Social media marketing has become essential to business. That’s why companies are creating all kinds of Facebook posts and tweets and sharing tons of social content.
But many social media posts are ineffective and unprofitable. They don’t get results.
What kind of results? As a business owner you probably want:
1. Brand awareness
2. Likes, comments and shares
3. Leads and interest in your products and services
4. New customers, more revenue and bigger profits
Those are the four big categories of social media results.
And you don’t have to settle for just awareness or even just traffic to your webpages. It’s okay to go for leads and sales with social media.
In fact, because we know social media can produce sales, I believe you should expect revenue from your social media campaigns. Make it your goal.
But not everyone succeeds at social media sales. Not all social media strategies work.
Sure, it’s great to get excited about the new opportunities, but if you don’t want to end up wasting a bunch of time and hard-earned money, you need to follow social media best practices, and avoid some of the common mistakes people make that keep them from getting social media profits.
Here are the 5 most common social media posting mistakes that lead to little or no results:
1. Posting on sites without ad platforms
2. Posting in a selfish way
3. Posting without advertising
4. Boosting Facebook posts
5. Posting without emotion
Here are more details on the five mistakes and how to avoid them:
Social Posting Mistake #1: Posting on Social Sites That Don’t Have Advertising
If you can’t advertise and promote your posts, you can’t be sure of:
How many people they’ll reach, or
If your posts will be seen by the right people.
Marketing success requires specific targeting. You must reach people who have a good chance of becoming customers. Not everyone is a good prospect for you. You need to know who a good customer is for you and who isn’t. And you need to be able to target and reach those people on demand. Advertising makes that kind of specific targeting and exposure possible.
Without ads, it’s a game of chance- and I don’t think you want your business to be a game of chance, do you?
You also need to reach a lot of people to succeed with online marketing. For example, it’s considered a success to get
20% to become a lead on your website, or
20% to buy on your Amazon product page, or
2% to buy on your shopify website…
…but in each of those cases, you need:
5 people to get one lead,
5 people to get one amazon sale, and
50 people to get 1 shopify sale.
That’s how many people you need to click and go to the website… but only about 1-2% of people who see posts actually click on the link in the post, so you need 50-100x as many people to see your social posts as you want clicks.
That means you need up to…
500 people to see your post if you want one lead,
500 to see your post if you want one amazon sale and
5,000 people to see your post if you want a shopify sale.
See why do you need ads? To reach a lot of people– because without ads, you may not reach enough people to get leads or sales.
Sometimes it’s smarter to send people from ads directly to websites, bypassing the fan marketing approach- because you lose people in each step of the marketing funnel, and the fan thing is just an extra step.
This mistake is why I ignored Instagram and Pinterest for a long time… they didn’t have a way to scale (ads).
Yes, sometimes you can create a great post that gets a lot of interest and viral activity, but not all the time. It’s impossible to be that clever every day. You can’t rely on it. That’s a game of chance again.
Don’t leave your business to chance. Use social sites that have advertising.
Social Posting Mistake #2: Posting in a Selfish Way
The way to succeed in marketing is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
What do they want?
What do they care about?
What are their problems?
What are their fears and worries?
What are their needs?
When you answer those questions and market based on them, you will succeed in business.
But often when people first start marketing for their own companies, they only think about their business from their own perspective. They’re stuck in their own shoes, and it’s really hard for them to think from their customer’s perspective.
Narcissistic Stuff: Things only the employees or executives care about
“Here are some pictures of our team- we went bowling on Friday!”
Offensive Stuff: Things that are insensitive
E.g. politics, swear words, or edgy humor
Obscure Stuff: Things interesting to a minority of their prospect base
E.g. the band Rush, stuff about zombies, steampunk… yep all of those things are cool, but only to smaller groups of people.
When you do the above, you may get negative comments, post hiding, unliking of the page, or just get ignored. Your engagement rate will be below 1.0%.
It’s very similar to all human relationships or to marriage- you will never succeed if you only think about what you want and need. When you are curious about other people’s wants and needs and you ask them about them and try to fulfill them, you will succeed in relationships- and you will succeed in business the same way.
So what are your customers’
If you can discover the three things above, you can reflect them in your social posts.
