7 Mistakes (+ 8 Fixes) When Marketing On Facebook

Great copy and use of emojis…but brands need more than just product photos.

A lot of businesses make the assumption that when posting on Facebook, anything they share will go viral. Products will fly off the shelves and phones will ring off the hook.

Then they post something. Nobody likes it. No sales. No engagement. Not even a cricket chirping.

I often hear business owners say that marketing on Facebook doesn’t work. It’s a waste of time. Nobody sees their value.

Of course. Because these businesses are NOT PROVIDING VALUE.

The “look at me” mentality isn’t effective. People are savvy. And people are thinking about themselves. Just as these businesses are thinking of themselves.

I see daily mistakes made by businesses who do not (or are unwilling to) understand the best practices for marketing on social media platforms. They aren’t providing a WOW factor. They aren’t striking any emotional chords. They are just trying to sell.

People love to buy but they hate to be sold.

7 No-No’s Of Facebook Marketing:

Shame on you, Oki Data Americas https://www.facebook.com/OKIDataAmericas/?fref=ts

Using Facebook As A Display Case For Bad Sales Pitches

This provides no add-value in regards to engaging the audience on a personal level and goes against the purpose and mission of Facebook and their marketing best practices.

Marketing For Instant Gratification

Businesses that don’t understand social media often think that it’s a free place to get immediate sales with minimal effort. This is not the case. It takes time and relation building. It’s called social media for a reason.

Asking Too Much Or Not Asking At All (for sales/business)

As Gary Vaynerchuk highlights, your need to provide a series of jabs and occasionally deliver the right hook.

  • Jabs are value based content. Providing industry hacks, tips, tricks, informative blogs, infographics, trade secrets…anything relative to your audience that will keep them informed and engaged is the right approach. Video is especially effective Facebook marketing, nowadays.
  • Right hooks” are when you ask for the sale. If you are a business, you have to ask. And don’t try to disguise it as jab. People see through the bullshit and will respect you more when you just ask.

Tooting Their Own Horn

Many businesses think that by puffing out their chest and showing the world how amazing they are, that sales will increase 10x. This is not the case. Facebookers will just scroll right on pass that nonsense. Or stop long enough to give you an angry emoji. (btw, an angry emoji “like” is still engagement)

Not Putting Themselves In The Consumers’ Shoes

Consumers are thinking: “What’s in it for me?” — “How am I going to benefit from this piece of content?” Marketers need to realize this and offer something of value to answer these questions.

Using Hashtags

I actually had a client fire me for not using hashtags on the Facebook page. That’s when I realized that I need to charge more.

Facebook isn’t Twitter or Instagram. It looks bad and will actually hurt reach if used improperly.

There are some occasions when hashtags are ok, like for trending subjects. But if you’re not Nike launching a new pair of kicks, just avoid them.

Quantity over Quality

Sometimes less is more. This rule applies for both perfume and social media. Consistent posting is very important, but over posting and just throwing up anything to get a click will have adverse affects.

Facebook Marketing FAIL’s:
Sorry for picking on you Oki. Next time, reply to my emails.
Follow Your Heart produces AMAZING food products. And I love their restaurant. But their content…needs improvement.

8 Quick Fixes For Marketing On Facebook

It’s Social

Become a part of the community, have your fans join you in the conversation, leverage fans to become micro-influencers and brand ambassadors by curating content created by them (incentivize and credit them).

Ad Spend

If you’re going to do social marketing, you’ll need to spend some money for it to be effective. It doesn’t have to be much. You can do a $3 campaign on Facebook.

Boosts: Boost content that’s engaging. I’d recommend posting content and monitoring which pieces are most popular. Put a few dollars behind the most engaging posts. This will help lower your CPA. I am often surprised at what does well and not so well, so I let the data decide for me.


Follow what’s trending, Facebook and Twitter are great sources for this. Share posts relevant to trends as long as they are loosely relevant to your brand (use #’s on Twitter, but NOT on Facebook).

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

Even though Gary Vee doesn’t reply to my emails, he deserves an honorable mention. If you are serious about social marketing, read his book. It’s a few-years-old but highlights the importance of giving, giving, giving, then asking. Of course, if you’re a business, you’ll want ROI from your efforts. You’ll get ROI if you provide the right content and ask for business at the right time.

Quality over Quantity

Don’t overwork yourself (or employees) to crank out content. If you don’t post 5x this week on Facebook, you’ll probably still be in business next week. Do not compromise the quality of your content for the sake of maximum exposure — it’ll hurt your engagement in the long run.

Personify Your Business (Branding)

I bet a photo of your office pet will perform better than the CEO holding up an award. And some will argue that posting a pet pic will not generate sales. Probably not. But neither will the CEO pic.

“Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.” — Amy Jo Martin

Stay Native

Native Content encompasses and defines your brand’s personality. It should correlate directly with your target demographics.

Additionally, post natively. Meaning, schedule posts directly to your Facebook page. Not a 3rd party platform like Buffer or Hootsuite.

Facebook Marketing WINs:

Keep your content relative to your audience, keep it social, and bring value or entertainment. People aren’t on social media so that they can be sold. They are there to experience something and share their experiences with others (often exaggeratedly). This is an opportunity for you to join them in these experiences.

If you’re doing the right things but still having trouble with engagement on Facebook, take a look at this article: 6 Ways To Increase Reach, Likes, and Engagement For Your Facebook Page

Dan Raaf is a Social Media Director, Influencer Marketer (and monetizer), and Digital Marketing Consultant at Raaf Media.

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Dan can be connected via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Quora.

This was originally published on Quora.