Facebook marketing is a new discipline for many companies that represents a great opportunity and also a challenge. Any social media marketing, Facebook marketing included, requires a fundamental shift in how you think about your campaigns. Unlike more traditional, one-way marketing, social media is all about the two-way conversation between a company and its community. Social media marketing and Facebook marketing are dialogue marketing.
As you start executing Facebook marketing campaigns, mistakes can happen easily… but don’t worry! I’ve put together a list of the five most common mistakes companies make when doing business on Facebook, and tips on how to use the Meltwater social media marketing platform. Learning to avoid these mistakes and adopting good Facebook marketing habits will help boost your company’s online presence and foster brand loyalty.
1. Violation of Facebook Pages Terms
Don’t let your Facebook Marketing campaign violate Facebook Pages Terms.
Social media promotions are a valuable tool for businesses hoping to increase brand loyalty and grow their online community. However, when companies run promotions, they often make the mistake of violating Facebook’s promotion guidelines, a part of the same Pages Terms they accepted when they created their company’s Facebook page.
When you create a Facebook page you agree not to place any competitions on your timeline and not to use any “Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism.” In practical terms, this means that you’re not allowed to post “Like this post in order to win x,” or something of the like. All promotions on Facebook, including sweepstakes and contests, must be administered within apps.
In the four years since I started focusing on Facebook marketing, I’ve learned that these “like our post” competitions are not worth the time. Most importantly, they violate Facebook’s terms, which could lead Facebook to remove your page (many companies with successful Facebook pages have been shut down). These competitions also tend to attract one-time buyers who are not otherwise interested in the brand. This leads to a rush of page “likes,” low engagement and often “unlikes.” In short: Don’t do it!
Meltwater helps you build contests and sweepstakes that comply with Facebook’s terms. You have the flexibility to post your promotion on a Facebook tab, on a mobile-friendly canvas app, as a standalone microsite or as an iframe on any webpage. When done correctly, a Facebook marketing promotion can gather important information about participants, encourage competition that spreads brand awareness via viral sharing, and drive more traffic to your webpage. And because it complies with Facebook’s terms, you won’t get your Facebook page shut down!
2. Monologue Marketing, Not Dialogue Marketing
Don’t engage in monologue marketing! Facebook marketing is dialogue marketing.
It’s called social media for a reason: you have to be social with your community! Don’t treat your Facebook page like your company’s website and just promote your products, services or pricing. Good Facebook marketing sparks a dialogue within your community with relevant, personal or entertaining posts.
When users ask questions, answer them and do it quickly. Be grateful for any comments you receive, care for your fans and make sure that you are engaging them in dialogue. The best you can do is be sincere and helpful.
Once you’ve developed a large community, it’s important to keep track of conversations as they happen. Using the Meltwater's engage tool, it’s easy to engage your communities across all of your company’s Facebook pages and Twitter handles from one interface. Next, measure the success of your engagement to look for important trends that can help you refine your Facebook marketing to better achieve your business goals.
3. Posting Rubbish
Many companies insist on posting information about their prices and links to their products on Facebook, even though these posts often don’t create any activity or engagement. It’s okay to publish information about your prices or your products once in a while, but keep in mind that users log in to Facebook to interact with their friends. So be friendly and engaging!
Include variety in what you post:
- Creative images
- Personal and entertaining content
- Behind-the-scenes views of your business
- Varied calls to action
In order for your sales-focused posts to generate traffic (and hopefully sales) you need to have an engaging Facebook page with a lot of variety. Don’t forget to publish new posts frequently. The most successful company pages on Facebook offer interesting, engaging, entertaining and informative posts at least daily.
4. Incorrect Measurement
Correctly measuring the success of your Facebook marketing campaigns is key.
Fans. Likes. Followers. No matter what you call the members of your community, it’s a very large task to engage successfully with thousands of people. It can be an even harder task to measure effectively how well you’ve been engaging so you can improve. Although tracking the number of followers you have on Facebook is important, there are many other metrics that can help inform your Facebook marketing strategy.
I recommend you benchmark your activity using the following metrics:
- People Talking About This (PTA) – How many of your followers are active on your page?
- Response time / Response rate – How fast are you answering inquiries from your followers? Do you respond to all messages?
- Posts – Which posts do your followers like and dislike?
- Reach – How many followers see your posts?
- Fans – When does your page receive new fans or lose fans? What was the posting activity during that time?
- Traffic – How much traffic does your website receive thanks to your activity on Facebook?
- Sales/Conversions – Do your followers visit your webpage or store? Do they buy anything?
These metrics combined with additional listening and engagement metrics within the Meltwater social media marketing management give you a 360-degree view of your Facebook engagement. There are enough interesting metrics here to inform your overall Facebook strategy and keep you busy half the night!
5. No Facebook Marketing Strategy
By now, companies know that they have to have a presence on social media and that they need to hire a social media manager or community manager to manage those channels. However, one of the most surprising things that I’ve found is that there’s often a lack of strategy driving engagement and that ad hoc campaigns are the standard.
Companies must have a business goal for their presence on Facebook and other social channels. If your company isn’t sure what it’s doing or what the goals should be, the best place to start is your overall marketing strategy. Think of your Facebook marketing strategy as an offshoot of your broader marketing strategy: set channel-specific goals that align with business goals, devise strategies and tactics to drive engagement and reach those goals, measure effectively, and optimize your presence (learn more about social media strategy in the recent post You Don’t Need a Twitter Strategy, You Need a Marketing Strategy). It doesn’t have to be complicated!
There you have it. Five mistakes that I often see companies make on Facebook. I hope that these tips are helpful and that your company is well on its way to a successful Facebook presence.
If you like this post, join the conversation! Social media is about dialogue, so please share, forward, comment and submit any questions.