They would come to me with the same story: "We spend hours trying to make Facebook work but get no results."
And the same question: "What are we doing wrong?"
My clients felt like a tiny people shouting in a crowded room. Why was no one listening to them or engaging with them on Facebook?
If you're plugging away at Facebook on behalf of your SME and receiving minimal engagement in return, you are probably making some easy-to-fix mistakes.
This post will identify your mistakes and show you how to easily fix them and transform your Facebook Business Page into a vibrant hub...
MISTAKE #1: Selling, not building a community
If you wanted to push a sales message hard 20 years ago, you'd buy more ad-space to put your message in front of more people. This is traditional outbound marketing.
First potential pitfall: Are you treating Facebook like a traditional outbound marketing facility? Like an advert or flyer promotion?
This is a common mistake, a major mistake, and (fear not) an easily remedied mistake. It also explains your lack of page likes and engagement.
Facebook Marketing (like all Social Media Marketing) is a form of Inbound Marketing.
Facebook content is not like a billboard we gaze at in a motorway queue, consuming it because we're bored senseless and there's no alternative.
It's the opposite: Facebook users have so many choices and places to go, that they are highly selective and only visit and engage with Pages and Content that interests them.
If you're logging into Facebook daily and posting a link back to your business website or a new discount offer, don't be surprised when you get nil reaction.
The first thing to understand is that Facebook is not a monologue, it is a conversation.
Before you even CONSIDER trying to turn your Facebook audience into customers, you've got to achieve the following:
Engage them with interesting content
Demonstrate your industry expertise
Gain their trust
Develop brand loyalty
Develop a community around your brand
Whether your business sells cupcakes or printing paper, you have the ability to entertain and engage. Trust me!
HOW TO FIX IT
Next time you log onto Facebook, ask your followers a quirky question relating to your industry, or post a link to an intriguing industry-related article or blog post - then ask them what they thought of it.
When they reply - listen to them and give a thoughtful response. This is the first step towards engaging your audience, demonstrating your industry expertise and gaining their trust.
MISTAKE #2: Posting Times
The time of day you post to Facebook is vital. If your target audience are OAPs (who are tucked into bed by 9 pm) then posting at 2 am daily is not going to reach anyone!
HOW TO FIX IT
Begin by considering the habits of your typical customer - are they busy mums, retired pensioners, teenagers, university students?
Facebook offers fantastic free analytic insights that provide a snapshot of when your users are most likely to engage with your content. Most Social Media Management Systems also offer in-depth analysis and suggest the best time of day to post.
Once you establish your most effective daily posting time, ensure that you are also logged onto Facebook at this time. There's nothing better than being able to instantly reply to a comment and engage your audience in a real-time conversations.
MISTAKE #3: Unappealing post formats
Are you posting grotty long links that look messy and spammy? It's an easy mistake and simple to fix.
HOW TO FIX IT
Next time you paste a link into your Facebook compose box, wait a few moment to give Facebook the time to scrape an image and summary from the page you are linking too. This is an automatic process. Just Paste and count to 10...
The following Facebook posts leads to the same article. Which post would be more likely to click on?:
Fingers crossed you answered number 2. there!
Sneaky trick: Once you've pasted your long URL into your compose box and waited for Facebook to scrape the image and summary from the web page, you can delete the long URL from the compose box. This will make your Post and Page look cleaner, more professional and more aesthetically appealing.
MISTAKE #4: Using text-only posts
Whatever message your are trying to get across in your Facebook Post, you need to consider the vehicle your message travels in:
Here are the basic vehicles you can put your message into:
Text-only posts are the least likely to received engagement. (Engagement = Comments, Likes, Shares.) When posts include photos they receive an average 37% increase in engagement, and photos are Liked 2x more than text updates on Facebook.
HOW TO FIX IT
If you hired a Professional Social Media Marketer we would go into a host of detail and analysis reagrding vehicles, create custom branded visuals to make your posts instantly recognisable around the web and much more.
For now, take heed of the stats above and make sure you attach a relevant image or video to each of your posts.
Users are not attracted to generic stock images so we've put together a list of the 10 best free image resources from around the web. Take a look at this vast collection of professional copyright free images to get started.
MISTAKE #5: Unintentional spamming
'Organic' content is any content you post to Facebook that you don't pay to promote. Did you know you can target your organic posts to reach a specific sector of your audience for free?
This is a fantastic Facebook function that most small business users are unaware of. If you have an audience spread across numerous geographical locations and ranging in age you may find many of your posts are only relevant to a small demographic of your audience.
If irrelevant posts appear continually within your audience's Newsfeed they will un-Like your Page. No one likes spam.
HOW TO FIX IT
To avoid unnecessarily losing your audience get clued up on How to use Facebook Organic Post Targeting. It's simple to use and very effective.
Last but not least
Facebook is forever changing and growing. The brains at Facebook are continually working to improve and update their software.
As a SME it's vital to stay on top of the changes to ensure your Business can effectively leverage Facebook and stay ahead of your competitors.
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