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Facebook marketing is an obvious choice for both startups and established businesses trying to reach new customers, build a brand, and drive conversions and sales. It’s easy to get started, but using the social network for more intense marketing campaigns isn’t as simple as it looks.

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Newbie folks make a lot of mistakes with their Facebook campaigns — small errors that can cause frustration, embarrassment, lost sales, and low ROI. Thankfully, most of these issues are easy to correct, once businesses become more informed.

Here’s our list of the top five Facebook marketing mistakes and what to do instead.

1. Not Understanding Your Audience–Brand Fit on Social

Businesses with less experience in social media marketing can have difficulty fitting their brand to the available Facebook audience. The size of Facebook’s billion-strong users can be overwhelming. Getting any traction on the channel requires a strong understanding of the target demographic.

Psychology, behavior, motivations, timing, and more, all play a role in effective targeting on Facebook. Before you start a new campaign, it’s important to spend some time studying this target audience. Get inside their heads, see how they interact with your Facebook page, use Facebook’s built-in page insights features to learn more about your follower demographics.

Think about this before your next Facebook campaign, but don’t stop there. Keep checking your ad and page performance stats. Like with all your marketing efforts, do more of what works, less of what doesn’t.

2. Heavy-Handed Advertising

Buy now! Lifetime warranty! There are a few advertising mediums where aggressive advertising cliches work some of the time. Facebook is not one of them. Beyond alienating a very ad-savvy audience with hard-sell techniques, Facebook’s machine-learning algorithms will kill the visibility on any of your posts or comments that include language of this sort.

Instead, your copy must use savvy language to draw in, entice, and compel this savvy audience to click, convert, and buy. This is a much better approach for most commercial purposes anyway.

This principle also carries over to how you post. Value-adding and entertaining content should take precedence over asking-for-the-sale content. There are a number of posting strategy ratios (5-3-1, 5-5-1, etc.) making the rounds, but the key is to earn the sale, not demand it.  

3. Inattentive Creative Mistakes

You love your creative team for their ability to turn out eye-catching assets that drive clicks, likes, conversions, and sales for your online presence. But social media does not make their job easy.

The picture size for a shared link on Facebook is 1200 by 627 pixels. Yes, 627. 1200 by 600 would make a lot of sense, 1200 by 620 would make some sense, but it’s 1200 by 627. Because, Facebook. And this ratio is different for all other social media visual assets not just on Facebook, but across other platforms as well.

Sure a few distorted or cropped pixels won’t hurt you, but wrongly proportioned headers, profile pics, and shared pics can give off a bad vibe to your audience. Plus, these things never stay the same for long. Expect Facebook or Twitter to change the aspect ratio or scaling rules for creative assets every six months or so. And expect your audience to upgrade to newer higher-resolution-screened devices almost as often. On the upside, your creative department will always have work.

4. The Set-It-and-Forget-It Approach

Social media marketing can be done on autopilot. In fact, you can set your Drupal or WordPress website to automatically post new pages and blog posts to your linked Facebook account. But this set-it-and-forget-it approach isn’t going to do anything good for your business.

Effective Facebook marketing takes a more hands-on approach. You want to do A/B testing. Most advertisers don’t test two or more versions of ads on Facebook — and it shows.

Start with visuals, but try split-testing other elements like headlines, T E X T STYLES, and more. Facebook Page analytics offer up a lot of free raw data, so mine it for insights into what’s working best for your audience.

5. Not Taking Full Advantage of Facebook Marketing Tools

Far too many small businesses detach their Facebook efforts from the rest of their marketing. With the Facebook marketing tools available, this is a sad waste.

Taking full advantage of Facebook’s marketing tools can help you connect with a better audience, boost your ROI, and even save you on ad spend.

One of the best features available at present is Custom Audiences. Through a retargeting pixel widget placed on your site page or app, you can retarget your Facebook ads to visitors. Another custom audience feature lets brands cross-reference their existing email list with Facebook users. Assuming the social media user used the email address for both Facebook and your business, they can be part of highly select ad spend target. Facebook has also introduced a new lookalike audience feature, that lets you expand your audience beyond your matched email addresses to similar Facebook users.

Take advantage of Custom Audiences, Page Insights, and other built-in Facebook tools to get the full benefit of Facebook marketing. Like most things with Facebook, these options get upgraded, sunsetted, and modified fairly often. So keep up to date with these changes to stay on top.

Final Thoughts

The more new Facebook marketers can fix these beginner mistakes, the better their results will be. There is a reason that Facebook is a top platform for advertisers. The key to getting the benefits of this massive audience and the network’s targeting tools depends on using Facebook the right way. With a little work, you’ll be reaching new customers, building your brand, and driving conversions and sales in no time.

Have more questions about Facebook marketing? Call us at 313-338-9515 or email to learn how our full-service digital agency can help.