5 Mistakes Marketers Make on Facebook, According to Forbes

Forbes recently published an article in which it lists 5 mistakes marketers continue to make on Facebook.

Although these are pretty high level issues, a number of local brands have yet to utilize this wonderful marketing tool in the best way possible.

One of the most common snags we’ve encountered is an over emphasis on marketing communications for social media platforms, rather than content which ultimately drives conversation.

Facebook, and indeed the social web as a whole, is a two way street. It’s the only communication medium which truly gives consumers a platform to voice their thoughts and opinions – for better or worse.

Why chase them away with same kind of Above the Line messaging they spend most of their time trying to drown out? Facebook is not a billboard, it’s a conversation starter.

The 5 Mistakes Marketers Continue To Make On Facebook – Forbes

1. There is no “I” in Facebook: There’s not a whole lot that’s inclusive when a business or brand uses the word “I” in a status update. Besides sounding a bit self-centered and out of touch, “I” can be a lonely letter. “We” on the other hand, denotes a team behind a business, organization or brand. “We” can be as small as two people in a room. We (see how I just did that?) see a lot of “I” statements in Facebook Page status updates, and it simply doesn’t make any sense. Worse yet, these offenders often use “I” without ever identifying who the “I” is.

2. Using a Personal Account for Your Business: Facebook launched Pages for businesses and brands in November 2007, yet some marketers continue to use personal accounts for businesses and brands. Take, for example, an Italian restaurant near my home in Laguna Beach, California. The owner is using the two words in the restaurant’s name as the personal account’s first and last names.

This is nonproductive on a number of fronts, including the fact that when potential diners search for the restaurant on Facebook, they can’t find it because it’s a person. And even if they found it, they couldn’t “Like” it. What this restaurateur loses by not establishing a Facebook Page is access to advertising options, analytics, apps for business use, and many other features. Plus, maintaining a personal account for anything other than an individual is a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

If your business or brand is guilty of this and you don’t convert the personal account to a Page, your business risks permanently losing access to the account and all of its content (Facebook has begun cracking down on this — hard). If you are in violation of this rule, now’s the time to migrate the personal profile in question to a Facebook Page.

3. Leaving URLs in Status Updates: One of the laziest things marketers do on Facebook is leave the hypertext of a linked item in the body of a status update. That just shouts out, “We don’t really care about this message.” And there’s no reason for it. Why? Because once a pasted URL appears in the body of the unpublished status update and the resulting link appears in a display box below that update, you can delete the link and the resulting content will remain. Take a look and ask yourself, which one of these looks better:

4. Not Posting Enough: If you’re managing your Facebook Page with a rule that determines how many times you post each day or week, you’re focusing on the wrong thing. It’s not the number of times you post that matters (although once a day would be nice); it’s the quality and relevance of that content to your fans customers that matters. When you generate content based on the type of information your fans need, like, and would derive benefit, you can create a plan that’s aligned with your businesses goals.

5. Ending All of Your Status Updates with a Question: Best thinking suggests that if you want to receive lots of comments on your Facebook content, ask questions. Queries effectively get Facebook members to comment on your status updates. But doing so every single time you post content is just annoying. Especially if your brand does nothing aside from asking the question. If you never share the valuable insights being generated by all these comments, and if you never respond to comments ending in a question, then it’s just an exercise in futility.


  • Heinrich

    Hi Tom! Cool post, but I have some queries as to what I do with our company’s social pages.

    As per point number 1. I agree with you that there is no I in Facebook, but I think that is only limited to your update. If users start commenting they would like to feel/see a sense of personification. What we usually do is to include “I” in a comment just to give the users that, but yeah “Who is the I” that is commenting, I get that.

    Point number 2. Facebook pages have made it a lot easier to market specific content and to get proper brand awareness out there as well as providing a sense of customer care (you will know that people would much rather tweet of make a status update when they are unhappy, it’s our era). But what if you run multiple pages. Say for instance 10? So then create a “personal” account for you company, like Mweb did with the Mweb Guy. I thought about this for our company and thought it will be cool because then you have a central point/base for marketing after you have build up a good following/friendship. They will be more loyal towards a friend that a page (my thoughts). Also, a friend’s update is more likely to be seen in the newsfeed than those of a page (read that somewhere). What is your take on this?

    Lastly at number 5. Questions can lead to a type of “call to action” but “specialists” suggest that social marketers move away from call to action. I did as they suggested and it worked… Till it got watered down. No call to action and question type of updates seem to be working again. There is no constant in social except change. But if you do too much of anything the reactions will water down and won’t get the response as you used to. Take the motivational updates, they tend to do very well as people like stuff that motivates them (I do too) but too much and it gets soppy and what not. But yeah, stagnating on one type of update/post will lead to less reaction.

    Thanks for the post, I enjoyed it 🙂

    October 11, 2012 at 8:48 am

Leave a Comment:

Any questions about Clockwork Media we haven’t covered?

Drop us your query here.


Tell us your name*

What's your email address?*

What number can we call you on?*

What would you like to know about?*