With close to 2 billion people on Facebook, every company knows it must have a presence on this important platform and, what’s more that its presence has to be effective in promoting relationships and trust with viewers. To do that right, there are some dos and don’ts: Companies must stop focusing on what they want to promote and instead focus on relevance to their target audiences. Companies cannot offend or upset audiences – offended and angry people share their feelings with their communities. And, at least with millennials, who comprise over $2 billion in annual e-commerce sales and who rely on advice from online friends regarding purchases, establishing great positive connections is critical. A Facebook presence that enhances relationships with a brand results in more business. And it’s still one of the most important venues for marketing. Make a mistake, however, and you will be a long time repairing your brand. And now that Facebook is about to launch a “Dislike” button, it is even more important that companies post wisely. Here are 5 goofs you want to avoid above all else with Facebook Marketing:- #1. Promoting Products/Sales Rather Than Value and Relationships When companies push their products above all else, readers are turned away. There is nothing of real value to be shared here. If companies would study the metrics carefully, they will see that businesses which are being spread all over by followers are those that have other purposes for their Facebook posts – inspiration, humor, entertainment, and brand connection. Certain companies do this amazingly well. ModCloth: Of course, ModCloth is in business to sell clothing. However, it chooses to use its Facebook presence featuring customer photos wearing its clothing, contests to name new item acquisitions, and polls to say yea or nay to an item of clothing it is considering offering. In a few short years, ModCloth sales have skyrocketed. Jack Daniels: what this company want is customer engagement, in order to keep its brand front and center. It sponsors contests for followers to enter their weirdest bar stories or strangest bars all over the world. Toms Shoes: the focus of this company’s Facebook presence is its charitable causes – free shoes for needs kids; donations for wells for clean drinking water; eye care for those who cannot afford it. Here is a post during the holiday season: Notice – there are no deals or discounts being offered – just relationships, entertainment and inspiration. In fact, only about 20% of the posts from these companies promote a product or a special sale or discount. #2. You Consider “Likes” a Sign of success Of course, “likes” are great. The more likes you get, the more you know that people are actually reading your posts – that’s traffic of a sort. But what you need more than “likes” are “shares.” The “shares” mean that readers have actually send you on to their communities who in turn send you on to their communities. They become free promoters of your brand. If these “shares” occur often, the ROI is this: when someone needs or wants what you sell, your brand will be the first to come to mind. You are far better served with a “joke of the day” or something inspirational. Think about it. When you are personally on your Facebook page, what do you share? You share jokes, memes, quizzes, inspirational stories, and such. Do you ever share a business post that is selling its product or service, or, if they have managed to get on your wall, do you click the “hide” button? Your customers behave just as you do, so give them what they will want to share. Reese’s (a division of Hershey) does a pretty good job of providing posts that will be shared. It follows through the year with holidays and events (including such things as Super Bowl), by posting recipes that use its peanut butter cups. Here’s one from Christmas, 2015. And this was only one of many recipes posted throughout the month of December by this company. Such posts always get shared. They also have funny videos and lots of conversation going on. And this brings this post to the next mistake. #3. You Do Not Respond to Conversations/Comments You know you need to do this on your blog when conversations and/or questions come up at the end of your posts. Many companies, however, forget that their audiences on Facebook are engaged in conversations even more than they are on blogs. It’s absolutely critical that you continue to check your page every time you publish a new post. There will be comments, positive and negative, requests, and questions. You must respond quickly and in a way that satisfies the commenter. Again, Reese’s does a great job of this. They have employees that spend their time providing responses, and this keeps readers connected and feel all “warm and fuzzy” about the company. When businesses depend on their online presence for sales, they don’t have that face-to-face contact that traditional retailers have had. CRM depends upon responsiveness, even when it doesn’t relate to a sale or a complaint about an item. #4. Being Too Wordy We want to talk about ourselves and our company. We want people to know that we are experts in this business niche; we want to share our story. These are all things that rightly belong on a website and blog. They do not belong on a Facebook post. Visuals should dominate all that you publish. Visuals, including images, photos, infographics, videos, polls, quizzes – these are the things that are viewed and shared. Fewer words mean more shares¸as the research shows. Limit yourself to less than 250 characters (note: characters, not words), and even less if possible. If you can get down to 80 characters, you win! The pint is this: Facebook viewers don’t want to read – they just want to see things. #5. Not Being Consistent With Your Posts People get used to you being there, especially if your posts are really engaging. They count on hearing from you and sharing your great posts with their friends. When you don’t appear on schedule, they are not happy. And if it happens that you are absent from new posts, they will stop following you. Getting that viewer back will take extra time and effort on your part. You can spare yourself that time and effort if you just stay consistent. And you should also understand how to post in a strategic way. Research tells us that the best days to publish new posts on Facebook are Thursdays and Fridays. And other research says that a popular post should be repeated a week later. If you really want to go into detail regarding days and times to post on all of social media, you can find great research data to inform your decisions. If you need to suspend your posting for a time, for whatever reason, tell your viewers this up front. And try to give a day of return. You will prevent followers from getting angry with you and dumping you entirely. One Final Word In the end, you have to do what actually works for you, as you analyze your Facebook presence. You have to run the analytics. When you know what your audience views and shares, and can repeat that same type of content for them, you will have a winning strategy. mages: ”Author’s Own“ ______________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.