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10 Common Mistakes Facebook Marketers Make

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In India, 83% of companies agree that marketing strategies cannot be successful without the use of social media. Many companies have Facebook pages for their brands as it has the largest reach. At last count Facebook had 670 million worldwide and over 25 million in India. These figures along with inspiring success stories of firms that have used Facebook effectively to engage customers has resulted in a frenzy among businesses to get onto the site and gain access to the large customer base.

No doubt as a media with high reach at a reasonable cost Facebook is every marketer’s dream. However, there is more to Facebook marketing than meets the eye. Most businesses jump in without knowing and understanding what it involves.

#1. No objective 

Image Credit – homeownershipu.com

Setting up a Facebook page is as simple as filling out a few online forms. However, like with any other marketing tool, whether it is advertising, sales or promotion, the objective of the exercise needs to be clearly defined. Rather than blindly being there because the competition is, businesses need to work out the objective for their presence such as improving customer relationships, creating awareness about a new product or increasing sales.

#2. Broadcasting vs. conversing

The advantage of Facebook is that it allows two way conversations. Broadcasting or posting a message on the Facebook page might get a business heard or noticed, but only a few companies have mastered the art of conversation by tailoring content to incite response. Besides this creativity is the key so that users don’t get bored with predictable content. Ching’s Secret, one of the most successful Indian brands on Facebook engage their customers by updating their status daily with video recipes, cooking tips and techniques – the reason why they have 7,68,968 fans.

#3. Violating guidelines

How often have we seen a business with a personal profile instead of a page, or winners of contests and promotions being announced on wall posts? Both these flout Facebook rules. Recently, Facebook disabled pages of Pizza Hut India, Cadbury Bournville and FCUK India for using their walls to run promotions to get more customers to ‘like’ their page. Unless businesses take the time to get acquainted with Facebook’s guidelines, it could seriously affect their credibility.

#4. Not investing resources

Having a Facebook page does not automatically guarantee results. Customers may post enquiries or comments expecting a response. Unless there is a mechanism in place to ensure that the page is monitored and controlled continuously so that response is quick, the business may stand the risk of losing a precious customer or worse still have an irate customer posting negative feedback that flashes across to the large fan base. Cocoberry frozen yoghurt, which has a fan base of over 1.6 lakhs, has a dedicated in-house team to respond to over 15,000 posts that they receive every month.

#5. Not understanding Facebook features and tools

Since Facebook marketing is relatively new, not all businesses understand the various features available and how each of these works. A classic example is when a business does not make use of the Info page. Another common mistake is uploading an image such as a logo that is not optimally displayed in the thumbnail, thereby missing out on an opportunity to reinforce brand identity. Besides this, very rarely do businesses use Facebook Insights to analyse the type of content that gets the most response.

#6. Lack of creativity

Just as with any mass media campaign, good creative and visuals are well remembered and get better response. Facebook as a media allows for a more informal and fun interaction with the customers, different from a company website. Getting a share of voice on this social media will take more than a DIY approach of filling a form to create a page. An attractive visual layout and creative content will go a long way in making a good impression and engaging customers.

#7. Lack of regulation

While informality is one of the bonus points of using Facebook, so the business can carry on a direct conversation with their customers, it can result in meaningless discussions that take away from the objective or message. Regulating posts will help in ensuring that the efforts stay on track. Cocoberry, for instance, monitors its posts to ensure that any negative feedback is immediately taken off the wall. The person who made the comment is contacted offline to resolve the issue.

#8. Not enough promotion

Promoting the Facebook page can help increase customer interactions and awareness about the company. Linking the company page to the corporate website or using the Facebook only option on the website for responses can increase the number of visitors to the company website as well as keep customers engaged on a more informal platform.

#9. Losing focus in the numbers game

In the rush towards acquiring more ‘likes’ than the competition, companies often lose focus of the objective of Facebook Marketing and the measurement of its success. ‘Likes’ only mean that customers have connected to the page. It becomes a mere statistic if it isn’t backed up by a plan to gain customer engagement.

#10. Not looking at the complete picture

While they are aware of the importance of social media in marketing, many companies look at a Facebook page as a separate tool from other components of the marketing mix. However, the best success stories have come from companies that have linked campaigns across other media and Facebook. Vodafone has effectively leveraged its Zoozoos television campaign to gain over 21 lakh ‘likes’ on their page. Fans not only get to watch videos of the TV commercials but get to do fun things such as playing online games featuring the Zoozoos.

Without doubt Facebook Marketing is still in a nascent stage in India, but companies that have invested resources in understanding the medium and creatively using it to increase their brand’s visibility, have shown how successful it can be. Unless other businesses with pages online follow suit, the opportunity will pass them by before they know it.

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