6 Things Facebook Marketers Need to Stop Doing

I don’t enjoy being bossy or coming off as a nerdy, Facebook marketing know-it-all. I’m constantly learning and as much as I focus on Facebook there’s plenty I don’t know or fully understand.

But there are far too many marketers who are polluting Facebook with baseless claims and ineffective strategies, resulting in many others following their collective lead.

So, here’s my attempt to do my part. Please stop doing these things.

1. Stop complaining to Fans about not being able to reach them

I thought we were done with this madness, but I still see it. Too many Facebook marketers have an unrealistic expectation regarding the number of Fans who will see a given post.

“Every Fan should see my posts! If they liked my Page, they want to see it!”

Meh. Come on.

If you have a basic understanding of math and online user behavior, you realize that most of your Fans won’t see your content whether EdgeRank existed or not.

You realize that only half of all users visit Facebook every day.

You realize that of those who do visit, the average user will only visit for 30-60 minutes.

You realize that your content is competing with mounds of posts from friends, family members, apps and other Pages.

You realize that on Twitter, even fewer of your followers will see a given post. A fraction, in fact.

You realize that a small percentage of your Fans actually care whether they see most or even some of your posts.

Yes, EdgeRank exists. Yes, Facebook may decide not to show your content to specific Fans who have shown no interest in your boring content. And yes, you may need to pay to reach some of your Fans.

But Facebook also helps surface your content to Fans who may have otherwise missed it. You blame EdgeRank, but in the end good content rises to the top and it will help you.

Still, you find the need to write posts that complain to your Fans about how you aren’t reaching them.

Facebook News Feed EdgeRank Interact

You know what? They don’t care.

The vast majority of your Fans who liked your Page don’t care if they see 100% of your posts. They won’t miss the ones they don’t see. By sharing a whiny post about how you can’t reach them, you may just drive the ones who do care away.

Don’t be fooled by the few Fans who sympathize with your plight. By complaining about this, you look unprofessional and you’re doing your brand and your message more harm than good.

2. Stop worrying about Reach

Oh, no! Your Reach is down!

Hey, look! If you create status updates, you’ll reach more people than if you post photos!

Whoa, you should never share links because they reach fewer people!

Stop. Just stop. Please.

Reach isn’t completely worthless. But it’s close. It should be considered. But it doesn’t tell the story of whether your content succeeded or failed.

Reach is good as a reference point. But you should worry most about specific types of engagement that lead to a desired action.

Start focusing more on link clicks. And shares. And video plays. And whatever action it is that is central to your success.

Reach is far too flawed to trust. It’s far too inexact to be the focus of your campaign. And you’re far too sophisticated to lose sleep over it.

3. Stop creating fluff to drive fluff engagement

Woo hoo! Half of my Fans clicked Like on my cat meme! I’m awesome!

What’s that? How many link clicks did it drive? How many sales did it generate? Ummmmmmm…..

The problem with EdgeRank is that far too many marketers now try to manipulate it. They know that more engagement means more Reach. So they post a bunch of fluff that generates a ton of engagement.

A ton of meaningless engagement.

Look, having some fun with your Page is fine. Posting an occasional fluff piece of content that generates easy reactions can actually help you.

But stop making these types of posts central to your strategy.

You may generate plenty of engagement from memes, cat photos and other similar posts. But if you rely too heavily on them, you’ll start attracting the type of Fan who cares only about that stuff.

When you do that, you lose the Fan who actually cared about your product, service or niche. Some liked your Page because of the value you could add to that conversation.

And it’s this type of Fan — not the meme lover — who is most likely to result in business.

4. Stop worrying about number of Likes

Oh, no, my number of Likes dropped overnight!

Hey, look, I got 5,000 new Likes! None of them speak my native language, but… LOOK! More Likes!

This shouldn’t shock you, but it’s quality over quantity. The number is cosmetic. It means a little. But it doesn’t mean a lot.

If your ultimate goal is to drive meaningful traffic, interactions and business, you want quality Fans who actually care about your product or service.

