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Biggest Facebook Marketing Mistakes you Should Avoid

We have all seen the adverts for Facebook and the millions upon millions of people who use it. And, many people see these numbers and think that Facebook marketing is the greatest thing to ever happen to the business world. They run around saying how there are millions of people on there and how you can communicate with them for free. This is all true, but then you could grab a soapbox and a megaphone and visit a busy New York high street to do a bit of selling–it doesn’t mean you are going to get a sale! Here are a few mistakes that you should really avoid making with your Facebook marketing campaign.

Facebook Marketing Mistakes

Facebook Marketing Mistakes | Image credit: Nycwebdesign.com

Never be over promotional or pushy

This is the first and most commonly committed mistake. Facebook is not optimized for being pushy or over promotional. Every social media that has allowed businesses to do that has failed. People do not log onto Facebook in order to be advertised to, people hate advertising. If you are even slightly pushy or promotional then people will not look at your site.

Do not misunderstand this rule. You can show people what you have on offer. If you are a photographer and have a new photo deal, then show your frames, picture sizes and formats in a pretty hamper. But do not put, “sale” or “cut price” etc on the Facebook post. In fact, if you put a price on it then make it a very small and subtle price tag. For example, the South Park Fan Page on Facebook just shows clips as a sort of “remember this bit” reminder. Family Guy run quizzes about whom is the funniest character in their show.

Don’t spend hours trying to make friends

This is another classic mistake that too many people make. They will spend hours making friends on their page and getting “Likes” on their fan page. They will spend two or three days getting hundreds of supporters and then brag about it. They then notice that five months later, all of their “Friend” and “Like” hunting has won them 0% new business.

If you are measuring your Facebook success by how many “Friends” or “Likes” you get, then you are woefully misguided. If you are measuring your success with social media monitoring tools then you are slightly less misguided (though still missing the point). You should be measuring your success with analytic programs measuring metrics on your website. The more traffic that you see coming from Facebook (as a domain, not just from your pages) then the better you are doing.

Facebook Marketing Plan

Facebook Marketing Plan | Image Credit: social-media-optimization.com

Don’t start a Facebook campaign without a plan

If you do not have an overall plan, and an overall goal then you will just waste your time on Facebook. You need a very specific long-term goal, and you need a way to measure your efforts. You need to be able to see data that proves that what you are doing is productive and is providing you with a return on your investment. You simply cannot afford to make a plan and hope for the best. You need to know how well you are doing so that you can optimize your efforts and make sure that what you are doing is paying off in some way. If it is not then you need to change what you are doing so that it is.

Never start a Facebook session without a session plan

If you are going to spend an hour or two then you need to know exactly what you are going to do with that time. You also need to be sure that what you are doing is going to provide you with some sort of return on your investment. There needs to be an outcome at the end of your session. If there is no outcome then you are wasting your time.

Don’t assume that “Likes” or “Friends” are valuable

People pay money for more “Friends” and more “Likes” even though they do not actually hold any value at all. Their SEO benefits are negligible and more “Likes” or “Friends” does not mean more money or more sales. People brag about spending their time on Facebook and getting “Likes” but unless those metrics are related to your overall social media campaign, then what use are they. What was the point of you spending time getting them if they will never realize a benefit?

Don’t rely on the number of likes and friends | Image Credit: facebook.com

Never criticize or attack your competitors

Not only will you make your competitors rally against you, but also, all of their supporters and customers will start attacking you in return. What looks like a power play could end up being a PR nightmare.

Do not try to relate your customers’ less savory habits

Your customers may be known for kicking sailors or spitting at old ladies, but you must not relate or engage with such behavior. They will always have more savory interests, for example do they have kids? Are there other ways to relate? Do not forget that they are not your friend.

Never try to direct sell via Facebook

Everybody who has tried has failed. A list of reasons could be produced in order to prove this, but just deal with it and understand that you cannot direct sell on Facebook.

Stay away from adult industry images, drug use or terrorism

This is just something you do if you do not want to offend the Facebook community. They have members that are very young, and even if there were filters to stop them seeing it, their parents will not understand these filters and will assume their kids are being polluted by your content.

Do not install an app on your wall unless it is an official Facebook one

People have tried to install apps and viruses on Facebook walls and all that happens is that their accounts are deleted. Just do not do it, because there are far better and easier ways of getting Facebook traffic to leave Facebook in search of your content.

This is a guest post Kate Funk coaches individuals in SEO and business networking skills at Tutortop.


