Facebook has come a long way from its humble (yet highly controversial) beginnings at Harvard University. What started out as an online directory for students has now turned into a social networking platform that revolutionized the way we connect to the world. With more than 2 billion active users, it’s no surprise that Facebook eventually expanded its purpose, opening its doors to visionaries and entrepreneurs.
In today’s day and age, it’s almost impossible to encounter a company that doesn’t have a Facebook page. It’s become not only a means to connect with audiences, but it’s also become an essential element of brand building, particularly for smaller businesses.
Now, it’s no longer a question of “Do I need it?”, but more of “Am I using it right?”
To make sure you are able to maximize the power of Facebook marketing, it’s important not just to know what works on the platform, but what doesn’t as well. Here’s a quick rundown on the 5 most common social media marketing mistakes companies commit on Facebook, and how to make it right:
- You keep hard-selling
Facebook is, first and foremost, a digital ecosystem designed for human interactions. Even after the brands and businesses came in, the marketing tool’s priority remains the same – give its users the best personal experience possible. And as Facebook evolved, so has its audience. People are much smarter about the information they digest, so pushing sales talks and product features on social media are not going to cut it anymore.
What you can do:
It’s all about storytelling – establishing authenticity through content that is relevant, relatable, and personal. Instead of publishing posts that revolve around what your product or service is about, focus more on how it helps your audience and why it serves a purpose. Show your market that you deeply understand their needs and it is the very foundation of who you are as a brand. Make them the hero of the narrative, so you can pull your market in without resorting to product pushing.
A great example of this is Dove’s series of posts for its DermaSeries line. They shared real photos conveying real stories of real customers.
As you can see above, it’s a great way for people suffering from skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and excessively dry skin, to relate to the brand and people exactly like them. It’s inspiring, empathetic, and puts the brand top of mind without being salesy.
2. You don’t address negative feedback
Being able to communicate directly with your audience is both a gift and a curse that comes with marketing on Facebook. And while it’s easy to celebrate good feedback, ignoring, hiding, or deleting negative reviews can lead to a downfall you’ll find difficult to recover from. Irate customers, after all, are still customers; and they should be given equal if not more attention.
What you can do:
For us, the best way to approach this specific situation is simple- acknowledgement. Address the glaring social media review with a helpful response. Understand and evaluate the cause of concern and provide a solution or compromise with sincere sympathy. Be specific, the last thing you want to offer an already escalated client are canned responses and templated fixes. By dealing with it directly, you’re giving the client a chance to see you in a better light while also showing the public how you handle unpleasant situations with grace.
3. You target too broad of an audience
The biggest advantage of an online marketing strategy over traditional is audience reach. If you’re treating digital platforms like Facebook the way you do television, radio, or print, then you’re wasting money and resources. You’re not exactly maximizing your efforts with a wide audience because it almost always yields lower ROI; besides, mass marketing requires a handsome amount of money.
What you can do:
One of the reasons companies are starting to significantly invest on Facebook as a marketing tool is the fact that it allows for a more targeted reach. The ad capabilities of this platform will amaze you— you can target based on demographics, but more importantly, based on psychographics. A narrow market that’s interest-based, while smaller in size, usually boasts of higher conversion rates. You can even target based on the existing market data you have through what is called a Lookalike audience. Always remember to utilize the available online marketing tools you have to its full potential, and Facebook is one of those.
4. You rely on templated ad copies and creatives
Doing marketing is a task not for the faint-hearted. It takes time to strategize and execute, so if you’re opting for a shortcut, it’s not going to be as efficient as you would hope. Publishing anything that’s even remotely generic can rob you of the opportunity to get relevant results – whether that’s in the form of clicks, likes, or shares. In a platform as crowded as Facebook, being characterless is a surefire way to fade into the background.
What you can do:
Optimize your Facebook ads- from top to bottom, copy to design. Customize your marketing strategy by taking into consideration factors such as placement and device. More importantly, craft it to fit your target market’s preference. What sort of message would speak to them? What design style would entice them to take action? Running an A/B test campaign will also be a good source of insightful market data especially if you’re just starting out your business. If you don’t have time or an in-house team, then you may want to entrust it to a good and highly experienced ad agency.
5. You don’t track performance metrics
Your Facebook marketing efforts are fruitless if you just keep implementing strategies without deep-diving into data. What if your campaign isn’t working? Refusing to track performance can lead to unnecessary costs and missed opportunities. It’s like arming yourself with a knife, not knowing you’re about to get into a gunfight . If you’re spending that much energy conceptualizing campaigns, it’s only smart to know if it’s time well spent.
What you can do:
Facebook is equipped with a highly-detailed analytics and reporting tool called “Insights.” From here, you can easily get data as basic as your page’s vanity metrics and market demographics to something as in-depth as content engagement and conversions. Gathering and evaluating results is a fool-proof learning strategy that will help you determine the next move to make in order to continuously improve how you approach your Facebook campaigns in relation to ROI.
There is no need to feel bad if you’ve done one or all of the above, even digital advertisers have been guilty about it. But the important thing is truly understanding that Facebook is part of digital marketing, a fast-paced, ever-evolving universe where continuous learning is the way to succeed. You’re bound to make mistakes, but look at it as an opportunity to do better. So what are you waiting for? Stop JUST being on Facebook, and start using it to build your brand online!