Common Facebook marketing mistakes and how to avoid them!
This article appears in the July/August 2013 issue of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand
Many franchisors already understand that depending on the location, each of their business owners may warrant a separate social media page.
Although a lot of marketing guidelines may be set for you by your franchisor, as a franchisee, you can use Facebook as a social media tool and come up with new ideas of what works and what does not for your specific target market.
In other words, every franchisee’s market is subtly different from their counterparts despite the obvious similarities, and social tools can help you fine tune your online presence in a way that suits your specific needs.
For example, your opening hours or specials, or you may have an audience which is very different social-economically from that of other franchisees. Some markets respond better to particular promotional strategies like coupons and discounts, whereas others love keeping a tab on and checking out new products or how to guides.
If you are using Facebook as one of your marketing strategies, it is best if you follow the tried and tested practices that work. It’s easy to fall into the trap of making common Facebook mistakes, but with the right strategy and knowledge, it’s possible to avoid them.
Common Facebook Mistakes
1. Treating All Social Media as Equal
So you’ve got all the major social platforms in your marketing plan. Great! But what’s your strategy to post on them?
For example, many businesses make the mistake of pushing the same posts on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, it saves time and you can get both pages look updated with new content daily, but the fact that you have two different platforms confirms you must do something different on both of them.
Twitter and Facebook are two very different platforms, and you should treat them as such. For example, Twitter only allows for 140 characters, whereas Facebook allows a whopping 63,206 characters. (If you exceed this limit, you are given a warning and asked to post it as a Note instead). So why not make use of that space?
Another reason you should tweak your posts is that people don’t want to see duplicated content on two separate social media. If they are following you everywhere, they expect something different from you on these platforms; otherwise they are better off following you on just one, aren’t they?
Specifically, Twitter users are OK to receive short blurbs several times a day, whereas it might be annoying to your Facebook fans if you post more than twice. Moreover, Facebook is getting more and more visual by the day. The launch of Facebook Timeline is a clear indication that Facebook wants you to make use of images to capture attention. A picture does speak 1,000 words, and but when combined with punchy text on Facebook, it speaks two-fold!
2. Not Being Human
Occasionally, people will want to see the real person sitting behind the computer. After all, no one likes being talked at. Fans love engaging and talking with you. Don’t be a robot pushing content on social media – be the opposite. It’s called “social” for a reason.
That said, when you’re new to the scene, a negative comment can freak you out and that’s when you may want to hide behind the computer. Many business owners make this mistake and do not respond to such comments, or worse, end up deleting them. Never do that.
Despite the negativity, address everyone’s comments. That’s where a leader differentiates themselves from the herd. A leader will stay positive and calm when responding to criticism.
So have a friendly tone to your posts and always be curious about this person. What led this person to post a negative comment in the first place? Where are they coming from? Really listen first. Answering openly will make you come across as someone who is not afraid to make and accept their mistakes – aka a human.
Another common mistake is never taking the initiative to start a conversation. If you are a coaching business and your social media strategy is just to churn out motivational quotes, you are leaving a lot of potential on the table.
Instead, ask intriguing questions that people love answering. Understand their pain and pleasure points, and make interesting conversations by opening them with questions.
To make this point clearer, think about a friend who always wants to talk about them, without any interest whatsoever in asking you “how are you doing?” How do you feel in the presence of someone like that? I am guessing not so great and mostly drained. It’s a one way communication. And social media is anything but that!
Don’t be a robot, be human. Interact, ask, and engage. Be curious. Thank them.
Stay candid and honest. Last but not the least: Keep the conversation going both ways!
3. Always Tooting Your Own Horn
Let’s get this clear: Yes, you can talk about your shiny, newly-launched product and yes, it’s OK to keep doing this every now and then. But only pushing promotional content? No, thank you.
Fans want you to show them you care about them, not just about your business. If you only promote your stuff, they may soon lose interest in your page. You also need to make sure there’s other stuff happening as well.
For example, you can post a recent win on your page, and then thank your fans for the support. In that way, you are making it about them instead of just you. Another good tactic is to host regular giveaways on your page to attract new audience and retain old fans. With careful and consistent social media planning, you can keep away from these Facebook marketing mistakes and raise your profile by reaching a whole new audience.
Maria Abadilla is the Director of Revive Projects and is passionate about helping franchises attract, engage and retain their clients through marketing, communications, and training and social media policy development.
Established in 2007, Revive Projects has been helping businesses serious about their growth and increased visibility in their markets. It is Australia’s leading and award-winning marketing consultancy for government projects, franchises and product and services based industries.
Reach Maria at: