Facebook Marketing: How Not To Do It In 4 Steps

facebook marketing mistakes to avoid social media advertising

Whether we like it or we don’t (and many of us don’t), Facebook advertising is the single most effective method of marketing a business outside of advertising on television. As you’re on a website about running a business on a budget, we’re going to guess that you don’t have the kind of capital to advertise on television. That’s fine - neither do we. Television advertising might not be as effective as it used to be anyway. 

Ten years from now, the picture will be very different. The power of Facebook won’t last forever - just as suddenly as it rose up and swallowed MySpace, something will eventually rise up and kill it. We already know that teenagers think it’s for old people because their parents were on it twelve years ago. From a marketing point of view, that’s fine for now. Almost nobody needs to market to the under-20s anyway. Your core audience, from Generation Z right up to the much-maligned Boomers, are all on Facebook, and their marketing tools make it easy for you to find them if you know what you’re doing. 

Because it’s such an obvious route to reaching customers, it’s alarming how many people get Facebook marketing so badly wrong. You may have read articles on other websites telling you how to get Facebook advertising right. You may even have read one elsewhere on this site. We’re not doing that with this post. This is all about making sure you don’t make the same dumb mistakes that far too many people are making, because they’re wasting their money, and we wouldn’t want that to happen to you! 

Don’t Post At Random Times 

Even when marketing is done well, it’s still a lottery. Until we can holographically project ourselves into the homes of our customers to see their reactions, we won’t know whether our ads are working on them or not. That makes every paid-for ad an online slots game. You have no idea whether it’s been worth your money to play online slots until you’ve spun the reels and seen what’s landed. When you blindly fire out adverts at any old time of day, you’re absolutely playing online slots with your marketing budget - in fact, using it to play slots on website like Rose Slots would probably be a better decision. At least you might see a return on it that way. 

You have the ability to choose when your adverts are published. Bear in mind that if you're targeting working people, most of them will be away from social media - or at least unable to buy anything you're selling - between 9 am and 5 pm. You can target the early birds between 7 and 8 if you like, or you could try to catch the lunchtime crowd between 12 and 2, but the bulk of your money is far better spent after 7 pm, when your audience is likely to be larger. That's also when the people who see your ads will likely have the most time to go ahead and make a purchase. 

Don’t Use Your Own Profile To Launch Your Campaigns 

You have to have a page to run a Facebook advert properly. Even if you're a sole trader or self-employed, it doesn't make good sense to run a boosted or promoted post from your own personal page. Firstly you're exposing your account to the world and potentially opening yourself up to a lot of abuse, and secondly, you won't get to use the majority of Facebook's marketing tools. When you run adverts from a Facebook page, you're provided with analytics to show you who's engaging with your ad, how they're engaging with it, and whether they click any of your Call to Action buttons. You'll get none of that from a post on your own account. 

As a second thought, people can't 'like' your business if you post adverts from your own account. All they can do is send you friend requests. Do you really want to become friends with all those strangers? 

Don’t Use Shortened URLs 

Just don’t. We have very little else to say on this matter. We know why people use shortened URLs - it’s so they can fit a full link to their site on Twitter. Forget about Twitter. Twitter is dreadful for marketing, so don’t play by their rules. Using a shortened URL is a huge mistake. Aside from the fact that it looks cheap, people simply don’t trust them. Because they can’t see where the link is about to take them, they just don’t click on it at all. Studies have shown that people are more than five times more likely to click on a full URL than a shortened one. We don’t know the hard science behind why people find short URLs so off-putting, but they do. Accept it as a fact, don’t do it, and move on. 

Less Is More 

Think about how you use Facebook yourself. When you are scrolling through your news feed in the morning, what's more likely to catch your eye? A long wall of text, or a short snappy message with a picture attached to it? For almost everybody, it is the second option. It's hard enough to get people to look at any form of advertising at all. It is even harder to get them to read a lengthy sponsored post. You probably spent a lot of money getting the content of your website spot on and picture- perfect. 

Have faith in that content. "The job of your advert is to persuade people to click on a link and come to take a look at that website, not to replicate its content" says Prism Marketing, a lead generation company based in Manchester. Stay below 100 words, and always use a helpful image to catch people's eye. All a good advert really is and should be is a headline. It is then down to the reader if they want to click on the headline and read the full story. 

Focused Facebook Or Fail

Other than the things we've listed above, you will be fine. Choose your target demographic well, put together a great looking advert, and you will get responses. Remember to respond to every single comment you get - positive or negative - and you can make a lot of progress in a short space of time with Facebook marketing. Just don't launch it in the middle of the day when everyone else is at work, although many people now are checking statuses and feeds while on the clock!

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