Setting up a Facebook page for your company might be one of the easiest things to do. However, maintaining a loyal fan base to follow and promote your product/service effectively, and generating consistent user engagement is hard and involves a lot of trial and error, mistakes and goof-ups.
Here is what a few industry professionals had to say about some of the most common mistakes marketers make on Facebook:
As a rule of thumb, promotional messages should not exceed 20% of your posts. Usman Ahmed Khan, Social Media Manager, Squareloops, believes it doesn’t happen in Pakistan: “One of the fatal mistakes many businesses make is trying to always sell, neglecting the emotions and attachments of a person towards the specific product/brand. Advertising doesn’t always have to be blatant – you don't have to sell your product in every other post you are publishing on your or your client's page.”
Khan stressed that the idea behind social media is to socialise, interact, engage and build community. The last thing followers want is to be bombarded by a stream of ads in their newsfeed. Providing value to customers is what is important and marketers must find creative ways to promote their products and services while delivering value.
Ignoring comments and queries
Whether it is traditional media or digital platforms, marketers cannot afford to ignore a potential customer or client. Social media gives businesses the opportunity to have a two-way conversation with their followers.
Zain Abbas Devaj, Digital Strategist, SEO Solutions Company, Tecom Dubai, UAE, believes that leaving customer queries unattended can land a brand in hot water and ruin its image.
“A big mistake is when brands don't respond quickly to customer queries on Facebook, whether it’s their inbox messages or comments. I checked out Ralph Lauren’s Facebook page a few days ago only to find that a lot of queries were unanswered. Many people were asking about prices and other details but hardly a couple of them were answered”
He adds that actively responding to queries creates a massive difference. It builds customer loyalty and this can translate into higher sales. “If people feel that you don’t care what they say, they will never return to your page.”
Limiting your ads or posts to people with matching ‘Interests’
Facebook gives the option to target your ads/posts to people with specific interests, so as to reach the ideal target audience, and exclude people who don’t have similar interests. However, a lot of times it just ends up limiting a post’s reach – and doesn’t even show up on your TA’s newsfeed. This happens when people don’t explicitly state their interests on Facebook. “Interest targeting is not always a smart choice,” says Devaj, “because a brand often misses a major chunk of the potential audience resulting in low ad response.”
Posting during odd hours
Timing is crucial according to Ali Gul, Co-founder of Escape Advertising. He reckons that posting an update during “odd hours” minimises outreach. Posting at the most optimal hours will help a brand generate more traffic, engagement and followers. In terms of the ‘optimal’ time to post on Facebook, he said: “there’s no ideal time; it depends on factors specific to every business i.e. the industry, location of the targeted audience, when are they online, etc.” If your target audience falls between the 25 to 40 age bracket, Ali says, posting early morning or early evening is a good time. The tip is to monitor your analytics daily, study your audience behaviour and know when most of the viewers are online.
Not being trendy
Trends impact marketing strategy, no matter what. Muzammil Khatri of vServices thinks that brands which do not mould their marketing strategies, ads and posts in accordance with what is trending will often be left behind. Based on the target audience, Khatri advises brands need to keep a close eye on the trends people are following. “Of course, you need to tickle your creative bone to design your content accordingly.”
When asked about how to identify trends, Khatri suggests using tools and features such as Trends on Twitter, Facebook Trending, YouTube Trends, Snapchat Discover and Pinterest Trending. “You can also monitor Google searches and see a new trend coming in,” he said.