Facebook is still the platform that small businesses flock to for digital marketing. With their claims of one billion users (in reality closer to 750 million active users), and the presence of offline family and friends, it’s not difficult to see why it’s such an attractive platform.
As more and more people create a Facebook page to market their business online, you will find that creating an audience is becoming more and more difficult. Combine a lack of time with a lack of marketing knowledge and several months later most small businesses have gained little to no results from their Facebook marketing efforts and start to wonder why they are even there in the first place.
Eventually, in many cases, these pages fall silent and the business owners forget why they even got onto Facebook in the first place.
Common Facebook Marketing Mistakes
Business owners who brave the world of Facebook marketing sometimes go in with the assumption that success is as easy as sharing a cute picture or a particularly informational blog post. However, Facebook marketing has plenty of pitfalls for people who are after serious and sustainable success.
Some of the most common issues that I see are:
- Marketing to your friends and family – This is one of the most common issues that I encounter. While some of your friends may be interested in your marketing messages, I’m willing to bet most of your friends and family really don’t care. This is where you can use Facebook Lists to separate those that want to hear your message from those who do not.
- Sharing content only on their Fan Page – With Facebook lists in place, you want to be sure to use your personal profile to share the content on your Fan Page to the lists of people that are interested in the message. This will help increase the visibility and interactions of your posts. Since Facebook limits the organic visibility of your posts to about 20%-25% of your fans, this boost can really help your posts achieve a greater reach.
- Sharing mostly content that drives people to other websites – We almost always recommend that the main goal of any social media marketing campaign be to get your fans to your website where you control the user experience. Your website allows you to present in-depth information that can move a fan to become a customer. It’s very difficult to gain a customer if you are always sending them to someone else’s website.
- Not being social – This is a big one. Many brands on Facebook fail to engage with their fans. The last thing you should do is make a post and forget about it. When people like and comment on your post, thank them and respond to any questions. It does not matter whether you are using your brand page or your personal profile– speak to your audience as if you are a real person. Adding this social layer to your Facebook marketing campaign can go a long way to produce leads and advocates. By creating trust between your brand and your fans, people will be more receptive to your message and willing to share your content.
Even if a business is fully social on Facebook– reaches out and engages with other business pages, shares consistently good content, and focuses on their own website—it can still be a struggle to drive effective promotions. It has become clear that Facebook wants brand owners to pay to play, which means that paid promotions are now a key strategy for companies that want to drive business and grow an audience through Facebook.
Free or Pay to Play?
When I start talking about the “pay to play” nature of Facebook, some people like to argue with me. Like many others, they view Facebook as a place they can go to market their products or services for free. This is so much a part of the Facebook perception, in fact, that the promise is right there on the main sign-up page of Facebook: IT’S FREE AND ALWAYS WILL BE.
I’d like to dispel that theory by first saying: Social Media Marketing is not free! Social media costs time and effort, and executed properly can include other expenses as well.
Consider your own cost per hour as a business owner– let’s say it’s $100. When you spend time on social media marketing, you are essentially spending $100 per hour on your efforts. Not to mention the information you are giving to Facebook, which they use to help other companies market to you.
In fact, the Facebook profile is an ingenious tool for advertising, because people freely give away information about what they like and dislike. Without people so freely defining themselves on their profiles, Facebook would have almost no way to target individuals with the most appropriate ad, reducing the overall success of Facebook ad campaigns. All the information that others give out freely will eventually aid us in creating our Facebook ad campaign.
To learn more about how you can uncover the Not-So-Secret Sauce of Facebook Marketing success, click here to download the PDF: