starting statuses
Set aside some time, weekly, finding relevant content and schedule it to post to your page.
Now, the Gateway is clear. We have understood what works right and what’s not right. Avoiding the above-stated mistakes could take your business to heights. Remember, The Digital story has just begun and it will grow exponentially. So if you don’t have a Good Reputation online then you may miss out on bigger opportunities and someone else may easily replace you.