By Kayleigh Alexandra

Facebook has been around for over a decade but that doesn’t mean that it is working effectively as a marketing platform for all businesses. On the other hand, vast numbers of small businesses are seeing huge successes, through utilizing Facebook in the right ways.

Here are five common mistake businesses make on Facebook.

Mistake 1: Using Profiles Instead Of Pages

The Facebook Insights tool is not enabled on profile pages, so the number one mistake businesses can make on Facebook is to stick to a brand profile page on the platform.

You will need to create a Facebook Page for your business instead. Failing to do so could find your page removed by moderators for violating Facebook’s terms of service.

Mistake 2: Posting Long Status Updates

In short, people don’t like to see too much advertising on social media. And so your updates should be brief and to-the-point, not rambling diatribes. Link out to a blog post and keep the updates short and snappy. All you want to do is build intrigue in your content, enough to inspire a click. So don’t go overboard.

Mistake 3: Posting Too Many Updates

Some brands have been known to go overboard with the number of times they post a day.

However, there are no hard and fast rules on how many times is appropriate. For some people, any more than five posts per day from a brand is enough to hit the unfollow button. For other brands, their posts are interesting enough to sustain their follower’s attention.

Informational organizations like nonprofits and news sites, for instance, can post more frequently on any given day. Whereas other brands may have only one day in a year when they can get away with posting that frequently.

Mistake 4: Infrequent Posting Schedules

Posting too infrequently will turn any followers you did manage to attract away from you over time. At a bare minimum, brands who want to make an impact on Facebook will have to post at least once a day.

Think of it in terms of viewing some of your own friend’s profiles on Facebook. For those who rarely post updates, you would be forgiven for thinking that these people really don’t care about Facebook at all. That may be fine for their social lives, but as a business you don’t want to discourage your customers from getting in touch if they have any queries. You want to appear that you’re open to communications and actually want to engage with fans in some way.

Mistake 5: No Content Strategy

As social media moves so quickly, some business owners think that posting a few quick updates a day is sufficient in building brand awareness, but this is not the case at all. Without a proper content marketing strategy, it’s all too easy for a brand’s message to get lost and forgotten in the feed. Come up with a ‘narrative’ and themes for your posts and make sure that your content marketing strategy aligns with your business goals.

Mistake 6: No Engagement with Fans

Social networks are platforms for conversation, not a facility to broadcast a company’s products 24/7. Brands that seek to constantly ‘sell’ do themselves a disservice, as they are wasting a huge opportunity to find out what their customers actually need and want from a brand. Ask your customers questions and make sure you are doing everything you can to boost post engagement.

Mistake 7: Targeting Ads To Broadly

For businesses looking to set up and maximize their Facebook Paid Advertising campaigns, you need to make sure you understand the feedback data from your Facebook Insights tab. If you want to target the highest number of people who could be considered ‘qualified leads,’ you will have to identify who these subsets are in terms of ages and specific interests. This will ensure you don’t waste your ad spend targeting groups who won’t be interested, or won’t ‘get’ what you’re trying to sell them in the first place.

Mistake 8: Being Overly Promotional

Yes, you may find fans that exclusively like your products enough to follow a dedicated page about them. However, your product isn’t the only thing they love in this world. Your Page should also post about related topics in your industry, to inspire interest and learning in your followers. For example, if you sell bespoke celebration cakes online, share updates and tips on table decor, or quirkier subjects like lesser-known holidays.

In terms of Facebook as a platform for promoting your business, avoiding these common mistakes can ensure that you grow your company’s exposure on Facebook in the right areas. What’s your favorite thing about Facebook for small business? 

Kayleigh Alexandra is a content marketer who runs her own blog at Microstartups.org Here she regularly shares tips on how entrepreneurs can overcome their obstacles to success — including some of the lessons she has learned from running her own digital startup. @getmicrostarted.