By Pius Boachie
Dear brands, we love you but you have been making a mess of our Facebook newsfeeds with your constant, inappropriate selling, content and updates.
Ever logged into Facebook to be social and interact, only to see a brand trying to sell to you right there? I cringe at the sight of misplaced advertising and selling.
A whopping 66% of brands do not have a Facebook strategy, and brands that do have a Facebook strategy do not have it documented – hence, there’s nothing to implement. Nobody goes to the grocery store without a grocery list, so don’t jump on the Facebook train without a strategy!
Here’s a whole list of Facebook marketing mistakes and sins almost every brand is committing;
1. Posting less content and inconsistently
By posting on Facebook inconsistently and inappropriately you tell your audience, “Dear customer, we are busy doing more important things, therefore, we have no time to be human and keep you updated about us”.
Organic page reach on Facebook is declining. Now more than ever, engagement should be a priority.
Solution: Create an editorial calendar for Facebook, and focus on inspiring your audience. A perfect example of a brand succeeding at this would be SaaS Company Post Planner. Their Facebook updates are consistent and their content is great. Hence, engagement is off the roof.
2. Always begging for engagement or likes
Most brands publish content that screams, “We need likes!” or they ask users to like the post and bleh bleh bleh in Dracula’s voice (like-bait post).
Well, the bitter truth is Facebook will actually bury such a post. Don’t post visuals or updates asking fans to like or comment, as this tells the world how desperate your brand is and your lack of a social media strategy.
Facebook users like myself visit to share photos, watch funny ferret or cat videos, and catch up on the latest happenings in my circle; what do you think I would do seeing a brand asking for likes? I either skip the content or come pour out my heart in your comments (you don’t want the latter).
Solution: Provide a lot of helpful content regularly, and put up “real questions” that spark engagement.
3. Not paying to play
Truth be told, brands can’t market or fully reach individual Facebook audiences without paying. So to get more eyes on your content, you must be willing to pay Facebook.
You don’t publish and pray and expect it to rain likes and comments; with great content you should get a healthy organic reach but want a larger reach? Pay to play.
Solution: Facebook admitted it several times that organic page reach is decreasing. However, using the “boost post” feature would instantly get more eyes and engagement on your brand and content.
4. Ignoring the fact that the world is mobile
Facebook statistics as at March 2016 have shown that there are over 1.65 billion monthly active Facebook users, and a whopping 1.51 billion of these are mobile users or visitors.
These numbers are too huge to ignore. Brands should optimize their Facebook pages for mobile users; having cropped out visuals or missing page components damages the user experience.
Take, for example, the visuals below: the visual on Coca-Cola’s cover was optimized for desktops only, making mobile visitors to the page believe Coca-Cola has some spiritual agenda.
Now take a look at the mobile version of the same cover
Choosing what now Coca-Cola? Have they gone spiritual?
5. Publishing the wrong type of content
You don’t plant a potato and harvest marshmallows. The same applies to content and engagement on Facebook; using irrelevant hashtags or twisting up trends can be a bad blow for business.
For example, the visual below:
Having made up Star Wars day isn’t enough, brands have to make it even more contrived and use an absurd hashtag.
Want to grow a following on Facebook or increase engagement? Posting inappropriate comments and pictures, using click bait, being all about traffic and sales would not work!
Damn, you are so greedy and we can see it! However, Facebook is cracking down on click-bait posts and will continually drown them in the newsfeed; be original and creative.
Solution: Publishing behind-the-scenes pictures of employees, pictures of products, videos or pictures of a typical day at the company or events, holidays and birthdays will increase brand perception, engagement, and page likes.
Brands should not rely on Facebook marketing to make sales. The truth is everyone hates being sold.
6. Not engaging customers in comments
Another deadly sin brands make includes not engaging fans in comments. Being social involves you interacting with fans, asking questions and responding.
Brands should be involved in the conversation in their Facebook comments, responding to feedback, lending a helping hand or increasing engagement creatively.
Solution: Engage fans in your comments, address feedback and spread the brand image.
7. Trying to sell every time
Too much of selling beats the purpose of being social. Brands should abstain from selling and focus more on user experience, building a community and providing value. That way, users remain loyal and increase their spending potential to your brand through the law of reciprocity.
Solution: Facebook is rolling out the shop store for Facebook pages, simply add your products into your shop and users can buy once they visit your page.
8. Ignoring or deleting negative feedback or comments
Handling trolls and negative feedback requires a dedicated Facebook team, patience and creativity. Brands are expected to respond to trolls and negative comments in a respectful and playful tone to keep the community mood light and friendly or it might result in disastrous PR for that brand.
Solution: Tara Hornor wrote an epic post with tips on handling Trolls and negative comments.
9. Ignoring advanced Facebook advertising
Advertising on Facebook does not end with clicking “Boost Post”. For instance, you could create a lookalike audience based on subscribers already on your mailing list, who are on Facebook, and send targeted ads to them.
The true potential of Facebook advertising cannot be quantified; brands should take specific steps in creating ads that offer great incentives while achieving business goals.
Solution: Use Facebook’s Power Editor to create ads to gain leads and advertise new products, but don’t spam your users’ newsfeed.
10. Refusing to evolve like Facebook’s algorithm
Facebook changes its algorithm randomly; the latest changes in the Facebook algorithm include bringing content to users based on previous interaction.
Brands are expected to keep up with the latest updates to ensure a consistent user experience in regards to content, cover photos, and ads.
Solution: Brands should bookmark (literally) the Facebook for pages web page to stay updated with the latest algorithm updates and implement to increase engagement and brand perception.
Facebook marketing requires creativity, A/B testing, and constantly staying ahead of the latest changes from Facebook. For a brand to successfully reach, inspire and engage its audience, the above solutions are required.
What other sins do you see brands commit on Facebook? I would like to know in the comments section.
Guest Author: Pius Boachie is a freelance writer and social media strategist who offers ghostwriting, copywriting and blogging services. He works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility. On his blog DigitiMatic, he shares actionable marketing and branding advice for businesses.
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