With millions of active Facebook users, the social media juggernaut is of great interest to businesses and entrepreneurs all over the world who want to find new business and customers. Facebook is a wonderful tool to integrate into a marketing strategy and, if executed well, over time can produce great, undeniable results.
Good things take time but some aren’t willing to wait. Instead of learning Facebook and its uses for a solid, long-term campaign, they go for quick hacks and secrets that supposedly snagged thousands of Facebook fans for example companies overnight.
If it sounds too good to be true, normally it is.
Here are seven super Facebook hacks that not only are a waste of time but often, can even have a negative impact on your results.
- First Comment Links – Have you heard the one about including your link in the first comment to your post as opposed to within the post itself? It was rumored that placing a link to your content in the first comment slot of your post as opposed to placing it in the post itself would increase the chances of the content appearing in the Facebook news feed because a photo-only or text-only post performed better than posts with links. There’s little to no evidence to support this claim. Furthermore, Facebook’s algorithm has been promoting many posts with links included. Even if this trick boosted your numbers temporarily, in the long run, you’ll frustrate your fan base if the link is difficult to find or gets buried in the comments section.
- Hey! Your Tweets are on my Facebook! – Many folks, including those who want you to pay for their social media services or programs, encourage folks to cross-publish across different social media platforms. Most commonly, it’s encouraged to set up Tweets to automatically post on Facebook too. Saves time, right? True, you might save time. But realize that Facebook and Twitter have two very different audiences. The audiences have different preferences on how and when content is delivered. So much so that the response to such cross-publishing efforts across these two social media platforms is likely to be low. Additionally, the posts crafted for another platform (Twitter, for example), can appear very bizarre on another platform like Facebook.
- Need Fans? Buy Them! – When you buy lists of Facebook fans or followers, you’re getting a list of random Facebook users who may or may not have given permission to be on such a list. It’s also very unlikely that user list is tailored for your specific niche. Yes, in buyer fans or followers, you will see your numbers go up. If that’s not your goal, know that this tactic can actually hurt your brand on Facebook. Big jumps – or drops – in the numbers of your followers on Facebook can get you flagged for suspicious behavior and that means Facebook might not include your next updates in their feed.
- Hey, I Just Tagged You and This is Crazy – Tag someone you don’t know, or who isn’t in a picture for your brand, and they will get a notification. Most likely they will immediately untag themselves (best case scenario) or block you (worst case scenario). And who could blame them? When someone does that to you, do you take them seriously? Or do you get the impression you’re dealing with a spammer?
- Tagging Other Brands – Yes, recently, Facebook updated their algorithm to reward folks for tagging other brands in posts. Within reason. If it’s relevant and valuable content for both brands, give it a try. Otherwise, you will probably just be wasting your time. Remember, Facebook doesn’t reward suspicious behavior.
- Engaging Fans in Pointless Polls and Conversations – You know the posts. A page you’re a fan of asks you to like if you’re a fan of James Patterson or share if you’re a fan of Stephen King. Maybe the question is even which product of yours is their favorite. That’s relevant, right? Perhaps. But at the end of the day, it’s probably not helping you do anything but throw out a fun post on Facebook. Without more of a purpose than that, it’s probably a waste of time.
- Use Hashtags Sparingly – Folks were truly excited when hashtags came to Facebook and as the saying goes, the crowd went wild. Too wild. The evidence suggests that Facebook posts with hashtags aren’t faring as well as posts without them. Best off to use them sparingly and with purpose, such as a hashtag intended to promote a cross-platform campaign or a charitable effort.
As opposed to wasting time trying to beat the system, focus efforts on using Facebook in legitimate, honest ways. Facebook, for many, is one the most powerful marketing tools out there. Research similar companies or entrepreneurs to see how they use the platform, what seems to work for them and what doesn’t. Do your homework on legitimate Facebook strategies. A quick hack may earn you a temporary, but often meaningless, gain. Using Facebook within their policies, and with research on successful marketing efforts, might just earn you real results that stick.
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