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Link Building In Depth – Social Networks

Before we begin looking at social network links, I do want to say that for all the hype, it is quite possible in many cases to create an effective linking campaign without social networking. I have seen many sites rank well using linking strategies that do not include social networking. In fact it is also the problem that in many cases social networking links are no follow links. Take Facebook for instance, the single most important social network; links from Facebook to external pages are no-follow links.

Social Network

Courtsey: ardentcreative.co.uk

On the other hand some other social networks use follow links, for instance Google Plus.
Yes there are some no-follow links between some accounts for instance, but for now at least the external links are follow links. MySpace provides no-follow that links while LinkedIn provides follow links, but in both cases they are not direct links to the reference sites, they are redirects and not 301 redirects so they do not carry any value.

Yet another example, Delicious, they recently changed to make all external links no follows and their redirects too. Some social networking sites evidently try to decide which links should be followed and which should not. Digg.com for instance says that they provide follow links in cases where a story has reached a certain level of popularity. How about Twitter? Twitter used to use no-follow links but more recently seems to have switched to follow links. Some Twitter feed mechanisms convert them to no follow links though.

By the way here is a quick tip on how to figure out if the link is a 301 redirect link. If you go to a site such as LinkedIn you

Linked In Logo

will be able to see many redirect links. Point at the link you will see that it is a redirect link through a LinkedIn.com server. Copy the link and search for a server header service. Paste the URL into the service and see what comes back. Depending on the link will depend on the result. You might get a ‘200’ response, which means that it is a double redirect. This means as its redirecting to another LinkedIn page which then redirects to the final destination. Some links will return a ‘302’ response but for the link to have value it needs to return a ‘301’.

How about the link shortening services such as Bitly.com, Google URL shorter or tiny URL?

Bit.Ly logo

Twitter users often employee these services to create short links for use in the limited space of a tweet. Well these services typically use 301 redirects and these three certainly do and you can check your favorite service for yourself using the method I just described.

So, some social networking links do carry value, the follow links but what about the no follow links? Is there SEO value to social networking no-follow links? That is, will the search engines consider the links for ranking purposes? Will social network links help push your site up in the search results?

Well in theory the answer is no. In theory at least, the major search engines and that essentially means Google and Bing, ignore no-follow links for ranking purposes. They may actually follow the links in some cases but both search engines claim they do not use no-follow links for ranking purposes.

My only problem with this is it seems like there must be a lot of useful information embedded in social networking links. Google has stated quite clearly and quite recently that no-follow links don’t count in ranking. Google has suggested that social networking sites should try to identify trusted posters and make their links follow links. As far as Google is concerned, it’s up to the social networks not Google to decide. So you’ll have to make your own mind up on this one, either Google is being honest and such links have no value or perhaps or you have a situation in which Google is claiming they have no value and yet at the same time deciding that in certain situations they will look at no-follow links.

But as I mentioned there must be a lot of good information in these billions of no-follow links coming off social networking sites. So I keep coming back to the idea that maybe they do look at some social networking no-follow links. So social networking – is it useful for SEO or not? In some cases definitely useful as you’ll get follow links. In others when you’re only getting no-follow links, perhaps not, the official position of the search engines of course, if you should go ahead and promote your site in the social networks because the links bring traffic regardless of search results ranking and that is perfectly true.

Well executed social networking campaigns can help a website get traffic directly bypassing the search engines. Don’t get pulled in by the hype though. Social networking is no silver bullet and doesn’t work very well for many types of businesses and it’s not a one size fits all type of thing.

I will just leave you with this, if you think you can make social networking work for you regardless of search engine results, then go ahead and do it. If there is any search engine lift then that is great, but if you are not sure the results with a social networking campaign is worth the cost to you and social networking is very hard to succeed at for many types of businesses, you might simply do the basics.

Set up the obvious social network accounts just don’t spend a lot of time on it. You will want Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter and perhaps LinkedIn. You’ll also want to use the usual social networking and share buttons of course and try to encourage people to link to you from their social networking accounts. Social networking has become popular in SEO circles and in fact there are many companies that will go out and create many social links for you.

Do these link campaigns work? Perhaps depending on what you believe about no-follow issue and what proportion of follow links are created during a campaign. But again as the search engines are continually pointing out linking is just about SEO, sometimes a link is just a link.

This is a guest post by Sadhiv Mahandru who has been involved in online marketing for over a decade covering PPC, Affiliate Marketing, SEO , Content Creation and also creating effective websites. Specializing in SEO Company Manchester and providing services throughout the UK. You can learn more about Internet Marketing and SEO by reading my personal blog which is updated frequently.


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