There are many ways to market your business on Facebook. There are also many ways to kill your efforts, leaving your page dead on arrival. There's hope if you've struggled to build momentum and increase Facebook engagement.
With a few minor tweaks, you can overcome any fatal mistake. Not only can you overcome them, but you can turn your page into an irresistible destination.
In the 7 steps below, I will show you the Facebook marketing mistakes every business must avoid and how to steer clear of them!
1. Mistake: mimic the competition
Herman Melville once said, “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” It’s no different with Facebook marketing. Savvy marketers know that if you want to die a quick death—try to be anything but yourself.
While it might be true that there are no new ideas, there is your unique perspective. Insight, experience, and wisdom are woven into everything you do. And consider this, adding context to your content creates differentiation.
On the flip side, mimicking your competition makes you look unoriginal. It lacks the distinctive flair needed to stand out online. Not to mention the severe impact swiping your competitors' ideas will have on your brand.
Don't be that copycat. To avoid this, take the time to make everything you do undeniably you. From content to visuals, everything you post should scream your brand.
Speaking at Social Media Examiner's #SMSS15 last week, I shared this easy tip.When creating visuals, use a consistent color palette—it’s the glue that ties your brand together and the identifier that makes your content stand out.
Remember: to maintain your originality, you need to ensure that your message, voice, and tone are consistent. Become a destination by creating posts worth reading and content worth spreading.
2. Mistake: neglect Facebook fans
Smart marketers know that happy customers are likely to come back. Not only that, they might even recommend your Facebook page, expanding your fan base organically.
One of the most effective ways to keep your customers happy is through active listening and a quick response time. And it should go without saying that honesty is the best policy when responding.
As you know, people are always paying attention. They want to know that what you say and what you do is one and the same. Just as great customer service sets your company apart, so does transparency. It can also be the key to continued growth through word-of-mouth marketing.
It’s no shock that happy customers tell others about their experiences. KLM Airlines gets this. They not only give their fans something positive to talk about (and entertaining to look at), but they build trust and rapport by staying highly interactive.
They’re building brand loyalty one comment at a time, allowing fans to become advocates, actively recommending the airline to other prospective customers.
3. Mistake: use a Facebook Profile as a Page
Are you using Facebook to market your business through a personal profile, not a business page? Tsk, tsk. Many businesses make this grave mistake when they start marketing on Facebook.
If this is you, stop right now and convert your personal profile into a page. For one, you’re in violation of Facebook terms, which clearly state that you are not allowed to use a personal profile as a business.
Secondly, using a Facebook profile instead of a page is going to deprive you of many privileges reserved for Facebook pages.
- There are unlimited connections when you use a page as opposed to a profile. With a profile, you're limited to a maximum of 5000 connections.
- There are many marketing features, including ads, analytics, and applications that are exclusively reserved for Facebook pages.
- The Call to Action feature is a huge marketing opportunity you're missing out on.
Take a look at a few ways you could be using it.
4. Mistake: randomly post to Facebook
Two keys to any great Facebook strategy are content and consistency. It’s not enough to simply create a Facebook page. You need to show up and share valuable information on a daily basis.
A solid Facebook posting strategy is one where you set realistic goals and then execute upon the tactics put in place. So, what does this look like?
Review company goals and determine what you're trying to accomplish and how Facebook marketing will move you towards those goals.
Once you know what you want to achieve, now begin to segment out your daily, weekly, and monthly posting strategy. A good strategy not only eliminates a last-minute rush, but also allows you to act on purpose.
Here's an example of a Facebook daily posting strategy:
5. Mistake: chase vanity numbers
Are you wishing for social media success, or are you planning for it? Put a plan in place that allows you to track, measure and assess your results. And do it often. That’s where True Social Metrics comes in.
At Post Planner, we determined what we’ll actively measure based on our OKR’s (Objectives and Key Results). Here’s an example of what this looks like.
- Posts (curated from within Post Planner) - including viral photos, status ideas, and blog content.
- Conversation rate – Tracking the conversations per post. e.g. replies on Twitter, comments on Pinterest, FB, IG photo, pin or post.
- Amplification rate – How our content is amplified across all our networks. e.g. re-pins, retweets, or re-shares of a particular post.
- Applause rate – The applause rate is based on the number of "likes" (retweets, pins, etc) each post gets.
- Economic value – This is based on the goal values set up in Google Analytics. I’ll admit, we don’t have all of this complete yet, but this calculation will be the sum of short- and long-term revenue and cost savings.
True Metrics allows us to pull all of this data into one location and then drop it into a spreadsheet for further analysis. And just take a look at what you can pull out of this tool. Holy data, I don't know about you, but I’m in heaven!
6. Mistake: share anything and everything
Want to become a valuable resource to your Facebook community? Share relevant, thoughtful, interesting, and educational content – and share it often. In other words, become a giver.
This is the best way to establish thought leadership and position you as an expert within that field. The challenge for many businesses is knowing how and what to post. On top of that, it’s understanding how to create a conversation worth getting involved in.
Here's a few tips to get you started
- Keep your posts focused. Stick to one topic per post. Be brief and informative.
- Your fans are moving at the speed of light. Make your posts simple to scan, read and understand.
- Find the perfect mix of photos, links, and text-based posts. Rotate through each to see what’s working and what’s not.
- Stay away from technical terms or industry jargon that your typical reader (someone not working within your business) wouldn’t understand.
- Don’t use acronyms or other terms that make your fans question what they mean. If a reader can’t quickly discern what you’re message is, they’ll move on with the possibility of never returning.
- Read through your post. Does it feel clunky or uncomfortable? If it doesn’t flow for you, it won’t for your fans either.
- Edit ruthlessly!
And most of all, work to find your voice. That’s the tone of your page and the persona your fans will begin to interact with.
A perfect example of this is the boutique-style accessories company, Stella & Dot. Their lighthearted marketing approach is a perfect match for their brand persona.
Ready to work from home? Want to hang out with your pet all day? Then become a Stella & Dot associate!
7. Mistake: not making valuable connections
As you build momentum for your page, look to companies creating relevant content. Facebook marketing takes a lot of things to succeed, and one of those is networking. Use Facebook search to find pages similar to yours.
While many changes have taken place since Facebook Graph was originally launched (and sure, officially, it's dead), the benefits remain.
- Use Facebook Search Strings to tap into pages your fans are already connected to and engaging with.
- Pages liked by people who like [your page]
- Pages liked by people who live in [your city] and like [your page]
- You can also use free tools like Likealyzer to find your niche or industry pages.
Now get interactive with those pages. Comment on their content, share it if it makes sense, and become an active part of their community. Not only do you build relationships that can extend your brand beyond your own efforts, but you raise awareness within a similar community.
By now, you get that Facebook marketing isn't what it used to be. From algorithm updates to increased ad costs, marketing your business on Facebook has changed.
But that doesn't mean it has to be hard. Once you learn the ins and outs, you can avoid (and prevent) fatal marketing mistakes. Which step will you take today?
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.