June 1st marked the beginning of Pride month, and last year, users who liked Facebook’s LGBTQ@Facebook page could get a custom reaction of a rainbow pride flag for a limited time. This year, that option doesn’t appear, and Facebook tells Business Insider that won’t be releasing custom reactions anymore. Facebook rolled out its expanded like […]
Saying the present generation is very heavy on social media does not totally cover it. There are approximately 2 billion internet users on social networks and these figures are still expected to grow as mobile device usage and mobile social networks increasingly gain traction.
Almost everyone has accounts on at least 2 social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, Pinterest, etc. with Facebook being the most popular of the lot.
The number of people around the globe using social networking sites is on a constant climb making Social Media the perfect space for Marketing Services. Taking advantage of the wide reach of such sites to generate leads and engage with the target audience should be the primary objective of every brand on social media.
Facebook went from being unknown to over 2 billion users strong in just a little over a decade. As of the fourth quarter of 2017, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users. Brands can be certain that their target audience logs into Facebook nearly every day. The question is: how do brands reach out to these users in a way that benefits their business? Well, the answer is through well-planned Facebook marketing.
This post will highlight 14 Terrible Facebook Marketing Mistakes brands should avoid in 2018.
Mistake 1: Too Focused On Selling
This can never be overstressed: Social media for brands should be about creating a conversation and a community that promotes the brand’s lifestyle, not about spamming people with ads for their products. So many brands seem intent on pushing products in users’ faces on Facebook.
Gone are the early days of web marketing, when users weren’t savvy enough to understand when they were being sold to versus when they were reading genuine content. Now, social media users want content they can relate to.
Solution: No one is saying that brands can’t post ads that promote their products. However, it should never be just ads. Instead, it should be a soft sell that provides genuine content to the reader. The Red Bull brand has mastered the art of selling a fun-loving lifestyle which has succeeded in creating a strong community of over 49 million brand lovers.
Ideally, the 80/20 principle is considered a good yardstick for segregating posts; 80 percent of your brand’s posts should be engaging while the posts that promote your goods and services should not exceed 20 percent.
It’s okay to post announcements of sales, discounts and promo codes. Just be sure to pace these well and not overwhelm your audience. People take advantage of these deals when they seem sporadic. If there’s a new one every day, then there’s no rush to buy.
Mistake 2: Ignoring Negative Feedback
Brands quickly forget they have a face and just because users cannot directly point fingers at a particular person, brands feel they can do what they like and get away with it. Well, be aware that prospective and existing customers are watching and the way your brand responds to a disgruntled customer will affect their perception of your brand. To make it worse, there are competitors waiting to latch on to your brand’s mistakes.
Below are some of the top comments from a Nike post. Not one of them got any response from Nike.
Negative feedback is inevitable. When that happens, brands can either ignore it, fight back, or take it in stride. Some brands take the shortcut by simply deleting or ignoring the negative comments. This might seem like the easier way out, but it only does more harm than good. Be authentic. A robotic or canned response may work initially, but over time people will see the pattern and pick up on the insincerity of the response. So, make it personal.
Zappos social customer care is top notch. They have a way of responding to queries that have been noticed by social media users.
Solution: Instead of turning a blind eye, why not take advantage of such
situations to shine? How? Well, respond with a thoughtful and prompt reply to show that you are committed to highest customer satisfaction. This way, you will not only be able to calm and retain your irate customer, but also make a statement about your commitment to customer service.
Mistake 3: You Have the Wrong Objective.
Most marketers just go into their Facebook with the objective of “creating awareness” or “generating more likes for my page.” Not all brands have the luxury of big awareness budgets like brands such as Coca-Cola or Procter & Gamble. Rather than spend all your budget creating awareness, brands should note that their Facebook ads should create only one thing: a sale.
The ideal Facebook ad is one that flashes your product in front of the right person who’s ready to buy and who then immediately clicks through to your site and…makes a purchase. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world so you may have to settle for a lead. Regardless, brand ads should generate a measurable result: either cash in the bank or valuable contact information from the prospect that your sales team can then use to follow up and try to close a sale.
