In the words of the head of the digital creation agency bigNow, Jarūnė Narkevičiūtė, the role of social networks in the process of purchasing an item is growing by the day. Thus, the expert encourages brands to focus on their most common mistakes regarding Facebook, and advises to monitor consumer habits in order for the social network to be utilised purposefully and more importantly – so that it would not harm the business.
1. Lack of Goals
Meticulously planned strategic actions and specifically formulated goals are a must while aiming to create and maintain a good brand image on Facebook, says Narkevičiūtė.
"Without a clear strategy, all the work put into the brand on social media can go to waste. A coherent and well-thought-out strategy ensures that the effort being put forth will pay off and produce desirable results. Suitable channels, information at the right time and place, trending topics, and more cohesive, engaging content that creates value for the user, will determine the success of your brand. Moreover, do not be afraid to invest more into bold ideas, and that does not necessarily mean money, but time, energy, and imagination as well," said Narkevičiūtė.
2. Passive Administration
According to Narkevičiūtė, business enterprises will only be able to make their presence on Facebook meaningful, by actively taking care of the administration of their account. Things like user comments that are not replied to, excessive delay when answering to queries, ignoring bad reviews, and having out-of-date information will not go unnoticed.
"Make sure that the "About" section of your Facebook account contains the newest information about your brand. Companies mostly fill that out in the beginning, when they sign up, and then forget it after a while. Practice shows that new clients, upon coming to the brand's Facebook page, frequently check how the brand presents itself, so the out-of-date information may mislead them – the users may misunderstand the company's activity or the services it offers. Also, do not forget that communication on social networks must be two-way – it is not only a platform that represents you, but also a channel for communicating with your clients," stressed Narkevičiūtė.
3. Inadequate Posting Frequency
It is also very important for enterprises to set goals they would be aiming for and to create a plan of action in order not to waste its resources and make sure quality content does not get lost in the information noise. Nevertheless, according to the director of bigNow, the main mistake a company makes upon starting its communication on Facebook, is the wrong choice on how frequently they post.
"Communication specialists can help companies calculate how much of their target audience does Facebook have, how much of it can be reached through advertising, how frequently, etc. It is recommended to have all that done before you start the communication, because then you will be able to figure out the optimal number of shares, plan your posts and invest into the quality of your content. Remember: posts that are too frequent and do not match the needs of your audience will not only fail to attract attention, but will also lead to dissatisfaction among consumers," Narkevičiūtė elaborated.
Another common mistake in regards to posting, according to her, is the absence of a target audience.
"There are still companies who believe that every person is a potential client. If you create an ad campaign aimed at everyone – you will have the interest of none. However, if you truly have offers that can be directed towards a wider audience – divide them into separate groups and publish them not as posts, but as advertisements. This will make them visible only to the users that would have an interest in that particular offer," advised Narkevičiūtė.
4. Quantity Wins Over Quality
The criteria of social media users grow with each passing year, leading to them increasingly often checking the list of pages they follow, their advertising options, and finding the time to remove subscriptions and advertisements that are no longer to their liking.
"You will maintain the attention of your followers by focusing on quality. A torrent of hastily compiled posts or designed visuals will never match a single top-notch video. The users follow that which stands out, piques their interest, intrigues, and kindles their imagination. That makes interesting and fun visuals and videos that induce positive emotions, the winners. The audience is also attracted by useful content and that usefulness might come from the discounts, as well as the knowledge, which the brand provides," the interviewee told us.
5. Calm After the Storm
The publicity provided by social networks consequently means one has to oblige to some basic rules concerning public space. If the brand experiences a crisis, it is absolutely indispensable for it to talk about that on their social media account.
"On social networks your actions are visible to an especially wide public audience, so you will not be able to hide your troubles by deleting comments or blocking users who have voiced their dissatisfaction. Be open about it. Admit having made a mistake. If you avoid commenting or wall yourself off with silence, the clients will perceive it as an indicator of untrustworthiness. A well-handled crisis will damage the image of the brand significantly less, compared to total silence. And sometimes that might actually help by contributing to the brand's image as being open and transparent. By hiding from a crisis that befell you on social networks, you will lose followers, as well as actual clients," states Narkevičiūtė.
6. Mindless Advertising
Even though our interviewee admitted this particular mistake is less common, it also has the direst consequences. For example, discriminatory or politically incorrect advertising on social networks could potentially damage the brand for years to come.
"Opinion leaders will be quick to notice the inappropriate tone of the message and that will lead to it spreading much further than you have originally planned. Do not fool yourself, the saying "any publicity is good publicity" does not work in this case. By mocking a topic that is currently sensitive to the society, you will harm your reputation; lose some of your followers, and eventually – clients. Thus, when creating advertisements – shocking ones, as well as simple ones – always keep in mind the environment, as it will determine how the ad will be taken by people for whom it was intended," says Narkevičiūtė.
7. Investments and Client Redirecting that do not Pay Off
Another common mistake – imprudent investments into advertising or lack thereof.
"Brands often think that their advertising will reach social media users organically, but that is not how it happens. You should rationally invest into it. For example, if you spend 500 euros producing a video and only 50 euros advertising it on social networks, do you think that will be effective? In that situation, it makes no sense to waste your resources on producing a video, as it will not reach its audience due to planned small advertisement investments," Narkevičiūtė explained.
According to the director of bigNow, brands are also unable to interpret the statistical data Facebook provides. That data helps evaluate the reality of the situation and understand which content the audience has liked the most and what ended up being ignored.
"If you want your brand to remain interesting long-term, I recommend analysing the statistics and checking whether or not you have achieved the goals you have raised. That can also be achieved by purposefully communicating to the users that visit your Facebook account and leave comments. One of the biggest mistakes brands make is redirecting their clients to a different communication channel. If the person came to your Facebook account, that means this is the most convenient medium for them to get some information or a consultation," says Narkevičiūtė.