Often times, the best way to teach someone how to do things right is to point out everything they’re doing wrong. This is especially the case when it comes to Facebook marketing strategy. Don’t take it personally. We wouldn’t be writing about what you’re doing wrong if you were the only one.

Here are four things that an overwhelming number of people are doing wrong on Facebook and what everyone should be doing instead:

Facebook Marketing Strategy Fail #1: Like Gating

What You’re Doing: Requiring people to “like” your page before they can view your page. You read that right. You can no longer “like-gate” your business page. That means that you can’t require people to “like” your page or opt in with their information before they can see it. This isn’t just a suggestion to beat the algorithm — it’s Facebook policy.

What You Should Be Doing: Facebook advertising, which is now an essential aspect of successfully marketing yourself on Facebook. You can create campaigns to increase likes, engagement and send traffic to your website, targeting exactly the audience you’d like to reach. We completely understand that the cost of social media marketing can be high enough as it is, but if you’re not willing to invest a few hundred dollars a month in new clients or customers, you probably have bigger issues that you need to face.

Facebook Marketing Strategy Fail #2: “Like-Bait” Posts

What You’re Doing: Telling people to “like” and “share” your posts. This used to be a great way to increase interaction, but people and pages have started to use and abuse it and now, Facebook will actually bury these types of posts. Of course you still want your fans to “like” and “share” your content, but this is not the right way to go about it.

What You Should Be Doing: You should still being using calls to action in your social media posts, but instead of telling people what to do, engage them by asking them what they think. Not only does this give you an opportunity to get valuable feedback about your product or services, but posts with more comments actually tend to get more impressions in the latest Facebook algorithm. Your goal should always be to start a conversation, rather than to get people to click a button.

"Your CTA should be engaging your audience, not telling them what to do. Feedback is key!" - The Content Factory

Facebook Marketing Strategy Fail #3: Using Hashtags

What You’re Doing: Once upon a time, Facebook experimented with hashtags, taking after Twitter and a number of other social networks. When it didn’t quite catch on, Facebook actually started to bury posts that use them. Yes, we know your cousin probably uses #throwbackthursday and #icebucketchallenge like they’re going out of style, but here’s the thing — on Facebook, they already have. Using hashtags will make your business page look outdated and desperate.

What You Should Be Doing: Paying attention to trending topics and tagging other pages when it’s relevant to. This will make sure your posts are put in front of people who truly want to engage with your brand. There’s no trickery involved in this one. If people are talking about a topic that’s related to your industry or even relatable to your industry, you should be joining in the discussion as well.

Facebook Marketing Strategy #4: Using The Wrong Image Sizes

What You’re Doing: Sure, it may look fine in the preview, but how are your images showing up to your audience? Posting images that aren’t the right size makes your brand look sloppy and unprofessional. The next time you post on social media, check what you just posted on a different device than the one you used to post it. It probably doesn’t look the same. People access your page from tablets, smart phones and laptops and they’re all using different brands, operating systems and browsers.

What You Should Be Doing: Check out what the latest sizes requirements are and consistently adhere to them. Unfortunately, Facebook tends to make updates to their interface without much notice, so you should constantly be on the lookout for changes. Here is the latest social media image size cheat sheet as of the day this post was published, courtesy of Digital Trends.

"Keep up to date with latest image size requirements, and check posts from various tools/browsers." - The Content Factory

So where do we get all of these up-to-date, relevant nuggets of wisdom? We read. A lot. Our favorite newsletters to subscribe to for Facebook marketing strategy advice are MediaBistro and Jon Loomer Digital, and if you want more info we strongly recommend you check them out. Both sites both do a fantastic job of noticing Facebook trends before they’re officially announced. Of course, you can always contact us for consulting guidance or to find out more about our social media strategy services.

Have questions about the latest changes on Facebook? Leave a comment below.

Know of a small business owner who can benefit from this info? Share it with them, and if you @ContentFac on Twitter or tag us on Facebook we’ll be sure to interact with you.

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By Kari DePhillips

  1. I don't believe that these are "fails" in doing Facebook marketing. At present, a lot from the younger generation are very active in terms of posting and scanning their newsfeeds on Facebook. These people are not that updated  when it comes to such strategies but does what their friends do, or what is hip among their friends. So, I think, these strategies still work. We just have to adjust according to what this generation is into.

    1. One could argue that doing some of these things aren't bad from a marketing perspective, but they will negatively impact the number of impressions your posts get on Facebook. Of course, you should always judge by what your audience responds to. You know them best.

  2. I implement and use hashtags on Facebook, mainly for my B2B FB pages. Certain industries pages and their hashtags  (#beach #plumbing, #painter #art) provide a wealth of curateable posts!  Just wanted to point it out. Also, within my own indsustry, I dose them on my own posts when I offer tips (#twittertip #FBtip #GoogleTip) because I know that these hashtags are searchable and my target audience includes those 'clueless' business owners wo are looking for valuable tips. 

    Never say never and I sure wouldn't call myself desperate or outdated. (no offense taken)

    1. You should do some A/B testing – one week with the hashtags and one week without them. I think you'll be surprised how many more impressions your posts start getting. There's always something new about Facebook so don't feel outdated!

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