Facebook is one of the most popular social media marketing tools for businesses who want to reach out to parents, but are you using it in an optimal way? Here are 5 Facebook Mistakes That Businesses Regularly Make (and how you can avoid them):
#1. Like and Share Competitions
Has your business or brand ever run a like and share or like and tag competition on your Facebook page? Did you realise this is breaching Facebook page guidelines (see section III E) and that Facebook is well within its rights to close your page down?
The main problem with like and share or like and tag Facebook giveaways is that people stay on Facebook. They never have to give you any information to allow you to achieve that business goal for your competition.
If your sole business objective is to grow a community on Facebook or increase your brand reach by increasing the number of people who see your brand then these competitions are doing exactly that – they will increase reach and engagement on your Facebook page, earn you some new likes as other people see the competition on their friends’ newsfeeds.
But if your purpose in using social media is to use it to help meet your business objectives, to increase traffic to your website, to grow prospective customers, to generate leads, then these competitions will never work for your business.
Instead, you should use Facebook to bring people to somewhere they can put their name and email to enter, this could be a competition app that can run on your Facebook page or even better a form on your website linked to your mailing software.
You might find How to Run Online Competitions for Parents That Actually Do Something For Your Business useful
#2. Underutilising their Facebook Cover Image
Your Facebook is prime real estate on your Facebook page, particularly for those people who visit your page for the first time.
Yet most businesses don’t put any much thought into their cover picture. Or indeed if they load a cover picture up, they forget to put anything onto the description including a link.
Why don’t you change your cover image to go with marketing campaigns you are running? Or make seasonal changes to your cover?
Here is one of our Mykidstime seasonal cover images that we use and we change these regularly. We have also used our cover image space to show off the winning photo in a summer photo competition. Or for campaigns we have run with brands to promote useful content we have created that helps parents.
I went to look for more examples of businesses who were doing a good job of using their cover image and found it really hard to find any!
But here are 3 examples of businesses who I think are maximising the opportunity their Facebook Cover image offers:
Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel have put up a seasonal cover picture to go with their current seasonal campaign in store. It’s also aspirational and reflects their style.
Then they have included some text with link to 3 ideas – giving people content that they might find useful in relation to home styling.
Now you’d be surprised if Mari Smith, leading Facebook expert, didn’t have an excellent cover image. And she really does.
She has used a photo of herself to reinforce her brand along with what exactly she does. Then on the description text for the cover image she has 6 paragraphs (yes 6!) all with useful tips for marketers. Reinforcing her thought leadership and expertise.
My third example is Discover Ireland.
Not only have they picked a stunning picture of Ireland but they have their website link and key messaging “Explore more www.discoverireland.ie”. Simple but very effective.
#3. Posting Too Much Sales Content
Many businesses forget why people (and parents) use social media. They use it to relax, to catch up with news, to find funny content and to connect with their family & friends. They don’t use it to look at brands.
That means that in order to resonate and build brand trust, the content you share has to be useful or entertaining or inspiring to them. You cannot post sales content and expect people to like and engage with it.
We recommend a ratio of 1 sales-type post to 9 non-sales-type posts based on our experience at Mykidstime.
If you post enough useful or engaging content over time, you build brand trust, and you will start to get people clicking and taking action on the things that will deliver results for your business.
Think also about how you can get people onto your website or onto your mailing list and market to them that way instead of using Facebook as a sales tool. For example, maybe you can offer them a freebie that gives them value and in return they give you their email address.
Using Facebook to generate leads (clicks to website and emails to your mailing list) rather than expecting sales all the time will drive better results from the social platform. After all you don’t own Facebook or have any control over anything it shows people.
You might find How to Create a Freebie for Parents to Capture Email useful
#4. Not Asking the Community
If you are fortunate to have built up a community, no matter how large or small, then you should ask them lots of things. Ideally you want to encourage your community to participate more and more so that over time it becomes a true community rather than you just using Facebook to
- Ask them for opinions on new ideas for your products or services
- Ask them to help you choose ideas for your marketing or branding
- Ask them to review you or give you a testimonial
- Ask them for ideas for content they would find useful
- Ask them to share your content if they know someone who would like it
And always respond and say thank you if they give you feedback.
#5. Loading Other People’s Content Without Permission
Firstly, think about this. How would you feel if you had spent time (and money) producing a meme, an infographic, a video or a picture and then you find out another page has taken it and loaded it up on their page without permission?
It’s not enough to take content load it up and credit it (unless of course you have contacted them directly and asked them for permission to use it) and you’re actually breaching their copyright by taking it.
Secondly, there’s another even more important reason you shouldn’t save images or videos down from Facebook pages then load them up on yours. That’s because Facebook loves Facebook. If you share some content from another Facebook page directly onto your page then Facebook’s algorithm rewards you for doing so.
There are two ways of doing this,
1. You can either share directly from the post using the Share option below the post. This will share it straight away on your Page.
2. Or copy the Facebook URL and use a scheduler to share it later. To get the URL click on the date/time link on the post for the content, copy the URL from your browser and paste it into whatever you use to schedule your Facebook posts.
Over to you now. Have you seen any of these mistakes on Facebook (or even done them yourself??) Share your thoughts in the comments below.