There are some very common mistakes I see on Facebook all the time that can really make you look like a rookie. You want to look like a professional, so let’s expose these mistakes and stop making them.
Stop Asking for Follows
You really don’t need to ask people to follow you. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule. If you are 2 people away from 1,000 or 2 people away from 10,000 then go ahead and put out the ask. If you’re going for a milestone and you ask very infrequently, then it’s fine. Maybe every 6 months or once a year you can ask.
There’s an easier way to get likes. Just go through your previous posts and find engagement. Look for those people who have liked or commented on your posts and send them an invite to like your page. It’s so much easier and faster and they’re already engaged. That makes them more likely to respond.
Stop Overusing Hashtags
#stopdoingthis Facebook still isn’t big on hashtags. Using a few is fine but I’d say no more than 1 to 3. If you are really into hashtags maybe 5 but that’s it. When you push your content from Instagram to Facebook (which is a big no-no) and you include all 20 hashtags, you are wearing your audience out. Just don’t do it. If you just have to push from Instagram to Facebook, take the hashtags off. Your Facebook audience can’t handle it so don’t force it on them. Settle down with the hashtags.
Stop Tagging People in Pictures They Aren’t In
It’s so incredibly spammy. Don’t be that person.
Also, think before you tag. I do trainings quite often and, without fail, someone at a training will take the worst picture of me ever and tag me in it. It happens every time. I can be standing in front of a group of people for hours giving quality content but if I drop a pencil and bend over to pick it up, that’s when they take the picture and tag me in it. So think before you tag.
Stop Over or Under Promoting Your Business
You don’t want to just constantly sell. You have to find the balance. I see this a lot with realtors and car lots. It will be home listing after home listing or car after car with no actual content. You have to have content.
You also don’t want to never have a call to action. It’s ok to remind people you do business. It’s ok to let you know I have a free Facebook quiz you can take to see how your page is working for your business. It’s totally free. You just follow this LINK, go to the page, and download the quiz. That’s a call to action. As long as you’re bringing content and value, a call to action is a good thing.
Stop Flooding Your Newsfeed
This could be over-posting or sharing the same message over and over again. Even if you have killer content, do you need to post more than once per day? Probably not. Buffer and Hootsuite did studies to find out how many times you should post. They determined most pages can only handle about once per day. There are some pages that have users that are super engaged and they can handle more but for most pages, once is ideal.
Stop Posting Low-Quality Graphics
Earlier this week, on a professional page, I saw a graphic that was not only grainy. It was actually watermarked! Are you kidding me? You can’t do that. You can’t use a watermarked image on your Facebook page. That’s a quick way to get yourself sued. With all the cool graphics resources available today, there is no reason for this to ever happen. Canva has 1,000s of pictures you can use. There also Unsplash, Pexels, and tons more. You have all these amazing options and you can take your own pictures as well. There’s no excuse for pixelated images or, even worse, an image with someone else’s watermark on it.
Also, if you see a meme you like, you don’t have to share that meme. You can create a similar one yourself. Let that meme be your inspiration.
Stop Using Bad Grammar
Using bad grammar in your posts and captions needs to stop. If you think no one is paying attention, just misspell a word and watch people come out of the woodwork. Grammar matters. It is a big deal. People notice and it makes you look not only like a rookie, but also lazy. It can make people think that if you can’t even pay attention to that why would you pay attention to anything else. If you haven’t installed Grammarly on your chrome browser, do it. It’s totally free. It will automatically check all your posts and captions and help you stay grammatically sound so you don’t have to worry about making those mistakes anymore.
Stop Running Photos with More than 20% Wording
I see this so much. Someone decides to run a sale or promotion so they put up an image that is basically all words. Now sometimes this can work, such as with a quote or testimonial. However, outside of these exceptions, it rarely works for you to have an image that is full of text. Ideally, when sharing an image, you want to have about 20% text and 80% image. If you’re wondering if your image meets this criteria, Facebook actually has a tool you can use. We use it to check out ads before we post them. It’s called the Facebook Layover Tool. It’s free. You just upload your image and it will tell you if it meets the criteria or not.
