At its core, social media marketing is all about connecting with your audience and offering them something so valuable that they keep coming back for more.
Once you generate a loyal following, the next step is leveraging it to your advantage. After all, you can offer all the value in the world and your audience will love you for it, but at the end of the day, if you gain nothing out of it – what’s the point?
That is not to undermine the importance of value, however.
According to Gary Vee, you’ve got to throw in some jabs first before you go in for the right hook.
In other words, jabs are the value you provide and the right hook is the ask: your turn to ask for a favor in return – whether it be a sale, a subscribe, a donation, or something else (note: Gary Vee does not actually encourage boxing with your followers).
When it comes to social media, you have to give, give, give, and then ask.
Realistically, there is no specific amount of content or value you should give before asking (it can be up to 20 times or up to a 100).
But if you’re doing anything creative, you need to know how to treat your audience.
Because if you don’t, someone else will.
The average person in the 21st century gets a hundred people just like you asking them for something. So, you need to stand out.
If you don’t have the right strategy, you risk alienating your audience.
And that brings us to the first of our social media mistakes:
1. Constantly promoting your stuff
Let’s say you have a perfected product that’s tailored just right for your target market.
They need to hear about this, right?
It will undoubtedly change their lives, they just need to give it a shot.
Well, be that as it may, you won’t get very far by just promoting your products. Posts that direct users to a purchase or a landing page aren’t likely to reach many people in the first place.
And that’s not how Facebook’s algorithm works either.
Instead, with its new update, Facebook’s algorithm will now “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people”.
Image Source: Facebook Newsroom
How does this work?
Essentially, neither the consumers nor the Facebook algorithm wants to see content that’s not original and provides little to no value.
Facebook went public with this algorithm change in January 2018, and since then, it has been prioritizing content that encourages “meaningful interaction” that people will actually enjoy.
In short: watch what you post and how often you do it.
2. Not having a consistent posting plan
Now that you realize the importance of high-quality content that provides value, the next thing you need is a strategy.
Facebook is no longer a place where you can just throw out content and hope some of it sticks.
After the algorithm change, engagement rate was also drastically affected.
If you want to win – be consistent with your posting and as long as you share quality content, you’ll be rewarded.
The name of the game is quality over quantity.
That is what Buffer did. With a simple Facebook posting strategy, they managed to triple their reach and engagement. Here’s how:
- The more they posted, the less reach and engagement they got (about ~4x posts per day).
- They realized that not every post is the right fit for Facebook and started posting one or two entertaining and educational content (“edu-tainment”, in their words) at most per day.
- As a result, their reach tripled from 44,000 to 150,000+ people per week, and the average engagement rose from ~500 to more than 1,000.
It’s worth noting that they also experimented with content curation and boosting posts – both of which paid off.
Image Source: Buffer
Bottom line is this: a lot depends on your content. Make sure what your audience will enjoy what you’re posting before you worry about other metrics.
Plan out your posting schedule, try posting a different kind of content each day and see what works best with your audience.
3. Not trying new things
Of course, with that said, you should also constantly be experimenting and trying new social media practices.
Like Buffer, curating content close to your niche might be the hit that helps your page go viral.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other ways you can experiment with social media marketing, and depending on your industry and audience, some of them might pay off more than others.
Here are some other proven Facebook marketing tactics you can employ:
- Start a group – Facebook won’t limit your reach inside the group and you’ll have a whole new place to interact with and better understand your audience. Groups are a great way to promote interest in your blog, grow and nurture an audience, and avoid any long-term marketing expenses.
- Switch up your visuals – According to HubSpot, Facebook posts with images enjoy 2.3x more engagement than those without images. And since most people already skim through the text, images are a great way to capture their attention (infographics also help).
- Invest in ads – Facebook Ads might seem somewhat complicated at first, since they offer so many options, but on the bright side – there are just as many payoffs you can gain from them (leads, more likes/engagement, a purchase call-to-action, and more).
Image Source: Content Marketing Institute
Don’t be afraid to try things other people aren’t doing, it just might work for you.
But whatever happens, the type of content you can’t go wrong with is original content…
4. Not creating original content
Facebook loves original content. There’s no doubt about it.
Moz did a study about this in which they analyzed approximately 50,000 posts from 800 different pages for two weeks. They examined the median of each page’s average performance over the time periods analyzed and defined engagement as likes + comments + shares for the study.
For brands to stay ahead, they found that original content that creates value tends to come out on top.
In addition to that, content originators (brands that create the content) are the ones that experienced the most value because they used natural distribution networks such as shares.
Metrics like strong engagements and shares are what signal Facebook to distribute the content further.
So, if you too want to increase your reach and exposure, focus on shareable content.
As long as you keep your audience in mind, give them value and trigger a sense of emotion – you’ll be well on your track of gaining new followers through shares.
