Anyone can create a Facebook business page. The real challenge is making it work for your business and avoiding the Facebook marketing mistakes that so many brands are routinely making.
More than 1 billion people use Facebook daily; that’s a lot of people who could potentially engage with your brand if you’re armed with a strategy.
According to a 2015 report, an incredible 66% of brands don’t have a Facebook strategy. That means two thirds of brands are just muddling along with no idea of what they want to achieve on Facebook or how they’re going to achieve it. And there’s no guarantee the remaining third are avoiding the mistakes we’re noticing on a regular basis…
Choosing the wrong right post type
Without basic training, lots of people post the wrong type of posts on Facebook. For example, Photo Posts are often published with links in the description. This reduces the reach of the post (Facebook penalises hybrid posts) and encourages dead-end clicks, e.g. users clicking to enlarge an image rather than desired website link.
Posting too many links
Lots of companies publish too many link posts, or only posts that include a link. This conflicts with the desire of most Facebook users, who want to stay in-channel, and results in un-engaged fans and (ironically) low numbers of website clicks.
If you want web-clicks you should invest in Facebook advertising. By publishing fewer links, more ‘just for fun’ content, and encouraging in-channel engagement, you will maximise your returns.
Low image quality
Facebook posts are often published without bespoke or correctly sized images (e.g. simply pulling through the image from a linked page), which puts users off engaging. Using an image formatting/creating platform (such as Canva, pictured above) or allocating a bit of design resource could greatly improve the quality of images.
Erratic posting frequency
Most companies post 1-2 times per day on Facebook, 1-2 times on Instagram and perhaps 3-5 times on Twitter. A lot of Facebook pages are under-serviced in terms of the number of posts being published, which represents a missed opportunity. Other companies occasionally post too much, with perhaps 4-6 Facebook posts going out within 24 hours. This confuses fans, who like regularity, and attracts negative feedback (un-liking, hiding) on the over-posting days.
Bad content targeting
Too many companies publish their news and content to Facebook when, in actual fact, it’s only relevant to a small sub-section of their fans. This is a frequent problem for organisations that have lots of local content. The rule is: if you can’t target your niche content appropriately, don’t publish it.
Failing to use Facebook advertising
Most marketers agree that Facebook Likes are pretty much just a vanity metric these days. Due to Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm your posts are only likely to reach up to 5% of your fans organically.
This means there are only really two ways to reach your fans: (i) posting consistently high-quality posts, and (ii) regularly boosting posts to artificially increase reach.
Boosting posts is pretty cost-effective in delivering reach. It also has the knock-on effect of increasing engagement, which improves the likelihood of fans seeing your next post organically.
Using the wrong tone of voice
The tone of voice on some Facebook Pages flips on a post-by-post basis between fun and more formal. This is likely to confuse fans and hamper engagement. By creating a playbook (i.e. a social media ‘brand guide’), with examples of kinds of content and tone of voice to be used for that specific audience, you can help to minimise flip-flopping.
Failing to deal with negativity
A common response to negativity on Facebook is still (amazingly) to ignore it, or in some cases hide or delete the comment. In larger companies, getting approval for responses to difficult questions can take time, but there are ways around this (e.g. pre-approved FAQs). Delays in responding, or simply ignoring the problem, will erode the trust of your fans.
Failing to involve your customer service team
Within Facebook Insights you can monitor your response time to messages submitted via your Page. Far too many companies have response times in hours, rather than minutes. If you’re struggling to maintain a good response time, you should get specialist support in place. Many social media management tools now include routing and team working features which make integrating customer service relatively painless.
Not having an agreed content strategy
The most popular social media content, for any brand, is usually (i) emotion-led and (ii) designed specifically for social media. If your content is un-emotive or not designed for social, you won’t be getting the best results. This might mean you need to involve a copywriter or designer. While there’s a cost involved, if you’re serious about getting results on Facebook, investing in your content marketing strategy will be worthwhile.