Facebook

10 mistakes to avoid when marketing on Facebook

Published by Colm Hanratty on Feb 21, 2017

We all know by now that Facebook is a powerful tool when it comes to marketing your tours and activities. It’s great for driving engagement and it’s effective when it comes to running contests. If you’ve already dabbled in Facebook advertising you’ll know how powerful its targeting is.
 
They’re just some of the many things you can do right on the world’s number one social network, but there are lots of things that you can get wrong too. Here are 10 of those mistakes you want to avoid…
 

1. Posting at the wrong time

 
Did you know Facebook tells you what’s the best time to share content? The problem is that many businesses either don’t know this information or they don’t adhere to it! Chances are high that the best time to post is after 8pm local time. It might also be 2pm or even in the morning. But there’s only way to find out – by checking your Insights. 
 
How can I avoid making this mistake?
 
Log on to your Facebook business page and click on 'Insights' at the top. From the menu on the left of the page, click on 'Posts'. This will bring you to a page that has three options – the section it lands on by default is ‘When Your Fans Are Online’. Take a look, then schedule/share future posts in accordance to what Insights advises.
 
FB posts
 

2. Typos and grammar errors

 
I have a theory about social media marketing and why many businesses make mistakes when engaging in it – it’s because it’s just too easy. Anybody with access to a smartphone can share content to their audience at the drop of a hat in an environment that’s, a lot of the time, very informal. As a result, mistakes are commonly made when it comes to the content shared.
 
How can I avoid making this mistake?
 
Rather than share your posts on Facebook in real-time, schedule them. After that, appoint another member of the team to proof them before they’re shared. Fresh eyes on the posts you’ve written are more prone to see any errors.
 

3. Not responding to audience demographics and engagement

 
Facebook Insights will give you a breakdown of your audience in terms of gender and age. It will also let you know what type of content people engage with the most. The issue is, many businesses don’t look at these statistics and respond accordingly.
 
How can I avoid making this mistake?
 
If your audience has an 80%-20% female-male split, the content you share should reflect this. Similarly, if you see that video is the type of content that gains the most organic reach, you need to take advantage of that too.
 
To see a breakdown of your audience, once you’re in Facebook Insights, click on ‘People’ to be brought to a page like this:
 
Facebook Insights
 
Then to see what type of content people engage with the most, click on ‘Posts’, then on ‘Post Types’. Facebook not only tells you what type of content is best to share, it will also give you a breakdown. You'll be able to see which of your most recent posts performed the best.
 
Post types
 

4. Posting too much / not posting consistently

 
Over and over again I come across businesses that share inconsistently on Facebook. They'll post maybe three times at the beginning of a month and then not again until the end of it.
 
Other times I encounter pages that share five times in the one day! Both are mistakes you shouldn’t be making.
 
How can I avoid making this mistake?
 
calendar
 
Create a content calendar and stick to it. This could be one using an online tool such as Trello or Hootsuite (which will also schedule the content for you). It could also be created by using a simple layout in Excel or Numbers.
 

5. Only sharing content about your tour or activity

 
Do you know anybody who only talks about themselves? I mean only themselves? What do you think of that person? You’re probably not their biggest fan, right? Well, the same is true on Facebook Don’t be that person there!
 
How can I avoid making this mistake?
 
If your tour or activity is based in San Francisco, that means there is a lot of online content about the city you could share. It could be a stunning photo or a list of bars in a particular neighbourhood. Share at least one piece of third-party content every week. (Obviously, it shouldn't be something from a competitor). In doing this, your page will likely generate more engagement. This will help your own native content in beating Facebook’s algorithm.
 

6. Only posting photos (and not utilising video!)

film

 
Strong imagery drives good engagement. We can see that many tours and activities know this, based on the content they share on Facebook. But there are a lot of other types of content you should be sharing.
 
How can I avoid making this mistake?
 
Hopefully you’ll take my advice and create an aforementioned content calendar. Once you do that, look at sharing videos, experimenting with Facebook Live, or sharing a question that will drive engagement. Then check Facebook Insights to see what’s worked and what hasn’t.
 

7. Not responding to customer queries

 
Facebook isn’t only a tool for marketing – many people use it for customer service too. The problem is, many tour and activity operators don’t respond to queries, giving a bad impression of their businesses.
 
How can I avoid making this mistake?
 
Every day on Facebook check three places:
  • The wall for public posts
  • PMs for private messages
  • Reviews for some feedback which could be positive or negative
 
Then make sure to act on any customer queries as quick as possible.
 

8. Ignoring negative comments / feedback

 
If somebody approached you at the end of your tour/activity and made a complaint, would you ignore them? Probably not. Then why do it on Facebook? The problem is, so many people are!
 
How can I avoid making this mistake?
 
Nobody likes highlighting anything that’s wrong with their business. Responding to negative feedback on Facebook can do that, particularly if the comment is via a public post. But ignoring somebody is far worse than that.
 
If somebody complains on Facebook about the experience they’ve had with your company, respond with something generic like:
 
Hi, thanks for the message as we welcome all feedback whether positive or negative. We are taking your comments on board and are sending them on to the relevant people on the team.
Thanks, [name of tour/activity] Team
 
This way you’ll be responding without actually highlighting the issue.
 

9. Not using Facebook advertising

Facebook Ads

Facebook is great for engagement, but it’s just as good for advertising. This is due to its extremely robust targeting and its cost effectiveness. Still, more and more businesses focus only on using Facebook for engagement but not for commercial purposes too.
 
How can I avoid making this mistake?
 
Experiment with Facebook advertising by creating a small campaign. Make sure you’ve made your objective clear. Whether it's video views, conversions, or traffic, create a campaign. After that, monitor the results.
 

10. Sharing screenshots of 5 star reviews

 
I know how tempting it is to let the world know you’ve just got a 5 star review on Facebook or TripAdvisor. But sharing it doesn’t generate any engagement. You'll just be positioning your company as somebody who brags. And nobody likes people who brag!
 
How can I avoid making this mistake?
 
Don’t share your 5 star reviews – it’s as simple as that! Instead, engage with the people that left the reviews. Whether it’s on Facebook or TripAdvisor, thank them for their reviews and leave it at that.
 
Need help with your advertising efforts on Facebook? Download the checklist.
Facebook advertising checklist
 
Colm Hanratty

Published by Colm Hanratty

Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.

Topics: Marketing tips

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