Do you really need to be told that nearly a billion people are on Facebook, or that a couple hundred million of them are logging on every day?
No. Odds are, you probably don’t even need to be told that it’s a great place to market your business, whether you’re an eCommerce shop or a brick and mortar supplier.
Unfortunately, many, perhaps even most, small businesses don’t understand how to use Facebook Marketing as a promotional tool. Here are some of the most common mistakes they make. Avoid these and you’ll already be ahead of the game.
Breaking the Service Agreement
We’ve become so accustomed to clicking “I agree” whenever we’re faced with a list of terms and conditions that sometimes it’s easy to forget they even exist.
This can prove fatal for small businesses who are trying to use Facebook to market their products, however. Losing your Facebook following can be an enormous blow to your business.
Any time that you feel unsure about doing something on Facebook, odds are you shouldn’t do it in the first place, whether or not it violates the terms and conditions.
That said, there are a few things that can be considered a violation that you might not realize. Here are the most common mistakes:
– Using a Personal Profile – Many businesses don’t even realize that there is a difference between brand pages and personal profiles. Using a “normal” Facebook account to promote your business is a terrible mistake not only because it violates the service agreement, but because it demonstrates to your customers that you don’t know what you are doing.
– Contest Rules – Put simply, no contest that you run on Facebook can make use of Facebook’s features. You have to use a third party app. No matter how many times you’ve seen ads that say “‘like’ us to win,” these ads are actually against the terms of service and can get your account banned with no warning.
– Tagging – Never tag a picture of somebody without getting their permission first. Those who get tagged can report you for abuse, which brings your entire account up for review.
It can’t be said enough. Social media is just as much social as it is media. It’s just as much for listening as it is for talking. Marketing has been about broadcasting for so long that it’s very difficult for most companies to adapt to this fundamental shift.
Users expect their words to be heard and responded to. If you can pull this off, you can win their loyalty and dramatically boost your customer retention rate.
Facebook is information overload. Many people’s streams are overloaded with dozens or even hundreds of new posts every day. Yours has to stand out in order to be effective.
This means shifting media and strategies regularly. Alternate between photos, videos, posts, and responses. Offer interesting or entertaining content that simply can’t be found anywhere else. This requires a steep investment of time but the payoff is worth the effort.
Do not overload your users’ streams with too much content. If they see you too often, they will start to get bored of you and feel like you are intruding into their space. It’s important to find just the right balance of updates.
Too little and they will forget who you are. Too often and they will tune you out, or worse, “unlike” you.
Stay interesting, join in on conversations, and pay attention to the service agreement.
Remember that social media is a place that people go to enjoy themselves, not a place where they look for something to buy. Those of you who avoid these mistakes will reap the rewards.
[box type=”gray”]Ben Sawyer is blogger and a content writer for www.newyorkstatedivorce.com , the top tier matrimonial law firm. He mostly writes about social media tips and tricks, sharing his knowledge and experience with others.[/box]
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