As you no doubt know by now, your customers are on Facebook. The social network boasts more than 750 million active users, combined they spend over 700 billion minutes per month on site. Is it any wonder Facebook has become a choice marketing tool for so many small businesses? According to the site, it contains over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages), and the average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events.
More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) are shared each month!
Yet, still so many businesses, while on Facebook, don’t truly know how to harness it, and even further, many are struggling to master the basics. Here a round up from around the web, some of the more common Facebook marketing mistakes.
- Not educating yourself. Perhaps you think that because you use Facebook personally, you can just as easily use it for business. Yes, and no. Yes, it is easy, but you should not approach marketing a business on Facebook the same way you approach your personal page. Before beginning to market your business on Facebook, read up! Do a little homework in preparation for launching your campaign. To find lots of useful info from Facebook 101 to advanced topics check out Mashable’s extensive resource: the Facebook Guide Book . If you prefer a book format for learning you can read the book 3,000 Fans In 30 Days Guide (under $10).
- Broadcasting, not socializing. This is the most common Facbook mistake according to most marketing consultants. People are on Facebook to interact and to be entertained. They’re not there to buy anything. If you fail to participate socially, and only comment when you have some self-serving news to anounce, then you are not only missing the power of the platform, you’re also risking alienating your Facebook fans. As a business, you have expertise, share your knowledge, insights and self as authentically as possible, and you’re more than half way there. Remember talk as yourself, not about yourself. Also, you don’t always have to post on topic. Be a real person.
- Automating everything. The tools and the temptation are there to automate as much as your social media marketing as possible. And while social media dashboards like Hootsuite, do make it easier to manage your campaign, using Fcebook’s native publishing tools will allow you to gain the most benefit in terms of real time engagement. Also, Facebook places low-priority on auto-published content.
- Direct linking. This mistake relates to Facebook’s advertising program. Facebook advertising is proving to be hugely successful as a lead generation tool for many business to consumer marketers. It can be beneficial for you too as long as you don’t make this sure-to-fail mistake: linking from your Facebook ad to a sales page. People don’t like this, and neither does Facebook. Instead send them to your Facebook business page and start to grow your social relationship. Remember, people are not on Facebook to buy things.
- Violating Facebook’s Terms. Again, educate yourself about what to do and not do on your Facebook business page. Facebook’s terms do change frequently, and keeping up with the changes can be difficult, but breaching them could lead to being flagged, and even having your page shut down. Three of the most common violations? Building a community on a personal page instead of a proper Facebook Page, failing to abide by Facebook’s rules around running contests, and“tagging” people who are in an image without their permission. If you’re unsure if something is a violation, Google it, and see what comes up.
To avoid these common mistakes, invest time in learning about the Facebook platform, educate yourself on how to build and sustain an audience, and engage with people as a person. That way you can derive the maximum benefit from this popular and effective marketing platform.
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