Blog, Digital Marketing, Social Media 7 Facebook Marketing Mistakes that Will Cost You Money

Facebook marketing is not a new concept, and every business owner with the slightest interest in marketing knows the value of social presence through Facebook. Since its launch of “flyers” in 2004, Facebook has offered a range of marketing products controlled by rapidly changing algorithms, with the end goal to connect advertisers to highly targeted customers.

Facebook marketing involves 3 main platforms for advertisers –  pages, ads and groups. These platforms are supported by a comprehensive advertising dashboard which allows detailed analysis of consumer responses. However, the proliferation of Facebook marketing means that Facebook campaigns must be well-planned and targeted in order to make an impact.

In late 2017, Facebook reached maximum capacity on the number of ads that can be shown in the news feed (known as the “ad load”). Consequently, Facebook had to expand its product and now offers ads in Marketplace, mid-roll videos, in Instagram stories and inside Facebook Messenger. Whilst you now have more advertising options, there is a lot more background noise competing for your audience’s attention. A clear message and integrated plan have never been more important in Facebook marketing. These tips will help you increase your reach and conversion by avoiding some of the most common Facebook marketing mistakes.

1. No clear message

As with traditional print advertising, Facebook marketing should send a succinct message to the prospect. Ad copy should be clear concise. Too much text will distract your audience, while vague copy makes the message ambiguous and clouds your call to action. The headline section of the ad should include your call to action, whilst the body may include a short description or other related detail.

Before posting your Facebook ad, think about the action you want your audience to take. Do you want them to click through to your website? To sign up to a course? Or are you simply trying to get your brand name out there? Next, consider what you are offering and how you can clearly communicate it in the short ad space. Once you have drafted the ad, show it to a friend or family member and ask them, “What do you think this ad is about?”, and “What action should you take?”. If they can’t answer those two questions clearly, go back and tweak your copy until it is clear.

2. Targeting the wrong audience

Facebook ads offer a fantastic opportunity for highly targeted marketing which can be used to optimise your advertising budget. Before creating an ad, imagine your ideal customer and write out a description. How old are they? What do they do on the weekend? Who are their idols? What brands do they like or dislike? Now when you create your ad you will be able to select specific targeting criteria to reach out to that person. Such specific targeting enables you to reach out to similar targets and avoid spending money on impressions from uninterested users. The more specific your requirements, the narrower your audience will be.

3. Impersonal engagement

Standing out on social media really boils down to being social. To encourage and grow engagement, you need to recognise that your audience are real people and engage with them appropriately. How would you engage with them at a dinner party? What would you talk about? Be authentic and welcoming in your communication, respond to comments, queries and messages, and be interesting and on-message at all times. People want to know that you care, so taking time and effort to be involved from your side will be rewarded with higher customer engagement.

4. Not scheduling enough

Scheduling posts is a Facebook Ads feature that allows marketers to plan when to post in order to maximise ROI. Posts should be scheduled at a time when most of your target audience will be online, as early post engagement will help your post to stay at the top of your audience’s feed. With pay-per-click or pay-per-impression advertising, scheduling is less important so long as you have a well-targeted audience (including location based targeting). Facebook Insights is a free tool within the advertising suite which shows when and how often your audience have been online within the last week, and there are a number of paid services which provide similar, more comprehensive insights (eg. Hootsuite or Buffer).

5. Over-scheduling

Scheduling posts without flexibility may, at times, risk the opportunity to pivot your strategy to meet market needs. Capitalising on current events is now almost effortless through sharing news stories or using trending hashtags. Even a single share of high-performing content can result in enormous engagement, so scheduled content should be reviewed and tweaked daily using either the free Facebook analytics tools or more complex paid software.

6. Focusing too much on the numbers

Many advertisers spend too much time obsessing over their number of followers and audience growth, but neglect to remember that it only really matters how many qualified prospects you can reach within your audience. Rather than attempting to indiscriminately grow followers, target your message to the key influencers in your market, monitor the conversion rate and adjust the strategy where needed.

Having said that, do not ignore the numerical results altogether. Depending on the goal of your ad, you will still need to measure the click through rate, engagement or number of sales to ensure that your marketing budget is effectively utilised.

7. Using Facebook MARKETING as the be-all and end-all

With over 1.32 billion active users, some form of Facebook marketing is imperative within any digital marketing campaign. However, Facebook is not the only online platform with advertising capabilities and should not be used as such. An effective digital marketing campaign should integrate a number of channels (eg. LinkedIn, Google Adwords, Instagram, Pinterest) to reach a wider audience and improve conversion rates. If the audience is properly targeted with an integrated campaign across multiple platforms, it is likely that individuals will receive a higher number of impressions, leading to greater brand awareness and increased conversions.

With so many advertising voices fighting for your customers’ attention, your message needs to be attractive, interesting, and add real value for your target market. Furthermore, an effective Facebook marketing campaign should be integrated within an overall marketing strategy and targeted to a specific audience.