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10 ways your business is wasting time on Facebook

Creating overly promotional content

Content creation is time-consuming, and you don't want those hours of hard work to go to waste. If you've been wondering about the reason for that drastic dip in your business's organic reach, you probably haven't heard our calls to halt the creation of overly promotional content. Facebook has been encouraging content creators on the network to replace the straight-up promo material with stories that add value or provide more history for your business's products and services. These kinds of posts have a higher likelihood to be seen by bigger audiences.

Posting Instagram pictures without context

Here's a thought process that might sound familiar: Instagram runs on beautiful images. Images increase engagement on Facebook. Instagram is part of Facebook. So I should repost all my Instagram photos automatically on my Facebook Page, right?

Wrong. Even if it may seem like a time-saving technique to automatically post the same update to multiple networks, it might cost you reach on both networks. For starters, your brand's Instagram profile and Facebook Page may be serving different purposes, so content from one may not fit the overall tone of messaging on the other. Your audiences on the networks may also be drastically different, so what resonates with your Instagram followers may not quite jive with your Facebook fans. If you want to reuse a photo, make sure to provide enough contexts for it to make a meaningful, valuable Facebook post.

Getting in comment wars

Even if you have a sufficient number of customer support channels, it's not unusual for people to reach out to you on Facebook. Don't discourage this method of communication, and don't engage in any sort of negative exchange. If a disgruntled customer comments on your Facebook post, reply quickly and reach out to them via Messenger.

Stay away from any negative Facebook comment threads from competitor brands. It's important to be aware of these conversations, but participating in them isn't necessary—especially if none of the negative claims are substantiated. You risk doing more damage to your online reputation if you do get involved in a comment war with your competition, especially if this is done at the expense of your engagement with followers and fans.

Browsing Trending articles

Facebook's Trending sidebar shows the top three most discussed topics in your network. You can click on the headlines to discover more detailed information—but before you do, ask yourself if this topic is relevant to your work. The Trending sidebar provides a brief summary of the important details of the story, so unless the trending news is highly relevant to your industry or your audience's interests, you shouldn't browse the articles associated with it. Curiosity is not a bad trait; however, if you're spending your time on Facebook reading about Tyra Banks' selfie, you're wasting precious time that could instead be spent talking to your followers.

Always creating custom ads instead of boosting posts

Facebook allows Page owners to put small amounts of cash on an existing post in order to boost its reach. This option can be a lot faster—and a lot cheaper!—than creating original advertisement content. While this shouldn't be the only sponsored option you explore on Facebook, boosting posts is a fast and cost-effective way to test engagement from a new target demographic or a new type of media promotion. Depending on the results these boosted posts yield, you can then decide whether it's worth investing a bigger budget into an ad.

Skipping A/B tests for your Facebook ads

Another opportunity Facebook gives to businesses is running split tests on their ads to see which group performs better. This basically means sending out two slightly different versions of your ad to different target audiences, and sees which one receives more engagements. Your Facebook Page admin may think they are saving time by skipping the testing stage, but in reality, this can be a huge missed opportunity. Facebook is a standalone advertising platform, and promoted content that works well for other networks may not get you the same numbers here. There are many elements you can test with your Facebook ad, such as placement, format, and copy length. Try out different variations with each ad you create, and note the winner of that category. Not only will this save you some time, it'll also likely increase the return on investment on your Facebook ads.

Taking too long to create a Facebook update

There is a lot of pressure to post update that get likes, comments, and shares—and there are always days when your Facebook muse is absent. However, you don't have hours to spend on composing a single update. If the inspiration just won't come, do some productive social media browsing to find ideas. Another solution is asking your colleagues for advice: run your existing posts by knowledgeable coworkers to see what improvements can be made.

You can also take a look at posts that have performed well in the past, and repurpose this content for a new post. Try looking for content that can be updated with some new information, or a new angle. If after all these steps you're still not satisfied with the Facebook post, maybe it's a good day for some syndicated content.

Reposting videos from external sources

Facebook natively enabled video almost a year ago, and since then, content of that type has yielded amazing engagement results. So if you're still embedding YouTube videos on your Page, you're doing it wrong. Auto-playing Facebook videos encourage your followers to spend more time engaging with the content, which now registers with the network's algorithm. Plus, posting Facebook videos and judging their performance can help you choose content for future video ads.

Not completing your about section

This is another time sinkhole, with the solution in the category of "invest more time first, spend less time later." If you don't include all the necessary information about your company on your Facebook Page, you risk creating confusion among those who turn to that social account for details about your business. If you want to avoid spending time answering the same questions, provide a detailed description on the about section of your Page. This includes a brief description of your brand mission, a list of products or services you provide, a link to your official website, and a physical address, if your company has one.

'Liking' irresponsibly

Pages. In a similar fashion, businesses you've liked on Facebook show up in a Liked sidebar on your Page, so you must execute caution when pressing the 'Like' button. Your online properties are valuable real estate, so you don't want visitors of your Page to see brands you wouldn't necessarily endorse as a business. Select a few partners or clients to like, and let your Liked sidebar highlight your partnership. Plus, liking a Page authorizes new updates to appear on your News Feed, and you don't want to create opportunities for distraction by liking Pages with low content quality.

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