If your Facebook Page isn’t driving meaningful traffic, interactions or business, it could be because you focused too heavily on quantity and not enough on quality.

Should you celebrate reaching new milestones? Sure. Should a number of Likes determine your success or failure? Absolutely not.

In the end, it’s just a number. You can’t trade in Likes for cash. Your measure of success will ultimately be determined by the number of desired actions your Fans and their connections perform, whether from a small or large pool.

5. Stop creating Promoted Posts

Facebook advertising is powerful. But if you are clicking that “Promote” or “Boost” button next to your post, you are not experiencing the true benefits of what Facebook has to offer.

I continuously hear complaints about how advertisers can no longer target Fans only with their Promoted Posts.

My response? Stop doing it.

Promoted Posts are intended for the beginner advertiser. It’s meant as an easy way to entice you to spend some money. But it is cookie cutter and only scratches the surface of what you can do.

You should still promote your content, but in much different ways. If you’ve read my content before, you’re likely tired of reading this: Use Power Editor.

6. Stop whining about changes

UGH! Facebook is rolling out a new News Feed! I want the old News Feed back!

Still more Facebook ad options? I can’t keep up! STOP WITH THE CHANGES!

I hate to sound harsh, but quit your whining.

I know you prefer the old News Feed. I know you prefer the old, old News Feed. I know you prefer the old, old, old News Feed. But it’s not coming back.

The old Facebook was primitive when it came to marketing. The targeting options were few. The advertising options were limited.

I won’t say that every change is good. But if you understand Facebook, you know that what is available to marketers today is far more powerful than what we had even a year ago.

Is it difficult to keep up? Maybe. Sure, it is. But it’s in the name of progress. These changes will ultimately help you.

Embrace them!

Start Doing These Things…

Now that you’ve stopped doing things, it’s time to focus on the right things.

Start experimenting.

Start embracing change.

Start researching the power of Facebook advertising.

Start focusing on the metrics that matter.

What would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    Jon– Amen, brother! A heck of a diatribe. Think Facebook would agree?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Heck if I know since no one at Facebook will talk to me!

      • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

        Well, that’s odd, since you’re a prominent voice, Jon!

        • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

          I’d take the new News Feed or Graph Search over any contact from Facebook.

      • Cecilia XW

        maybe you should become yappy (and happy) and blond and change your name to Mary….lol

  • Carey

    I won’t add, but I will reiterate: Use the Power Editor. My new resolve is to split test an ad every week. I think it’s the only way to thoroughly figure it out and see what works best for different goals.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/david.mckellar.79 Dave McKellar

    Well Said

  • http://hubze.com/ David Foster

    PREACH IT JON! I am with you man. People just need to stop and go to work creating experiences for their readers…fans or whatever you want to call them. This is something that has bothered me for some time too. That is why with our new platform, I am going to be calling crap like this out on a constant basis because we have too many people out there leading people into bad thinking and it needs to stop. Social media marketing is NOT as hard as some would lead you to believe.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Exactly, David! Really not that complicated. Advertising is somewhat complicated, but the content management side really isn’t. Looking forward to seeing what you roll out!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jkashork James Kashork

    Great Piece! Thanks. I’ve noticed the biggest change in my pages since we made a conscious effort to engage with fans. Everything works better when we engage.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      That’s right! Engage instead of push. And always look to provide the value they’re looking for. Thanks for the comment, James!

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottwayres Scott Ayres

    I would add “Stop following self proclaimed “gurus”…

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Anyone who calls themselves a “guru” of anything should be ignored.

      • http://hubze.com/ David Foster

        Well, I do tell my wife I am a love guru, but I guess I will stop…

  • http://twitter.com/tinamellergaard Tina Mellergaard

    Good list! I would like to add: Stop likehunting through pointless (and often illegal) competitions/contests

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Good addition!

    • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

      Excellent one @twitter-410662896:disqus, it drives me nuts when I see the “the pic with the most likes gets a prize” competition, especially when you spend some time squeezing your brain trying to come up with something good.

  • sandra davis

    Yes I have stopped because it is hard to follow all the marketers advice. This is good advice I can follow. Experiment……….Create your own path.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jayneday Jayne Day

    Great article Jon and couldn’t agree more.

  • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    I love when you put your feelings into your articles! I love particularly number 3 (I recently write a post about this). I would add a 7th item saying: target the RIGHT audience.

    I’ve seen way too many Pages targeting and audience so big – if they select any specific audience at all – that ads end up showing to the wrong people, which obviously affects the brand image and reputation. Some weeks ago I saw on my Facebook some ads in a language I don’t speak of a product that is female-only focused!

  • http://twitter.com/RealityShowRpt Reality Show Report


  • Kenneth


  • Jo Manderson

    Brilliant Jon. Whilst you’ve said it all, you need to drive home ‘Focus on your content – does it interest YOU?’ and ‘Focus on your follower’ – People are still not ‘getting’ this marketing channel and the bare basics of considering or getting to know their audience. Go to put your consumer boots on sometimes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Catherine-Lloyd-Evans/609045913 Catherine Lloyd-Evans

    Is it ok to sit here feeling slightly smug because I natively agree with all that? Coz I soooo am. Hoorahhs!
    My favourite cringe-thing – when small businesses, even now, request us to add them to our favourites list because ‘Facebook has changed its algorithm’.
    It makes me squirm really quite a lot.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Ugh… I know! Paranoid marketing is no way to market!

  • http://cassiewitt.com/ Cassie Witt

    Also, posting a picture about how you want more engagement will not guarantee more engagement! Most of your fans aren’t going to see it anyway. So how does posting a picture begging your fans for more interaction change that?! It doesn’t. Period. Yes, you might get a “small boost” from the post, but it’s not going to make much of a difference.

    Sheesh, marketers. Let’s get real. Some of you don’t even get a 16% open rate with your emails!

  • Dorci

    You basically said it, but I’d say stop worrying. All those points come from worrying, from being impatient, from just not being content with where you are in the process of whatever you’re doing. Even God took 6 days to create the entire world even though He could have accomplished it in a nano second. In doing that He tells us that all good things take time, and it’s easy to lose that vision in this hurry-up, results-oriented world. So calm down. Take a deep breath. It is what it is. If it’s meant to be, it’ll get there. Now, go create!

  • http://www.facebook.com/LeahCPerry Leah Perry

    great article jon

  • Veronica Athanasiou

    Thanks a million for writing this Jon. There is too much panicking over falling reach, the latest being that posts shared from other pages are getting very little reach…. It is true, targeted posts to potential clients should be our focus and maybe moving away from the very common ‘having fun’ with the page. I suppose we have to find the happy middle. Cheers!

  • Charl Diener

    “Like if you agree. Share if you don’t.”
    John, I like. I like that someone has finally come out and said it – it’s not about the metrics, it’s what you do with it that makes the difference to your bottom line.

    Soon we’ll have hash tags to add to the analytics on Facebook. So you might as well update this post to “7 Things Facebook Marketers Need to Stop Doing”

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    Great advice. The one thing on the list I’m recently gulity of is spending the occasional $5 on promotional posts. I probably worry a tad bit about reach, but less than I used to. I like Scott Ayres comment below, too. So my question to you: what are the “dos?”

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Dan — It’s not that I think you should stop using ads to promote your content. You simply shouldn’t use that “Promote” or “Boost” button to do it. You should be using Power Editor instead.

      I tried to sum up what you should do the best I could, but there were some comments below that do a good job as well. Experiment, embrace change, research the power of Facebook advertising and focus on the metrics that matter!

      • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

        Thanks, Jon. I’m still pretty small. Between low traffic and a lack of time, money and technological expertise, I struggle. But I slowly learn and get a little done at a time.

  • http://digitaldomination.com/ Steve Fitzpatrick

    There’s nothing wrong with Promoted posts, and you CAN still target only fans of your page.

    It’s still an effective way of reaching your audience and adding social influence with their connections.

    • Nigel Curry

      I agree Steve. It has brought me new business so for me it works.