Stop Posting at the Wrong Times
When you post at the wrong times your audience won’t see it. There are still people who aren’t checking out their insights to see when their audience is on. It’s different for different industries. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. For instance, if you’re a restaurant, chances are your audience peaks at lunchtime and dinner time. Most audiences are not online at 5 am. They’re just not. So, if you’re posting at 5 am but your audience doesn’t get on until 2 pm, you’re missing the boat. Check your insights to find out when your audience is active so you’ll know when the best time to post for you is.
Stop Forgetting the Goal is Community
This is a big don’t. Find out what your audience wants. Post what they want, not what you want. That’s what builds community. We have a client that deals in pet supplies. We created a content schedule for them and found out that of course, they like pictures of pets. However, what they really responded to was humor. Humor is their number one tool. Instead of having it every once in a while, it is their primary posting form because it gets the most engagement. You have to tune in to what works. There are other industries where humor falls flat. It’s rare, but it happens. You have to find out what your audience wants to see and post that.
Stop Focusing on Numbers Instead of Engagement
It’s awesome to have 1,000 followers but if you have 1,000 followers and 2 likes per post, something is broken. If you’re on Instagram and you have 10,000 followers with 10 likes per post, again, something is broken. The numbers are just a vanity metric for all intents and purposes. Engagement is the key. Focus on the engagement and reach. Yes, you want to have as many followers as possible because it’s easier to convert someone who’s following you already but don’t get so wrapped up in that that you forget your community.
Stop Breaking the Rules with Contests
If you want to run a contest, follow the rules. I hear this all the time. Someone will tell me they want to run a contest and require participants to tag a friend and share the post. You can’t do that on Facebook. You can require they like your page, like the post, and comment. You can suggest they tag and share, but it can’t be a requirement of the contest.
It’s against Facebook policies and procedures and they have the right to reprimand you for it. I hear that this or that other company did it. Well if that company jumped off a bridge…. You get what I mean. I’m uncomfortable doing anything that could cause my client to have their page banned from Facebook. That would be a terrible blow to a company. Yes, some people do it without getting caught but do you really want to run that risk? Just follow the rules.
Stop Referring to Other Platforms with No URL
This one kind of makes me crazy. You’ll see someone posting on Facebook about this great contest on Instagram, but there’s no URL. You have to just go find it. Uh, no. If you are trying to send me to a contest on Instagram you better put the actual URL to the actual contest post on Instagram. You have to make it as easy as possible for people to do it if you actually want people to do it. If you’re going to send them somewhere else, you have to give them a URL. Don’t send them on a scavenger hunt to find your call to action. Put it right there in the caption.
A special note about sending people to a YouTube video: Facebook doesn’t play nice with YouTube because they don’t want you to leave their site. Instead of making a post with your video, make the post a graphic of your thumbnail then share the actual video in the comments so that your users can click through to your video. Just make sure you tell them in the caption that the link is in the comments.
Stop Posting Inconsistently
If the last post on your page is from 2017, it makes you look disconnected or lazy. You don’t want to look like either of those things so post consistently. Consistent doesn’t mean 6 posts per day, 8 days per week. It means to figure out what works for you and do it consistently. If you can only post 3 days per week, that’s awesome. You post 3 days each week on a consistent basis. If you have a team that works with you and you can do 5 days per week, do that. Do what you can handle consistently.
Stop Leaving Your Profile Incomplete
If I go to your About section and I can’t find your website or your phone number, I’m out. It’s super frustrating. It happens more than you’d think. You have all this space where you can talk about yourself, put all your important keywords in there, and make yourself easy to find. You’ve got that big Story section so you can share your whole bio on your Facebook page. You have space to add an amazing cover image or video. Use it! It’s great real estate. Don’t waste it.
Stop Using Negative Speech
This includes complaints, politics, and reviews. There have been rare occasions that I’ve seen companies complaining about their customers on Facebook. Yikes. Don’t do it. If you’re irritated, complain offline. You don’t want to do it in a public forum where potential clients can see it. It’s so tacky. Do not do it.
Especially in today’s climate, people are worn out on negativity so focus on the positive. We love to ask our clients what nonprofits they support because we love to focus on the positive things happening in our communities. Keep it positive on your page and make it a place people want to visit.
That’s all the things you need to stop doing on Facebook right now. Now, go utilize your Facebook page and look like a pro.