6 most common Facebook marketing mistakes that you must avoid at all cost

6 most common Facebook marketing mistakes that you must avoid at all cost

Starting a Facebook business page and getting high quality followers can be challenging, what more turning these followers into customers. Sadly, many small businesses in Singapore are making mistakes on Facebook marketing that are turning people away from their brand.

These common Facebook marketing mistakes must be avoided at all cost if your business intends on getting more fans and customers from Facebook.

#1 Too much promotional content

I’ve seen many Facebook pages of companies in Singapore making this mistake. Small business owners think that Facebook is some sort of a Straits Times Classified section where they just spam all their promotional banners and offers.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. We live in a world of excessive advertising – there are adverts everywhere we look. There is enough advertising in the traditional space that overwhelms us, but talk of the online environment? Dealing with online adverts is one of the daily annoyances that customers have become accustomed to and as a result people tend to switch their minds off when presented with an advert. It’s a turnoff.

Facebook audience will not come back to these kind of pages. But how much is too much and just how often should you be posting purely promotional content? There’s no short answer to this. The idea is you have to educate, entertain, and engage an emotional response from your customers. The Triple E method as we call it. When you implement the Triple E method, you’ll find that you’ll stand out from the social media clutter of noise.

I’ll give you some examples.

Educate

educational facebook post
Blinds vs curtains. Which is better? Your customers would love to find out. This post is for a furniture business that sells blinds, wallpapers, and flooring. When you educate your customers, you’re positioning yourself as an expert. People buy from experts. Experts can sell their products at higher prices.

Entertain

entertaining facebook post
Entertain your audience with interesting posts that are related to your business. This post is for a business that does baking classes. Good visuals definitely helps, just look at the number of shares and likes 😉

Engage people emotionally

facebook post engage emotionally

A high quality image and a description like this triggers an emotional response in your Facebook audience. This is for a furniture company that predominantly sells Italian-made sofas. You don’t have to post heavy content on your Facebook everytime. Content like this triggers an emotional response in your customers.

They view your products differently, and would certainly cement yourself in their minds as a company that sells high quality sofas. Don’t forget that Facebook is a social platform, where people share things they find funny, interesting, and informative. Social media users logon to the various platforms to discover new stuff.

So think about the kind of content that your customers would like.

#2 Lack of content marketing strategy

One main reason why companies are just posting promotional content on their Facebook page is because of a lack of knowledge on what to post. They usually post random content that has no clear direction.

What can a TGIF post, or a Happy New Year post do to your business?

Nothing.

Your Facebook activity is all over the place and you’re probably just trying to ensure that you have some kind of activity. After all, something is better than nothing right? Well, if you want to see profitable results from your Facebook efforts then this statement is wrong. What better way to chase customers away than to offer them boring and irrelevant content? There is enough boring in the world and people don’t need any more from your brand.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and understand what kind of content they need. Give your audience what they want and need. If you remain mediocre and boring, your customers will not find you relevant in their lives and will not engage with your brand. Posting boring and irrelevant content on your Facebook page is a way of de-marketing your brand – you’re encouraging your audience not to engage with you. Be exciting and always aim to offer value to your audience.

Results on Facebook don’t just happen by accident, every single activity is planned and deliberate – even the unplanned content, that should have a plan too. In the social media space, content is everything. According to Content Marketing Institute, 70% of surveyed marketers say they are creating more content than they did a year ago.

That means for your company to stand out, you need to have a content marketing strategy. An effective content marketing plan consists of asking yourself the following:

  • Who is your target market? Demographics, habits, interests, etc
  • What are their problems/wants/needs?
  • What are the popular content that your competitors have?
  • What unique value does your business add to your target market? What are your solutions to your target market’s problems?

Understanding your target audience thoroughly will assist you creating and delivering content that is relevant to their needs. Also, knowing your brand story will help you create an appropriate personality that will give character to your messaging.

Other than asking yourself these questions, you could find more content ideas through Facebook (use the search tool), Pinterest, Google images, Buzzsumo and Twitter. See what’s working out there, what kind of posts have the most engagements. Aim to post around twice a week. That’s the ideal frequency for typical small businesses.

Too much content would annoy your fans. Too little, would make customers think that your Facebook page is outdated, and hence, think that you might have gone out of business.

#3 Not responding quickly

When customers go on to a business’ Facebook page to communicate with you, they expect an immediate response from the company. We live in a world where we expect instant response.

Customers may feel the need to contact your business through Facebook for any enquiries. Facebook is a tool that can be used for multiple uses, one of them as a customer service platform. Many clients of ours receive 20-40 messages on their Facebook in one weekend. People are using Facebook to contact you.

Not responding fast enough to users’ messages can give a negative impression and most importantly it can negatively affect your sales. Facebook has realized how important it is that businesses with Facebook pages respond to user posts and messages that they have created a tab on every page that shows the response time.

facebook page response time

Imagine coming to a Facebook page and seeing that your respond time is fast. There would be a higher percentage of people enquiring about your products/services.

#4 No Facebook marketing sales funnel

Facebook has so many features that you can use to grow your business. But herein lies the problem. Many businesses do not know how to use those features in a proper, coherent manner that drives sales.

What works and what doesn’t? What’s the best way?