You cheer-lead for your customers’ likes, values and dreams, and they will click like, share and retweet those posts.
Your engagement rate will be 3.0% or higher. We’ve seen it go as high as 16%.
How do you find out what their likes, values and dreams are?
Talk to your customers in-person, on the phone or via email
Survey them with surveymonkey.com
Use the free Facebook Audience Insights tool (within Facebook Ad Manager) to find their likes, personas, income, etc.
Try different post ideas and see what gets high engagement rates
Try different ad ideas and see what gets high clickthrough rates
Every customer audience is different, so you have to learn from them over time.
What they DON’T respond to is just as important as what they DO respond to. Keep a list of both. Do more of what they like and less of what they don’t. If you don’t keep the list, you will forget, or remember selectively. Trust me–it’s hard to stay focused on others accurately, so you need to write it down.
If you want posts that get 10-16% engagement rate, download my free bonus, The SuperPost Swipe File?. It teaches you how to adapt those posts for your own audience. And after you’ve done that, you will probably have some ideas for your own original posts that will be much more engaging than what you’ve done in the past.
Social Posting Mistake #3: Posting Without Advertising
As discussed earlier, posting by itself may not reach enough people, and may not reach the right people!
Advertise to promote your posts–both to your fans and to non-fans. Some of the people who aren’t fans and like your posts will also like the page, and these fans are highly qualified, because they already liked some of your content.
Social Posting Mistake #4: Boosting Posts & Expecting Traffic or Conversions
Boosting is only one way to advertise posts, and it creates only one of the 10 types of Facebook ads.
To create the other nine, you need to use the Facebook Ad Manager or Power Editor.
Boosting creates a post promotion ad, which will get you a lot of likes, comments and shares on your post, but not much more. You won’t get many (if any) link clicks or website visits from a boosted post.
This is because each Facebook ad type achieves its one objective very well–whether that’s getting post interaction or website traffic or video views–Facebook optimizes the ads visibility to be seen by people most likely to perform that action based on their past Facebook behavior.
So if you really want traffic or leads or sales, go to the Ad Manager and create a website traffic or conversion ad, and it can look just like one of your typical newsfeed posts, but it will actually achieve your traffic and sales objectives.
Social Posting Mistake #5: Posting Without Emotion
This is a mistake people who spend a lot of time in business-to-business, intellectual professions or academia are more likely to make. When you rely entirely on logic, you don’t evoke an emotional response in prospects, and it’s harder to get results.
If you didn’t notice, Facebook is all about liking, which is a matter of personal preference. Personality, identity and emotion are essential to Facebook success.
As much as some of us want to believe we are completely logical people, humans are irrational emotional creatures who often rationalize illogical decisions. We love people and sports teams and foods for ridiculous reasons- or no reason at all. We are insatiably hungry for stories and jokes and entertainment. We base most of our major life decisions on love or on people we love.
So when you exclude emotion from your marketing, you cut yourself off at the knees. If you market intellectually and your competitor markets emotionally, you’re bringing a knife to a gun fight and you’ll lose.
I always use this illustration in my keynote speeches: “Guys, let’s say you’re in an argument with your wife or girlfriend and you have all the logic in the world on your side. You’re right. But she’s crying. Who wins? She does. You can’t outsmart emotion.”
So you want babies and puppies and cuteness and love and sunsets and sympathy in your Facebook posts.
That’s what sells.
Now What? Five Facebook Posting Tips Based on the Five Mistakes…
Those are the five mistakes–and if you read this far, you know that what you need to do is:
1. Post on Facebook because it has advertising
2. Use Facebook Audience Insights and the SuperPost Swipe File to get to know your audience and engage them more
3. Advertise to promote your posts
4. Use the Facebook Ad Manager to create traffic and conversion ads, if you want website traffic, leads and sales
5. Create posts that evoke emotions!
If you do all that, you’ll beat about 95% of your competitors, who are all busy right now making these mistakes because they aren’t as smart as you are… you’re smart enough to know you need some guidance from experts–so take my advice, and rock on–all the way to social media profits!
Yes, that was extremely cheesy, but it’s okay- cheesiness produces emotion.
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.