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The #1 Mistake Businesses make on Facebook — 11 Experts Weigh In

Posted 11 September, 2013

The_1_Mistake_Businesses_make_on_Facebook__11_Experts_Weigh_In-lsfacebook-mistakes-businessesI've lived & breathed Facebook Marketing for several years now.

During that time, I've been asked a lot of tough questions. For example:

What should I post on my Facebook page?

How often should my page post?

How do I get more Likes on my page?

You get the idea.

But one question that comes up again & again is:

What's the #1 Mistake Businesses Make on Facebook?

This one is definitely a doozy!

It's tough because every page is different... and there's just so many ways to mess things up!

With that in mind, I reached out to a few friends of mine in the Facebook marketing space & asked their opinions -- so we could all learn from them.

Here are their answers:

Ian Cleary, Founder, Razor Social

IanCleary-160pxThe biggest mistake people make is focusing on Fan count. It's not difficult to grow your fans, but it's much more difficult to build an engaged community.

So focus on building a community.

If you build a community of engaged fans, your fan count will grow gradually & you'll have a page that is more valuable to your business.

Jim Belosic, CEO, ShortStack

jimThe biggest mistake businesses make on Facebook is not testing what really resonates with their audience.

Whenever we hear complaints of people not seeing engagement on their Page, most of the time that business has not taken the time to experiment with different Facebook posts -- ie. photos, videos, questions, funny updates, serious updates.

Too often businesses post whatever they want & leave their fans out of the equation.

Discovering what excites your audience is the best thing a business can do for their Facebook Page.

Andrea Vahl, SM Coach, a.k.a. Grandma Mary

Andrea VahlThe #1 mistake businesses make with their Facebook Page is not having clear goals & a way to measure their progress towards those goals.

Many businesses feel like social media doesn't work because they don't know what success looks like.

They want sales from social media & Facebook but they aren't measuring inbound leads & tracking them.

To do this, you need to have special e-mail lists or tags in your system to show when people are opting in to your content & then move them along the sales cycle & convert them into a customer with your e-mail follow up.

You can also directly track sales or optins from Facebook ads using Conversion Tags.

Make sure you have clear, measurable goals laid out.

For example, 100 new Fans in the next month is not a bad goal because you are raising awareness around your brand -- but you also need to lay out the activity you will have around that goal. That way you know what is truly working with your Facebook marketing efforts.

If you follow your plan & don't achieve your goal, it's time to re-assess what didn't work for you.

Viv Craske, Social Strategist, vivcraske.com

Viv CraskeThe #1 mistake large & small businesses make with Facebook is running a Facebook ad campaign to a Page & not aligning that with a strategic posting strategy.

If you're adding new fans, then these fans need to like, comment on or share a post soon after liking your page. This ensures they'll start seeing your page posts -- since Facebook only continues showing Page posts to fans who continue to engage with the Page posts.

Post at least one image post & one text post a day. Content should be relevant to the consumer profile & related to your brand. Image posts should tell a story & be branded.

Text posts should ask fans questions, for their advice or for their experience to get maximum engagement. Run an ad campaign with a strategic content plan to get maximum engagement from your new Page fans.

And remember, engagement on a Facebook page can drive loyalty, upsells, cross sells, increase frequency of purchase & drive advocacy.

It's worth the effort.

John Haydon, Founder, Inbound Zombie

john-haydon-pic-for-johnhayBiggest mistake?

Thinking Facebook is about them, not friendships.

It's a cold, hard fact that very few people want to hear what your organization has to say.

Whether it's on Twitter, in the newspaper, or on Facebook, your business's voice should always come 2nd to your customer's voice. This is particularly the case with Facebook, where friends always (100% of the time) come first.

Think about your personal use of Facebook & then ask yourself this question:

"When was the last time I opened up Facebook to:

  1. Make a purchase or a donation?
  2. Find out the latest news from a brand?
  3. Connect with your friends?"

If you're like most people, you've never done #1 or #2, & you always do #3. So Facebook is about friends connecting with friends.

For businesses, Facebook is also about friends connecting with friends. The difference is that those friendships are in their CRM.

The point here is that your real mission (if you wish to accept it) is to get your customers talking about your product, service or cause instead of you talking about yourself.

And again, it's not about you.

Nathan Latka, CEO, Heyo

latkaThe #1 mistake small businesses make on Facebook is not having a clearly defined goal.

If you're a restaurant looking to boost diners on Tuesday nights because that's a slow night, you can work a content schedule & corresponding promotional app into your Facebook page strategy. You can then focus all energy around creating a 100 person waiting line outside of your venue each Tuesday night.

