Facebook has 800 million users. People spend 700 billion minutes on the site. That’s billion, with a “b.” It’s probably no surprise that businesses are trying to use it to market themselves.
Thirty billion pieces of content are shared each month. It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But a simple calculation reveals that this amounts to one piece of content being shared for every 23 minutes spent on the site. How many pieces of content does somebody encounter in 23 minutes that they don’t share? How can you make sure that the piece of content that they do share is yours?
You can start by avoiding these common mistakes:
Don’t focus on the wrong word in the phrase “social media.” “Media” is not the active word here. If your marketing experience comes from the search engines, you’re probably used to dealing with people who are trying to buy something. If your experience comes from traditional marketing, you might be accustomed to an audience less likely to buy, but you certainly don’t have experience with an audience that expects to be able to talk back.
Social media is drastically different. Nobody’s there to buy something, they’re there to talk to their friends. Talk to them as a casual acquaintance, not as a business. Offer genuine value, not in your products, but in the things that you have to say. Small business voip solutions can help you broadcast your messages.
Make no mistake, tools like Buffer are very useful for scheduling automated messages, and it’s wise to take advantage of them for those times when you can’t be on Facebook. But if you’re using these tools exclusively, you’re missing about 80 percent of the benefit that the social network has to offer. The real value of Facebook comes from interactions. If all you’re using is an automated tool, you’re missing out.
3. Violating the Terms of Service
If you break the terms of service there is a chance that your page could get flagged. It’s even possible that you could end up losing your page. Avoid doing anything dishonest, and keep track of what goes against the rules.
What are some of the most common rules that get broken? Marketing through a personal profile instead of a business profile, and tagging people in photos without getting their permission. Another common violation is a failure to abide by contest rules. If you run a contest, make sure that you meet their requirements.
4. Direct Ads
It’s possible to create Facebook ads that take users directly to your website instead of your Facebook page, but this is generally a bad idea. Again, nobody is using the social network to buy anything, and the users are not very susceptible to marketing messages. If you are using Facebook ads, you should be using them to drive traffic to your Facebook page. You can then use your page to build a relationship with them and increase brand engagement, trust, and authority.
5. Not Educating Yourself
Facebook marketing has a learning curve, and it’s well worth the time it takes to do your research before getting involved. Just because you know how to use your personal Facebook page, this doesn’t mean you know how to use it to market your brand. Take your time and learn a few things.
Educating yourself also means that you need to spend some time experimenting and tracking your results. Be creative and try new things. Pay attention to what works and try to replicate it and refine it. Drop the things that aren’t working for you.
Learn from the best. Take a look at some of the most successful Facebook pages, especially those that aren’t being run by brands that already had a powerful presence before Facebook. Emulate them without copying them, and you will go far.