When used appropriately, Facebook can be a convenient outlet for startups to gain additional business and interact with their customers. But it’s hard to be a brand on Facebook. After all, Facebook is primarily a place for connecting with your close (and not-so-close) friends, and that is the reason why Facebook marketing requires a fundamental shift in how you think about your campaigns. It might not be an easy task, but it is a necessary one to ensure the success of your business marketing in social media.
What sets small businesses apart from large companies is their ability to make personal connections with customers, but many startups fail to make an impact on Facebook due to these common mistakes:
1. Not Having a Plan
Many companies start a Facebook page without a social media strategy and end up wasting a lot of valuable time and money because of it.
Developing a social media strategy will lay the foundation for your new marketing plan. The strategy you intend to use varies with your needs. It should include:
- Knowledge of your audience’s demographics
- Methods of communicating with your fans on Facebook
- Strategies to train staff members to utilize the Facebook fan page more adequately
- Objectives and goals for your staff to complete
Incorporating these into your strategy will give you a better chance to thrive and a better way to track progress.
2. Having an Incomplete Profile
Make sure you’re using Facebook to its full capacity and fill out all the necessary information on your page. This is one area where businesses fail to thrive and it severely influences their pages’ effectiveness. Information such as opening hours for the day, location and phone number give your page more credibility and show potential customers that you are a real business in the area.
Never ignore your profile picture, profile banner or sharing photos with your fans. People retain images 82 % better than text – so having pictures will make your fans’ experience more memorable.
Bright Idea: If you’re opening a new location, either list it, or (if you decide it’s best to create separate Brand Pages for your locations) add a new page to Facebook. Make sure you also use a good vanity URL — bonus points if it’s also your web URL.
3. Not Following Facebook Rules
Not only it is critical to know how Facebook works and what tools are available, but it’s also important to know the law of the land—something that many businesses miss.
What are the most common violations? Some build a community on a personal page instead of a proper Facebook Page.
Others fail to abide by Facebook’s rules around running contests. Invest time in learning about the Facebook platform, educate yourself on how to build and sustain an audience, and don’t forget to engage with people like you do in real life.
Many brands find that posting more than once per day can actually have the opposite effect on engagement. Facebook indicates that the averages user “likes” four to six new Pages each month, so your content is constantly competing for more attention from its fans. It’s better to post one excellent item per day instead of two decent ones.
Also, Facebook research has shown that posts between 100 and 250 characters — one or two lines of text — get 60% more Likes, comments and shares than ones that are more than 250 characters. Buddy Media research found a similar trend, determining that posts with 80 characters or less in length have 27% higher engagement rates. In conclusion, just like content on Twitter, keep it short and relevant.
Even if you’re only posting a few days a week, you can still keep your page active on a daily basis. Check your page daily and “like” or respond to comments on your brand page, and remember to tag the people you’re replying to — that’s a great and easy way to get people to come back to your page to engage more.
5. Posting Boring or Off-Brand Content
The things you post on Facebook should be relevant to your brand. It’s OK to use images that are likely to be popular – just don’t go totally off-brand for the sake of being cutesy. You’ll get likes and shares, but then, you can also see a ton of unsubscribes when you show up in consumer feeds talking about something they’re not interested in.
Being on-brand is a significant predictor of engagement – just because people like your product, doesn’t mean they share all of your interests, so just give them a mix of content related to the product. Since your fans don’t see every single thing you post, you risk wasting their time or negative engagement on the post.
It’s also important to spice up your content. Too much of anything is boring, and the right mix of polls, questions, photos and video will keep people engaged and excited about your brand. People crave diversity, and different kinds of posts drive different kinds of engagement, so do photos, videos and multimedia as a whole. This is the best way to give consumers a wide array of opportunities to engage with your brand.
6. Focusing Too Much on Likes
Sure, Likes are important — the more Likes you have, the more people your message is reaching. But Likes are just step one. Step two is to confirm that you’re reaching the right audience and keeping them engaged. If they “like,” comment and share your content on a regular basis, then they have become brand ambassadors who are transmitting your message to their friends.
It’s also important to note that content shares better on certain days — Buddy Media research has found that engagement rates for Facebook posts are 18% higher on Thursday and Fridays. So if you’re strategic, you can ride the wave of engagement with fewer posts.
Bright Idea: Facebook Insights offer a lot of useful information — it’d be a shame to not take advantage of that data. You should also pay attention to the People Talking About This (PTAT) and reach metrics in Insights to see how your message is faring in the Facebook ecosystem, and create a comprehensive Facebook marketing strategy based on what works. Think of your Facebook audience as a focus group and find out what they want to see more of. Fans are looking for a reason to interact with you, and they’re showing you that by clicking ‘Like.’ Your job is to give them a reason to stay.
7. Failing to Acknowledge the Competition
“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” is great advice when it comes to your competition. Facebook pages are a convenient way for companies to keep an eye on what interactions are occurring on their competitors’ pages and to see if your business can benefit from any of their shortcomings.
But don’t just watch your local competitors – ask yourself “what are similar businesses doing internationally?” As your company grows, it may pay for itself to bring on someone with fluency in multiple languages in order to study the competition in parts of non-English-speaking Europe or Asia.
Facebook marketing is an essential platform to build a fan base and spread word about your business. But a successful campaign doesn’t have to be a drain on your time or your wallet. A few minutes a day and a strategic plan can have an immense impact on your brand’s Facebook presence, as long as you avoid the mistakes above. Keeping that in mind, have fun with Facebook.
Have you fallen victim to any of these mistakes? Tell us about your experiences in our comments section below.
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At BrightPink Studio, we design & develop awesome websites, make gorgeous print materials, create logos and other branding items, and more. In our blog, we share news, tips & inspiration - like this article! If you enjoyed it, please share.