1. You try to engage with other companies
One mistake we see quite often is people using their company page to try and engage with other companies. They think that the way to use Facebook is to find their rival brands and comment on their wall so that their fans will see the posts and go over to their Facebook page. The key issue here is to understand that you need to use each of the social media platforms as they were intended. Anytime you try and bend the rules or make the platform work for a purely marketing perspective you’ll be found out and users will disengage.
Unlike Google Adwords most social media platforms are not what I’d call ‘active’ marketing platforms. They are much more passive in nature. When someone searches for a keyphrase in Google they are actively looking for a product or service, whereas when they find you on social media, in the most part, they have likely found you because you’ve targeted them based on their advertising profile. Your post or advert has appeared in their feed because YOU wanted it to not because they have been looking for you. For this reason, you’re engagement with users on social platforms needs to match the engagement they have with other people and accounts. You need to appeal to the person not the company. Don’t find similar companies to yours and try and piggy back on their success. You’ll get found out and appear disingenuous.
You want to engage with people and engage with them in their language. Don’t try and aggressively sell or post widely generic posts about the industry at large. Post specific, intriguing posts that will appeal to the end user directly. Don’t be afraid to be disruptive.
2. You moan that no one sees your posts
When you post to Facebook, because of their Edgerank Algorithm only 3–5% of your followers will see your posts in their feed on average. Before you bemoan how unfair it is that so few people see your posts, have a look at how many pages and people you follow on Facebook. Now tell me honestly, would you want to see every single thing they post? Do you still want to read about the upcoming gig for that guy you met once on a night out whilst at uni 10 years ago but still haven’t unfriended? No, no you don’t so you need to accept that Facebook needs to have a filtering system and you’re too lazy to set it all up yourself (that’s why we never bothered with Google+) so let’s just agree that Facebook doing it for us saves us a lot of valuable time and get on with our lives.
So, now we understand that we need Facebook’s Edgerank how do we deal with it? Well, like any advertising or marketing platform there’s a cost involved to get good adverts in front of the right people. Facebook lets you post to 3–5% of your fans for free. Sky wouldn’t let you run a TV advert each month for free so this is pretty cool actually.
Plus, the better our posts perform, the more people see them. If you want your Edgerank score to go up then you need to post engaging material. The more people engage with you the more of your followers will see your posts. If you only have a small percentage of your followers seeing your posts then it’s because you are not posting material they care about or the main percentage of your followers are friends and family who are just being kind by following your company and don’t actually need or care about your day to day services.
To ensure you get a decent view count on your posts you firstly need to ensure you have a follower base of people who will potentially engage with your page. Secondly, once you’ve written some really engaging posts try boosting those posts to go out to all your followers. If, through boosting, they engage with you then it’s likely that the next time you post organically that your post will show up in their feed.
3. You post marketing messages to your followers
The key question here is WHY ARE YOU SENDING MARKETING MATERIAL TO PEOPLE WHO ALREADY KNOW WHAT YOU DO?!
“We’re the best car mechanics in town”
“We know web design, we’re the best at making websites in the whole country”
One, no one engages with bragging type direct marketing on social media. Two, the people who follow you already know what you do so why are you trying to sell to them? Bland, generic marketing message will get you nowhere on social so don’t even bother with them. We see companies all the time who say they’ve tried social media and it didn’t work for them and all they’ve actually done is create a few social accounts, add their friends and family and then posted a few times about what they do.
YOUR FAMILY KNOW WHAT YOU DO!!!
Stop trying to sell through social media. Engage with your audience so that when they’re ready to buy you’re the best positioned out of all the competition. Don’t be too pushy and don’t sell to those who will never buy in a way that will never work.
4. You use the basic boost posts option instead of running targeted adverts
Boosting posts can be useful in the right situation (see point 2) However, a lot of clients seem to think that this is what ‘advertising on Facebook’ is all about. There is a thinking that you need a Facebook page and to post content onto that page, then boost that content so that you get more followers on your page and repeat. This works for B2C businesses that rely on community engagement and brand awareness. Events companies, wedding photographers etc. This can be a really effective way to share your work and content to your audience. If you’ve built up a good following of potential clients then boosting posts of content from your recent event/wedding could end up in the feed of someone who has been following you for years and has just gotten engaged. You’ll create great brand awareness doing this but it’s not going to directly drive sales and/or traffic to your website for B2B or many other B2C businesses. There is a more advanced option for targeting now in the boost posts section which can help you target people outside of your followers and is great for beginners.
However, you want to go to https://www.facebook.com/advertising to get to the real action. Here you’ll find some really advanced targeting options and the ability to build up your post and see how it will look to both mobile and desktop users. [Quick Tip: on the selection for adverts turn off the ads that show on the right hand side of the screen. We believe in showing only ‘in-stream’ ads on Facebook. The ads on the right are no where near as engaging and most people get annoyed by them and/or just plain ignore them. The Click-through-ratio (CTR) is much lower and thus will affect the overall performance of your ad so just turn them off people]. What make a great Facebook advert is one that appears just like any other Facebook post. One that stands out for having engaging content that makes you want to click and find out more but doesn’t stand out because it looks like marketing material. You want to create ads that look just like great posts. This way users don’t feel like they are being sold to. They feel like they are being pushed great content.
5. You think that because only 30% of your potential audience is on Facebook you shouldn’t bother
We get this a lot. “My audience isn’t on Facebook”… except in very rare cases, you are wrong here.
There are over 1.5 billion Facebook users. That’s a HUGE percentage of the world’s population.
Statistically, whoever your target audience are, at least a percentage of them will be on Facebook. If that percentage is only 30% are you really going to ignore 1/3 of your market? In any other area of business you wouldn’t ignore such a high percentage so why do so with Facebook? 49% of people over 65 now use social media. That figure obviously increases as people get younger so it’s likely that over 50% of your audience are on Facebook. If no one else in your industry is advertising on Facebook and you’re using that as an excuse to follow suit then you’ve got your priorities wrong here. You should be taking advantage of the gap in the market and pushing hard on social media to make up ground where your competition is failing. Business owners have a Facebook page and an advertising profile that you can target. This may be through occupation or using methods similar to those used by TV and Radio and target them based on their likes and interests. Most people who are following the TV channel Dave on Facebook are likely to be men aged 16–45 so you could use this to target your demographic for your shaving product or football ticket selling website etc.
Look outside the box with social and don’t dismiss it until you’ve tried it. If you then don’t believe in it then give me a call or tweet me @lawfilm. I’ll see if I can figure out what you’ve been doing wrong and give you some advice