A state of disarray so chaotic that it’s dizzying to look at. A mess that is beyond the normal range of disarray. Visual clutter that draws attention to itself. It may sound like I am describing Lindsay Lohan heading into court on a Monday morning. But no, I am describing a Facebook business page lacking a strategy without consistent engagement but has potential to become super-hot. Could this be your business’s page?
Facebook boasts the largest user base of any social network, so if your business doesn’t have a solid Facebook presence, you’re simply missing lead generation opportunities. There are plenty of ways to sabotage your success when it comes to creating Facebook content, and we’ve all been guilty of them at one point in time. Here are seven reasons your Facebook page might be viewed by your fans as a social media hot mess.
1) You’re not using enough visuals.
Facebook’s new timeline, which began rolling out in March, is designed to support big, bold visuals. According to a recent study by Fast Company, 44 percent of social media users are most likely to engage with companies that post visual content: graphics, photographs, videos, and infographics. If you’re not using visuals liberally, you’re ignoring your audience’s needs and inviting them to go elsewhere to find compelling visual content.
Go BIG. Go bold. Quote famous individuals. Share videos. Use your company colors, and play with font shapes and sizes to optimize for both desktop and mobile.
2) You’re not using your real estate wisely.
Do you know that Facebook recently lifted the ban on using calls-to-action on cover photos? (Here’s an explanation of the change.) The cover photo is front and center on your page, and it also shows up in the feed when someone “likes” you, so you should absolutely be rotating relevant marketing graphics in that spot.
Additionally, take full advantage of customizing Facebook tabs to point to graphically-appealing landing pages that bolster lead generation efforts. Let’s say that you just produced a new piece of content — an eBook or a guide, for example — and have created a cover image specifically to promote this content using words and colorful graphics. Your new content will get more “airtime” with a customized tab, and your image will always have a home in your photo album. The most recent post area will provide yet another visual that points directly to your content’s customized landing page.
3) You are not tying your posts to offers.
Once your hot mess begins to take shape you might be killing it with great content, but if you’re not leveraging that content to lead viewers back to a landing page or website, your efforts are wasted. (Don’t listen to the crazies who preach that Facebook is only for branding, heading this advice will only leave you missing opportunities)
You can increase your customer affinity by gaining their trust with good content. The best way to do this is to use both organic and paid posts to direct your audience to customized landing pages within Facebook. (Facebook rewards your marketing efforts with better reach for your campaigns if you keep your landing pages within Facebook, instead of sending users to your website.) On landing pages, you can provide a timely, relevant webinar registration offer or an ebook in return for contact information, for example. By giving away content that users value, you get something even more valuable in return: recipient info that bolsters your marketing automation efforts.
4) You don’t have an editorial calendar.
I know it’s a cliché, but content IS still king on Facebook, so you need a strategic plan that works in tandem with a controlled publishing cadence. In other words, you need an editorial calendar. Not only do we have a Facebook editorial calendar, but we plan our publishing line-up with all devices and platforms in mind, which gives us the greatest reach and keeps all of our content integrated and on point.
5) You are not paying to upgrade your reach.
Those thumbnail ads that run on the right side of Facebook don’t work, but here’s what does: paying to promote your own good content. To make a substantial impact with your Facebook content — and break through to the coveted “friends of friends” pool — use strategic, targeted Facebook ad techniques, such as Sponsored Stories, Like Sponsored Stories, and targeted newsfeed ads designed for both desktop and mobile devices. Want to take it a step further? Try using custom audience targeting by uploading your email database into Facebook’s Power Editor.
6) You are not experimenting.
Social media is all about prudent trial and error, and Facebook is no exception. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your ad tactics and content. Determine the types of content your target audience engages with, and then produce more of it.
You might be surprised at the success of non-traditional content experiments, so it’s always worth entertaining new ideas. Marketo recently created the Big Marketing Activity Coloring Book, and offered it to our audience in exchange for email addresses. Think a coloring book is an unsuitable freebie to offer adult marketing leaders? Would you change your mind if I told you we’ve had over 7K views in just 4 days? Facebook is the perfect place to experiment with whimsy in your marketing.
7) You are not having fun.
Your customers and prospects are not on social media to be pitched to 24/7. Instead, entertain them, tell them a story, give them something to share, and help them along the way. Then, when it comes time for them to purchase, your company will likely be top of mind, because you’ve put in the work.
Use these lessons effectively, and you’ll dramatically ramp up your Facebook presence. More than the numbers, your Facebook page will become a go-to hub for your customers, fans, and the general B2B public to find your content— a symbiotic setup, of course, because you get their brand awareness in return. And remember, a hot mess might be fun to look at on the pages of TMZ, but it’s not the way that you want anyone of your customers or prospects referring to your companies Facebook page.