About a month ago I was asked when speaking before a group about what I thought the biggest mistake was that businesses were making on Facebook. I replied, “lack of coherent strategy” and went on about how too many business pages seemed like they were posting for the sake of posting, that they didn’t appear to moving in any particular direction, and that they were managing their social media presence on a day to day basis. If I could take back the answer (or better yet, elaborate further), I would.
I was wrong.
The actual biggest mistake that businesses are making starts a step before the strategy phase and would, in most cases, cure the ills that businesses are suffering with their strategy (or lack thereof). It really comes down to goals and the fact that most businesses are not defining their goals from the beginning nor are they adjusting them as their Facebook presence expands. THIS is the actual biggest mistake that they’re making. To those who heard me speak last month about this, I’m sorry to not give the most appropriate answer.
Every Facebook page should have a goal or set of goals that they want to achieve. Many will give the quick answer and say that their goal is to reach as many prospective customers and clients as possible, but this isn’t a real goal. Even in reach, it’s important to establish why you want to reach them and what messages you want them to receive. Are you wanting to reach them with your sales and marketing messages? Are you wanting them to see your logo and expand your branding? Are you wanting them to see that you’re involved in the various local and industry-specific conversations that happen on social media?
Keep in mind – “all of the above” is not a valid answer. That doesn’t mean that you cannot have a robust and diverse presence on Facebook that tackles multiple opportunities, but from a strategy perspective you’re message will get lost if you aren’t reinforcing it regularly. On average, only 16% of your fans are seeing your message at all and that’s if you’re doing a pretty good job at keeping your EdgeRank strong. While diversifying your message is important, keeping focused on a singular strategy should overrule the desire to be eclectic.
Over the next couple of days I will be diving into a wider range of specific strategies that you can employ. In the meantime, do you have any strategies that you’ve considered? Is there a technique that you’ve found to be effective or one that you think would work? I’m classifying the various strategy types into two categories: safe and aggressive. As with setting goals, determining strategies should be focused. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. You’ll end up spitting it all out on the table and embarrassing yourself.