Image of a Facebook like thumb, but it is pointed downward. With its vast and constantly growing user base, Facebook has indisputably become one of the most important digital marketing platforms for businesses of all sizes. However, some businesses and entrepreneurs will go to any lengths to get likes and followers to such an extent that they’ll forget about the true nature of social media marketing. On the other hand, successful marketers rely on creating, publishing and sharing compelling, relevant content. These organic marketing strategies might take a while to start yielding results, but they’re the results that actually count for something, such as lead generation or conversions rates. Get Facebook marketing wrong, and you’ll succeed only in harming your brand’s reputation.

Excessive Use of Hashtags

Hashtags have long been associated with the microblogging platform Twitter, but Facebook launched support for them back in 2013. People and businesses alike jumped on the opportunity to increase the visibility of their content by using this powerful tool. However, hashtags have been so overused on Facebook to the extent that they often distract and annoy readers. In fact, a recent study carried out by Edgerank Checker found that posts containing hashtags actually performed a little worse than those that didn’t. As such, you should use hashtags sparingly, and then only when promoting cross-platform campaigns under a particular hashtag.

Buying Facebook Likes and Followers

Businesses who buy likes and followers completely fail to realize the whole reason for adopting a social media marketing strategy in the first place. They miss the point that quality trumps quantity every time. Buying likes and followers achieves nothing other than superficially making your brand page look more popular than it really is. However, most people will soon realize if your entire follower base is fake, since the profiles are usually fake anyway. Also, the percentage of ‘followers’ engaging with your posts will be much lower, and your profile will start to look like nothing more than a spam page, thus causing your reputation to take a sharp drop.

Synchronizing with Other Platforms

Every successful marketer knows that social media marketing takes time and, while there are some shortcuts, there are many others that will only harm your brand. Facebook is its own social network, so auto-posting content from other networks, such as Twitter, will not do you any favors. Social media marketing is about building up a unique brand image that is largely defined by the distinct voice it uses but, if you’re relying too much on automation, you’ll start to lose that voice. The Facebook audience is different to those of other networks, and each platform is suited to different types of content, so you should never take a one-size-fits-all approach.

Tagging the Wrong People

Tagging irrelevant people and brands in your photos and other content is a common spam tactic that most of the Facebook user base has already wizened up to. The goals of this tactic is to get random users to notice a brand, even if it is irrelevant or uninteresting to them. As is the case with buying followers, tagging the wrong people might briefly increase your visibility, but it counts for nothing if those people aren’t engaging with your brand page. Similarly, you should avoid tagging other brands that aren’t relevant to your own. Tagging related brands, albeit sparingly, however, can be beneficial with regards to Facebook’s new News Feed algorithm.

Trying to Game the System

Spammers often work to abuse the system by exploiting its weak spots. For example, spammers often make use of dubious SEO tactics to increase the visibility of their websites in the search engines. Similarly, spammers might try to game Facebook by manipulating their target audiences into giving them likes. In fact, you shouldn’t really have to ask for likes and follows at all, since people should be attracted to follow your brand page because it has enough genuinely value-adding and compelling content to offer them. Again, it cannot be stressed enough that succeeding with Facebook is about engagement, not about the number of likes.

Building a presence on Facebook won’t happen overnight, and trying to take too many shortcuts such as by exploiting the system or relying excessively on automation tools will only be detrimental to your brand in the longer term. Ultimately, your goal should be to become a recognized industry authority rather than a so-called growth hacker.

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