Whether you are using your Facebook profile for personal branding and engagement, a Facebook group for outreach and crowd sourcing ideas, or you are using a Facebook business page for marketing, you may want to ask yourself: “Am I a Facebook Sinner?” Here is a list of the top 10 Facebook sins you might be committing and how to remedy them.
Forgetting to complete your profile
I see this one all the time. It is an especially bad offense when talking about a Facebook business page. It is extremely important that you fully complete your Facebook page. Fill in all the information in the about section, add your website address and a way for fans to contact you if needed. Consider using keywords in your descriptions so you can be found in the Facebook search (which is getting to be more and more dynamic every day). Don’t forget to upload a cover image that reflects your brand and a icon image. This is Facebook marketing 101 and you don’t want to looking like a Facebook sinner by missing these important steps to success!
Being over promotional
This particular one is becoming more and more important for you to remedy. Facebook has been making some pretty swift moves towards devaluing overly promotional post in the newsfeed. In fact a study done by Social@Ogilvy analyzed the pages of 106 country-level brand pages it has administrator access to and found that the average organic reach of page posts had declined from 12.05% in October 2013 to 6.15% in February 2014. This number continues to take a hit as Facebook has recently announced that it will take further steps to lower the reach of post with promotional copy.
I also should point out that no one likes to be sold to. In fact, almost every time I teach a social media class I ask “Who likes being sold to?” In the past 7 years that I have been teach social media I have only had one person raise their hand, and not surprising, they were a car salesman. Your content needs to be there to help build trust with your followers. Help them see what you and your company are all about. Be a thought leader and bring some value to the table. When your fans and connections are ready to buy be the one they think of. Not because you annoyed them with spammy promotional crap, but because you are seen as the expert in the field and because you brought value to them over the long haul. I am not saying you can’t sell on Facebook. Fact being, they have a fantastic ad platform that is pretty dang affordable too. I would highly recommend that you add Facebook ads as a line item to your 2015 Marketing budget.
Now, when I ask the question “Who likes to buy things?” almost everyone raises their hands. Be the one they run to not run away from!
Buying fans (the wrong way)
I know we all want fans on our Facebook page. Most people do not have the patience to build out a page the right way, nor do they want to allocate a decent budget to build it the right way. Now days it seems that the real Facebook sinners have no patience at all and jump right into buying their fans. I’m sure you have seen the ads, the spammers, the pop ups all promising you 10,000 fans for $100. But let me just say this is not only a big fat waste of money but it is one of the worst things that you can do to your Facebook page efforts. Those fans that you are promised are from like farms located in other countries. First of all, those people may be “real” but they are not really your target audience and thus they are not your real customers. They will not engage with your page and your real fans will never see your post because you have killed off your reach with the negative pull of fake followers.
Let me break it down for you in this image…
Moral of the story: Don’t buy your fans. If you want to build a fan base faster you can dedicate some funds to advertising or create a value proposition that would make people WANT to become your fans.
Being rude or Starting fights
I see this one more on the profile and group side of Facebook. Facebook sinners will start some battle about why this that and the other are bad. Pointing fingers and bashing people in their wake. Listen, you are allowed to have an opinion, however, Facebook is no place to try and ram it down other people’s throats. Whether you are a part of a heated discussion about breastfeeding in your mommy Facebook group, or you are telling your “friends” they are idiots for not voting a certain way. These behaviors only make you look bad and in the end will hurt your reputation. Sadly I have even seen lifelong friendships ruined because of this Facebook sin. And let’s face it, Facebook business page admins have committed this sin as well. If someone complains on your page or leaves a nasty comment, do not be baited into an argument. Either respond humbly or “hide” the offending comment from the feed.
Being afraid of commitment
Building an engaged following takes time and commitment. Not unlike real world relationships, those on Facebook need time to grow. Don’t expect your page to “blow up” overnight or your potential customers to flock to your page in droves. It just doesn’t work that way. Social media is not about hyper speed growth. Just like any other relationships on any other platform or in any other medium time is needed to grow those know, like, trust relationships. Commit yourself to create great content, interact with your followers and friends, and by all means do not compare yourself to big brands who spend thousands of dollars and have been around Facebook for some years. You will not have the same draw as Apple, as Starbucks or as Red Bull.
Ignoring your fans/friends
If your fans are commenting on your post or leaving comments on your page you need to be responding. And none of this cut and paste form response for everyone. Give your fans the same respect you would expect. Take the time to respond, answer questions and thank them for stopping by.
Forgetting to measure for success
There are two really big reasons why brands fail on social media. 1. They don’t set goals or they don’t set the right kind of goals. 2. They don’t measure for success.
You can’t just jump on Facebook and think the magic will just happen and sales will come zooming in and your web traffic is going to go sky high. Blindly going into Facebook making those kind of assumptions without a goal, a strategy and something to measure your success on is only going to lead to frustration. Here are some goals to consider:
These are just two of the easiest and most effective ways to track your progress and measure for success!
Over tagging to get engagement (are you my friend?)
I literally rolled my eyes when I re-read that header. I can’t stand when people do this. Posting an image that is obviously being used to sell something and tagging everyone you know or don’t know in order to get engagement. This is just poor marketing. In fact, it is flat out spammy and shows you as a spammer and an amateur. It’s one thing to tag some friends you think might be interested in for sale or an event they may enjoy, but to tag hundreds of random people and influencers is just a big fat Facebook sin.
Posting on Facebook as if it is Twitter
This is another one of those amateurmistakes I see all to offten on Facebook. People post as if they are on Twitter.
Typically this happens because that person is scheduling their post or simply posting via a 3rd party app like bufferapp or hootsuite (both tools are great but be careful how you use them). Its okay to use these 3rd party tools to help automate some of the process, just don’t put the same exact content in for every site you use. Remember each social network is unique and has its own language and style.
Using irrelevant Hashtags or simply using them in the wrong way
First off, it is totally acceptable to use hashtags on Facebook. They work great for getting engagement, being found in the search (new search features rolling out as we speak!) and just for fun. But there is a wrong way to use them on Facebook too. First don’t go putting a ton of hashtags in your post. 1-3 is probably more than enough to get your point across. Second, don’t use them if you don’t know how. I will sometimes see people using them wrong in such obvious ways:
#Throw back thursday or #throw #back #thursday should be #throwbackthursday or #tbt
#social media or #social #media should be #socialmedia
There are no spaces in a hashtag.
When it comes to Facebook it is best to have fun, be creative, give value and commit. Avoid these Facebook sins and you will be well on your way to Facebook heaven!
What Facebook mistakes and sins did I miss? Comment below.
Want to take a deeper look into these sins? Consider signing up for the “Social Media Sins” webinar series interest list. This web series will be launching in early 2015 and will cover sins and cures from all the major social networks as well as email marketing. Click here to sign up for the interest list.