As important as social media is, no brand needs to be – nor could be – on every social network. But with an average 1.28 billion daily active users, Facebook is one you definitely want to be on, and get right. Here are some common mistakes to steer clear of:
1. Not having a brand/business page
SMBs and individuals in particular might think a profile is enough, but a page has so much more to offer. In addition to automatically communicating a level of professionalism a profile cannot, a Facebook page gives you the option to schedule posts, view insights, and create ads to achieve a variety of business goals. All three are important.
2. Assuming your audience isn’t there
While it’s true Millennials and Centennials are super active on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook is still in the mix for these generations. Though Facebook may not be the app they use most, a recent survey by Fluent found 41 percent of Millennials use Facebook every day. And Gen Xers are a big part of the user base as well.
3. Not using Insights to guide your efforts
To understand whether your target audience is active on Facebook – and what they want from your brand on this, or any, platform – you need to use social analytics. Facebook offers their own Insights, and they can tell you quite a bit. For a deeper look at consumer sentiment and other metrics, using Facebook Insights in conjunction with more comprehensive social monitoring tools is a good idea. This way you can segment your audience based on common interests and behaviors, and offer up specific content to those segments for an individualized customer experience.
4. Not optimizing images
It might seem a small detail, but using the right sized images matters – and every social network has their own specs in this regard. For Facebook there are a few different images you want to be sure are sized properly – which are laid out in this handy infographic that’s been updated for 2017. Why is image size so important? Because crucial details of your image may not be visible without clicking otherwise – and the details are what encourage the click!
5. Not offering a variety of content
Facebook is super versatile, so you want to be sure you take advantage of all the options available for engaging your audience. Sharing links and photos are great, but you can also live-stream video, comment with video, and now create Stories to be viewed within Facebook Messenger (via the mobile app only).
Stories are new to Facebook, and Mashable called the feature a “total failure” within a month. But a smart brand might see that as an opportunity to find a unique way to use them – and be the frontrunner. After all, there was a time Snapchat seemed silly – and now everyone’s trying to imitate them.
Also important: user-generated content. Encourage your users to respond to your posts with video comments, images, external videos, etc.
You want more than simple “likes” to help organic reach grow – though Reactions do at least clue you in to general sentiment. But beware offering – or sharing – anything that qualifies as “low quality content.” Clickbait and memes begging for comments are being deprioritized by Facebook, so sharing anything that comes across as spammy – or leads to a spam-riddled site – will hurt you.
6. Misusing Facebook ads
Organic reach is possible on Facebook, but of course Zuckerberg, et al, clearly prefer you pay for Facebook ads. That’s fine, as long as the spend is worthwhile. To that end, be sure you use the correct ad type for the goal at hand. Facebook allows you to choose the objective for your campaign – so be sure you know what your objective is, and choose accordingly. If you want traffic to your website, you won’t use the same approach as if you want likes, comments, and shares.
Another caveat: Facebook ad success takes a bit of trial and error. You can’t just run one ad and expect to see major conversions. It takes several iterations to find what works. If you can’t afford to do that, it may not be worth bothering until you can.
7. Not engaging back
Social media is never a one-way street, and Facebook is no exception. You’ve got to respond to questions, comments, and customer service issues relatively quickly to show your audience you care about them – not just their clicks.
It’s smart to have keyword alerts set to call your attention to potential problems early, but don’t let customer service be the end of it. Part of your customer experience management strategy should be conversing with your audience when they take the time to engage with you in positive ways as well.
Every interaction is an opportunity to learn more about what makes your audience tick – and what they want from your brand. The better you are about giving them that, the longer they’ll stay loyal to you. So use every tool at your disposal – social listening, sentiment analysis, Facebook’s Insights, scheduling software – and you’ll have them flocking to your page regularly to find out what’s new.
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