When you ask this question online, you’re bound to have a wide variety of answers. You’ll see some people talking about how you don’t use the Facebook page, so of course it’s not going to be popular. Other people will discuss how you’re not posting enough images. Still others will bring up your seeming inability to use a content calendar, as if it’s some kind of personal failing that you aren’t using their own pet software.
This article assumes that you’re at least posting content frequently, you’re attempting to use ads and you’re studying your analytics properly. You have a Facebook page, you have it established and relatively active, and you’re trying to experiment with ads but you’re not having much luck. That’s what many people have to work with, and that’s how we’re going to proceed.
1. You’re Boosting Posts Poorly
The Facebook Boost Post button is a trap. It seems like a quick and easy way to submit your message to thousands or millions of people, effortlessly, with a quick infusion of cash. Doesn’t it sound too good to be true? Like all things online, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
The Boost Post button essentially creates an incredibly basic ad campaign with all of the targeting options pre-set so you don’t have to know what you’re doing or do it properly. It estimates a high exposure, which you’ll never get. It takes money from you at a higher rate than actual targeted ads would, and when it reports to you how little reach you got for the money, it asks for more money to try to get to its original estimate. In some cases, it can require 5-10x the cash investment to reach that goal; in some cases it’s entirely impossible.
Instead of boosting posts, what you should be doing is learning how to set up an ad campaign on your own. In particular, you’re going to want to dig into the wide and wonderful world of Facebook ad targeting. There are hundreds of options and sub-options to use, and Boosting a post only gives you half a dozen of those.
Not to mention the other limitations of the Boost Post feature, like its limit of only one at a time, the fact that it’s entirely based on reach rather than a concrete objective, and the fact that it’s just plain more expensive.
2. You’re Ignoring Customer Service
For many people, Facebook is one of the most accessible, personal ways to contact a business. Users will frequently experience problems with their purchases, and their first reaction is typically to post about it on Facebook.
Some users will, rather than post on their own walls about their issues, post on yours or message you in an attempt to get your attention. This opens up a line of communication that the user expects will be used quickly. They don’t take into account the number of messages you might get in a day; they just want their response.
Rather than ignore or send these people away, you should consider the problem they face and how to respond to it. You have a few options.
- If the problem is known, and it affects a small percentage of users, and you have a solution, you can link them to a page discussing the solution.
- If the problem is known, it affects a small percentage of users and you have no solution, you can acknowledge that you’re aware of it and look into a fix.
- If the problem is known and affects a larger percentage of users, you should post about it on your wall and link to the post in individual messages. This goes for both problems with and without solutions.
- If the problem was previously unknown, thank the user for reporting it, investigate it for a solution and keep them up to date.
In general, Twitter is a better platform for immediate customer service than Facebook, but Facebook is still valuable, and the engagement that comes from this interaction can turn an on-the-fence user into a lifetime brand advocate.
3. You’re Funneling Too Many People Away
Common advice is to fill out your content calendar with curated posts, rather than flooding everyone with nothing but your own content. This is a good idea, because it adds value to your page that you didn’t have to create. Users will come to your page because they know it’s a one-stop-shop for everything related to the industry. If they can rely on you to provide the best, most accurate information from a variety of sources, they’ll do so.
The problem is when curated content fills out so much of your content calendar that you don’t have space for your own messages. Try to emphasize a fixed plan for your content. One such plan would be a weekly 10-5-2 rule. In a seven-day span, post 10 items that are curated from industry sources, post 5 items that are from your blog but aren’t direct, high-pressure sales, and post 2 items that are more direct, intense sales messages. Adjust this scheme depending on how many times each week you want to post, how active your industry is and how much users want to see.
4. You Never Respond
This is the #1 fault with automated social media posting. When you have a robot posting your content for you, what do you do when someone leaves a comment asking a question? Chances are, you never notice the comment, and thus you never respond.
Facebook is social media, and despite that phrase’s buzzword status, that still means something. Specifically, it means you need to be social. When you post content, stick around to monitor the comments. Better yet, set up an automated post scheduler AND an alerter for when comments are posted. That way, you can gain all of the benefits of automatic posting, while still maintaining an active presence in your comments.
Of course, this means you have to actually respond to comments. So, do that.
5. Your Multimedia is Absent
When you’re posting, are you paying attention to the types of media you’re posting? You need to strike the right balance between post types. In general, posts fall into three categories; text, images, and video.
Text posts are the most basic, and I’m lumping links into this section. This will be where the majority of your posts come from.
Image posts should be used frequently, because you can couple them with links in descriptions, and you can use the images in a variety of ways.
Video is important, but you need to use it sparingly. Treat video posts like a secret weapon you pull out at most once per week.
Of course, you should be testing each of these to see how they perform with your particular audience. The balance you find won’t necessarily be the same balance other pages use.