Facebook can be a powerful tool for customer service and engagement. But in the end, brands have to convert their spend into sales and that should be the most important objective.
Solution: When using Facebook’s Ad Manager, there are many choices available when deciding on an advertising objective. By choosing the wrong objective, your advertising efforts could lead to an unsuccessful campaign. So, brands need to be mindful of the objectives they set when creating ads.
To make it even easier, Facebook provides a guide with design recommendation and tips to help you.
As you can see, Facebook provides brands versatile tools to create ad campaigns. They’re low-cost, highly customizable, and rich with analytics. All they have to do is test them out for yourself and see what works for your brand.
Mistake 4: You Don’t Know Your Audience.
This is the secret ingredient of Facebook advertising. There are billions of people using Facebook and every brand is just trying to target that sliver of prospects who are looking to buy what they sell.
Facebook wants brands to master this task and so they have provided tools for better targeting prospects. However, there’s only so much Facebook can do, brands need to learn how to use these tools!
Understanding your audience as a brand is just as important as knowing what you want them to do. How will they use your product? What pain points do they have that you as a brand needs to solve? Even within your overall audience, different niches will have different priorities, problems, and objections.
For example, brands can advertise to “core” audiences using things like location, interests and other demographic info shared by users. Or they can target “custom” audiences by uploading a spreadsheet of their customers and prospects that they already know with the hope that they can be found on Facebook. Brands can also ask Facebook to find “lookalike” audiences who are similar to your customers and prospects.
As a brand, You have to put your target audience ahead of your strategy. Before you open your Facebook ads manager, list out a specific profile of your prospect, this will help you tailor your ads to the right audience. You have to try out a couple of Facebook-provided demographics to discover which particular one provides the largest return on investment.
Mistake 5: Posting Less Content and Inconsistently
By posting on Facebook inconsistently and inappropriately you tell your audience, “Dear customer, we are busy doing more important things, therefore, we have no time to be human and keep you updated about us”. Organic page reach on Facebook is declining. Now more than ever, engagement should be a priority.
Solution: Create an editorial calendar for Facebook, and focus on inspiring your audience. A perfect example of a brand succeeding at this would be SaaS Company Post Planner. Their Facebook updates are consistent and their content is great. Hence, engagement is off the roof.
Mistake 6: Always Begging For Engagement Or Likes
Most brands publish content that screams, “We need likes!” or they ask users to like the post and bleh bleh bleh in Dracula’s voice (like-bait post).
Well, the bitter truth is Facebook will actually bury such a post. Don’t post visuals or updates asking fans to like or comment, as this tells the world how desperate your brand is and your lack of a social media strategy.
Facebook users like myself visit to share photos, watch funny ferret or cat videos, and catch up on the latest happenings in my circle; what do you think I would do seeing a brand asking for likes? I either skip the content or come pour out my heart in your comments (you don’t want the latter).
Solution: Provide a lot of helpful content regularly, and put up “real questions” that spark engagement.
Mistake 7: Not Paying To Play
Truth be told, brands can’t market or fully reach individual Facebook audiences without paying. So to get more eyes on your content, you must be willing to pay Facebook.
You don’t publish and pray and expect it to rain likes and comments; with great content you should get a healthy organic reach but want a larger reach? Pay to play.
Solution: Facebook admitted it several times that organic page reach is decreasing. However, using the “boost post” feature would instantly get more eyes and engagement on your brand and content.
Mistake 8: Ignoring The Fact That The World Is Mobile
Facebook statistics as at March 2016 have shown that there are over 1.65 billion monthly active Facebook users, and a whopping 1.51 billion of these are mobile users or visitors.
These numbers are too huge to ignore. Brands should optimize their Facebook pages for mobile users; having cropped out visuals or missing page components damages the user experience.
Take, for example, the visuals below: the visual on Coca-Cola’s cover was optimized for desktops only, making mobile visitors to the page believe Coca-Cola has some spiritual agenda.
Now take a look at the mobile version of the same cover
Choosing what now Coca-Cola? Have they gone spiritual?
Mistake 9: Publishing The Wrong Type Of Content
You don’t plant a potato and harvest marshmallows. The same applies to content and engagement on Facebook; using irrelevant hashtags or twisting up trends can be a bad blow for business.
