Plenty of business owners take on the task of managing their own Facebook page with loads of enthusiasm only to find a few months later motivation has been replaced by feelings of frustration and growing indifference. Unmet expectations will often lead to abandoning social media efforts on Facebook altogether, leaving behind dated content and forgotten opportunities.
Whether you’ve already found yourself in the above scenario, or simply hope to avoid it, the list below identifies common missteps business owners make when managing their social media presence on Facebook and provides you with solutions and preventative measures to help ensure your efforts are aimed at facilitating your overall goals and objectives.
1. Using a Personal Profile Instead of a Business Page
Although this lapse in judgement is less common today, there are still plenty of business owners who make the mistake of creating a Facebook “Profile” for their business, rather than a “Page”. There are a variety of reasons why one may think a profile suits their needs better than a page does, however, none of them are valid. Even if your business is built on your personal brand, you’re a blogger or a real estate agent for example, if you’re using Facebook to help support your marketing efforts for your business, then you need to set-up a page. In fact, Facebook has written it right into its terms and using a personal profile to represent anything other than yourself could land you with a suspended account. Besides, a Facebook "Page" provides you with all sorts of things that a profile never could, including access to loads of insights, the ability to schedule posts, power advertising tools and the ability to add CTA (call-to-action) buttons. If you have realized that you’re using a profile to market your business, check out Converting Your Profile into a Facebook Page.
2. An Inconsistent Voice
Posts on your business’ Facebook Page should align with your company’s values, should be consistent with your overall marketing goals and should be relevant to your audience. Posts deemed personal or content that seems out of place could be unappealing to your target audience and may even cause someone to “Ignore” the post (which will block similar posts from their timeline in the future) or to “Unlike” your page altogether. Make sure that everyone charged with creating content for your Facebook page understands:
- Your overall goals and objectives and how your social media efforts tie into them.
- Your company’s values, philosophy, vision and mission statements.
- Your target audience and what kinds of information they look for relevant to your business.
- Your content schedule on other social media platforms and your blog.
3. Poor Planning and Lack of Scheduling
If you feel like you’re flying by the seat of your pants and getting nowhere in terms of your efforts on Facebook then investing a little time could be all you need to see significant improvements in reach, engagement and reaching your goals. Yes, there is certainly room for spontaneity on social platforms, but if you find yourself scrambling for content at the last minute, then you’re likely not going to see the results you could if you took the time to layout a strategy and content schedule. Start by defining what your goals are specific to your social media efforts on Facebook then identify who your target audience might be. What sorts of problems might they have that your services or products provide a solution for? Use this information to create relevant content ideas and lay them out in a content schedule. Create content according to your content schedule a week in advance and allow for more “spontaneous” moments throughout. Use the “schedule” feature to post at peak times and monitor how effective various types of posts are.
4. Lack of Visual Content
Visual content plays such an important role in the success of social media efforts on Facebook that I’m going to go ahead and tell you that every single post you make to your business’ Facebook page should be accompanied by either an image or a video. According to Facebook IQ, posts containing visual content do 92% better in terms of engagement and shareability than those with text only. With this in mind, take a look at your most recent posts. If you have “text-only” posts, compare them to your visual content. If you find you have a significant lack of visual content, chances are it’s having a negative impact on your page’s success.
5. Misuse of Hashtags
Believe it or not but the almighty hashtag could be having a negative impact on your efforts on Facebook! Used on other social platforms like Twitter, hashtags are meant to pool and organize information and from a marketing perspective, meant to widen your reach. Hashtags on Facebook have always been looked at with some skepticism; Facebook adopted their use later in the game and they never seemed to catch on in the way they had on Twitter and Instagram. Recent studies indicate that posts on Facebook without hashtags do significantly better than those that have them and what’s more, it seems that the greater the number of hashtags, the less effective the post! Rule of thumb: don’t use them and if you must, keep them relevant and to a minimum (no more than two).
6. Lack of Engagement
As the name would suggest, “social” media is centered on making connections with current and prospective customers, so if you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for on Facebook, it could be due to a lack of interactions on your part. To truly facilitate a thriving community online, make the effort to reach out and connect. Especially when you’re just getting started, commit to “Liking” other relevant pages, commenting on posts within your newsfeed and sharing great content posted by others. Keep interactions with individuals courteous and professional and post content that encourages engagement (for example pose a question to your audience or encourage followers to post pictures of relevant subject matter).
7. Unoriginal Content
Although sharing quality content created by other relevant sources is an excellent way to expand your reach and help fill gaps in your own content calendar, too much of this tactic can backfire. Audiences notice when content is recycled and if you find your level of growth and engagement beginning to fizzle, consider how many of the posts you’re putting out there include references to your own, original content. Begin by making a commitment to regularly developing original content, whether it’s through your company blog on your website or your social channels only, then (and this is the most important part)stick to it! Again, creating a content calendar is going to be the most effective way to manage this and allows for a quick overview of past and upcoming material.
8. Overselling or "Spammy Content"
At the beginning of the year, Facebook rolled out a change to their algorithm meant to weed out posts that include heavy self-promotion and remove them from people’s timelines. With these changes in mind, creating content for consumption via Facebook’s Timeline should be looked at like any other form of native advertising. Your content needs to support your goals but must balance that with the wants and needs of your audience. If your organic reach has seen a significant drop, you’re likely posting content deemed undesirable by your audience and should reconsider your approach. Start by identifying who you’re trying to reach and develop “buyer personas” for your audience. Define the kinds of problems they have and what their goals are. Develop content that helps them resolve their problems, overcome challenges they may face and succeed in reaching their goals. Hubspot has excellent resources on creating buyer personas and using them to create great content, check out a recent blog post from them titled, "12 Tools and Resources to Help You Create Better Buyer Personas."
9. Little To No Paid Advertising
While users have indicated they do not wish to see promotional content within their newsfeeds, Facebook data indicates there is still space for this type of content when it’s in the form of a paid advertisement. Businesses that have seen success using Facebook have long understood that to get the most out of the platform, you will need to invest. Paid advertisements allow you to focus your message and target key demographics while widening your reach and expanding your growth. If you find your Facebook page has hit a lull in terms of organic growth, consider integrating a paid advertising campaign into your overall strategy.
10. Ignoring Your Insight Data
Facebook Insights provide invaluable information about your audience and could hold the key to turning your social media efforts on Facebook into meaningful marketing tactics. For those who are new to online marketing, sifting through the many layers of data can be overwhelming and cause some to ignore the tool altogether. Start by taking the time to get to know your dashboard. Visit Facebook's Page Insights Basics, for an excellent tutorial covering everything you need to know. By monitoring your Insights regularly you can determine things like, when your followers are online, what types of posts they engage with the most, details pertaining to your Facebook Ads and how they are affecting your overall efforts, and demographic information about your audience.
To conclude, if you’re unhappy with the results you’re getting from your efforts on Facebook (or lack thereof), the most important thing to do is NOT GIVE UP. Take the time to review where you’re falling short and develop a plan of action to make improvements. Social media is an incredibly effective tool that can be used to foster relationships with your current and prospective clients, drive traffic back to your website and facilitate lead generation.
If you find yourself overwhelmed or struggling to dedicate the time needed to use this tool effectively, give us a call or contact us to learn more about our many digital marketing services, including social media management and training!