You know how to use Facebook on a personal level, but do you really know how to take advantage of it for your business? It may seem like a low-maintenance platform, but there are a lot of ways you can go wrong on Facebook. It's not just about sharing your content — it's about understanding your audience and knowing how to engage with them, and figuring out how to make that work for your business.
So what are the biggest Facebook marketing mistakes to avoid? Here are 10 Facebook faux pas, according to social media experts.
1. Don't forget to be social.
"The beauty of social media is that it allows us to have a two-way conversation with people. It opens dialogue with those fans or customers and allows businesses to speak to people in a more authentic way. With that, companies should also respond to [their] audiences in a timely manner, especially to complaints. This further provides a level of transparency, which most audiences want on Facebook. Companies and brands should acknowledge that they're speaking to people and building a relationship with someone, not trying to push [their] product or service." – Khiem Nguyen, director of social media and interactive, THR33FOLD
2. Don't ignore analytics.
"I think the biggest mistake a business [or] brand can make is not checking [its] insights. They are a great resource and they are free on Facebook. If they checked their insights, they could find out that a large number of their followers are active on Facebook at a certain part of the day and make sure they schedule a message to post at that time. This enables them to reach more of their audience." – Melissa Kuehnle, director of communications and external relations, St. Joseph's College
3. Don't forget to boost posts.
"Gone are the days when you could share content on your page and your fans would see it in their news feed. Facebook is constantly changing and tweaking the way content is delivered and nowadays it's imperative that businesses push out their messages through boosted posts if they intend for as many eyes to see it as possible. Many businesses, especially small businesses and nonprofits, don't realize this or make the most of this feature, resulting in only a small percentage of their Facebook constituents viewing their content. Thankfully, boosting posts is fairly affordable. Businesses should allocate a percentage of their marketing budget to boosted posts each month to ensure maximum content exposure." – Jessica Munday, president, Trio Solutions
4. Don't buy likes.
"By far, the biggest mistake a brand can make on Facebook is buying likes. Many of my clients have a mindset that the more likes a page has, the better. This can't be further from the truth. While having a large and engaging audience is great, buying likes is not the road to get there. In fact, it will be detrimental to your future Facebook advertising campaigns, making targeting to your existing audience a waste of money. You don't want to spend money to target fake profiles, right?" – Ricky Garvey, social media and PR specialist
5. Don't take a one-size-fits-all approach.
"When brands take creative that was developed for other mediums and post it on Facebook, they are doing themselves and their customers a huge disservice. The way a person interacts with a post on Facebook is very different than the way he or she interacts with a billboard or a 30-second TV spot. Trying to make a piece that was designed to be shown somewhere other than Facebook work on Facebook is like trying to play a game of golf with a baseball bat." – Jen Salamandick, partner, Kick Point [Facebook for Business: Everything You Need to Know ]
6. Don't target the wrong audience.
"Another big mistake brands and business make with Facebook is not targeting the right audiences when they create ads. Facebook targeting and retargeting are two of the best tools businesses can use to actually convert fans into actual customers. But if you don't know who your target audience is, what other pages they like, and their interests, then you're really not using Facebook well for business." – Alice Fuller, principal consultant, Sheer Social
7. Don't forget about video posts.
"The biggest mistake brands make on Facebook is not posting native videos to the platform. A steady stream of content marketing in the form of quick, not overly produced videos — posted directly to the platform, instead of on YouTube — can give brands tremendous mileage on Facebook." – John Jiloty, director of social media, Martin Davison Public Relations
8. Don't post inconsistently.
"The biggest mistake I see with Facebook marketing is a lack of consistency. Businesses start out with the best of intentions and then go for months without posting or doing any marketing. Better to have a realistic goal of regular posting." – Robert J. Simpson, president and CEO, Waverider Communications
9. Don't ignore complaints.
"If a past customer airs their grievances on Facebook, it is a critical opportunity to change that person's perspective and to show other potential clients what they can expect from your company when addressing their concerns. The best way to respond can vary depending on the validity of the criticisms, but by and large, the best way to respond is a simple apology accompanied by an ask for them to connect with you directly to address their concerns … I have seen companies respond in a variety of ways that were big mistakes, ranging from placing blame on the client for their negative experience to defending the company's position. Neither of these are going to place your brand in a positive light, no matter whether you are 'right' or not." – Alex Kelsey, brand marketing strategist, Greenvelope
10. Don't forget to add variety.
"[You can] get into a rut of sharing the same types of pictures and posts. People expect you to mix it up! Give them ever-green content via blog posts, interesting pictures, quotes, video, infographics, how-to's, quizzes, tutorials, testimonials, pose questions, jokes, GIFs, etc." – Laci Texter, founder, Texter Communications