For example, the visual below:
Having made up Star Wars day isn’t enough, brands have to make it even more contrived and use an absurd hashtag.
Want to grow a following on Facebook or increase engagement? Posting inappropriate comments and pictures, using click bait, being all about traffic and sales would not work!
Damn, you are so greedy and we can see it! However, Facebook is cracking down on click-bait posts and will continually drown them in the newsfeed; be original and creative.
Solution: Publishing behind-the-scenes pictures of employees, pictures of products, videos or pictures of a typical day at the company or events, holidays and birthdays will increase brand perception, engagement, and page likes.
Brands should not rely on Facebook marketing to make sales. The truth is everyone hates being sold.
Mistake 10: Not Engaging Customers In Comments
Another deadly sin brands make includes not engaging fans in comments. Being social involves you interacting with fans, asking questions and responding.
Brands should be involved in the conversation in their Facebook comments, responding to feedback, lending a helping hand or increasing engagement creatively.
Solution: Engage fans in your comments, address feedback and spread the brand image.
Mistake 11: Trying To Sell Every Time
Too much of selling beats the purpose of being social. Brands should abstain from selling and focus more on user experience, building a community and providing value. That way, users remain loyal and increase their spending potential to your brand through the law of reciprocity.
Solution: Facebook is rolling out the shop store for Facebook pages, simply add your products into your shop and users can buy once they visit your page.
Mistake 12: Ignoring Or Deleting Negative Feedback or Comments
Handling trolls and negative feedback requires a dedicated Facebook team, patience and creativity. Brands are expected to respond to trolls and negative comments in a respectful and playful tone to keep the community mood light and friendly or it might result in disastrous PR for that brand.
Solution: Tara Hornor wrote an epic post with tips on handling Trolls and negative comments.
Mistake 13: Ignoring Advanced Facebook Advertising
Advertising on Facebook does not end with clicking “Boost Post”. For instance, you could create a lookalike audience based on subscribers already on your mailing list, who are on Facebook, and send targeted ads to them.
The true potential of Facebook advertising cannot be quantified; brands should take specific steps in creating ads that offer great incentives while achieving business goals.
Solution: Use Facebook’s Power Editor to create ads to gain leads and advertise new products, but don’t spam your users’ newsfeed.
Mistake 14: Refusing To Evolve Like Facebook’s Algorithm
Facebook changes its algorithm randomly; the latest changes in the Facebook algorithm include bringing content to users based on previous interaction.
Brands are expected to keep up with the latest updates to ensure a consistent user experience in regards to content, cover photos, and ads.
Solution: Brands should bookmark (literally) the Facebook for pages web page to stay updated with the latest algorithm updates and implement to increase engagement and brand perception.
Facebook marketing requires creativity, A/B testing, and constantly staying ahead of the latest changes from Facebook. For a brand to successfully reach, inspire and engage its audience, the above solutions are required.
Facebook is tapping into the growing popularity of influencer marketing by testing a new tool that will match marketers with social media influencers.
The search engine, still in its early developmental stages, will be dubbed “Branded Content Matching.” It will let marketers choose creators based on their fan’s characteristics, see stats about their audience, and reach out to them to forge partnership deals and collaborations.
Facebook will initially be focusing on lifestyle influencers and brands. Creators that choose to participate in the test can set up a portfolio that includes their audience size, metrics, and branded content samples – ensuring a perfect influencer/marketer fit.
Marketers will also be able to search for creators based on numerous audience demographics including age, gender, education history, life events, relationship status, home type, top countries where they’re popular, and more. Based on this information, the search engine will compile a list of creators that shows how their audience aligns with a brand’s.
Marketers can save their top matches to private lists where they can go to contact them later. According to TechCrunch, Facebook is still debating whether or not it will connect marketers with influencers through their Facebook contact info or provide traditional contact info.
Facebook is Banking on Increased Ad Spend
Facebook will take a laissez-faire approach to influencer/marketer negotiations. They will not be involved in product placement, content marketing, or collaborated content creation and sharing deals. TechCruch reports that Facebook will not take any cut of revenue during the testing period but may once the search engine is officially launched.