5. Not interacting
Social media is all about being SOCIAL.
This might sound obvious but if you’re not interacting with, answering questions, replying to comments and connecting with your audience – you’re missing out on a ton of value.
There are two sides to this:
First, you’re encouraging more interaction among your followers and your brand.
To do this effectively, really engage with them. Ask them some questions. What did they like about the post? What do they think about the content? What kind of posts do they prefer?
In addition to basic interaction, you’re also figuring out more information about your audience (which is always useful). You can never have enough information about your customers.
This, in turn, will come in handy when you want to target them through Facebook ads.
Secondly, if done well, you’re also increasing overall engagement. Be sure to chime in on the discussion going on in the comments. A good personality and a tone of voice go a long way when interacting with your fans. Treat them as a friend, joke with them and get them to crack a smile – and you just might receive a customer loyal to your brand.
Even a simple “thank you!” reply comment goes a long way as it shows that you’re taking time out of your day to respond. People appreciate small things like this.
Though they might not remember your specific post, they’ll definitely remember how you made them feel. Start there.
6. Not tracking your social media marketing efforts
Now, to take it back to the data and analytics side, it’s important you know how to measure the results of your marketing to see if they pay off or not.
How do you know if your Facebook marketing efforts are working?
Image Source: Facebook Business
First, you need to set clear outcomes you want to measure. For example, to measure your effects on sales, you’d need a different metric than you would to measure shifts in brand recognition.
This is where the Facebook Pixel data shines – arguably the most important solution from the above three.
In short: the Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you insert on your website to better measure, optimize and build custom tailored audiences for your advertising campaigns. When someone visits your website and takes a certain action (buys something, for example), the Pixel tracks this.
Once you gain more conversions on your website, Facebook gets better at delivering your ads to relevant people who visited your website and are more likely to take a certain action. This process is called conversion optimization and it only gets better the more traffic you drive to your site.
So, be sure you’re driving regular traffic back to your site so that you can track them accordingly with a Facebook Pixel.
The tool also allows you to create custom audiences based on your traffic, retarget those who didn’t sign up, and optimize delivery to people who are more likely to take action.
For example, once you can target who didn’t sign up for one reason or another, you can re-target them with the appropriate copy tweaks and a more relevant offer.
Long story short – it’s a powerful tool that you can’t afford to miss out on.
7. Not measuring the ROI
Finally, arguably the most important part of your whole social marketing efforts is the ROI.
Did you achieve what you set out to do? And how do you measure that in the first place?
If you’re not following this step, then all your marketing efforts might as well go to waste.
Each step of the way, you need to be measuring and tracking the results so you know if a tactic is worth pursuing or not.
At the end of the day, you need a set of data or a number that says if your strategy was worth it or not. And no single metric tells you this better than the ROI.
If you want to know whether your Facebook marketing campaign paid off or not, you need to look at a couple of things and measure them accordingly:
If your objective is to raise brand awareness and increase your reach, then a reasonable goal may be gaining 500 new followers or 10% more likes on an average post in a month.
Measuring this is relatively simple, as all you need to do is look for metrics such as new follows, likes, shares, comments, and so on, in the insights section.
Traffic means people visiting your website and if you want to measure this effectively, you need to have a Pixel and Google Analytics ready on your site.
In Google Analytics, look at the “Acquisition” tab to see how many visitors you’re getting and where from (preferably your most important social media site). Other key metrics also include time, tools, and ads.
Image Source: ShivarWeb
Finally, this is your bottom line metric.
First, choose the conversion metric that suits your goals, e.g. sign-ups, products bought, downloaded something, etc. and then insert a tracking code onto your website. To do this, you can use Google Analytics URL tracking tool or just the Facebook Pixel.
To measure conversions from a specific social media channel and measure a reliable social media ROI, these tracking tools are your best overall solutions.
Calculating your social media ROI might seem overwhelming at first, so expect a lot of practice and data.
But on the bright side, there’s usually always a dollar figure attached to it to see if it was worth it or not – especially when talking about the ROI.
The bottom line
All in all, a lot of social media marketing comes down to trial and error.
Sometimes, learning from your mistakes is all it takes to succeed in your next efforts. And as long as you’re experimenting with the type of content you post, how often, and how your followers engage with it – you’re on the right track.
But with that said there are some social media mistakes you can’t afford to make.
Social media marketing is an extremely effective way to connect with your audience and build a loyal following.
If you’re not sure where to begin, start with providing relevant content and value to your target market. Everything else will follow from there.
Guest author: Uwe Dreissigacker is the founder of online invoicing software InvoiceBerry & also offers free invoice templates to businesses. Small businesses and sole traders can create, send and manage their invoices, quotes and credit notes with the tool. In his free time, Uwe travels the world and enjoys experiencing different cultures.