By now, you’ve probably already started marketing through Facebook, and you probably recognize it as a great marketing tool. No other platform can give you such unprecedented access to almost a billion people, and then allow you to engage with them individually. Facebook is powerful, unique, and the perfect tool for marketers, but only if you understand how to use it.
If you have seen low ROI, low engagement, or negative feedback on Facebook then you might need to rethink how you are marketing on the social media site.
1. Facebook is a telephone, not a megaphone.
Facebook isn’t just an advertising medium. While it is a great way to get advertisements in front of highly targeted audiences, Facebook is a social network. This means you should be using your page to engage your audience. They don’t want to be constantly bombarded with ads, and they will be upset when that is all they see from your business. Relying solely on Facebook as a billboard or a megaphone is a bad strategy.
You can easily burn out your audience by relying too much on broadcasting your advertisements. Instead of using your messages like a megaphone, provide your fans with relevant content and engage them on a daily basis. Promote social sharing through images or videos is a creative way to get your audience to involved in the conversation.
There are plenty of examples of companies who are using different types of engaging content successfully on Facebook:
The most important part of marketing through Facebook is to provide your audience with consistently good and creative content.
2. Don’t post lengthy updates.
People don’t want to see lengthy social media posts, especially not on Facebook. Remember that people scroll through their news feeds quickly. They will not stop and take the time to read a long post, even if it has a picture or video with it. Think of it like this: if you post long updates on Facebook, you have pretty much given your audience homework to read.
According to a study by BuddyMedia, Facebook posts which are at 80 or less characters get 27% better engagement. It’s always a good idea to keep it short and sweet. A great tip for reducing clutter and streamlining your posts is to remove the url link from the post text. Once you paste the url into the field, the title, a blurb, and a thumbnail will populate, and then you can just delete the url. Some platforms (Hootsuite, Hubspot) and tools (Google offers one) can help you shorten your url for social media posts.
3. Understand your metrics.
There are tons of guides that can give you a bunch of tips on boosting your engagement and increasing your ROI on Facebook, but those tips and guides aren’t surefire ways to improve your brand’s presence. The best way to understand your unique audience is by tracking and understanding how your audience engages with your posts.
Fortunately for you, Facebook provides analytics that help you track what is going to work best with your fans. Through Facebook Insights you can:
- Track Engagement: There are a few ways to see engagement through Insights. First, you can see an overview of engagement of all your posts in the “Overview” section. You also have the option to see more detailed information about your engagement in the “Reach” section. In that more detailed information you can track different types of engagement and paid vs. organic reach.
- Top Posts: You can find information about specific posts in the “Posts” section. This will allow you to discover your best engagement by date and time, helping you determine the best time to post to your page. This also shows you individual post engagement.
4. Handle negative feedback appropriately.
No brand is perfect, and not everything goes according to plan. You’ve probably already had a complaint at some point, most likely when something didn’t work out the way a customer expected it to. This is going to happen if it hasn’t already. There is a good way and a bad way to handle negative feedback on Facebook.
In the case of USAA they responded appropriately to negativity on Facebook. A large discussion was sparked around negative comments about perceived political affiliations, and in response they detailed their policies, the legalities of the issue, and did so in a positive and unthreatening way. They went into damage control mode and apologized for the inconvenience.
Amy’s Bakery, on the other hand, did the opposite. A television appearance on one of Gordon Ramsay’s reality shows ended with terrible publicity and intense public backlash. Instead of responding appropriately, they responded with anger and accusations in a series of posts which now live in infamy. Buzzfeed even captured the posts in a series of screenshots. Because of the way they handled the situation they completely missed an opportunity to regain audience trust and fueled the fire (see the Amy’s Bakery post in response to angry Redditors above).
5. Invest time in your Facebook page.
One of the most common mistakes that brands make on Facebook is they do not invest the necessary time into upkeep and building their audience. It’s easy to have a “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to social media. But to have a successful brand page on Facebook takes more of a commitment than that.
When it comes to Facebook, consistency matters. By posting regularly your audience will come to expect posts from you. When you pair consistency with good content, not only will your audience expect your posts, but they will be excited for them.
Posting infrequently can also have negative consequences on your brand’s page. When you do update, for instance, your audience can easily ignore your posts. By not consistently posting on your page you are missing opportunities to build your audience, and possibly losing the followers you do have.
By investing time and effort into your Facebook page, you are ensuring success for your social media outreach.
Facebook is a great way for your brand to increase exposure to millions of people, but it doesn’t have to be a considerable drain on your resources. Avoiding these simple mistakes is critical to making sure that you are building a strategic plan for your Facebook page. A few minutes a day and adequate planning can mean all the difference in building your brand’s Facebook page.