Facebook is one of the largest and most robust social media marketing platforms for businesses. Advertising and building audience engagement can be a breeze for some and a nightmare for others. Fortunately, social media managers tend to make the same mistakes and there is usually a relatively simple solution. Here are some of the most common Facebook marketing problems and how to fix them.
Never create marketing goals
Before we dive too deep into Facebook marketing, it is important to ask yourself what your goals are. You could ask yourself the following questions to start with:
- Do I want to get followers and likes for vanity purposes?
- Is building audience engagement my top priority?
- Is social media a listening tool or a customer service tool for my brand?
- Do I expect social media to increase awareness of my brand or is it just a tool to make sales?
It's also okay not to have any big goals at all. Many businesses simply use Facebook as a placeholder to show they are modern and to avoid the potential for social identity theft. After you have determined what you want to achieve on Facebook, write down your goals. Get specific. They might look something like this:
- I would like to have 100 new likes on my Facebook page by August.
- By the end of the month, I would like to increase the commitment by 20 %.
- I would like to make at least three sales via Facebook ads.
Take a look at your goals from time to time. Make sure you are on the right track and if not, assess what you can change about your social strategy. Also remember that sometimes the strategy is not the problem, but the goal is set too high. Be realistic when setting your goals and make sure they are measurable.
Do not create a content and marketing strategy
It is all too common for companies to post what basically amounts to bland advertising just for the sake of posting something. The lack of a strategy is not only obvious to other social media managers, but also to the audience. It is important that companies develop a content and marketing strategy that outlines tone, audience, content and consistency.
Some quick tips on content:
You need to know your target audience
Your target audience can influence the content you present on your Facebook page. For example, if a company sells life insurance to older people, it may not make sense to post memes about growing up in the 90s.
If you want to create ads on Facebook, it is absolutely essential to know your target audience. Details such as age, gender, location and interests can contribute to a more targeted marketing campaign and even save you money by narrowing down your audience to those most interested in what you have to offer.
Images and videos with many functions
If you do not yet have a portfolio of attractive pictures and/or videos, you should create one. Hire a photographer or videographer if necessary. Use royalty-free images if you get stuck. Create visuals with apps like Canva. There is no excuse for posting low-quality content in 2019.
Decide on tone and purpose
Your Facebook page should not only contain posts about your brand's awards, news and events. Give your audience a reason to like the page and return. Most brands achieve this by posting content that is informative, entertaining or both.
This not only gives the audience a reason to remember your brand, but also helps establish a coherent tone. You may want to focus your tone even further. Is it clean and family-friendly? Is it cheeky and fun? Will you create your own content and present yourself as an industry leader, or will you aggregate content in a factual way? There are endless directions brands can take, and many of them can overlap.
Look at the competition
Look at the competition or even just sites you want to mirror. What are they doing that seems to be working? Conversely, is there anything that doesn't seem to be working? Do a little SSCB analysis of the competition:
- Strengths - What does the competition do better than you and what strategies are most effective for them?
- Weaknesses - What does the competition fail at, and why?
- Opportunities - Is there anything the competition is not doing that they could benefit from?
- Threats - Is there anything the competition is doing that is hurting their brand or Facebook performance?
It is also a good idea to see if your competitors are spending money on ads. Due to the recent Facebook privacy scandals, every page includes a link to a transparency overview of which ads have been served on Facebook. If your competition uses ads, their results may not be replicable unless you do too. However, you can evaluate the content and design of your competition's ads to guide you in creating your own.
If you spend some time on your competitors' Facebook pages, you are sure to learn something.
Lack of resources
The most common resource issues include a lack of budget and a lack of quality content. However, one resource that few companies seem to consider is manpower.
Facebook, like all other social platforms, takes time and practice to understand. This is why there are courses like Facebook Blueprint. However, if a business doesn't have someone on staff who has the time to learn about Facebook marketing, create a marketing strategy, source content, design a page, respond to comments and messages, post consistently and keep track of ads, it's time to hire someone. If you own a small business and cannot afford to hire someone full-time for social media management, consider hiring an agency or freelancer.
No A/B tests
If you've invested in ads for your business, you probably want to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck. That's why it's so surprising that so few social media ad managers do split testing.
