Social Media Marketing has officially made it into the mainstream. So powerfully, that 97% of advertisers use Facebook Ads (according to Sprout Social). In this new digital territory, even longstanding brick and mortar institutions are having to adapt to the new landscape.
While the vanity of certain numbers of likes and follows can contribute to the perceived success of a business, it’s the level of quality of relationships that eventually translates these numbers into either profit or loss.
Whether you’ve been in business for over 30 years or just opened your doors, the following list will pinpoint what to avoid in this unique environment:
Too many #hashtags
If your audience is so distracted by all the hashtags in your post, it would defeat the purpose of trying to reach as many people as possible. If you do want to go for the 20+ amount of hashtags, consider placing them at the end of the post with a few spaces in between your actual non # statement.
Keep in mind that it’s been proven statistically that in Facebook, hashtags actually reduce your chances or maximum engagement. So unless used strategically in a witty manner, it’s best to save the hashtags altogether for your Instagram posts. Instagram is a completely different best when it comes to hashtags, so using 30 of them is actually beneficial there.
As you can see, it’s all about context.
Posting “Sale!, Sale!, Sale” too often before providing value
Your pacing of posting throughout on Facebook should adapt to the number of followers you have. A general rule of thumb for businesses starting with zero followers is to keep it to about 2 posts per week. Focus on quality more than quantity. That way, when your audience hears from you, they develop a feeling of “this business always posts such valuable stuff!”.
Another rule of 3 is that for every sales type of post, you should have at least 3 posts where you’re not trying to sell anything and are just providing value & being a resource. When you become a resource, you attract buyers in a smoother manner because they don’t feel like you’re trying to just get a quick buck from them.
Variety is the spice of life. Use it to spice up your Facebook marketing by keeping it compelling, entertaining or informative as you throw in the sales type of posts in between.
Any business should know how spelling errors portray a lack of attention to detail and care. Your customers can see this as a representation of your brand and the quality of your work. In the end, this translates into lost opportunities with new customers & lost sales.
There are tools like Grammarly that can eliminate all your grammatical errors and check your sentence structure in a flash.
Not keeping it social
People mainly go into Facebook to keep in touch with their friends and family. To have a good laugh at the Walmart line or de-stress while at work. That’s why it’s crucial that your business takes an approach that fits into the casual demeanor of the Facebook newsfeed.
This also means that posting too much about your “SALE SALE SALE!” would be instantly seen as spammy and would guarantee a loss of followers.
If you focus on giving value to your customers and your audience, you’ll naturally create more opportunities to eventually mention your limited time discount or Black Friday Sale.
The golden ratio is that for every post that has to do with a sale, there should be at least 3 that are non-sales oriented.
Liking or sharing your own posts
Unfortunately, not only does it look juvenile, but it does nothing in regards to your actual analytics. Ideally, you want all your numbers to be coming from people that are genuinely interested in what you have to say, your products and services.
The reason why is that if you decide to start running paid Ad campaigns with the data has gathered from your Facebook Audience, you’ll want the audience data to be as accurate as possible. The Ad targeting capabilities within Facebook are the most powerful any social network has ever seen, but you’ll only be able to use them in your favor if you “keep it real”.
Tagging strangers to photos
Not only is this unprofessional, but extremely annoying to anyone that gets tagged. It’s the equivalent of an unsolicited group text of 898 people.
Some businesses thought this would be a good day to get quick attention, but it has only delivered notifications that people are marking you as spam.
Paying on Fiver for likes or followers
The reason why this desperate call kills many businesses on Facebook is that it’s like building a house with the foundation on top of a swamp: it’ll eventually sink and the whole house will collapse.
“Fake” followers and likes do nothing to increase your engagement and eventually your sales. Nothing would look more awkward than having thousands of followers and 0 interactions on your 10 most recent posts. Not to mention that your Facebook Ad data for targeting any Lookalike Audiences in relation to your page engagement would be way off.
In the end, paying for click farms is like shooting yourself in the foot.
Having an outdated website URL
If I had a nickel for every time that I’ve clicked on a dead website URL…
This is not only a professionalism issue but also a big miss on good ol’ SEO. Google looks at your URL being present on reputable websites in order to decide if your web pages have the authority and if they should be ranked higher in search results.
Not handling negative comments
Leaving negative comments unchecked can harm your brand in more days than one. It can signal unresponsiveness and a lack of urgency to customer issues or a general aloofness to what people think of your business.
Every negative comment is an opportunity to turn a frown upside down. Acknowledging this feedback and acting on it will show how confident your brand is and how service oriented it is.
Not defining your ideal target audience
A business that tries to speak to everyone speaks to no one. Understanding and targeting your ideal audience raises your chances of engagement and boost of followers dramatically. It enables you to produce posts that your audience can relate to and benefit from.
BONUS: Having an incomplete or unclaimed business profile page
Obscurity is your enemy. It raises a question about your business doing well and also your business still being operational.
Filling out every detail of the profile page info shows that the business is updated with the times and wants to make its customer’s lives easy.
An incomplete profile also lowers your SEO ranking and disables the opportunity to verify the page on Facebook. If you want to get the nice blue or gray badge sooner than later then you’ll want to make sure to keep your information fully completed and up to date at all times.
Alternatively to not having your full information is having inaccurate information displayed, such as the wrong phone number, address or pictures. Since anyone can create a business page without going through the verification process first, there have been times when people that have visited a business will create an unclaimed business profile.
Even with the best intentions, the wrong pictures or information can portray an undesired impression for your brand.
Think relationships instead of numbers
By keeping these common mistakes to avoid in mind, you can stand out as a business that both understands it’s audience and serves them an enjoyable experience. You’ll get closer to the glamorous rewards of establishing and growing a quality social media audience that is made of people that know, like, trust and consistently buy from you. Eventually, they’ll even refer and defend your brand.