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Facebook is the most popular social media network, and over 200 million small businesses use it to stay in touch with customers and reach new people. Having a Facebook presence is a must, and many small business owners realize that. However, many still make critical mistakes that lead to lower conversion rates and decreased engagement.
There are many articles out there telling you what to do on Facebook, but not as many talks about what not to do. Here are seven mistakes to avoid on Facebook.
1. Don’t Automate Everything
Don’t get me wrong – automation is critical. I’d be the first to tell you to use automation in your social media marketing campaigns. Automating your posts allows you to stay on track, publish posts at the right times, and save time.
At the same time, you can’t automate everything. Too many marketers and small business owners get overly excited when they discover automation tools like Hootsuite and Buffer and realize how much more productive they can be when using them.
But, some things just can’t be automated. For example, if you rely entirely on automation, you will be missing out on the opportunity to reply to comments and engage with followers.
When people ask questions on your Facebook posts, and you don’t reply, but you continue publishing new posts, it gives off a bad impression. It will make people think you just don’t care. After all, the majority of your fans won’t have any clue that the new posts were scheduled beforehand. They’ll think you are just ignoring them.
Similarly, Facebook Live can turn into one of your most effective tools. Live videos allow you to forge more personal relationships with your followers. You can use them to answer questions, show customers an inside peek of your operations, and a lot more. While you can schedule videos to be published in advance, they just aren’t an effective substitute to live videos.
2. Don’t Just Promote Your Products and Services
Have you ever visited a business page on Facebook and seen post after post promoting that business’s products and services? Don’t be like that. If you want people to like and follow your page and engage with your content, you need to mix up your posts.
It’s okay to promote your products and services – after all, your goal on Facebook is probably to get more sales and conversions. At the same time. If that’s all you do, you will fall far short of your engagement potential.
There’s so much content you can share on Facebook that you shouldn’t need much time to come up with ideas. However, if you are having trouble thinking of what to post, here are some ideas to get you started:
Post links to your blog posts
Upload memes and funny GIFs
Upload short videos
Do live video streams
Publish pictures or short videos of your team (sneak peeks)
Share images from your Instagram page
Share videos from your YouTube channel
Give away an ebook or white paper
Send a link to your email newsletter sign-up page
Touch on trending topics (that are not controversial)
Publish a podcast
Post links to your local citations and ask for reviews
Depending on your niche and target audience, some types of content will be more appropriate and effective than others. For example, an older audience might not appreciate memes. Business professionals might appreciate white papers more than other audiences.
3. Don’t Post Clickbait
Posting clickbait is a mistake. If you are unaware, clickbait is a type of content that intentionally misleads users to draw them in. Usually, the title will allude to one thing, while the body of the article will talk about something else, or something not as interesting as the title implies. Linguistic gimmicks are often used to tantalize readers.
On Facebook, clickbait can refer to starting your posts in a misleading way or posting links to clickbait articles or videos. Either way, while you might get more engagement at first, you will probably hurt your conversions in the long run.
That’s because people will get upset with you for wasting their time. They will start flooding the comment sections of your posts, talking about how they want their time back and how annoying clickbait is. They might unfollow you or unlike your page to avoid seeing more clickbait in the future.
It’s not even about the time lost itself – people just don't like feeling misled.
Besides, clickbait doesn’t even work as well as you might think. According to researchers, clickbait headlines not only didn’t perform better than regular headlines, but they often performed worse. A lot of users are getting better at detecting clickbait. Clickbait isn’t new, and it’s been around for a long time; most internet users have had exposure to clickbait in the past and can recognize it.
4. Don’t Make Your Posts Too Long
One of the advantages of Facebook, as opposed to Twitter, is that it allows you to publish longer posts. However, just because you can post long posts doesn’t mean you should. In fact, the optimal Facebook post length is probably shorter than you think.
According to a Buzzsumo analysis, the optimal Facebook post length is only 50 characters or fewer. Short posts of under 50 characters got the most engagement. After that, engagement tends to go down the longer the posts get.
Of course, nothing is set in stone. For some niches, longer posts might perform better. That is why it is important to check your Facebook Audience Insights and keep track of your engagement. Try out different post lengths to figure out what works for you.
5. Don’t Ignore Pictures and Videos
Humans are visual creatures. We’ve evolved to rely on visual cues for survival, and our brains are more efficient at processing visual information. We’re not alone in this – all primates are visual by nature.
Perhaps that’s why Facebook posts with images get 120% more engagement than text posts. Specifically, picture posts get 104% more comments, 84% more clicks, and 53% more likes than the average post. Similarly, posts with videos get more engagement.
You should switch up your posts, however, to keep things fresh. Some posts should be text posts, others should have text and images, others should have only an image, others should have a few images and no text, and others should have a video.
Always track your engagement to see which posts attract the most interactions. Try out different image types and see which ones work the best.
6. Don’t Neglect Criticism
It’s impossible to avoid some criticism on your Facebook page, especially as your likes and engagement grow. The question is how you handle it. It would be a mistake to ignore the criticism you receive, as listening to what your followers are saying can help you improve your Facebook strategy and get more engagement in the long run.
On the one hand, you don’t want to escalate negativity. It’s also important to differentiate between trolling and helpful criticism. There are trolls online; there’s nothing you can do about that. Unhelpful trolls are best blocked, but it’s critical not to put up a wall and block out all criticism.
When people leave negative comments on your page, try to see if there is any kernel of truth in what they are saying. Furthermore, try to identify a pattern. Are many people complaining about the same thing? If so, what are you doing wrong, and how can you improve?
Some comments are best removed but don’t remove all negative comments. It will end up making you look bad. Instead, respond to complaints professionally and promise to do better. At the same time, don’t escalate a complaint on your public page; DM them on Facebook Messenger to take the conversation elsewhere.
7. Don’t Hesitate to Experiment on Ad Campaigns
Finally, don’t be afraid to try out some paid ad campaigns. Yes, it requires a bit of an investment upfront. However, the ROI you can get from Facebook Ads makes it well worth it.
Create a budget for Facebook Ads, but realize there will be a bit of a learning curve if you do it all by yourself. It can take some time to figure out which ad types get the most engagement and conversions. However, by choosing your target audience carefully, you can increase your conversion rate and get more out of your ad campaigns.
You can even upload your email list and target those people. Alternatively, you can generate a lookalike audience that shares the demographics of people on your email list. Either way, since these people are already on your list or share the same interests as those who are, you will be more likely to convert them.
Improving your engagement on Facebook is a process. Don’t expect to become a pro overnight. There’s always room to learn and improve, so always test out new tactics and adapt your strategy based on your results. However, by avoiding these seven mistakes, you will already be way ahead of your competitors.