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July 8, 2010

5 Common Facebook Tactics – That Don’t Work!

Credit: Matt Harnack / Facebook
Credit: Matt Harnack / Facebook

There are about ten common Facebook marketing tactics. (You can probably think of more, but most are a derivative of one of these ten.) It may surprise you to learn that five of these tactics don’t even work — that’s fully half! Now, no Fire God will suddenly appear to smite you if you happen to have done one of the following things. They are definitely mistakes, but they aren’t irreversible. In fact, they’re really only mistakes in one sense of the word.

My perception of these as “mistakes” isn’t about breaches of the unwritten Facebook etiquette either – I dance on those lines myself from time to time.

Rather, I’m calling them mistakes from a perspective of effectiveness, versus the alternative behavior. Whether they’re wrong in terms of just coming across as rude or politically incorrect is another matter altogether.

Having said that, off we go.

Mistake #1 – Posting Signature Links on Profile Walls with Your Introduction

I asked someone why they did this once, especially since I’d already been to their site and purchased the item they were selling on that page.

She said: “I saw someone else do it.”

“How did it make you feel?” I asked.

“I felt kind of used. But I figured if that’s what it takes to be successful, that’s what I’ll do, even if it doesn’t seem quite right.”

Now that’s deep.

I understand though, because once I made the vow to become successful, I also made a vow to do “whatever it takes”. At the time I thought it meant hard selling and being pushy. I later found it meant hard work, and doing what’s right even if there’s a lazier, easier way.

Even if this was at one time effective in terms of getting clicks from random profile visits, Facebook is now much more stream-driven than it is profile-driven.

And that’s a huge part of why this is a mistake in terms of effectiveness.

Not to mention that people who see these postings as rude or attempts to spam can remove or hide them. They may even drop you as a connection, which cuts you off not just from them, but from their network.

You’re not missing out on anything by omitting that signature link. Your name, hyperlinked to your profile IS your signature link. If your profile is set up correctly, prospects will get to your site from there.

Mistake #2 – Pitching

If you want to pitch people on Facebook, buy an ad on Facebook.

It doesn’t have to be a Facebook ad – buy one in a popular Facebook application. No matter how good your elevator pitch is in real life, it doesn’t translate in online networking. Let me give you a hypothetical example from the real world.

Imagine you go to an after-work bar. People go there to relax with work friends, to meet potential mates, on actual dates, and to get to know other people in the business.

You’re unwinding with colleagues when someone walks up, and without forewarning, tries to sell you some steak knives. When you stare blankly, they shrug, and move on to the next person.

We all may chuckle to ourselves, and wonder what that person is thinking… but are you ever the knife salesman when you’re on Facebook?

Honestly, when I first came here, I was tempted to be.

Thank God my better judgement stopped me. I’m telling you that to say this – if you’ve been the knife salesman don’t be ashamed, you didn’t know any better. It’s not like they issue marketing lessons with your incorporation papers.

Just make a vow, right now, to always check yourself before you post. Ask yourself “Am I Networking or Pitching?”

Mistake #3 – Artificial Bonding

I’d respect a person more who was upfront with me, and said they were hoping we could work together, or do some business, than someone who pretended to care about me in order to get me to have a conversation that they could then direct to their pitch.

I wouldn’t buy from them, at least not then. But at least I’d still respect them, which means I could change my mind in the future.

Pretending to like people until you get the chance to try to sell to them is really just pitching with a little bad foreplay first.

Bad foreplay isn’t better than none at all.

Mistake #4 – Favoring Uphill Marketing Over Downhill Marketing

Again, this is a mistake in terms of how effective it is. In my own experience, as well as in case studies of clients, it always works out better when you create a fantastic marketplace presence and people are drawn to you in droves, seeking to do business with you, rathere than the alternative.

The alternative, of course, is when you go out and pursue customers and clients one by one.

That’s not to say that you should stop advertising, bidding on projects, or being a go-getter in any way.

