So your business is on Facebook? Five years ago you would have been ahead of the game, but in this day and age you are just another small fish in a big pond. But before we can talk about how to stand out, let’s master standing first. And by “standing” we mean having a strong Facebook page and knowing what you are doing. Take a look at these 5 major mistakes thousands of businesses make when it comes to Facebook marketing. Once you eliminate them, you will be on your way to a solid Facebook presence and successful marketing.
Being All About “Buy My Stuff”
We get it, you want to sell your products or services—that’s why you put your company on Facebook. But that’s just not how Facebook works. You see, people don’t go to Facebook with the intention to buy something. They go there to catch up with their friends, read the latest news or plain and simple to kill time. This doesn’t mean they will never buy from you, but it won’t happen right away.
Making every post about how awesome you are and what great deals you have won’t do you any good on Facebook. It’s recommended to follow the 80/20 rule to balance your valuable vs. promotional content or, as the industry expert Gary Vaynerchuk calls it, “jab, jab, jab, right hook.” The idea is to provide value to your audience, show that you care and explain the values behind your brand before you ask people to buy from you. This way you can sell on Facebook without alienating your fans by bombarding them with constant sales pitches.
Not Responding to Your Fans
Facebook is not a broadcasting tool—it’s a platform for two-way communication. In fact, there are numerous ways for your audience to reach out to you, such as by messaging you directly, writing on your timeline or commenting on your posts. Sometimes people are looking to get a specific question answered, and other times they just want an acknowledgment of their comment. Either way, you have to respond and do it fast.
Recently, Facebook has implemented a new response rate feature. It measures how fast you respond to incoming messages and if you can do it in 5 minutes or less, you will even get an icon showing that you are “very responsive.” Responding to your audience shows that you care and that you have received and acknowledged their comment or question. Simply by liking someone’s comment you can let them know you’ve read it. And don’t forget about reviews too—respond to them, both good and bad, in a concise and polite manner.
Not Having a Plan
It might be a cliché, but if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never get there. This is true for Facebook marketing as well. Is your business on Facebook just because your competitors are? Are you simply copying what they do without a second thought? In order to succeed on Facebook, you need to find out how Facebook fits into your overall marketing plan. You could use it to drive fresh traffic to your blog and then get people to subscribe to your newsletter. Or you could take a list of folks in your newsletter and target them on Facebook to create yet another touch point and get closer to the sale. Whatever you decide, set some goals and find ways to measure them, so that you know if you’ve succeeded or not.
Not Taking Advantage of Facebook Features
Facebook has a lot to offer in terms of functionality. You have numerous opportunities to make your page and your content stand out. Moreover, over the past few years Facebook made a big push for visual content, highlighting images and videos like never before. If you don’t include large, attention-grabbing images with your blog posts or don’t have a brand-centered cover photo, you are missing out big time. Some other great features to take advantage of include:
- A call-to-action button on top of your cover photo
- Accepting direct messages from Facebook users
- Facebook advertising in all its glory
- Filling out information about your business
- Enabling reviews
- Interacting with other pages as your business page rather than personal profile
- Checking Facebook Insights to know where you stand
If you want to see results from your Facebook efforts, you need to be consistent. Whether you are posting once a day or once a week, set a schedule and stick to it. Another thing to be consistent about is the tone and subject of your content. Over time, people will start coming to your page for specific types of content, whether it’s industry news, tips, motivation or entertainment. Make sure you know what it is that your audience expects from you and keep providing it.
If you find yourself guilty of any of these mistakes, feel free to get in touch with our Maryland social media experts and we’ll help you get on the right track.