      @Jon – Experimenting is the only way you will ever know what works & what does not! Well put across Jon.

    • http://www.viralpassion.gr/ Nikos Louvaris

      Dear Steve.The fact that a horse can transport you from one place to another doesn’t mean it’s your most beneficial alternative. Jon said it right, it’s ok for beginners. If someone wants to take the most of his promoted posts, the “boost post” button is not the answer.

      • http://digitaldomination.com/ Steve Fitzpatrick

        The fact that our promoted post strategy has brought in over $15k in PROFIT this calendar year for less than $1k investment proves you wrong.

        Most people think you can’t still target only your fans. You can and you should.

        • http://www.viralpassion.gr/ Nikos Louvaris

          Good for you Steve and i hope you double it next year. The argument is that through power editor you will be able to do even better. You could just try it and see…

  • Carole Smith

    Excellent post Jon…well said!

  • venkyiyer58

    Just shared this post, targetting a few folks. Problem is, as Jon has mentioned here, not all folks see all posts. Taking pot luck.

  • Ilse Kapp

    I think or rather I know I’m so tired of hearing the “sad life story turned to riches”

    How about – you started off rich to being richer.



  • anna bennett

    love this article – thank you!

  • Dawnichele

    How about don’t “like” your own posts…of course you like what you posted, you posted it!

  • Andrew McEwan

    As always, it’s quality – not quantity. Great article, Jon – I’ll be passing it on to some of my clients. Many thanks.

  • Cedric

    Thanks for the post

  • Sarah Zeldman

    And let us all say “AMEN!”

  • http://idealsoftware.co.za/ Ian Said

    Jon, my worst is strangers leaving posts on my page ‘I just Liked your page. Please Like mine’, even though you have absolutely nothing in common and no interest in their page either. I just ignore completely. Great post!

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Definitely, Ian! Those drive me crazy.

  • nickolas lim

    lol. stop this and that. so we all better use twitter then?

  • Ron

    Jon – to address #3 – i have been posting alot of memes, and they have been generating not only a ton of traffic, but they are generating actual clicks to my itunes page – at the same time, I see alot of fans getting pissed off at them, but my gut instinct tells me these fans arent even buying anything – so now you said its about link clicks, and i have been monitoring that even before I read you talk about that, and before i started posting memes(not only memes ofcourse, but def alot of them), i was getting barely no clicks to itunes, now I am averaging 600 clicks to itunes a day, thats almost 20,000 clicks to itunes a month, from the format i am using, which is a combo of memes, model pics, music, stories, ect. – i try to mix it up randomly – whenever i post stuff that is just my brand strickly, i get very low clicks, forget that the reach is low, but the clicks are way lower, but when i post something funny like a meme, the clicks skyrocket to my itunes – as i have been including the itunes link with every post i make – i havent seen my accounting yet, cuz its 60 days til i can see the effects – but i have high hopes that my $$$ will go up – I wont lie, and say I dont have concerns, but the stats dont lie right?
    you say experiment, so i am experimenting, and it seems to be doing great
    I am not getting 35 times more traffic than i originally had – how can that be a bad thing?

    • Ron

      I am NOW getting 35 times more traffic than i originally had – how can that be a bad thing?

      *typo :)

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      You are certainly measuring results in the right way, Ron. Too many marketers focus on metrics that really don’t matter. You’re looking at sales and link clicks, and that’s how you’ve gotta do it.

      However, I’d still be careful. Facebook has made it relatively clear that they don’t like memes. You may not be getting punished now, but it’s a gamble to make it central to your strategy. There’s certain risk/reward for you to consider.

  • nightMair Media Mgmt

    amen and amen! I am pretty selective about what brand pages I ‘like’ on FB, mainly because I don’t have time to wade through tons of content but also because I actually want to see what they’re doing that is new… and seeing brand pages post 15 stupid cat videos to 1 business related post drives me batty. I want to know where you are, what your hours are, what the food looks like today, what new art is on the walls this month and what new beads you imported that are beautiful enough for me to drive an hour to your store and buy them :)