It is risky to go all in on an ad right at the beginning without knowing if it will bring any results at all. Split testing allows you to create variations of an ad by slightly changing the text, the image/video or the target audience. Then, with a small budget, observe which ad produces the best results. You may find that the difference between a successful ad and an unsuccessful one is so incredibly simple that you would never have thought of it. In the future, you can use the best ad with the comforting knowledge that it has been results tested.
Split testing takes some of the guesswork out of advertising and can save advertisers a lot of money and frustration in the long run.
The solution to this Facebook marketing problem is simple: just give it more time! It's almost impossible to build an audience overnight. If your goals are realistic, you have a solid marketing strategy and content plan, and you've invested in ads, it's only a matter of time before things take off.
If you are aiming for conversions, be aware that it may take minutes or months for your efforts to produce results and that it is not always obvious that social media was the reason for a conversion. Like most forms of marketing, social media marketing is a long-term game.
Never check Facebook Insights
Facebook Insights offers an incredible wealth of data about your customers and your page. Insights provides information about things like:
- Engagement over time
- The best days and times to post
- The range
- The responsiveness of your site to news
With this information, you can make informed decisions about what changes you should make to your page and your social strategy.
They do not exploit the value of posts and advertising spend
Facebook engagement is about more than how many comments or likes your posts receive. For example, did you know that you can invite people who respond to your posts to like your page? Since people who like your page are more likely to see and engage with your posts, which can lead to your page showing up in their friends' feeds, this can lead to a slow-motion snowball effect.
You can do that too:
- Collect email addresses on a landing page
- Interact directly with visitors in comments and messages
- Use Google Analytics and HotJar to find out if the problem is with your advertising or your website
Engagement is high, but conversions are low
If engagement on your Facebook page or ad is high, that's good! It means that the content is resonating with people. However, if your conversion rate is low, there are a few reasons that could be responsible:
You have addressed the wrong target audience
You may have only targeted part of your audience correctly. It is quite possible that you have targeted a group of people who are interested in your content but do not have the money or interest to buy the product or service you are offering. Adjusting for age, location and interests in Facebook ads, for example, could help.
You don't post enough about yourself
If you never let people know what you are offering (or fail to remind them occasionally), you won't see many sales or conversions.
Your website needs adjustments
If those who click on your ads don't seem to know about a particular point in your Conversion funnel get out, you need to find out why. It could be something about your website that is not working for the visitor. It could even be something to do with your pricing, product or service.
Your posts receive little to no engagement
If, on the other hand, your Facebook page receives very little engagement, it may be due to a number of things.
You post at the wrong times
Check Facebook Insights to fix this. If your audience is usually online at 6pm and you post at 7am, they may not see your posts at all!
You have addressed the wrong target audience
You may need to look to your audience research for clues. For example, if you run a blog for mothers but include men in your Facebook ads, you may not be reaching the right people.
Their content is boring
No one likes to hear that their content is not engaging, but there are some things social media managers can do:
- If possible, make sure that each post contains an attractive picture or video.
- Encourage your audience to leave a comment by asking a question. Posting polls can be another effective way to get users to interact with your page.
- Highlight relevant companies or people with whom your company may be associated.
- Publish content that should be shared. Sharing content can dramatically increase your reach and therefore your engagement.
- Adjust the ratio of useful/entertaining content to posts that mention your services. You might come across as a salesperson without realising it.
You post too often or too little
The brute force approach in social media rarely works. In fact, it can lead to unfollows and negative feedback from users who are annoyed by it. In an effort to maintain a constant stream of content, quality can even drop.
On the other hand, if you post infrequently, it is important to know that Facebook's algorithms play a big role in your page's engagement. It is very likely that Facebook will show your posts to users if your page has a high engagement rate. However, if you don't post often enough, it is difficult to build momentum. This can put you in a position where you need to buy Facebook ads to be seen.
The solution is to find a rhythm somewhere in the middle. If you find it difficult to post often enough, remember that Facebook has its own scheduler so you never have to worry about what you are doing to post.
Common problems, simple solutions
It takes time to build a successful Facebook page. Even the best marketers run into problems along the way. Try some of these solutions to the most common Facebook marketing problems and let us know what you think! If you still can't figure out what's going wrong with your Facebook strategy, contact a professional digital agency for help. Most agencies are happy to help you with your Facebook marketing needs, saving you valuable time and staying within your marketing budget.