How not to market yourself on Facebook

How not to market yourself on Facebook

Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm can make it difficult to know if you’re doing the right thing.  Michelle Betts guides you through the latest Facebook marketing dos and don’ts.

Michelle Betts profile pic

Michelle Betts

There are more than one billion people now on Facebook. That’s nearly one eighth of the World. From a global marketing perspective that’s a whole lot of opportunity.

When you’re promoting your business, it can be tempting to take a broad-brush approach to capture as many people as possible. But I’m going to tell you why that’s a bad idea.

Here’s one of the most common mistakes made when marketing your business on Facebook:

Inviting all of your friends to ‘like’ your page

You’ve just launched your page, or you haven’t seen your community grow recently, so you invite all of your friends to like your page. The more the merrier, right? Wrong. The only person who cares about how many people ‘like’ your page is you. Numbers aren’t important.

What is important is having an engaged following who like, comment on and share your content. Why? The answer lies in Facebook’s algorithm. It goes like this:

  1. You add an update to your page
  2. Facebook feeds that content to a small section of your followers
  3. If it gets interaction, Facebook will send it to more followers
  4. If it gets more interactions still, Facebook will send it out to even more. 

That’s how you gain reach. But if your content gets no, or very few interactions in the first instance, Facebook will limit the number of people who see it.

If the followers of your page are just your friends and family who liked your page to be nice, but have no intention of interacting with your content, your reach can be severely limited.

Even worse, if any of your followers ‘hide’ your posts and content or unfollow your page, Facebook sees this as a mark of poor quality and will limit your reach even further.


A better way to market on Facebook

Colourful darts target


When you launch your page or want to grow it, think carefully about who you invite. Ask yourself “Is this person interested in my content?” If the answer is “no” don’t invite them.

Every business, no matter how big or small has a target audience. Keep your target audience in mind at all times – whether it’s choosing who to invite, what to post or who to advertise to – and you won’t go wrong.  

Facebook’s targeted paid-for marketing offers a great way to look outside of your immediate circle to grow your following. You can select who to market to based on geography, gender, age and interests. If you’re selling maternity wear, for example, you can choose to show the ad to only women aged between 18 and 45 with an interest in the ‘Seraphine’ clothing line. This targeted approach will help you grow an actively engaged following.


To boost or to advertise?

When using Facebook’s paid for option, consider whether you want to use the ‘boost’ function or run an ad campaign. Boosts are useful if you have no experience of Facebook ads and Ad Manager as it allows you to get your content in front of your target audience. They are great for increasing engagement and building your audience.

Ad Manager however is fantastic for reaching even more targeted audiences and running campaigns with specific objectives, e.g. increasing clicks to your website or blog, or getting people to watch a video you’ve produced. It can look daunting when you first view Ads Manager but take one step at a time and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it – there’s never a silly question when it comes to social media.



Marketing during Coronavirus

You might be considering whether it’s appropriate to market right now. The answer is yes.

People still need your services and your business still needs to remain visible. What’s more if you stop putting content out it can upset Facebook’s sensitive algorithm.

But it’s more important than ever to be considerate and do it in the right way.


What should you post?

Take a look at your own home feed and take note of the posts that you think hit the right tone, and those that don’t. Your instincts here will be similar to those of your followers. Use this as a barometer for your posts. Does it feel like the right thing to say right now? If not, rework it until it does.

If business has slowed down, you might feel like you have nothing to post. People buy from those they know, like and trust. So give updates related to what you’re doing in the background. It’s ok to post more personal updates than usual. The important thing is to be authentic and tell your story.

And if you’re supporting your community, share that. It’s the kind of goodwill that will help build a connection with your audience and trust in your services.

Staying visible now will mean you’re front of mind when business starts to pick up again. 

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