Are you losing your Facebook Fans? Have people stopped Liking you?
I see so many businesses putting time and effort into gaining high numbers on their Facebook Pages. Then they lose them. Are you one of these companies?
In this article, I’ll go over nine mistakes businesses make on Facebook. I’ll also show you how to avoid them on your own Page.
- Are you losing Facebook Fans? Stop posting controversial content
- Why begging for Likes on Facebook is a big no no
- Stop talking about yourself, and get your Fans talking about you
- Do you have the wrong Fans on your Page?
- Verbosity on Facebook gets you Unliked…
- Typos aren’t cool
1. Posting Controversial Content
Posting content to get your Fans talking, and adding a bit of passion, can increase engagement. Take it too far, and you’re going to lose Likes.
Sports, for example, is a passionate topic. Now, associating your brand with a popular sporting event can be a brilliant marketing strategy.
Do it right, and you’ll generate interest and engagement with your Page.
Do it wrong, however, and you’re going to offend your Fans – and lose Likes.
Don’t brag about your favourite team – and don’t trash talk their opponents. You will offend consumers. Facebook is a public forum. Even if you are geo-targeting to a specific customer, keep your strong sporting opinions off your online sites – keep them to face-to-face discussions, if you must.
If you do want to discuss sports on your brand Page, get your customers involved. Post a “Like vs. Share” to get your Fans to choose who they prefer. Or run a vote contest to create even more involvement. Just don’t post your views persistently and expect no backlash.
Here’s how the Home Depot uses sports the right way. They’ve been running a photo contest about College Football. They generate huge engagement with their Fanes, by getting them to show off their favourite team, and their best bucket drumming.
Even more obvious is posting about your religious beliefs, or your political views. This is a quick and fast way to reduce your number count.
Tips for posting passionate content:
- Don’t persistently post your opinions about passionate topics.
- Take advantage of high profile sports events, for example, but make your content inclusive (and non-offensive).
- Use engagement tactics such as a “Like vs. Share” post, or a vote contest to get your Fans involved.
2. Linking to the Wrong Sites
As a marketer these days, you’ve got a million things to do. Linking the wrong site on your Facebook Page should not be one of them. But it happens.
If you’ve mistakenly linked to wrong site once or twice, this is understandable. You’re human. Your Fans will forgive you. When you do find a mistake, edit the link (Facebook now lets you edit your posts!). Apologize if it was a really wrong site.
But, don’t make it a habit.
Consistently getting your links wrong, is well, just poor content. Your Fans will Unlike you. And worse – you’ll start to lose credibility as a business, and you will lose customers too.
Even large companies make this mistake.
Telus is a large telecommunications company in Canada. The posted a Facebook update about a Twitter contest they were running, with the prize being passes at Whistler/ Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada. Unfortunately, the link they provided was to a site in Omaha, Nebraska. Ooops. (Ok, Telus did correct the link, and no real harm was done.)
Additionally, make sure you know the sites you’re linking to are trustworthy. This is even more important with Facebook’s new algorithm (Facebook will penalize your posts if your content is not from a trusted source). Make sure you check them out, before you drive away your hard earned Fans!
Tips for linking to the right site:
- Review your links to make sure they’re what you want your Fans to see, before posting them to Facebook.
- Review your links after you’ve posted them to Facebook.
- If you realize a link error, correct it.
3. Posting Only About Yourself
Facebook is a place where people go to connect with their friends and family. It’s kind of like the proverbial water cooler. As a business, you need to understand this social kind of marketing. It’s about engagement and interacting with your potential consumer.
How long do you hang out with people who only talk about themselves? Not long, right? Your customers aren’t going to Like you for long if you only talk about your business and products, either.
Additionally, (and this should go without saying) don’t vent your problems to your customers. This will annoy your Fans.
Check out these easy Facebook tips to drive engagement, for more methods to add to your Facebook content strategy.
Tips for not posting only about yourself:
- Don’t annoy your Fans by posting one way ‘push’ marketing tactics.
- Engage on Facebook by asking questions and posting interactive content.
- Use tactics like contests and sweepstakes.
4. Posting Salesy Updates
Similar to posting only about yourself, don’t post overly salesy updates. The days of push marketing are over. You are not printing an ad in a newspaper, you are interacting with your customers. You need to ‘pull’ them in, and get your Fans wanting to see your Facebook content.
Here’s an great example of how not post on Facebook. Sears still seems to think that people are shopping by catalogue – their Facebook update looks like it is straight out of a magazine ad:
They could make this post much more interactive and Likeable. They could use more authentic looking images of their product, and include a question such as: “What shoe, boot or sneaker will you be wearing this Fall?”
They could even make their product posts into contests. For example, they could run a simple photo contest to get customers to buy their product, wear their product, and then show their product in a photo. This not only creates fun engagement on their Facebook Page, it also increases consumer loyalty.
Tips for not posting salesy updates:
- Don’t post photos of your products and expect people to ‘buy, buy, buy’.
- Use engagement tactics to show off your products on Facebook.
