I’ve been around the block and back on Facebook. I was with the NBA in 2007 when we partnered with Facebook to build an app and when the league’s first official Facebook Group was created. I’ve seen and been a part of more social media successes and failures than I care to count.
I have a pretty good idea of what’s going to work as a result, though it’s not 100% predictable. That said, predicting failure is much easier.
Is your Page an embarrassment? Here are the seven reasons why your Facebook marketing fails. Now fix it!
You Only Talk About Yourself
You want to put me to sleep? Talk about yourself endlessly.
Look, I’m sure your life is amazing. I’m sure your brand has the most exciting product since Velcro. But after a while, I’m tired of hearing about it.
I don’t want constant updates that only serve as sales pitches and PR spin. You got me to like your page because I dig your brand. You don’t need to sell me. Now tell me something I don’t know.
You Have No Soul
When PR people run a Facebook Page, it’s obvious. They are overly excited about their perfect product and use all kinds of exclamation points and smiley faces. They never admit fault and go into spin control or shut-down mode at the first sign of danger.
You, on the other hand, have no soul. Not that you’re dark or evil or anything. You’re just… boring.
If your message isn’t human or interesting, humans aren’t going to connect with it. Show emotion. You aren’t a robot. Or if you are a robot, show why you are a lovable robot.
You Don’t Help Me
If you want to offer value, your message has to improve my life in some way. It needs to solve a problem or make a task easier. It needs to answer a question or make me say, “I always wondered how to do that!”
You don’t have to bring world peace or teach me HTML5 in a day. You can improve my life by making me laugh, providing deals, showing me how to better organize (clean, fix, etc.) or endless other ways. It can be simple.
The source of your strategy should always be to solve the problems of your customers. If you don’t know what those problems are, ask them.
You Don’t Ask Questions
Now that’s one perfect segue!
While people are your fans because they think you’re pretty awesome or can make their lives better, that doesn’t mean you always know the answers. Don’t get a big head about it and think that you do.
The most tapped in brands on Facebook are those that don’t constantly tell their fans something, but ask as well.
Make sure that the question is sincere, of course. If it’s not sincere, it’s just pointless and annoying.
When you do ask questions that provide value, you get a better idea of who your customer is and how you can help them. But you can also use their feedback to solve your brand’s problems, launch new products and make your products better.
If you involve your customers in these decisions, they will love you for it.
Your Content is Predictable
Don’t get me wrong, some structure is necessary. People need to have some expectations about who you are, when and how often you’re going to post.
But there’s a fine line between dependable and boring. Shake it up. Change up your themes. Don’t stick to only sharing links. Share photos and videos and use the native Questions app. Don’t neglect the status update.
Don’t share a certain way all the time because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do. Add a new contest, change your cover photo, start a new feature. Always aim to keep things interesting.
Your Frustration is Showing
It’s easy to tell when someone managing a Facebook Page is getting ready to give up. Their content reads like the telemarketer speaks as I’m milliseconds from hanging up the phone.
I can attest that things can be frustrating in the beginning. Hell, things can get frustrating in the middle. But don’t let that show.
Have no fear. Push forward. And keep an optimistic view of your efforts. Celebrate the little things. If you post with the expectation that no one will read or comment, no one will.
The Wrong People Are Involved
If you want to strangle the life out of a social media strategy, get several levels of leadership involved in the decision making. Really, all it takes is the red tape of one suit who doesn’t know anything about social media to screw up your game.
It’s not just approvals or a poor understanding of how you need to communicate that can lead to failure from the top. Problems also exist when social media strategy is a community endeavor, leading to a half dozen people managing it with no clear goal.
To be laser focused, it’s best to have one person who oversees it all and manages it on a day-to-day basis. It’s their voice and their baby. They can get some occasional help, but make that person the boss. Too many cooks will never be a good thing in your Facebook kitchen.
There are plenty of reasons why Facebook marketing efforts fail, but these are the most common in my opinion.
What factors would you add that contribute to Facebook marketing failure?