It’s possible that marketers may be compelled to spend more on ads to promote influencer content so Facebook will get their revenue cuts that way. TechCrunch also mentioned that Facebook will prohibit re-sharing deals so marketers will not be able to pay influencers to post branded content they didn’t help create.
It’s important to mention that the search engine will only pull influencer’s audience metrics from Facebook and will not take into account their YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, or any of their other channel followings. This could prove to be detrimental to brands looking to connect with influencers who are more popular on another platform.
For example, marketers won’t be able to get the true value and reach of popular Youtube creators like FBE (Fine Brothers Entertainment), Jenna Marbles, Markiplier, or Vanoss Gaming (to name a few) who have enormous followings on Youtube but lower audience bases on Facebook.
“Branded Content Matching” Will Not Include Instagram (For Now)
Even though Facebook owns Instagram, one of the more popular platforms amongst influencers and creators, they will not be including Instagram influencers on the search engine either (at least not at first).
Considering that Facebook currently allows marketers to create and promote ads on Facebook and Instagram within the same ad creator, the move is questionable. The company may add Instagram influencers to “Branded Content Matching” later on but for now, this decision severely limits the search engine.
“Branded Content Matching” is still in its early testing stages so there are plenty of kinks that still need to be smoothed out. Once the search engine has launched, it’s likely that brands will jump at the opportunity to forge mutually beneficial relationships with artists, comedians, gamers, and other creators.
A Word on the Timelessness of Influencer Marketing
What makes influencer marketing so priceless is that creators are able to put an inspired spin on a branded message in their own wholly original way. From a simple one minute shoutout to an entire sponsored video dedicated to your brand, handing the reins to a social media influencer in your niche could showcase your brand in a positive, authentic, and less salesy, light.
For example, special fx makeup artist Madeyewlook recently created an entire look made in partnership with a TV show and popular Youtube creators Dan and Phil created a sponsored ‘let’s play’ video on their gaming channel. Check out both videos below.
Both videos were well received and none of the commenters seemed to care that the videos were technically ads. The possibilities for influencer marketing are endless and it remains one of the best ways to promote content in an engaging, fun, and natural way.
Whether you’re looking to negotiate million dollar deals with the world’s top social media creators or build a mutually beneficial partnership with a content marketing thought leader, influencer marketing can get your brand in front of thousands of faces.
People tend to buy into branded messages more when they are authentic and when they come from people they trust. Oftentimes, social media creators have intimate, strong, relationships with their fans.
Because most creators are so open to sharing aspects of their personal lives with their fans, their audience can usually tell when they are interested in a product they’re promoting or if it’s just a job to them. The more freedom you give to an influencer to re-contextualize your branded message, the more likely their audience will like and respect you.
If you play your cards right and give enough freedom to influencers to promote your brand in their own unique style, a one-off could turn into an ongoing sponsorship and your brand’s reach could skyrocket.
Influencer marketing is lucrative, timeless, and more relevant than it’s ever been. This is why Facebook, and other platforms, are so eager to give brands and influencers tools that make it easy for those relationships to bloom.
In an age where social media influencers are trusted more than movie stars, it’s never been more important for brands to be in touch with internet culture and collaborate with emerging creators. Stay current and your audience, and views, will thank you for it.
For more on influencer marketing check out Chad Pollitt’s article, “Everything You Need to Know About Influencer Marketing and Artificial Intelligence,” and review some of his influencer marketing templates here.
Do you think Facebook’s “Branded Content Matching” tool will make influencer marketing easier? Let us know in the comments.
As a researcher who focuses on online communities, I’m accustomed to this running meta-narrative about what it is I’m actually doing online — but usually, that narrative plays inside my head, not all the way down the feed I’m scrolling through. It’s like my research questions have sprung to life these days: What’s Facebook all about, anyway? Is this even fun? If it’s not fun … what is it, exactly?
This is an exciting time in the very short history of social media use.
Facebook’s users are becoming critical of the systems into which they’ve been conscripted. This is an important moment: Will public opinion follow the same well-worn cycle of outrage and acceptance, or will it jump the tracks and begin engaging Facebook on new, more challenging terms?
