There are about ten common Facebook marketing tactics. (You can probably think of more, but most are a derivative of one of these ten.) It may surprise you to learn that five of these tactics don’t even work — that’s fully half! Now, no Fire God will suddenly appear to smite you if you happen to have done one of the following things. They are definitely mistakes, but they aren’t irreversible. In fact, they’re really only mistakes in one sense of the word.
My perception of these as “mistakes” isn’t about breaches of the unwritten Facebook etiquette either – I dance on those lines myself from time to time.
Rather, I’m calling them mistakes from a perspective of effectiveness, versus the alternative behavior. Whether they’re wrong in terms of just coming across as rude or politically incorrect is another matter altogether.
Having said that, off we go.
Mistake #1 – Posting Signature Links on Profile Walls with Your Introduction
I asked someone why they did this once, especially since I’d already been to their site and purchased the item they were selling on that page.
She said: “I saw someone else do it.”
“How did it make you feel?” I asked.
“I felt kind of used. But I figured if that’s what it takes to be successful, that’s what I’ll do, even if it doesn’t seem quite right.”
Now that’s deep.
I understand though, because once I made the vow to become successful, I also made a vow to do “whatever it takes”. At the time I thought it meant hard selling and being pushy. I later found it meant hard work, and doing what’s right even if there’s a lazier, easier way.
Even if this was at one time effective in terms of getting clicks from random profile visits, Facebook is now much more stream-driven than it is profile-driven.
And that’s a huge part of why this is a mistake in terms of effectiveness.
Not to mention that people who see these postings as rude or attempts to spam can remove or hide them. They may even drop you as a connection, which cuts you off not just from them, but from their network.
You’re not missing out on anything by omitting that signature link. Your name, hyperlinked to your profile IS your signature link. If your profile is set up correctly, prospects will get to your site from there.
Mistake #2 – Pitching
If you want to pitch people on Facebook, buy an ad on Facebook.
It doesn’t have to be a Facebook ad – buy one in a popular Facebook application. No matter how good your elevator pitch is in real life, it doesn’t translate in online networking. Let me give you a hypothetical example from the real world.
Imagine you go to an after-work bar. People go there to relax with work friends, to meet potential mates, on actual dates, and to get to know other people in the business.
You’re unwinding with colleagues when someone walks up, and without forewarning, tries to sell you some steak knives. When you stare blankly, they shrug, and move on to the next person.
We all may chuckle to ourselves, and wonder what that person is thinking… but are you ever the knife salesman when you’re on Facebook?
Honestly, when I first came here, I was tempted to be.
Thank God my better judgement stopped me. I’m telling you that to say this – if you’ve been the knife salesman don’t be ashamed, you didn’t know any better. It’s not like they issue marketing lessons with your incorporation papers.
Just make a vow, right now, to always check yourself before you post. Ask yourself “Am I Networking or Pitching?”
Mistake #3 – Artificial Bonding
I’d respect a person more who was upfront with me, and said they were hoping we could work together, or do some business, than someone who pretended to care about me in order to get me to have a conversation that they could then direct to their pitch.
I wouldn’t buy from them, at least not then. But at least I’d still respect them, which means I could change my mind in the future.
Pretending to like people until you get the chance to try to sell to them is really just pitching with a little bad foreplay first.
Bad foreplay isn’t better than none at all.
Mistake #4 – Favoring Uphill Marketing Over Downhill Marketing
Again, this is a mistake in terms of how effective it is. In my own experience, as well as in case studies of clients, it always works out better when you create a fantastic marketplace presence and people are drawn to you in droves, seeking to do business with you, rathere than the alternative.
The alternative, of course, is when you go out and pursue customers and clients one by one.
That’s not to say that you should stop advertising, bidding on projects, or being a go-getter in any way.
It means that while you’re doing that, also create a situation where customers are flowing towards you, seeking you out, asking for help.
It’s much less work to get from interest to sale when they come to you.
Mistake #5 – Fishing on Dry Land
A long, long time ago, I was in a network marketing company. Now defunct, the products they have greatly enhanced, possibly even saved, my life. The products were targeted to people who cared about being healthier and eco-friendly.
At first, I was so excited about what had happened to me, that I told every single person who would listen. I would try and go product by product and explain how great everything was.
After failing Very Hard for about three months, I narrowed my focus.
I bought a bottle of the mineral complex, and some sample sized containers. Then I gave a sample to every single person I could think of who had a health problem that might be related. Orders started pouring in.
Ever since that day, I have remembered two things. First, the one that’s relevant here – proper targeting greatly increases sales. Secondly, give a free sample of something needed to those most starving for it, and they’ll be back to buy more.
A few well-timed, well-placed interactions with the right profile are the main things you need to do the equivalent of offline networking on Facebook. A great profile is just as important as being appropriately dressed at a networking function offline.