It happens over and over again, the Company Manager or Marketing Director knows they have to be on “that Facebook thing” but have no idea how to start or what to do. I myself have spent countless hours in endless meetings trying to explain the business, how it works, why do we need to be there, how do we benefit, and the list goes on, trying to find any and every example to convince them why it is so necessary. At the end of the day, someone in the office volunteers to take on the task and before you know it the Managers rip out a “I told you so” as the Facebook idea turned out to be a complete mess.
There’s 3 key words for any Social Media project: Strategy, Analytics and Engagement! In a nutshell, you need to have a clear plan and purpose, you need to measure your efforts and you absolutely need to engage with your people.
Unless you are Lady Gaga, Victoria Secret or Justin Beiber, it’s not easy to create a fan base from scratch, much less to reach the thousands and get your fans to engage with you. It is important to know that there is a process involved, it takes determination, effort, strategy and even better, knowledge!
As Facebook constantly changes the rules of the game, here’s 5 classic marketing mistakes most companies or brands are making on:
1. Start a Facebook Page and not a Profile! Yes, years ago only Profiles were available but Facebook has been providing Pages for a couple of years now and they continue working on functionalities that support marketing strategies. The new Facebook Pages launched a few days ago will be available to everybody by March 1st. One of the main functionalities of these new Pages is that they have their own profile giving you the opportunity to interact as “The Company” or “the Brand” and not as “The Administrator”.
2. Engage! Some companies shut off their comments, don’t post their content or sometimes even turn off their wall. If you are doing this then there is no point on being on Facebook. Pages are designed to help companies and brands engage with their fans, therefore always post interesting content and make sure it is written in a way that allows others to participate. Never ever self-promote, this will only cause users not to interact but also to leave your page. Something important to know about the new Facebook Pages is that they have an algorithm called EdgeRank, this determines what actually gets posted on people’s feeds or not, that’s right, Facebook has a mind of it’s own! Basically, your posts receive a quality score and the higher the score, the more they get shown on people’s feeds. How do posts get a high score? Interactions, likes, comments, shares, and then, element of time.
3. Facebook Tabs exist as specific tools to use to your advantage, these are not to be abused. Most companies want to do everything on the list, they create tabs for landing pages, Twitter, reviews, discussions, photos, notes, products, video, blog, etc. Nobody takes the time to read all these, in fact, with the new changes on Facebook Pages, all your tabs will be moved to a small list under your Page Photo. Custom tabs are really important, they help carry brand consistency as is the case of a smart and effective landing page. One common mistake most companies make is a busy and overstuffed landing page, they include so much information that the user has no idea what to do or where to go. Landing pages on Facebook are like any other Web based ones, they must push 1 message, one call to action, only instruction.
4. We all get caught up trying to move fast and get as many fans as possible, as I mentioned before, if you’re a small company, it’s a process but if you do it right you’ll get there eventually. It’s best to have 200 loyal fans that engage than 4,000 that have no interest in what you have to say. Never fall into the mistake of buying fans, you’ll just end up with a bunch of random people who don’t fall into your desired demographics. Growing fans is not that hard, you need good content that people want to engage with and you want to encourage them to do so. Add a call to action to every post and piece of content that you create. Another don’t? Never “like” your own posts, that’s just wrong! One of the key things we must remember is that fans are people who on average use Facebook multiple times a day or at least once a day. Any strategy, idea or outlet that you can use to engage with these people is a plus.
5. Last but not least, just as Facebook has made some big changes to their Pages, they can do it again and again. Don’t get stuck doing the same thing over and over again, you must always stay informed about what’s new, what’s different, what others are doing. The Internet changes every day and with it so does Social Media. Making sure you’re on top of the game applies to any company or brand, make sure you apply this to your Facebook Pages too!
Author: Ann Brampton