13 biggest mistakes businesses make on Facebook (and how to avoid them)

An obvious tool in many digital marketing strategies, Facebook gives your business the ability to share content, engage with your followers and target potential customers. But it’s also an easy space to make any number of mistakes.

The good news is that done right, Facebook can contribute to the success of your business.

About two-thirds of Facebook users visit a local business Page at least once a week.

Dig deeper into the challenges and opportunities of the world’s largest social network.

The following are 13 of the biggest mistakes businesses make on Facebook, as well as tips to avoid making them in the first place.

Not defining your Facebook goals

When you haven’t defined your goals for your Facebook presence, your page is going to reflect that indirection. 

Possibilities for goals include (but are not limited to):

  • Driving sales
  • Generating traffic to your website
  • Building awareness of your brand

It’s easy to think that Facebook isn’t working for your business when you don’t have a set goal. Take the time to determine what you want to achieve. Then, it’s easier for you to build a strategy to support that goal.

Using a Facebook profile rather than a Facebook page

It’s very important for you to use a Facebook business page to represent your business. Not only does it appear unprofessional, but it also:

  • Does not offer any analytics tools, so you won’t fully understand what is working and what isn’t at a glance
  • Makes it impossible for you to run any paid Facebook ads (either boosted posts or full ad campaigns)
  • Could violate Facebook’s Terms of Service, which could end up in a deletion of your profile without warning

To avoid any other issues in addition to those, be sure to create a Facebook business page for your business. It’s free and simple to do.

Failing to show a personal side of your business

Because most users join Facebook to connect with their friends and family, you’re missing an opportunity by hiding behind your brand.

Impersonal (robotic-like) posts will unfortunately never gain traction with your target audience.

Instead, think about communicating like a real human when posting. Get personal. There is a human side of your business. This is a great place to showcase that.

You can share employee stories, upload photos or videos of your workplace and/or customers and even host Facebook Live videos, where you can really share your personality as you discuss common questions, talk about new products and more.

Making everything about you

If you’re thinking that social media is merely another place to broadcast about your business, you’ll never see the engagement you’re aiming for.

And, of course, Facebook (like all social media) is intended to be a platform of connection and conversation. Your target audience is only going to follow you or share (or engage with) your posts if your content is relevant, informative or empowering to them in some way.

For example, instead of boasting about how great your business is because of a milestone you hit in follower or sales, use the opportunity to thank your audience for their support in a personalized post.

Whenever you have the opportunity to make your content about your customers and potential customers rather than yourself or your business, do so. That will always be the most engaging approach.

Using only one content type in your posts

It’s important to perform a quick audit of your posts. Are you using only one content type?

For example, is every post a link? Or, are they all generic stock images? 

Understandably, a mix of content will perform better on Facebook. In particular, you’ll want to incorporate videos into your posting strategy.

The average engagement rate for Facebook video posts is 0.26 percent, while the average engagement rate overall is just 0.18 percent.

Ideally, you’re also incorporating some element of humor, attention-grabbing visuals, event announcements and so on.

Creating weekly or monthly themes can help boost the execution of a thoroughly executed mix of content. A content calendar, in particular, can help you organize your planning.

Posting without a plan

A relaxed demeanor on your Facebook page has engagement perks, for sure. You’ll appear more human, relatable and engaging.

But operating without any sort of plan or strategy is a problem for many businesses on Facebook.

It’s very difficult to be consistent and hit your goals if your posts are more “shooting from the hip” than “sniping a specific target.”

Again, themes and a content calendar can help you overcome this.

Never measuring your performance

This sounds obvious, but it’s easy for businesses to neglect monitoring the performance of their Facebook pages.

Fortunately, it’s easy enough to stay on top of. See our guide for exploring Facebook Insights.

Knowing what works and doesn’t work for your target audience helps you pivot as needed and adjust your strategy so that you’re content can continually improve and be that much more engaging.

Not knowing what is happening on your page is a big mistake and a lost opportunity.

Inconsistent posting

It’s more common than you think. A business posts several posts a day for several days and then, boom. Disappears. Possibly even for weeks.

This isn’t just a problem from the perspective of your followers and potential customers, it impacts the consideration of your Facebook page in the platform’s news feed algorithm. 

Facebook’s algorithm works in the back end of the social platform with the goal of showing content in each user’s news feed that the user will most likely engage with. 

Inconsistent posting on your part is a red flag to the algorithm. Posting fresh content consistently is a good signal to the algorithm.

Don’t stress over the quantity. Once a day or even once every other day should be fine as long as you’re consistent with your overall schedule.

Unbalanced sales posts

There is a difficult balance you must strike when it comes to mixing in your sale posts amid other content you’re sharing.

Some businesses post too many and appear pushy.

Some businesses post too few and lose the opportunity to drive any sales from Facebook.

Mix in your sale and discount posts among your other content. Peppering in is not an exact science, but strive for one in five posts at most.

Lacking an optimized Facebook page

First impressions are everything, whether that’s your website or Facebook page.

If your page is vague or unclear in any way, especially with the key information most users are seeking (such as address, contact information and description of products or services), then you lose the potential customer.

See our 12 tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

Improper use of Facebook groups

Don’t get us wrong, there is potential for Facebook groups to be a useful tool for your business, when done right.

See our 12 tips to help grow your business using Facebook groups.

When businesses create Facebook groups for the sole intention of selling to members, the success can be hit and miss (and often miss). Just remember that Facebook created the groups feature for users to connect with each other over common interests. The more you can leverage that desire from participating group members and the more you can leverage multiple voices and viewpoints, the more engaging your group will be.

Not investing in at least some paid advertising

Gone are the days where a business can often see great organic reach and growth on social media platforms.

But living in denial is not going to get your business anywhere.

Whether you’re boosting a Facebook post or creating a specific Facebook ad campaign, it’s wise to consider investing at least some of your marketing budget into the platform.

See our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.

The benefits of at least some advertising include:

  • Targeting the demographic of your best potential customers
  • Reaching beyond your Facebook following
  • Controlling your daily or lifetime budget so that you’re only spending what you want

Check out our seven tips to get more out of your Facebook ads.

Ignoring comments

This can easily be a deathblow to any brand on social media if comments are left entirely unmonitored.

First, remember that users are making the effort to comment on your post. They want you to know that they’re listening. If they are not responded to in some way, they’re less likely to engage again.

Pages that engage with their commenters are typically more successful than pages that don’t.

In addition, a negative comment thread can easily spiral out of control and impact your brand in long-lasting ways.

As you’re working to avoid the most common mistakes that businesses make on Facebook, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Snapshot: Understanding your metrics on Facebook

If you’re managing a Facebook page, it’s critical to know what’s working (or not) with what you’re posting. It’s also important to get a real sense of who your audience is.

And all that data can be found in Facebook Insights.

You’ll find Facebook Insights by navigating to your Facebook page and clicking on “Insights.”

Meet the Overview section of Facebook Insights

It defaults to the Overview section, which gives you a one-stop-shop of sorts to get a sense of what’s happening on your page.

Notice that it also defaults to looking at the past seven days and is comparing those days to the seven days before that. This can be changed in the top left corner of the screen to today, yesterday or the past 28 days.

Use the Pages To Watch section at the bottom of the Overview page. The value of this is only limited to the pages you select to compare yourself to (competitors or similar pages are best). However, it will give you an overall gauge of how your page is doing.

There are a number of sections you can explore in depth in Facebook Insights, but two of the most helpful tend to be Posts and People.

Meet the Posts section

In Posts, you can see at a glance how your posts are performing, as well as data showing when your fans are online (which may help shape your post timing).

You also can control how the reach and engagement data are displayed, but the available list graph will show you how your latest posts compare to one another.

Ultimately, your strategy will dictate whether you value reach or engagement more. Typically, you should be taking both into consideration. Take note of what worked and what didn’t. Over time, these successes and misses will help shape your posting.

Meet the People section

The People section also holds a lot of relevant data for your Facebook strategy.

In it, you can see the gender, age and geographic breakdown of your audience, who you’re reaching and who you’re engaging. Plus, you’ll see how they stack up against Facebook’s overall audience.

Take a moment to explore Facebook Insights on your page. Get comfortable with the navigation of the data there, and make it a regular habit to check it. This will build an ongoing library of takeaways that will help you make better content and posting decisions on your page.

For more, hear from the social network itself.

While you’re at it, dive deeper into the opportunities and challenges of Facebook for small businesses and check out our 12 expert tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

Then, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Which social media platform is right for your company?

At a time when there are so many social media platforms and businesses know that they need to be relevant online, which platform is best?

The answer isn’t one size fits all. Most importantly, don’t assume that you have to spread out across all platforms. Without a planned strategy and the needed resources, you can do more harm than good by spreading yourself too thin across social media.

Here is a breakdown of each major social media platform, with a few posting tips for each:

YouTube equals billions of hours of videos

Every day, users watch a billion hours of video on YouTube, according to Hootsuite, and it is the 2nd most-visited website in existence, according to Alexa.

In 2018, 73 percent of Americans now use YouTube, according to Hootsuite.

If you’re targeting a younger audience, the top three platforms for teens are now YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, according to Hootsuite. In fact, Statista says that 96 percent of 18- to 24-year-old American internet users use YouTube.

For companies, YouTube might have a low barrier of entry, but video can be intimidating to jump into.

If you need a little inspiration, check out Lego, which has almost twice as many views as any other brand on YouTube. They put out consistent original content on multiple channels.

But remember that you’re an expert in your field. What are the micro moments that you’re always educating your customers on? Each of those can be a separate YouTube video.

Does your business create a product? Product review videos are huge. In fact, people have watched 50,000 years of product review videos.

For the best chance of being discovered on YouTube, optimize everything for search. Otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), think about keywords and phrases that users will search that your video should appear as a result. Then, use them in your caption and title.

Check out our 20 tips to grow your YouTube channel subscribers.

Facebook can’t be ignored

Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms, currently only ranking behind Google and YouTube as most visited website worldwide.

There are over 2.38 billion monthly active users globally as of March 31, 2019, according to the social network, which saw an 8 percent increase year over year.

To put it another way, 63 percent of all Americans used Facebook in 2018, according to Hootsuite.

For mobile specifically, Facebook Messenger is the most downloaded app, followed by the main Facebook app, according to Hootsuite.

Not only are your customers (and potential customers) on Facebook, your competition is likely there as well. For most businesses, Facebook is a good platform to start with.

Dive deeper into the opportunities and challenges of Facebook for small businesses.

As far as posting, the highest traffic on Facebook happens between 1 to 3 p.m., according to Bit.ly.

But a Facebook post at 7 p.m. will result in more clicks on average than posting at 8 p.m., according to Forbes. Engagement also is 18 percent higher on Thursdays and Fridays (as people start thinking about the upcoming weekend), according to Bit.ly.

Learn how to better understand your metrics on Facebook.

So, while you have the ability to reach more people during peak times, increased engagement happens in the evenings (think post-dinner).

Check out our guides to optimize your Facebook business page or Facebook group to help grow your business.

Instagram great for visuals, retail

Instagram is a visual-first sharing social media platform. The audience has grown from 90 million monthly active users in January 2013 to 1 billion monthly active users as of June 2018, according to Hubspot.

It’s a solid No. 3 most-used social media platform in the United States, but it’s important to remember that Instagram is owned by Facebook, which can lead to cross-posting and advertising opportunities.

But more than anything, Instagram is known for its younger audience. About 71 percent of young adults (ages 18 to 24) used Instagram in 2018, compared with 37 percent who did so in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center.

Dive into the opportunities and challenges of Instagram for small businesses.

Retail brands do particularly well on Instagram. Eight of the top 15 most followed brands on Instagram are retail businesses, according to Statista.

With posting, photos showing faces on Instagram get 38 percent more likes than those not showing faces. SproutSocial also reports that images with a single dominant color generate 17 percent more likes than images with multiple dominant colors.

In addition, more negative space and blue (versus red) perform better.

There’s also not a lot of evidence to suggest any particular caption length drives increased engagement. So, shorter isn’t better or worse than longer captions. Focus on the quality instead.

See our six tips to master hashtags on Instagram.

Twitter smaller and more urban

About 326 million people use Twitter every month, according to the platform. This is 9 million fewer than it had in mid-2018, and 4 million fewer than late 2017. The decline is largely being attributed to the purge of spambot accounts.

Nonetheless, Twitter is a smaller social platform, with 24 percent of American internet users on it, according to Statista. The audience also skews more urban than rural.

Dive into the opportunities and challenges of Twitter for small businesses.

The typical half life of a tweet is about 24 minutes. This means that a tweet gets half of its interactions in the first 24 minutes, with the rest slowly coming in over time at a slower rate. Brands tweeted an average of 122 times a month last year, according to Statista.

Learn how to better understand your Twitter metrics.

While Hootsuite says that the best time to tweet is 3 p.m. on weekdays, keep an eye on your analytics. Everyone’s audience can act and engage a little differently. Tweets with GIFs also perform 55 percent better, according to Twitter. Video and images enhance engagement as well, so think about mixing your tweets up and going beyond the text-only tweet.

Check out our eight expert tips to market your business better on Twitter.

Any other social media platforms?

Depending on your business niche, TikTok (a Gen Z video platform), Snapchat (a dynamic messaging platform) and Pinterest (an aspirational idea platform) could have a place in your strategy. However, do your research first, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my targeted audience on this platform?
  • Which brands are successful on this platform?
  • Do I have the time and resources to invest in a niche platform?

Unsure whether to use Instagram, Snapchat or Tiktok to reach a teenage audience? See our guide.

Every social media platform is different, with its own nuances and audiences. As a brand, focus on one first, find your rhythm there and then branch out to the next.

To expand beyond social media in your digital marketing, see our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

Then, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.