In offline sales, companies typically have a sales funnel. It can be something like: Have a roadshow, give people free gifts to entice them and get their contacts, follow up on these contacts, offer them a free consultation or free sample of your product, and ultimately sell them. So if there’s an offline sales funnel, there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be a sales funnel for online marketing.

Without a proper sales funnel, you’re wasting your time and money on Facebook marketing. Before I go into what an effective Facebook sales funnel looks like, I’ll talk about the state of mind when people use Facebook, and why marketing messages on Facebook needs to be different than messages on other marketing channels.

People go to Facebook to discover new things 95% of Facebook users aren’t in a purchase mood.

They don’t log on to Facebook with an intent. They log on to Facebook purely to discover new and interesting stuff, and connect with friends. People go to Google with an intent, to search for something, that’s the main difference between Google and Facebook marketing. So if you’re selling something to people directly on Facebook, that might not be the most effective method.

You might find that many people engaged with your ads, have a volume of people clicking to your website, but conversion to sales is very low. That’s the problem.

When you sell something directly to people who are not in a purchasing mood, most of them simply ignore your ads. It’s a big jump to get Facebook users to buy your stuff immediately when they’re not in the mood. And when 95% of them exit from your ad, you simply wasted your Facebook ad budget.

It’s either a yes or no, and most of the time, it’s a no from your prospects. So what’s a better way to do Facebook marketing? You need to nurture your prospects, and get them to say an easy “yes”. To get them to say an easy “yes”, give them an offer that is attractive and easy to say yes to. It can be something like: 10% one-time discount coupon, a free gift if you purchase above $xxx, a free consultation etc.

Now that you’ve had a brief understanding of Facebook users, let’s go back to the sales funnel. Typically, the sales funnel that we use for our clients’ Facebook marketing looks something like that:

  • Drive Facebook traffic to landing page
  • Give an attractive offer to consumers in exchange for their email address
  • Nurture these leads using email marketing
  • Do remarketing to people who visited your landing page but didn’t become a lead

Reason why we want to collect email addresses is because by doing so, you can reach out to these people who are interested in your services/products in two ways: emails and Facebook.

If you don’t collect their email addresses, there’s no way you can reach out to these people again who have shown a slight interest (when they click on your Facebook ad to your landing page) in your products/services.

Frequently communicating and educating with these leads will allow you to stay top of mind in your customers eyes. When these customers want to buy your products/services, you’ll most likely be the first one they think of and go to.

#5 Poor visuals

Our world is becoming more visual. 10% of photos taken by humans happened in the past year. The most popular social media platforms are image centric – Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest.

Our attention is also becoming shorter. From blogging (where people had to write long blog articles), to Facebook, and then Twitter (where you can only communicate within 140 characters), to Instagram (one picture).

The best way to stand out and capture people’s short attention span in this day and age is through a picture. A picture is worth a thousand words. People are also more likely to buy and engage with your content if it has quality images.

Visuals can work both ways. Your visuals can speak either a thousand good or a thousand bad words depending on your presentation. How would you judge someone in an interview that came dressed dirty and scruffy?

Certainly not in their favor. Customers will judge your business based on the Facebook appearance displayed through the quality of your visuals. Poor quality and low resolution images should be avoided completely as it gives a negative impression to your customers. Many small business owners in Singapore think that they can save money on visuals by taking photos from their catalogue or suppliers, but that usually doesn’t cut it. Those photos are either low res, or dull.

It doesn’t stand out.

The most popular Facebook pages have stunning images. Our clients who took the effort to take high quality photos of their products are doing significantly better on Facebook marketing than businesses who don’t dare to fork out some money to hire a decent photographer to take photos.

#6 Expecting a miracle with little resources

Too many times, when I meet potential clients, they tell me that Facebook marketing doesn’t work for them. When I probe further and ask what have they tried on Facebook, they would say something like, “I’ve tried boosting a Facebook post with $50”, “I’ve tried posting some content on Facebook, but nobody likes it.

There’s no sales coming from my Facebook.” Really?

You expect a miracle from a $50 ad? You expect sales from random and useless Facebook posts? Getting sales from Facebook is not easy. If you’re planning to manage Facebook marketing by yourself, then you need to set aside time to do research on the kind of content that works. Look at my point above on how to plan for a content marketing strategy.

Good content involves understanding your target market, and expertise in your industry. It takes time and effort to develop good content that can generate sales.

With a $50 ad spend, do you think the conclusion that you draw is accurate? There are many factors that affect the effectiveness of Facebook ads. Your target audience, your ad creative, message, visuals, timing and etc. Don’t rule out Facebook advertising as a viable marketing channel. Test with a bigger budget, and test smartly.

Now that you are more informed about the common Facebook marketing mistakes that small businesses make, remember that your Facebook page is your 24/7 salesman. Invest in areas where you need to, be it design, or content. Focus on activities that will drive your brand towards positive engagements with your customers.

Xavier Tan
Co-founder, Managing Director
Xavier is the Marketing Director at Canny Digital. He started social media marketing and SEM long before it became popular in Singapore. His passion is in helping businesses grow through effective lead generation. He has overseen campaigns for Amara Hotel, NTU, Marina Bay, L'Oreal, and 100+ SMEs.