the top 3 facebook marketing mistakes

Facebook pages are getting a redesign similar to the one that Facebook profiles recently underwent. If you’re a page admin, you can voluntarily go to the new design or be automatically converted around March 1st. I suggest you go ahead and opt-in to the change a few days after it’s offered. (Let others deal with the inevitable initial bugs, but still be an early adopter.)

changes are coming to facebook. Is your marketing ready?There are lots of positives (and negatives) surrounding the change. I think the best change is the new ability for email alerts on page activity (I don’t have a clue why this wasn’t there from the start) But at the same time, I will miss tabs.

If you’re already actively marketing your brand on Facebook, you’ll find this post from ‘Inside Facebook’ on the redesign a very helpful guide.

But I urge you to take a step even further back and evaluate your Facebook marketing strategy. Are you sure you’ve covered some of the basics?

Are you making some of the following mistakes as a marketer using Facebook to connect with customers?

Why am I here?
Brands are spending lots of money to get people to like them on Facebook. But what are companies doing with them once they get them there? Getting people to like you on Facebook should not be a marketing end-goal; it should be a tactic in a larger strategy.

The like is not the end of the marketing; it’s just the beginning.

How often are you posting new content? Are you interacting with fans? Are you just re-posting your traditional marketing messages or are you having a conversation?

It’s also important to remember that having a Facebook page is not a web marketing strategy. It should be one element of a much larger plan.

Profiles are not Pages
A profile is something on Facebook that an individual person has. A page is for brands. If you’re doing business or trying to promote something, you need a page; not a profile. There are 3 big reasons for this.

1) The major reason is that it’s against Facebook rules for anything other than an individual person to have a profile. You run the risk of being suspended.
2) Pages work differently than profiles. Many of these things (like some of the changes that are coming) are designed to help you market and sell rather than play Farmville.
3) A person can only have 5,000 friends on Facebook. If you ever aspire to have more than 5,000 fans, you need to move to a page as soon as you can.

The worst thing you can do is have both a page and a profile. It confuses your customers. Post on the profile numerous times that you’re moving to the page. Try to get as many to move with you as you can. Chalk up the lost stragglers as a marketing lesson.

Get a decent URL
I see the same mistakes all the time when someone is trying to convey the location of the brand’s page. If you have over 25 fans, you can get a simple URL like www.facebook.com/BrandZeitgeist by going to facebook.com/username and choosing your name. That’s alot simpler to communicate than the ambiguous “find us on facebook” or the incorrect “become our friend on facebook”. (see previous ‘Profiles are not Pages’ point)

The only thing harder to communicate is the deadly full page name and ID URL like http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chris-Houchens/17831081539. I’m sure that URL will flow beautifully in your radio commercials (and take up half the time).

Something else I see alot is people taking the full URL sin one step further and promoting some of their personal browsing history like: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lighthouse-Restaurant-Sulphur-Well-KY/114743131874741#!/pages/Chris-Houchens/17831081539 goes to my page but also shows that I have been thinking about going to Sulphur Well for some country ham. The url will still work when you take the pages/Lighthouse-Restaurant-Sulphur-Well-KY/114743131874741#!/ out of it.

These are the big three mistakes that I see brands make the most often. What would you add to this list? What are brands do you think are using Facebook effectively?

(by the way — when you like me on Facebook, you’ll get my latest blog posts delivered in your news feed.)

Chris Houchens is a marketing raconteur & writer. Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

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5 comments on “the top 3 facebook marketing mistakes
  1. Halloo Com says:

    Man, there is so much uproar about the new design/functions/layout from my network of marketers and PR folks. If anything though, I think the new functions are more of a “test bed” for Facebook to see how businesses can get more utility out of their Fb profiles – enterprise features typical of a more expensive company website come to mind.

    And really, if anything, a lot of this uproar has more to do with “Who moved my cheese?” than anything else. Even marketers hate change..

  2. Peter says:

    Nice article, very interesting stuff. I will try and follow this.

  3. Vanessa says:

    I am looking forward to hearing you speak tomorrow at AAF in Greenville.
    I have a couple quick questions:
    1. Today our CEO asked my opinion about putting a Facebook logo on our packaging. I said I thought it was a waste of packaging real estate, and that is not where to promote our FB presence. But someone else said “everyone is doing it” – so it will be on our packaging. It can’t hurt was my final response. But what is your opinion?
    2. We are just starting our FB presence and I am quickly trying to get some wins here. What is 5 things I could do right away to get a couple ‘singles’ under my belt?
    Thank you!

    • 1 – Probably can’t say this to the CEO, but your mother probably said “if everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you?”
      I agree with you, it can’t hurt. But today, it’s an abberation for a brand NOT to be on facebook. Just the logo isn’t going to be much, you need to find a way to reach customers while they’re ON facebook, not staring at the FB logo on your package. You’re just giving FB a free ad on your package.
      2 – I see you have the FB widget on your website which is step 1. If you have an email database, you could email alerting to the page. Facebook contests seem to gather lots of new fans (like our page and win (x) yards of new fabric) You can also pay Mr. Zuckerburg for facebook ads to find likes. FB ads work best for gathering fans since you can target FB users in demographic, psychographic, etc fashion. Posting constant content to the page and trying to force interaction also helps spread to current fans’ friends

      Bigger question to answer before gathering fans are: why are we on facebook? what are we wanting to communicate (and to whom)? Answering those questions help find places for new fans to come from. Just having a fan is useless. You’re wanting customers. Is Facebook even where you need to be? Considering your business would Pinterest or Etsy be the better place to build your social media stand?

      Looking forward to Greenville. Come up and say hi and tell me this was your comment!

3 Pings/Trackbacks for "the top 3 facebook marketing mistakes"
  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Houchens, Chris Houchens. Chris Houchens said: The mistakes people make with a Facebook page http://t.co/sdLlgkJ [...]

  2. [...] because you have a Facebook page and a Twitter handle, it doesn’t mean you’re doing social media [...]

  3. [...] If there’s one constant with Facebook, it’s change. But most small businesses make the same 3 Facebook marketing mistakes. [...]

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