On the surface, Facebook marketing seems easy enough. It’s a simple-to-use platform that most everyone is familiar with and many use on a daily basis.
But when it comes to utilizing Facebook for your business, one mistake — or several — can doom your entire strategy.
It’s almost inevitable that you’ll make mistakes as you take on Facebook as a marketing strategy. The good news is, the most common mistakes can be remedied.
Here are seven Facebook marketing mistakes that you can quickly overcome.
#1 Using a Profile as a Business Page
When you first sign up with Facebook, you a given a profile page. This is the type of page most people use for things like sharing baby pictures and sending birthday greetings to old friends.
Chances are, you already have one. Maybe you even have a lot of Facebook Friends and want to use the platform to promote your business to these contacts.
Facebook has a system where businesses and other non-personal entities create Pages that are attached to a primary account. This setup is both for the benefit of businesses and customers.
When you use a profile as a business page, you’re:
- Breaking the rules of Facebook etiquette — Friending is meant to be a personal, not commercial, act. By contrast, when someone Likes a Page they expect a certain amount of promotion.
- Breaking Facebook’s Guidelines — If you post ad content on people’s walls, and especially on their profile pages, that can be considered spam. With a Page, followers can adjust how many posts from you they want in their feeds.
- Possibly abusing the system — If you’re Friending strangers to promote your business, you may get a warning for misuse. Pages don’t allow you to Friend people, eliminating the temptation.
- Expecting people to open their personal lives to you — When people Like your page, you have no more access to their personal profile than if they didn’t Like your page. For a lot of people, the lack of privacy will prevent them from Friending if you use a profile as a business page.
- Going to look unprofessional — bottom line.
#2 Forgetting that Facebook is Social
Just because you’re using your Facebook Page for business and not pleasure doesn’t mean it’s not still social media.
A giant mistake some businesses make is to create a pretty page, then set it on autopilot using a third party management system.
Sure, you’re getting your content out, but you’re not engaging, and on Facebook, engagement builds confidence.
You should be regularly checking your Facebook page for messages, and responding to them quickly. That includes private messages, posts to your wall, and comments on your posts. (Not that you necessarily have to reply to each and every comment on your posts, but you should at least Like them to show you’ve read them).
Posts should speak to your followers, and if they speak back — great! That’s part of building your brand’s authority.
If your followers aren’t talking back (and even if they are), post regular questions for them, or open up the page to questions from them for a periodic Q&A session.
#3 Lacking Consistency
Do you post and interact ten times a day during a big promotion, then go into hiding for weeks until the next one?
Do you forget to post or check the Page for days or weeks on end? Do you get excited about a new Facebook campaign and then fizzle out as your enthusiasm wanes?
All of these things are inconsistent, and your followers will notice.
You should be posting on Facebook every day, but whatever schedule you set, keep it consistent. Take Nike for example.
They have posts that go up every 2-3 days. Sometimes it might be 4-5 days before a post goes up. For a brand such as this, their posting schedule is a bit inconsistent.
That doesn’t mean you have to spend the exact same amount of time every week interacting with people on Facebook — some weeks are busier than others. But you should be posting on a schedule and following up with people regularly.
It does mean you should plan to post a minimum of one piece of original content (more is better) each week, in addition to several posts of curated content (ie other people’s articles and videos from the web), updates, and shares.
For Maximum consistency, devote each day in the week to a type of interaction (for example, make Mondays new content day, Tuesday Q&A dat, etc.)
#4 Curating Poorly
Poor curation can kill a Facebook page.
What does it mean to curate poorly? Basically, it means that you lack focus in what you choose to post, and make bad posting decisions.
For example, let’s say you have a business that sells a fitness app. Your followers are going to be interested in fitness and healthy living.
There are lots of topics that fall under realm of health and fitness, including exercise, diet, sports, lifestyle management, and medicine. Potentially more content than you can handle.
So, if, instead you choose to share posts about pets and kids and Game of Thrones, you’re losing the plot. Is it likely that a lot of your followers like pets and kids and Game of Thrones? Sure.
But others are probably tired of seeing it, and it’s not what they signed up for.
If you must post about outside topics, make them relevant. An article about jogging with your dog or family fitness plans.
Everything you post should fit with your brand, and that includes the things you share that you don’t create yourself.
#5 Imitating Other Pages
While it’s a good idea to seek out the Facebook pages of businesses similar to yours, trying to be too much like them is a bad idea,
Look for inspiration in other pages, but use your own voice, branding, and strategy. You want to present yourself as an original, not a knockoff.
You can avoid imitation by looking at different pages both in and beyond your industry and writing down what you like and don’t like about them.
Not only should give give you a unique set of features, but it can also help you to brainstorm new ideas for your page that no one else is doing. One of our favorites is EOFire.com. We get great inspiration for our website and so can you.
#6 Ignoring the Data
Facebook has a great analytics tool called Insights. There’s no excuse for ignoring it.
Insights can tell you in a glance which posts are effective and which are not.
Do your followers love your videos but scroll past the custom-made inspirational quotes you post daily?
Maybe you should spend less time on the quotes and more time on video. Do people comment on your photos but not your image-less text posts? — You get the idea.
Facebook even makes it as easy as possible to know which posts are doing well by alerting you when a post performs a notable percentage higher than most of your other posts.
Keep track of what your followers respond to, and curate accordingly.
#7 Neglecting to Make Connections of Value
Often with social media, business owners and marketing managers are so concerned with bringing in a large quantity of new connections that they neglect quality.
In reality, even in social media (where success is often measured by things like follower count),the quality of your connections is more important than the quantity.
While you can’t friend personal profiles, Facebook allows your page to like other pages and post on their walls. Look for potentially valuable contacts with pages, and start to network.
As always, don’t post anything that could be construed as spam. Liking a page is doing them a favor, since it will automatically appear on your page/list of pages you follow. Start there, then leave a relevant comment or two on their posts.
You can also join Facebook groups where you can network. These are sometimes private Facebook pages where people can discuss the topic of the page. Look for Groups related to your industry (you may have to join with your primary profile, but the connections you make can be worthwhile).
And Finally . . .
Mistakes happen. You’ll probably make many of them as you learn and grow as a Facebook marketer. Just remember, most mistakes, even the big ones, can be fixed, allowing you to get back on the track to success.
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