People will do anything to get the attention of a group of Facebook’s 1.23 billion monthly active users. Sometimes it’s okay for people to focus on creating more compelling content or integrating Facebook with the rest of their marketing strategies. Although more time consuming, your Facebook page grows steadily and really achieves results.
Other times, people want to take the “easy” route. They hear about a shortcut that got thousands of followers/page views/comments for a company in one day and think they should start doing the same. They don’t have time to build a Facebook following and want someone to see their content now.
But there is little evidence to show that these “tips” work. They are like the advertisements that say you can lose 9 kilos in a week. What’s more, some of these “shortcuts” can end decreasing your Facebook performance. Oops!
So, if you’re going to spend time on Facebook to build your business, avoid the following “tips” that may do more harm than good… or simply do nothing at all.
1) Include a link in the first comment
This was a pretty popular myth about a year ago. People argued that including a link in your content in the first few comments rather than in the post itself would increase your chances of appearing in the news, since a photo-only or text-only post would perform better than those with links. This is what it looks like:
But this is not exactly true. In fact, Facebook’s algorithm has promoted posts with links in them more recently and, in the past, favored updates with photos. Only a few people have seen anecdotal evidence that this works, and some have seen nothing affected at all.
If you try this “trick” on your page, you might see your numbers go up for a while, but it’s actually a pretty bad user experience. In the long run, you won’t be helping your fans and followers, who you need to impress if you want to build your page, since it’s more work to find your link than a normal Facebook post.
If you have a large fan base, your link may even disappear (which is absolutely counterproductive). Don’t be tempted by a fad just for the sake of engagement; Work things out for your followers and the rest will follow.
2) Automatically post tweets to Facebook
When you start using Facebook or Twitter, you may hear that it is ideal to sync your Facebook and Twitter accounts so that content is automatically cross-posted. Whenever you post on Twitter, it also posts on Facebook and vice versa. After all, this helps save time and still have a successful presence on social networks, right?
Well, this “trick” may help you with the first part, but it definitely won’t help with the second for two reasons. First of all, the people who follow you on Facebook are not the same people who follow you on Twitter. Facebook fans and followers may prefer to have content delivered to them in different formats, at different times of day, than people on Twitter. If you want to grow your audience, you need to publish content that matters to them, and when it matters to them.
Secondly, when you link your Facebook and Twitter accounts, your posts end up having Twitter-specific formats that are really weird for your Facebook posts (and vice versa). Is very Obviously you have simply synchronized your accounts; Your Facebook page will have many posts from the previous day but zero participation.
Because? Because they look like tweets, not Facebook posts. They do not show links or images in the same way, since they are taken from Twitter. Facebook even came out to say that they despise updates like these.
So, don’t trust inconsiderate automation to do it for you; Instead, create custom posts for each platform. The extra time you’ll spend creating personalized content will pay off.
3) Buy fans and followers
This is probably one of the main “tricks” that people recommend to “build a following” on Facebook. If by “build a following” you mean “increase the number of likes and followers,” this trick works. You buy followers and watch that little number next to your page increase…
…But if you use Facebook to do another thing than just getting likes, this is a trick you should definitely ignore. If you want to cultivate an audience compromised which over time may become, buying fans and followers will damage your brand. Facebook will see that the percentage of your Fans engaging with your posts is suddenly lower… and may not include your next update in your fans’ news feeds. Before you know it, this “trick” can end up killing your marketing.
4) Tag irrelevant people in your photos
When someone is tagged in a photo on Facebook, they receive a notification… which is why some people suggest that this will make random people pay attention to your brand.
Do not do it. This is a tactic that spammers used in the past, and now people are well aware of this trick. Unless you tag someone in your photo who is actually in it, avoid it. It’s spam and probably won’t work anyway.
5) Tag other brands
Recently, Facebook updated its News Feed algorithm to reward brands that tag other brands in their posts, but that doesn’t mean you should start tagging brands in every single post. Facebook will show content to fans of tagged pages if it is performing well overall or if also you like the other page.
They’re not very specific about the math behind it all, but the conclusion is clear: This tactic solo It should be used when you have strategic and relevant content for both audiences. This is an example of a post that strategically tags another brand:
6) Try “all in one”
I made up this term (something like “it’s all about participation”), but I know you’ve seen posts like these in your newsfeed. Typically, it’s an image with a caption like “We’re offering two types of ice cream today: vanilla and chocolate. Click like if you prefer vanilla, comment if you prefer chocolate, and share if you like both!
Even if this example post was on the Friendly’s Facebook page and got lots of likes, comments and shares, what do you think it adds to the brand? Not too much.
If you wanted to be generous, this could help you publicize new products and potentially help you get your next post in the News (since the “all in one” post got a lot of engagement). But it doesn’t do much when it comes to helping your bottom line. And that’s probably the main reason you’re on Facebook.
Instead, try to post content that doesn’t try to circumvent Facebook’s system; think about people… just because. This short-term game may work for you, but in the long run, you will not be able to increase your following with it.
7) Put hashtags on everything
Back when Facebook first launched hashtags, people were elated. Everyone started incorporating them into their Facebook content, and boy, we even encouraged it. But since then, Edgerank Checker discovered that posts with hashtags go viral less than posts without hashtags.
Therefore, use hashtags sparingly on Facebook in the future. A good use case would be if you are trying to promote a cross-platform campaign that contains a hashtag.
The moral of all this is that you really shouldn’t try to “outwit” any part when building a presence on Facebook. What may work one day may be harmful another day, and you may end up harming yourself by trying to implement growth hacking on your Facebook page.
What other myths have you heard about growing your Facebook page? Debunk them with us in the comments.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock