Facebook is thirteen and a half years old. So why businesses still insist on running their own social media marketing astounds me. There are many passionate professionals in the industry that can help you avoid the most basic of social media marketing mistakes plus showcase your brand and your services or products in the best way possible.
Here are some fundamentals of getting your Facebook and Instagram marketing right that have stemmed from social media marketing mistakes that I’ve witnessed from businesses recently. Yes, even in 2017!
Caption to capture attention
Write compelling captions and status updates. 'Try Product Name today' is not compelling enough. Give your potential customers a reason to try your product. How will it enhance their life, make their day easier or affect their emotions? Be specific and clear and make one point per post.
If you ARE encouraging your customers to buy your product or service, make sure you are sending them somewhere by adding a link in your post.
And don’t post an image without a caption or some kind of indication of why you have posted it.
The devil of duplication
Don’t post the same content. Facebook’s algorithm will disregard your content if you keep posting the same type. By type I really mean medium. Don’t post a single image every single day for two weeks straight. If you want Facebook to share your content with a wider range of people, you need to mix it up a bit with links, shared content, text only status updates, images and native video.
This should go without saying but I witness it all too often and it destroys my marketing soul a little. DO NOT double up your content on Instagram and Facebook. If you are posting the same content to each platform (especially at the same time), you would be wise to invest some time into learning the differences between the platforms and how they act in the marketing space. Whilst I do think it’s occasionally okay to do this (I’m talking once every few months at most), posting the exact same content (and not even modifying it for the platforms) at the same time is lazy and ineffective.
The fastest way to destroy credibility
Bad spelling this destroys me (obviously) and it destroys your credibility as a professional business that can be trusted. Remember: 'use correct grammar and spelling to convey a professional tone and generate trust from your audience.'
As well as eliminating bad grammar it’s wise to limit your overuse of grammar. Quit! It! With! The! Exclamation points! There should be ONE exclamation point (at the absolute most) in your post.
Likewise, reserved for desperate MLM pushers, a post status overladen with emojis just screams tacky. Limit your emojis to one or two to portray an emotion or make a point. Don’t substitute every fourth word with one, or your brand will lose credibility, seem juvenile and have minimal business credence.
Don’t give yourself a bad image
Always shell out for professional photography. Especially if you're in an industry where your business relies on visual mediums to sell your product/service, such as fashion, retail products, beauty items, food and beverages, design, real estate and property and experiences. If you are your brand, product or service make sure you arrange for professional headshots and stylised captures.
Using the internet to sell your product or service means you are removing certain senses that enhance the selling process, so images have the very important function of doing most of the selling for you.
Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. (Buzzsumo, 2015)
Off brand badness
Limit posting content that you’ve created, that doesn’t really tie in with your brand, as much as possible. There’s some leeway when you’re sharing content and there can be more a tenuous link between the content and your brand or your brand or product.
If you are creating content for your brand, make sure you are keeping on track with your branding/style guide. Stick to one or two fonts, colours and consistent images and style so that people who see your content immediately recognise that it belongs to you. Although you may long for freshness, deviating from a very clear and consistent (and instantly recognisable) look will damage your brand and render your content not just useless but confusing and diversionary. Don’t forget that your potential and existing customers aren’t as familiar with your content as you are, so they may not be longing for freshness like you are.
If you’re unsure, ask this question:
If I post this photo of a dog, will our viewers know what this has to do with our brand without explaining it?
This will help you be very clear on whether you should post it or not!
You may also like... Are you making these three Facebook marketing mistakes?
Facebook has been trialling a little thing called explore feed. But this week this feature went from a trial to a fulltime new feature.
You may have started to notice the small rocket icon in your Facebook app on mobile (92 per cent of users are on mobile) and it has also arrived on your desktop (left hand side where your saved links are). This is your “explore feed” which is specifically posts from Facebook pages that are very similar to what you follow. In your original timeline will be all the content from your Facebook friends and pages you like and this will form the basis of the similar content you get shown in the explore feed. Great for you to organise what you see plus it has the very real potential that businesses who market on Facebook can start to reach a wider, organic audience once again (without the hefty spend).
What appears in the explore feed?
This is content from pages that Facebook thinks you’ll like. And from my quick exploration, I’d say they know me quite well (or that I’m fairly predictable).
'We are beginning to roll out a complementary feed of popular articles, videos, and photos, automatically customized for each person based on content that might be interesting to them,” the Facebook spokesperson said. “We’ve heard from people that they want an easy way to explore relevant content from Pages they haven’t connected with yet.' Post updated, 10/18/17, 2:30 pm et, with Facebook’s confirmation, via TechCrunch.
Explore is great for those who are content hungry (or need to keep discovering new stuff for marketing purposes) and who are getting sick of seeing the same stuff.
What’s the best way to keep positioning yourself to show up in the explore feed?
Have you noticed your Facebook page engagement slipping and slipping? Whilst Facebook pages still need to be creating and posting top notch content and appeal to the algorithm, brands also need to be investing in Facebook advertising (ad campaigns and post boosts) to even be in the race, let alone show up prominently and consistently in the timelines of the pages’ fans.
Above all else it’s crucial that you are regularly posting interesting, relevant and creative content (and a variety of mediums including video, links and images). This is the golden rule that you must stick to, no matter what.
You might also like... How to improve your Facebook writing
Facebook is unique to mаnу оf thе other соmmunісаtіоn сhаnnеlѕ уоu uѕе. And thаt mеаnѕ a lot оf оnlіnе marketers or business owners mаkе the fоllоwіng thrее mіѕtаkеѕ оnсе thеу start engaging their marketing оn ѕосіаl media. Arе уоu mаkіng thеѕе mistakes tоо?
Mistake one: tаlkіng at your fans, not to them.
Sосіаl media іѕ, аѕ thе nаmе suggests, an іnteraсtіvе ѕосіаl platform. If you’re just blasting оut promotional material and advertising copy, уоur аudіеnсе іѕ gоіng to instinctively be turned off if there is nothing in it for them or no opportunity for them to interact in a meaningful way. People inherently seek ways to contribute and conversation via social media platforms are an “easy fix” way for them to do that, throughout the day and from the convenience of their couch, desk or bed.
As Jeff Bullas notes: 'It is okay to share your achievements with your loyal followers but you should never overdo it. If you are not offering value to your visitors or are not providing them with the information they are looking for, you’re missing out a lot.'
Intеrасt. Engаgе. Crеаtе a dіаlоguе.
An effective way tо do this is to post creative content or share content that invites conversation and where you can directly ask your audience for their opinion or feedback.
TIP: this doesn’t have to be negatively controversial or outlandish themes. It can be benign themes such as ‘are you a cat or a dog person’?
Make sure you keep it relevant to your audience (by now, you should know their needs, wants and pain points, check out the target demographic post if you haven’t) and in line with your brand and businesses’s messages.
Here are some placeholder sentences/conversation encouragers that you might like to use:
• What do you think about this? Share your thoughts below.
• How would you do this differently?
• Do you have a favourite (insert topic) trick or tip? What has worked for you that you would encourage others to try?
• Do you prefer (item A) or (item B) and why?
• Have you ever been in a similar situation? What did you do?
TIP: pretend you’re meeting someone for the first time and you’re interested in getting to know what sort of person they are but are sick of the boring, basic questions. Cut right to the heart!
Mіѕtаkе two: nоt capturing emаіlѕ.
Hеrе'ѕ thе problem wіth Fасеbооk: they оnlу ѕhоw уоur соntеnt to a ѕmаll part of your audience, unlеѕѕ you рау tо boost уоur роѕt. This has long been the bug bear of us hard done by social media marketers and business owners who run their Facebook page.
Sо іf уоu'rе rеlуіng оn thіѕ рlаtfоrm tо communicate with уоur еntіrе аudіеnсе, you're going to be pretty dіѕарроіntеd.
Cарturе emails. Crеаtе a “ѕtісkу” post at thе tор оf your Facebook pаgе thаt оffеrѕ your audience something rеаllу dеѕіrаblе аnd valuable fоr free іf thеу join уоur lіѕt. If you need ideas, check out my posts on email marketing.
Communicating across platforms (Facebook to email marketing and back) can be really important to ensure you are front of mind and constantly feeding your audience (and potential/existing customers) quality information that will solidify your brand and make you their supplier of choice.
Mаnу оf the big еmаіl marketing platforms, such аѕ Awеbеr аnd GеtRеѕроnѕе, hаvе created apps specifically for Facebook. That mеаnѕ you can collect еmаіl аddrеѕѕеѕ dіrесtlу оff уоur Facebook Pаgе.
Mіѕtаkе three: posting dead end content
Fасеbооk іѕ buіlt specifically to mаkе соntеnt exceptionally еаѕу tо ѕhаrе wіth оthеrѕ (unlike Instagram which has no internal resharing capabilities… yet…)
But frankly, іf you're nоt creating ѕhаrеworthy content, thеn you're nоt going to gеt any trасtіоn.
As you can see from this article, high quality data driven content, meaningless pop quizzes and inspirational quotes are amongst the most shareable content. Honestly, will we ever get sick of inspirational quotes?
BuzzSumo took the liberty of identifying the top fifteen most shared posts of 2016. Honestly, number fourteen just really speaks to the depths of my soul.
Besides sharing other page’s content, crеаtе content that is wоrth sharing (and viewing).
Video is increasingly beneficial for Facebook reach with ‘51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI and Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.’ Source.
Fасеbооk is a place tо interact, engage and build уоur аudіеnсе and the relationship with them. The amount of time and effort you put into cultivating your audience online will be rewarded over the long term.
And finally, my bonus tip is to utilise your great writing skills (or… ahem… hire a copywriter) to really craft excellent Facebook posts. Keep the wording flowing, audience specific and engage brevity where possible. Short, sharp and shiny is advice to write by!
You may also like... the history of the hashtag
Three years ago, Jen Evison of Jennifer Evison Consulting, took it upon herself to see that Adelaide’s social media community were armed with the same developmental opportunities that the rest of the world were privy to. So she implemented Adelaide’s own social media marketing day, alongside Rubina Carlson and Ryan Jones, a full day of insightful and educational seminars specifically to educate those working in the industry in a consulting or inhouse capacity.
True to form, it’s known as #SMDayADL and this year saw a crowd of not only high calibre but dedicated industry professionals, fill the Bradley Forum in the Hawke Building at UniSA on 28 July 2017.
The program consisted of the following industry leaders:
There was a significant amount of information imparted and it’s well worth the day spent away from the desk and in a room filled with fellow hashtaggers.
'A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding,' Marshall McLuhan, Canadian Communications Professor.
Fantastic Metrics and Where to Find Them with Erica Stacey
Erica is a self confessed analytics nerd. And we wouldn’t have her any other way. Her enthusiasm for great reporting is infectious and every time I hear her speak, I feel the urge to up my reporting game. Whilst Erica had A LOT of information to share, some of the key takeaways I found pertinent include:
Why we must be doing thorough reporting
Reporting not only avoids assumptions and justifies our roles as marketers and industry professionals but importantly it really drives strategy and validates each and every marketing activity that we undertake. Reporting is fundamental to better results; how else do we know where to point if we don’t know where we are?
‘I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts,' Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes.
Whilst your clients or organisation may have quite broad and common goals as part of the overall marketing and business plan (which might look like brand awareness, brand loyalty, increase enquiries and increase sales), it’s worthwhile incorporating some really specific goals to hang your marketing activities on. Examples of specific goals might include, reaching a totally new demographic or 5% sales increase over three months in a new city etc. When you identify your specific goals, you know exactly what marketing activities to implement and save money and time from using a scattergun approach and hoping for the best.
Make tracking specific to your strategy
Once you have got your data tracking in place you may like to incorporate your specific minimum metrics that you keep an eye on. This could include:
Reporting this to your clients or managers/employers will demonstrate that you are measuring more than just vanity metrics and that the real value comes from interpreting what they mean and what actions you should take.
Erica’s cheat sheet advice card:
Influencers with Hayley Kroon
Following Erica, Hayley Kroon, Social Media Manager from KWP, one of Adelaide’s leading marketing agencies, offered us a valuable overview of social media influencers.
'An influencer is someone who has a substantial following and can command an audience. They have specialized knowledge about a certain subject. They are all experts at building a brand,’ Agnes Kozera, cofounder of FameBit, an influencer-marketing platform.
Identify and start connecting to your influencers as early on in the piece as you can. This will require some degree of foresight and long term planning as you engage with influencer types well before you require them for a campaign or activity, so that you are not approaching them cold. Build a relationship as early as possible. Comment, create conversation and lay the groundwork for when you do reach out to them, even if you think you might not.
It’s beneficial to use an influencer to amplify any existing sponsorships or partnerships and sharing the message.
What is important to look for when thinking about using an influencer?
The engagement from followers and online audience needs to be relative, not only to their content and branding but also your campaign and branding. Their engagement should be organic and varied and there should be significant new engagement which is evidence that their audience is growing and hasn’t been paid for.
Quality of followers
Bots are of no use to anyone when it comes to end sales, so make sure their followers are actual people that you can cross promote to. Use SocialBlade to help you ascertain whether someone’s audience is real and interactive.
Quality of content
Think about whether their content is something that you would like to align to your brand. Check out their main topics, relevancy, industry and suitability of their content. Check for language they use, events they attend, values they hold, other brands they have shared or talked about.
Don’t forget the important obligation that as of 1 March this year, influencers must reveal where their posts and placements are sponsored. Check out the AANA guidelines for influencers and brands that use influencers here.
Planning Your Social Media with Jen Evison
(undertaking Paul Goodsell’s presentation due to illness)
Jen stole the show with her caffeine fuelled effervesce and natural enthusiasm for the digital space was contagious.
She reminded us that rather than creating content for content’s sake (which can be frustrating, time consuming and exhausting), it’s crucial to discover— and do the necessary research— your customers’ pain points and then address them via content.
Social media is the cheapest form of advertising as opposed to direct mail, television, radio and print advertising in terms of reach. The cost for 1000 users is $2.50 whereas avenues such as direct mail is $57 for 1000 users (via Lyfe). In terms of ROI, social media is low cost and effective and should be a key consideration in your advertising strategy.
Content Hacks, Apps and Tools with Ryan Jones
In a very short amount of time, Ryan let us in on some industry secrets, apps and platforms that makes our jobs as a social media managers much, much easier. Since we’re constantly against the clock with the need to produce and disseminate content within a microsecond, some of these tools are handy for “on the go” content. He also shared with us some helpful tips on how to do great live content (hint: it’s all about great lighting!)
Make your images and quotes pop:
Whip together a quick video on the go:
More to play with:
Q and A with Mal Chia
After a fascinating insight into Mal’s time with Uber and the PR crisis that no one could have predicted during the time of the Sydney siege, Mal gave us some no nonsense advice on running your social media channels.
He reminded us of the rule of reciprocity and that social media is very much a two way street with genuine opportunity to humanise your brand and communication channels. This is particularly useful when communicating in times of crisis. Use empathy and a more human (as opposed to corporate) response to convey urgent and crucial messages during these intense and highly charged times.
Understanding your audiences is the key to social media success and targeting everyone simply does not work. Ensure you define and narrow your target audience to suit your niche and speak directly to them. Really invest time in those people who do care about your brand, not those that don’t.
Finally, test, analyse and optimise. Magic words!
‘It’s really f*cking time consuming to do it right, which is why so many people don’t do it right,' Mal Chia.
Social Media and the Law with Paul Gordon
If you’ve never heard Paul speak and you work in communications, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Paul is an Adelaide lawyer known to work closely with social media marketers and has specialised knowledge in the industry. Due to the newness of the industry, there are not many “Pauls” around and we are extra lucky that he is unendingly generous with this time and knowledge.
Copyright infringement can occur via social media livestreaming and most of the time, regramming through Instagram is contravening Copyright. Instagram has even stated this in their terms and conditions. To avoid this, you need to seek explicit written permission from the content creator or create your own content. The bad news? Yes, all memes not made by you are infringing copyright.
You’re generally okay with re-sharing content on Facebook and Twitter as they have inbuilt functions for sharing. If you’re unsure – just make your own content!
NB: obviously this is not legal advice, silly. But Paul is very approachable and knowledgeable, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need some legal help.
Feel like you missed out on a whole lot of job saving information? You probably did. Nevermind, there’s always next year! See you there.
‘Everyone is not your customer,’ Seth Godin
You probably have a terrific product or service that you have refined and you’re ready to tell the world. But where is your money, time and marketing efforts better spent: telling the entire world in a diluted scattergun approach? Or specifically targeting and blitzing people that are almost guaranteed to buy your product/service? Or at the very least buying similar from your competitors, have a need for what you offer or will likely to want it.
Here’s how you can discover the people (and psychographics) that you need to be speaking to directly. Knowing who these people are will shape how you talk to them, what kind of language and tone you use, what platforms you use and what images they will want to see. Remembering that '2pm on a Tuesday could be a very different moment from 2pm on a Saturday for the same person.'
A demographic is a group of people that you are aiming your message towards. They are defined by their characteristics, purchasing habits and other factors.
Here are three types of demographic groups. Within each group you can further filter into more specific demographics.
Also known as your existing or primary group, these are the people who are already addressable and interested in what you have to offer and have knowledge of your product/service. Although smaller, this group are easier to influence. The one thing you will have to provide is a unique selling point or a reason why they should continue to choose you above their existing practitioners or suppliers.
Also known as your secondary group, these people are more likely to be potential clients/customers. They may have never tried your product or service or have little or no knowledge about your business but are open to taking that step or have been referred to you but are yet to “cross that line” and make contact with you. They may also have signed up to your enews or have enquired about you in the past without taking it further. Although a larger group they will require more energy and work to encourage them to move into the engaged group.
This is a wide group of people, also known as the wishful or bonus group, that have no interest in your topic and are not open to learning or hearing about it and are unlikely to (however, if they do open up at some point, they automatically swap into the new group, then may convert to the engaged group). Needless to say, the return on effort (and there might be a lot of effort involved) is not worth reaching out to this group.
Your target demographic will be the people that you want to communicate directly with who are most likely to buy your service or product. This is not about excluding anyone from your marketing prowess but is about honing in on the people most likely to buy from you so you save your time and resources and get a better result.
I’m going to help you simplify this process so that you will find a useful and helpful way to use this knowledge, rather than overwhelm you with possibilities. My intention is not to dumb this down for you but to find a way of melding common sense and technical marketing knowledge in a useable and workable concept. By all means, do some extensive research on demographics and how to identify and reach them. You can even go so far as to boil it down to a sample person (known as a customer avatar) based on all the median research that has been done. A lot of larger consumer companies do this, so they know who they are targeting and can personify their demographic in the hope of really speaking to them.
Remember: don’t fall into a seductive trap of thinking that your product or service is best marketed to everyone. It is simply not the case that your product or service will be wanted or accommodates everyone, so it’s better to maximise your time and effort and really hone in on the target demographic that will make your business thrive. Be aware that this might only be five people that purchase a hundred thousand dollars worth of product from you each year. Or it might be twenty thousand people that buy ten dollars worth of product from you each month. Download your free demographic template here.
How to identify who is in your existing and new groups:
Resources for finding data:
The internet is wonderful, of course, but there may be a lot of information you have to wade through. Ensure you put aside enough time to do so.
Here is a simplified example of demographics broken down into three groups.
BUSINESS NAME sells an organic cotton clothing range in a dedicated retail store in Byron Bay. They also sell their range online, via their website. Primary demographic: females aged from 20 to 45 years, who live in suburban areas and mostly come from Victoria and New South Wales. They prefer to buy their clothing in-store but will often research the product thoroughly online first. They go to yoga and meditation classes, prefer to shop and eat organic and most of the group are mothers and work for themselves in some capacity.
Curious? Check out Victoria Secret’s identified marketing demographics here.
This cohort includes the primary group’s partners, parents, friends or children that buy for this group and might also include wholesalers that act as a middle man for BUSINESS NAME’s product.
Maybe you have a dream that your business reaches the over 50s market. Perhaps there needs to be some alterations to your product or service to suit this demographics’ lifestyle (and you’ll know what that looks like because you’ve done your research!) Perhaps your product or service already suits this group but you need to alter your branding so it really speaks to them. In this example, you might consider creating an “Over 50s” range with more classic branding.
Tip: to successfully communicate with any of your demographics, find out what they want through customer segregation. You can’t do this by guessing or assuming what they want. You can do this by asking them, perhaps as an incentivised survey (try SurveyMonkey) or by doing your research and monitoring people’s behaviours, trends and attitudes towards other products and services.
Remember: people’s behaviours and wants change regularly, so you will need to reassess who your target demographics are at least once a year.
The better you understand your customer, the faster your business will grow.
This has been adapted from an excerpt of my marketing book Promote Your Spiritual Business.
Facebook's algorithm has changed again recently and here's what you need to know in a nutshell.
Facebook’s latest algorithm changes mean that posts with more authenticity and that are more genuine will be favoured.
If you’re asking for likes, shares and comments, Facebook will basically say ‘pfft to you’. And if you spread too much "fake news" you’ll be penalised by the higher power that is Facebook. And the more people hide your posts, the more Facebook will realise what you’re sharing is basically… well… crap and will be reluctant to put you front and centre on the stage that is the Facebook newsfeed.
A handy article to read more here. And if you want to know how much a social media marketer is really worth, check out the breakdown on this page (scroll halfway down).
Much like Google, Facebook utilises a user based algorithm, which changes regularly. It’s vital that you have relevant and engaging content that will actively encourage your “likers” to search out your page and content. Facebook keeps an eye on everyone’s using behaviour, so it guesses which pages, posts and items you want to see the most based on your past behaviour. The more often you visit a Facebook page, them more prominent it will be in your timeline; which is often the last fifty pages you have viewed (as a user).
It does help if you mix up your content between text based status updates, external links, embedded videos (not YouTube or Vimeo, these are considered external links), images, events and questions. The aim is to keep your audience engaged with your page, so it’s not getting hidden in the noise of Facebook. But really, at the end of the day there is only ONE sure fire way to do this: consistently post excellent and engaging content. There is no other way around it!
Need someone to take care of your social media marketing for you? Let me take care of it.