Researchers have been asking tough questions about Facebook for the past decade, but even armed with the most prestigious credentials, they pose a much smaller threat than educated consumers. And without consumer outrage, government regulation seems unlikely to move forward.
Read more: Why not nationalize Facebook?
‘Sound and fury’
So far, at least in my own feed, the same old script is being followed to the letter. The soul-searching is punctuated by passionate cris-de-coeur from the feed’s more opinionated characters: Wake up, sheeple! If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product — remember? Quit Facebook! Encrypt your data! Smash your phone under the heel of your steel-toed boots!
Next, right on cue, the incisive social commentators swoop in to remind us that these calls are coming from inside the house. “Pretty ironic that you’re posting all this stuff on Facebook!” To which everyone silently rolls their eyes in resignation. Cue the gallows humor about how we’re all under constant surveillance, rinse and repeat. The human condition’s same old two-step. Sound and fury, signifying nothing.
That this discursive cycle was triggered by the revelations earlier this year that voter profiling company Cambridge Analytica obtained the Facebook data of 50 million American accounts is beside the point.
This is only the latest in a long series of such leaks about data mining. In 2017, approximately 200 million registered voters’ personal data stored by voter profiling company Deep Root Analytics was accidentally made public. The previous year, Russian hackers accessed a large cache of voter information owned by the Democratic National Committee.
What this latest go-round is revealing is that these are industry practices that will carry on undisturbed, regardless of what Mark Zuckerberg says or does. This is not a Zuckerberg problem anymore; it’s a problem with an advertising model that is the industry standard.
Most of us Facebook users have been on the platform for about a decade, and perhaps our outrage is our growing pains.
We’ve gained some critical distance through time spent on the platform. We are less easily distracted by the ostensible fun the platform offers. And we appear to be compelled to ask questions about Facebook we’ve never asked before.
Must ask different questions
Fenwick McKelvey, co-director of the Media History Research Centre at Concordia University’s Milieux Institute for Art, Culture and Technology, wishes that the media would start asking different questions about how data is being used by platforms like Facebook.
“The media narrative still assumes that the goal of these platforms (like Facebook) is to expose people to information,” McKelvey told me. “But it’s less and less about that — the goal is to manage and control people’s behaviour.”
Among the urgent questions media commentators should be asking, McKelvey believes, is how online advertisers are deploying user data to subtly nudge people. He provides the illustrative example of SnapChat — a company with relatively strong privacy settings in place — that leaks data to advertisers with dizzying granularity that reflects the industry standard.
Through SnapChat’s protocols, your phone informs advertisers how much time passes between the moment you’re served one of their ads and the moment you make a purchase at their business, either online or in person.
Every time you walk into a retailer with your phone’s location services on, you are leaking data about your consumption habits.
Perhaps we should be burrowing even deeper into Facebook’s business practices.
Facebook tends to rely on the fact that most of its data collection practices are laid bare in its terms of service. But according to Martin French, an assistant professor of sociology at Concordia, Facebook’s notion of “consent” is flimsy at best.
Most unaware of how their data is being used
“Facebook reportedly changed its policies after 2015 to stop app developers accessing information on app users’ network. But for me the question is: Are Facebook users, in the real world, actually aware of the changing ways their data is being used, and the policies that purportedly govern these uses?” wonders French.
French posits that based on research that has been done on who reads and understands social media privacy policies, most users are unaware of how their data is actually being used. The “consent” that Facebook is talking about when they refer to an agreement with their users is not really a kind of consent that conforms to any dictionary definition of that term.
The consensus among social scientists who study life online is that whatever dynamics play out online have offline analogs.
We’ve had a decade to incorporate Facebook into our lives, and like any learning process, our success with it has been uneven.
We’re at a critical moment as users of Facebook. It’s our responsibility to educate ourselves about the implications of our participation. Deactivating our accounts won’t change how our personal data is valued to advertisers.
But perhaps, as we become mature users of social media, we can begin to demand that limits be set on how and when our data is bought and sold.
Doctoral student , Concordia University