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You're Doing it Wrong! 5 Don'ts in Facebook Advertising

Jerry Low

If you aren’t using Facebook for advertising, you may want to rethink that strategy.

As of the first quarter of 2015, Facebook had approximately 1.44 billion users actively using the social media site each month. Facebook is huge, with about 890 million of those users getting on the social media site daily.

Not only do you have the capacity to reach a lot of people really fast from all over the globe, but Facebook ads are cheap. In one recent campaign to promote my start a blog post, I managed to hit $0.02 per click. Not only is that a great rate, but Facebook ads can easily be targeted and narrowed down to your ideal target demographic, resulting in stronger conversions once visitors reach your site.

If you need more convincing to advertise on Facebook, organic reach is not dead. Based on Agorapulse Barometer, the following is the average organic reach numbers by audience size:

  • Fewer than 1,000 Fans: 25.1 percent
  • 1,000 – 10,000 Fans: 13.8 percent
  • 10,000 – 50,000 Fans: 10 percent
  • 50,000 – 100,000 Fans: 9.8 percent
  • More than 100,000 Fans: 7.7 percent

Related Article: Why No One Likes You On Facebook

1. Don't Go Dormant on Your Facebook Page

This is a no brainer. If you don’t post on your Facebook page, then you are invisible to your audience.

If you aren’t the one feeding your followers good content, someone else will. It may be your competitor and that is who your followers will become loyal to. 

Facebook has a complicated algorithm that only Facebook seems to understand. One thing that seems to apply is that when people like a post or share it, more of your posts will show up in their feed in future. If you aren’t posting, then they don’t like your posts and it stands to reason that less of your posts will show up for followers when you finally do post something.

2. Don't Turn Off Your Audience

The second worst thing to do is to post nothing but boring sales post. This is the equivalent of Facebook spam. No one wants to only see posts about something you’re trying to sell. It gets boring fast.

Do not over promote your business or products. To keep your followers engaged, you can share:

  • An interesting quote
  • A beautiful image
  • Free advice
  • Current events
  • Exclusive interviews.

Coca Cola Facebook Post

Image via Facebook

Do not make your Facebook page a one-way broadcast. One of the exciting things about social media is the opportunity to connect with people in the next state or half a world away. Take the time to respond when your followers post a note. Share their posts that apply on your page. Engage with people.

Interact with your followers with questions, polls and other elements. Posing a simple question can sometimes create a response that takes your page viral.

For example, if you run site selling dog food, you might ask the question: “How many dogs do you have and do you think it is better to have a pack or one at a time?”

The goal is to get people sharing, talking and thinking.

Post content that is relevant and helpful to your followers. If your followers expect recipes, don’t give them posts about how to play golf. Your followers want recipes. While some of them might play golf, most of them might not.

Related Article: Inspiration Goldmine: Guide to Creating Effective Content Ideas

3. Don't Break Facebook Contest Guidelines

Contests asking users for liking or commenting are now prohibited on Facebook.

You also cannot require those entering to share your post with others or share their FB connections. You’ll be violating Facebook’s TOS and this could even get your page disabled. Plus, it isn’t very nice to force someone to like your page or spam their friends just to enter a contest. Potential followers might be turned off.

You can’t notify contest winners directly. For example, if you try to tag the winner in a congratulations announcement, be aware that you cannot do this from a page unless the person has already commented.

The easiest thing to do is to ask for an email address when Facebook users sign up for the contest in the first place.

Your page and contest must be properly endorsed. You must get a release from each sponsor and entrant and you must make it clear that the contest is not endorsed by Facebook.

Related Article: Not Just a Game: Legal Considerations for Social Media Contests and Sweepstakes

4. Don't Write Long Copy

Unlike Google+, studies show that short Facebook posts get better engagement rates. It’s important to know your audience. Those on Facebook are looking for quick bits of information with which they can engage. Super long posts are not going to attract as much action on Facebook.

In Jeff Bullas’ study, posts with 80 characters or less received 66% more engagement. He also noted that posts with text only received “94% higher engagement than average” and that fill in the blank posts were particularly engaging to followers.

Facebook Engagement Chart

Image via Jeff Bullas

Although slightly dated, the findings are still valid according to my personal experience.

5. Don't Clutter the Newsfeed

More than 70 percent of social media users unlike a brand page on Facebook because the brand is posting too frequently.

Less is more. At least, when it comes to promotion. People don’t want to see a self-promoting post every time they see something from your page. One way to combat this is to engage readers as mentioned above as much if not more than you talk about your brand.

Learn from Pringles—its page has more than 25 million page likes—they post not more than five posts per week. What they post is pertinent to both the brand and what’s going on in the world.

For example, if a music festival is going on, they’ll give it a shout out and add the flavor of Pringle that goes best with that music. This is a brand worth studying and learning from.


When it comes to ensuring your business has a presence on Facebook, the rules above are important to note, but it’s also important to understand that each business and page is unique. The Internet is ever changing and evolving. What works today may not work tomorrow or next week. Pay attention to trends, track analytics on your posts and reader engagement and try different things until you hit on the 25 million follower formula Pringles has.

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
Jerry Low Member
Jerry Low is a geek dad who enjoys building web assets. He regularly writes about blogging and web marketing. Learn more by following him on Twitter or subscribe to WHSR’s newsletter.