If you're an author or speaker looking to drive demand for a book launch in a month, launching an app focused at building a highly engaged email list & posting content/status updates focused on how you created the book are both good Facebook strategy ideas.

Not having a goal means you're likely to copy a cookie cutter strategy that likely won't create results at all.

If you find yourself saying "I just want likes", ask yourself "why?"

Keep asking "why" until you're excited about a goal that'll help contribute towards your business growing.

Ravi Shukle, Social Media Specialist

RaviShukleThe #1 mistake businesses make with their Facebook pages is to not fully optimize their pages.

Here are some key ways businesses can ensure their fan pages stand out & attract fans, leads & traffic:

  • Add a visual & appealing cover image with a call-to-action & description text
  • Add a clear, visual image as your profile picture
  • Setup a vanity URL for your page -- just visit: www.facebook.com/username & get it done (please note you can only change this username ONCE)
  • Choose the right category for your business to optimize it for Graph search -- visit your fanpage & click About > Edit (next to basic info header) > Select appropriate category
  • Complete your “Facebook about section” with a link to your site/offer/contact page
  • Pin your key posts each week to help build traffic & awareness for your most important articles
  • Use Facebook apps -- for competitions, contact forms, email opt-ins & much more. Don't forget to include custom app thumbnails to help stand out, pick your top 3 apps to feature on the page (make sure these apps offer a benefit to your audience & avoid showing the # of “likes” as one of them)
  • Post at the right time of day when your fans are most active

Apply these tips to your fan page today & watch your traffic & engagement increase almost instantly.

Fred Alberti, Director of Social Media, Salem Web Network

fred albertiThe #1 mistake large & small businesses make with Facebook is they don't update it regularly with fresh relevant content for their intended audience.

Businesses often fail to have a plan on how to update their pages regularly with relevant content that fits the demographic of their audience.

They also waste money on Facebook ads that don't meet clear ROI goals. This, again, is a result of a failure to properly plan.

Boil it all down in a cauldron & what's left is the bare bones of failed planning.

Rosh Khan, CEO, SocialRank Media

Rosh-KhanWe've seen it time & time again -- the #1 mistake businesses make on Facebook is not knowing WHAT to post. Every day, we see businesses post simply because they know they "should".

But when you post without an underlying strategy or when you post simply because "it's 7PM and we didn't make a post for the day," it's a recipe for a disaster.

At SocialRank we highly recommend using the 4E Principle. This simply means that your posts should either be Educational, Engaging, Entertaining, and/or Empowering.

In addition to the 4E Principle, we advise 3 more things:

  1. That you plan your content ahead of time, with enough room to be nimble & adapt to real-time events
  2. That you create a "Content Arc" -- Week 1 of the month might focus on the "educational" aspect of your product while Week 3 might be more focused a "limited time" sale opportunity (this is obviously going to depend on your product & community demographic -- the social sales cycle is different from the conventional sales cycle.)
  3. That you experiment strategically with posting times & then analyze your engagement metrics.

NSE - Never Stop Experimenting

Francisco Rosales, Co-Founder, TabFoundry

This question couldn't have arrived at a better time, we've just finished reviewing almost 100 Facebook Pages for our clients & readers.

francisco rosalesToday I’m convinced that the biggest mistake Facebook Pages make is not having a call-to-action to close the gap with the business goal. Businesses have a presence & try to get “engagement” -- but they don’t understand how to channel that to get them closer to their goals.

This gap is closed by moving “Fans” to take action. For example, the business goal for a restaurant chain is to drive people to its locations. The main objective for the Page then is to educate their audience about those locations & motivate them to visit. Right there you have 2 angles to work with: the location & the promotion.

When a fan opens the door of one of those locations, the goal is reached & the Facebook marketing strategy has delivered your prospect.

The same thing happens with the author of a book or a software company.

  1. Identify the business goal
  2. See how your Facebook Page can help you get there
  3. Design a funnel to move your Fans through
  4. Move them through it using the tools in front of you -- cover photo, apps/tabs & ads

The point is to find the vehicle for those calls-to-action to be triggered.

Scott Ayres, The Facebook Answerman

To me the #1 mistake page owners make is trying to do what everyone else is doing.

1010826_10200860518248110_1287887865_nOr worse -- assuming that just because a "guru" recommends a tip, that it's gospel & all pages should follow it.

Facebook page owners need to take responsibility for their pages & ignore 99% of the internet noise.

Your page is unique to YOU & YOUR business -- so take the time & effort to figure out what types of posts work on your page.

If you're just following what someone said in a webinar, then you're going to fail.

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