Many marketers still fail to see the value of utilizing Facebook for advertising. The fatal flaw is that they feel that it is free so they shouldn’t invest in using or understanding it.
To make matters worse, they’ll throw up a few posts, not see results, and then convince themselves that advertising online just doesn’t work.
This failure to develop a strategy will cost you in potential leads, brand recognition and money…especially if your competition has figured this out already.
The key to having social networking success is to build relationships. What does this mean? Simply put, it means getting the highest percentage of your fans to see your posts. The best way to do this is to utilize posting strategies that allow people to engage (comment, Like or share your posts), which will increase your reach. Then, occasionally make a post with a call to action (ex: link back to site) and more people will respond.
Here’s a list of the top Facebook errors that many marketers make and what you can do to avoid these mistakes:
Common Facebook Error | Being Boring
The best way to build relationships and get engagements is to create interesting posts. Interesting posts will stand out from the pack and encourage people to look at your stuff. However, too many people go for quick and simple. And quick and simple generally equals boring. Here are some of the common, boring mistakes that people make when posting on Facebook:
1) Self-Promoting Every Post- Links are boring. Look at the picture on the right. This is from AOL Real Estate’s Facebook Fan Page. At the time, they had over 12,000 fans. Every post is the same…a few words and a link as the call to action. Now look at the levels of engagement! Less than 10 engagements per post out of 12,000 Fans!?
No one is paying attention to their posts.
Think about when you look at your Fan Page. What stands out to you? Chances are whatever grabs your attention will also grab other people’s attention as well.
2) Auto posting your tweets. The only thing possibly more boring than auto preview links or short text with links and no pics (see above right) is auto posting from your twitter account. Many people try to interlink their multiple social media networks to save time of posting. However, the results are dreadful. On the right is an example of what a typical auto tweet looks like. You have a small picture and no description. How boring is this? If you’re looking to save time posting, I recommend using a dashboard rather than interlinking your social networking channels. Your results will be much better!
3) Text only updates- The third most common type of ‘boring’ posts are the dreaded ‘text only’ post. This is when people express themselves through text only. Facebook is designed to showcase the digital representation of your life. All statistics show that using different types of media (photo, video, etc…) produces much more types of engagement. However, a majority marketers still insist on using the quickest and simplest form of posting.
Facebook Mistake Solutions to Being Boring
- Here’s a simple suggestion: find a motivational quote you like and create a photo with the pic. There are many free software tools to assist you with this task. One of my favorites is http://quozio.com/. Simply putting text onto a picture will increase your engagement significantly and it only takes a couple of minutes more to do.
- Take an authentic photo and upload: Many people today have these wireless cellular communication devices… some of these magic talkee devices have picture taking capabilities as well. Post these photos on Facebook. Encourage your customers to do the same.
- Use a Video: Take a brief video that answers a question many of your customers may have or shows people how to do something. Most folks would much rather watch a how to video as compared to reading a manual.
- If you use text, encourage engagement: Ask questions, use ‘fill in the blank’, use trivia or even give multiple choice options. Comments are the best way to increase your reach on Facebook.
Here are some more tips on how to improve engagement when posting on Facebook. Facebook comments are the most effective way to increase your reach, and the easier it is for people to Like or leave a comment, the more likely they become to click on your Call To Action when you post one.
Facebook Mistakes People Make | Having the Wrong Focus
Marketers unfamiliar with how to use Facebook always have the wrong goals. Their goals revolve around increase Fans to their Page or Clicks on Call to Action Posts. I recently sat down with a well respected (and extremely wealthy) Internet marketer who just couldn’t grasp why you wouldn’t want to put a call to action in every post. His way of measuring the success of Facebook was the number of hits to his site. Despite having over 20k Fans, his hits to his site had dramatically decreased. Therefore, he blamed Facebook as the problem and stopped posting.
The problem? His focus was wrong and as such, his solution was poor.
The focus of using social networking sites should be engaging with people. As detailed above, increased engagement leads to improved reach…and improved reach gives you a great chance to communicate with a larger portion of your Fans…and ultimately put out a post with a call to action.
Therefore, engagements is the most important measurement.
On average, a Facebook Fan Page has had a reach of about 12-16%. Of those reached, only 3% will actually engage.
This means that if you have a Fan Page with 10,000 people, only 1,200 to 1,600 will see your post leading to 36-50 engagements.
However, if you’re using the tools listed above, there is no reason why your reach can’t be over 40% with a double digit engagement rate.
Plus, if you focus on this challenge, then everything else (High CTA% and Fan Likes) will increase!
More Mistakes with Facebook | Fearing Pay Per Click
Even the best run Facebook Fan Pages will probably only reach half of its fans. To combat that, Facebook does allow you to use ‘Sponsored Posts’ to pay to increase your reach.
The most common complaint people make about Sponsored Stories is that they shouldn’t have to pay to reach their own fans on Facebook. There are two problems with this mentality:
1) If Fans saw every post that everyone they were connected with ever posted, Facebook posts would have the shelf life as a Tweet. I’d argue that less than 16% would then actually see your posts because there would be so much info showing on your news feed.
2) There’s nothing wrong with a ‘win-win’ outcome. Making money on Facebook for free is nice, but I have no problem paying Facebook for this service. People will pay for billboards, direct mail, newspaper, TV, radio, etc… and not complain. But pay for targeted ads on Facebook and people scream about how unfair that is. Using Sponsored Stories has allowed me to generate a minimum of $3 return for every dollar spent on my products as well as my clients’. I have no problem paying Facebook for generating sales. It becomes a win for both parties.
Another plus is that 95% of businesses won’t pay to promote their posts, so the 5% who will pay will have great success.
Facebook Pay Per Click Errors | Monitoring Your Reputation on the Fan Page
One thing to be aware once you start promoting your posts is that people become upset. Sadly, too many people love using Facebook for free and have their day ruined if they see a promoted post. Again, people seem to feel they deserve a ‘win-lose’ outcome with Facebook. Therefore, as you promote to friends of friends, your target will become a little less targeted, and people will feel the need to post on your Page and express their dissatisfaction with your using of PPC.
Social media purists will tell you to address every negative complaint and never delete a comment.
I’ll tell you to define what a negative comment or complaint is and delete everything that doesn’t fall into that category.
A negative comment or complaint has a legitimate intent and may also be a situation that others have experienced but not yet addressed on your Fan Page. These types of complaints, while unpleasant to deal with on a public forum, can provide valuable feedback.
Out of category negative complaints and comments have an intent to just be rude or obnoxious. Here are examples of comments to take delete:
- Racist comments
- Offensive comments
- Sarcastic remarks
- Complaints due to using promoted posts
- Unreasonable criticism
Use your judgement…if you believe the comment adds value to the Page, then keep the comment. If it does not, then don’t be afraid to delete, report and ban people from your Page.
Do you have any tips or advice on how to avoid some of these costly Facebook mistakes? If so, leave a comment below.