Social marketing is both an art and a science. It includes economics, psychology, sociology, aesthetics, strategy, trial & error, design, and playing by both the consumers' and the social platform's rules. It may be free to set up a Facebook page, but with all the digital noise nowadays, it takes some effort, wit, and creativity to stand out.
Content is the keystone for effective social media marketing. Many businesses make the mistake of providing content that they think will generate the most leads and sales, but are not taking the time to look from the consumer's point of view.
Quality content aids in engagement, growth, and brand awareness. The more engaging your content, the more people will like and follow your pages. The more engagement, the more reach, the more growth, the more ROI...
This post is broken into two parts:
Common Mistakes I often see with businesses trying to use Facebook as a marketing platform.
Solutions and Suggestions to improve the user's experience (and your own).
You'll need to keep in mind, there is no "magic pill" here. Anything worth its weight will require some tact, effort, and failure in order to progress.
Using Facebook as a display case for bad sales pitches. This provides no add-value in regards to engaging the audience on a personal level and goes against the purpose and mission of Facebook and their marketing best practices.
Marketing for instant gratification. Businesses that don’t understand social media often think that it’s a free place to get immediate sales with minimal effort. This is not the case. It takes time and relation building. It’s called social media for a reason.
Asking too much or not asking at all (for sales/business). As Gary Vaynerchuk highlights, you need to provide a series of jabs and occasionally deliver the right hook.
Tooting your own horn. Many businesses think that by puffing out their chest and showing the world how amazing they are, that sales will increase 10x. This is not the case. Facebookers will just scroll right on past that nonsense.
Not putting yourself in the consumers’ shoes. Consumers are thinking: “What’s in it for me?” – “How am I going to benefit from this piece of content?” Marketers need to realize this and offer something of value to answer these questions.
Using Hashtags. Facebook isn’t Twitter or Instagram. It looks bad and will actually hurt reach if used improperly.
Quantity over Quality. Sometimes less is more. This rule applies for both cologne and Facebook. Consistent posting is very important, but just throwing up anything to get a click can have adverse effects.
Examples of inefficient Facebook posts:
Solutions & Suggestions to Effective Facebook Marketing
It's Social: Become a part of the community, have your fans join you in the conversation, leverage fans to become micro-influencers and brand ambassadors by curating content created by them (incentivize and credit them).
Ad Spend: If you’re going to do social marketing, you’ll need to spend some money for it to be effective. It doesn’t have to be much. You can do a $10 campaign on Facebook, or $1 boosts.
Boosted Posts: Boost content that's engaging. I’d recommend posting content and monitoring which pieces are most popular. Put a few dollars behind the good posts. This will help lower your cost per acquisition. I also hear that it rubs Facebook's algorithmic belly, leading to allowing a bit more organic reach for the other non-boosted posts.
Analyze: I am often surprised at what does well and not so well, so I let the data decide for me. Facebook has amazing insights. Look at what performed best on your page and the type of content that does well on competitors and similar industry pages. Duplicate and improve those efforts.
Trending: Follow what's trending, Facebook and Twitter are great sources for this. Share posts relevant to trends as long as they are loosely relevant to your brand (use #'s on Twitter, but NOT on Facebook).
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: Even though Gary Vee doesn't reply to my emails, he deserves an honorable mention. If you are serious about social marketing, read his book. It's a few-years-old but highlights the importance of giving, giving, giving, then asking.
Video is especially effective Facebook marketing, nowadays. are value-based content. Providing industry hacks, tips, tricks, informative blogs, infographics, trade secrets…anything relative to your audience that will keep them informed and engaged is the right approach. Jabs
“Right hooks” are when you ask for the sale. If you are a business, you have to ask. And don’t try to pretend it’s a jab. People see through the bullshit and will respect you more when you just ask.
Of course, if you're a business, you'll want ROI from your efforts. You get it when you provide the right content and ask for business at the right time.
Quality over Quantity: Don't overwork yourself (or employees) to crank out content. If you don't post 5x this week on Facebook, you'll probably still be in business next week. Do not compromise the quality of your content for the sake of maximum exposure - it'll hurt your engagement in the long run.
Personify Your Business (Branding): "Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand." - Amy Jo Martin
Focus on Native Content. Native Content encompasses and defines your brand’s personality. It should correlate directly with your target demographics.
You can also email me with specific questions.
Remember, marketing on Facebook (and any other social platform) requires a blend of art and a science. Content is the cornerstone for effective social media marketing. Many businesses make the mistake of providing content that they think will generate the most leads and sales, but are not taking the time to look from the consumer's point of view.
If you want people to follow and like your social, you need to answer the question to "Why should I share/like/follow this?". Sometimes a simple ask to share can yield surprising results.
Quality content aids in engagement, growth, and brand awareness. The more engaging your content, the more people will like and follow your pages.
If you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read my post!
This was originally asked on Quora: What are the biggest mistakes businesses make when using Facebook for marketing?
Dan Raaf, Digital Marketing Specialist and Social Media Director
Also, apologies to Follow Your Heart and OkiData Americas for putting you on blast. Maybe next time you will reply to my emails.