- Learn about your consumer on Facebook (by asking questions and monitoring your metrics) and give them content that they want.
5. Posting Really Long Content
Long, wordy content on Facebook does not get read. It doesn’t encourage engagement, and your posts will stop showing up in Fans’ News Feeds. Not only that, but consistently posting verbose updates will get you losing Likes too.
People on Facebook ‘read’ through images, and a few catchy words. Try to make your Facebook updates about the length of a Twitter update. Limit your word count, and include simple Calls to Action (CTA).
Here’s an example of an overly wordy Facebook update. The Lowry Park Zoo is trying to fit in everything about an upcoming sale they’re having. Instead, they make the post very difficult to read.
If you have a lot to say about an upcoming event – make a few posts about it. Write a blog article about it, with the details clear and easy to read – then link to it in your Facebook updates. Include images, too, to make it more appealing.
Tips to avoid really long content on Facebook:
- Shorten your word count by posting a few updates about your topic.
- Use images to tell your message.
- Use links to blog posts to share more information with your Fans.
6. Posting Unrelated Content
Your Facebook Page is not your personal page. Your Fans expect to get relevant posts from you. Keep them themed, branded, and always have your consumer in mind.
If you are a coffee shop, for example, don’t start posting about beauty tips! This will get your Page Unliked.
Tips for not posting unrelated content:
- Don’t treat your business Facebook Page like your own personal page.
- Create a Facebook content strategy, so you know your themes and topics you will post.
- Make sure your social media managers know – and follow – your branded strategy.
7. Not Responding to Negative Comments
Your Fans – and customers – use your social sites as a method to connect with your business. They will leave comments on your Facebook Page. You need to respond to these comments – especially if they are negative.
When you keep a negative comment on your Facebook Page, don’t decide to just ignore it. This makes you look like you don’t care about your customers. You need to be monitoring your Page. You need to be responding to Fan comments. Not doing so will not only lose you your Fans – you’re going to to to lose customers too.
Even businesses who notoriously get negative comments adhere to the practise of responding to comments on their Facebook Page.
Citi Bank responds to a public complaint about their customer service. Citi Bank responded within 15 minutes – and they received a Like on their comment. This goes a long way to show that they are a responsive company, who are listening to their consumers. If they had left the negative comment unanswered, this would only aggravate the customers’ negativity, and would lose them Likes – and customers.
Tips for responding to negative comments:
- Unless you’ve clearly stated your guidelines for acceptable and unacceptable content, don’t just delete negative comments.
- Respond to the comments in helpful and personable manner – don’t auto-respond, or spew the same script to every comments.
- Use negative comments as an opportunity to show you are a company that listens.
8. Begging for Likes
Begging for Likes is a big ‘no no’ on Facebook. Not only will begging for Likes make people Unlike you, it will make Facebook unlike you too.
The new Facebook algorithm (which determines what posts are seen in what News Feeds) penalizes posts that try to “game the News Feed”. This includes “asking for people to like the content”. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask people to Like your quality content, as part of a real engaging content strategy. It does mean that you shouldn’t be begging for Likes without offering engagement.
If you want to get people to Like your posts, make your updates quality posts that are engaging. Listen to your consumer, by checking your data. Tally up what posts in the past have generated the most engagement, and keep your posting strategy aligned with these types of posts.
Tips for not begging for Likes:
- Make sure your content is good quality, and keep your target market in mind when posting.
- Don’t make posts with “please Like” in the update.
- Create engaging content, that your consumer will Like – without you having to ask.
9. Having the Wrong Fans in the First Place
You may be losing Likes because your Fans are not your real customer base. How did you get your Fans? Was it for a particular event? Was it a sweepstakes in which you gave away an unrelated prize?
If the people that Liked your Page are not genuinely interested in your business, they’re not going keep being your Fans. It’s also not good for your Facebook marketing efforts (or your business bottom line) to be posting for people who are not interested in you as a business.
Make sure you’re targeting the right audience as you build up your numbers on Facebook. For example, if you’re hosting Facebook sweepstakes, make sure you have a prize that reflects your business, and attracts genuine customers. Don’t, for example, giveaway the latest iPad just to get interest if your company has nothing to do with iPads. You will get more Fans, but they’re going to be stacked full of contest junkies – not people who care about your business.
Build up your Fan base with your real customers, and you’ll keep your Likes. You’ll also keep new and returning customers.
Tips to having the right Fans on Facebook:
- Target your content to connect with your genuine customer.
- If you build your Fan base through contests and sweepstakes, make sure your prize is brand-related.
- If your Fan base was built on an event you hosted, host more of those events in future.
Take these mistakes, and learn from them. You spend a lot of time and effort in gaining your Facebook Fans. Don’t lose them through posting poor content. Keep your Facebook posts authentic, engaging, readable and edited! Make sure you gain the right Facebook Fan in the first place, and talk with your customers on Facebook.
What do you think? How do you keep your Facebook Likes? What methods can you share? Do you have any other tips on what not to do?
Written by Krista Bunskoek @ Wishpond