In an effort to better enhance users’ experiences, Facebook recently announced changes to the news feed to ensure each user gets the content he wants to see, while also discovering new content relevant to his interests.
The former Facebook algorithm, EdgeRank, had three factors: affinity, weight and time decay. These still play a role in news feed visibility, but today’s ranking algorithm is much more complex.
Today’s news feed visibility is based on a post’s relationship to the user and how many comments and likes it has. That visibility will change even further thanks to new features that will help users discover new organic content.
This presents challenges for Facebook marketers. It’s even more vital to become adept at giving your audience what it wants while still focusing on your sales goals.
Now that users are finally receiving some love, they’ll be much more inclined to ignore or delete your stuff. Here are 10 things to stop doing right now to keep your customers and prospects engaged with your page:
1. Asking for a caption on a photo.
This was a tactic three or four years ago, and it worked for a while. Now it’s just annoying.
2. Asking for likes.
I see pages do this a lot, and users are smarter now. They know that whatever they like on Facebook, Facebook will log and store for later use by anyone who pays for the privilege.
Please refrain from begging for likes—it looks desperate. Use Facebook Ads instead. They cost money, but the result is a thousand times better.
3. Sharing yet another picture of a customer delivery.
Please stop the insanity! Where’s your creativity?
It’s OK to share an image like that once in a while, but please say something interesting when you do. Better yet, document the goings on elsewhere in your business. Try for transparency. Communicate how your business works and show employees doing their jobs. People will want to interact more.
4. Posting content that has nothing to do with your brand.
Facebook and all social media marketing requires that you have a clearly defined content strategy. Every time you click send, ask yourself “Would I follow this brand based on this one post?”
A solid content strategy will include these three components:
A. Why people buy from you. It can’t be things like “because we have the lowest price,” or “because we are a family-owned business.” Dive deep and discover why you do what you do.
B. Who your customers are. Find out what their specific interests are, what problems you can solve and what’s unique about your local community.
C. What your goals are. Determine how you will ultimately get leads and sales.
5. Blasting advertisements through your content and cover photo.
We call this interruption marketing. While it’s important to make sure customers hear your message, it’s just as important to deliver it correctly.
Think about it: When you meet someone for the first time, do you start by shouting, “Hi, I sell this!”
These messages will get one of two responses, and they both result in people ignoring you:
1. There’s so much noise that you blend in.
2. The message is so loud and obnoxious, the user actually removes it at first chance.
6. Only posting about your product or service.
If someone likes your page, he knows what you do. It takes finesse to drive leads and sales on Facebook. If fans continually see posts about your product or service, the implication is that you’re pushing spam.
7. Forcing old media thinking onto your page.
We have so many wonderful platforms today that we didn’t have just a few years ago. New media is “new” because it requires a shift from the old mindset of one-way broadcasting.
Your page is a member of each fans’ community, and as such, your mindset should first be to teach-not sell. If you sell something, you make a customer for today. If you help someone, you make a customer for life.
8. Not setting up messaging so your fans can contact you in private.
If you want to invite negative posts on your page, this is a great way to do it. Make sure your page is set up so fans can contact you to work out issues or let you know their opinions.
9. Not responding to fan messages in a timely way.
Once you’ve committed to fan messaging, you have to monitor it and respond accordingly. The new term “social customer service” is getting a lot of airplay recently. Here are some recent statistics to compel your actions:
- Forty-seven percent of social media users have sought customer service via a social channel.
- Seventy-one percent of those who receive positive social media care are likely to recommend your brand to others.
- Only 19 percent of those who don’t get any response are likely to recommend that brand.
10. Having a sad page.
Facebook use is growing rapidly. Your customers and prospects want to interact with your business. Give them an inviting place to go. Create a community on Facebook that mirrors your offline community. When 96 percent of buyers are online, there’s no good reason to represent yourself with a sad page.
Kathi Kruse is an automotive social media expert, blogger, author, speaker and founder of Kruse Control. A version of this article originally appeared on the Kruse Control blog.