It means that while you’re doing that, also create a situation where customers are flowing towards you, seeking you out, asking for help.

It’s much less work to get from interest to sale when they come to you.

Mistake #5 – Fishing on Dry Land

A long, long time ago, I was in a network marketing company. Now defunct, the products they have greatly enhanced, possibly even saved, my life. The products were targeted to people who cared about being healthier and eco-friendly.

At first, I was so excited about what had happened to me, that I told every single person who would listen. I would try and go product by product and explain how great everything was.

After failing Very Hard for about three months, I narrowed my focus.

I bought a bottle of the mineral complex, and some sample sized containers. Then I gave a sample to every single person I could think of who had a health problem that might be related. Orders started pouring in.

Ever since that day, I have remembered two things. First, the one that’s relevant here – proper targeting greatly increases sales. Secondly, give a free sample of something needed to those most starving for it, and they’ll be back to buy more.

A few well-timed, well-placed interactions with the right profile are the main things you need to do the equivalent of offline networking on Facebook. A great profile is just as important as being appropriately dressed at a networking function offline.


I outline the whole process of Fast Facebook Marketing in my latest video series. You’ll find it here: http://freetraffictip.com/0-fast-fb-traffic/ – you can learn the basics and have visitors coming from Facebook by the end of the day.

27 Responses to “5 Common Facebook Tactics – That Don’t Work!

    avatar Dan Johnson says:

    Nice post, thanks for writing this, it needs to be said. I run into lots of FB members crawling the chat room just to find someone to pitch their business to and it’s annoying to say the least.

    avatar david knott says:

    excellent advice. the irony is web marketing is much as any other professional service; just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you should.

    avatar Anita says:

    Thanks for the insight. It’s great to know these things before I start marketing my site!

    Wow, this one was really a spot-on article. I just couldn’t agree more on that Tinu. Some time ago I had the same experiences, and the same problems. But after realizing just what you wrote in here, I come up with a way to advertise myself and products to a more narrow-targeted audience, so that worked quite well so far.

    avatar Shay Martin says:

    Thanks for some great insights Evgeni

    avatar Tinu says:

    Hi Evgeni,

    Thanks for the kind words. I’m not perfect either, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. But that’s how we learn and show others, right?

    Hi Shay,

    Very much appreciated.

    Hope you both have a great weekend.

    I left facebook for this very reason. I had old friends from uni trying to sell me stuff that I clearly wasn’t in the market for – very anti-social if you ask me.

    avatar Laura says:

    Great advice! Facebook is a great way to connect, but I find it somewhat confusing when it comes to using it for my business. Hope you’ll provide more helpful suggestions in the future!

    thanks for the reminders! may you have a great day. 😀

    avatar Gaby says:

    Thank you for reminding us of appropriate decent polite behavior, it will take us far. I am afraid this abusive attack of selling is becoming the new current lingo of business. Good read!

    avatar Rob says:

    A useful article, that I’ll be forwarding on to any of the culprits I encounter on a daily basis. Still, you have to remember that most marketers on FB are amateurs, not spammers, so don’t go too hard on them – nobody taught them how to promote ethically or properly.

    avatar Gerardo says:

    We just launched a facebook page for a nutritional supplements line. Your advice is very timely!

    avatar Gail Cavanaugh says:

    Very helpful tips. It takes time and patience to be in a social network. Knowing the rules helps.

    avatar said M says:

    thx u just wake me up, really appreciate this high thoughts piece of advice…

    avatar forex robot says:

    Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

    avatar Kim says:

    I’m glad I am not the only one that doesn’t like to be hammered over the head with pushy marketing tactics in my social areana. Thank you. I have avoided FB for my business so far. However this article makes etiquette for business on FB clearer and I look forward to more tips.

    avatar Simon Croft says:

    Hi Tinu,

    Great post, must admit, never understood the reasoning about using facebook for marketing, but that maybe just me getting old. I am also a great believer in point 4, as the saying goes, you will get noticed by more people in 3 months by taking an interest in them than in 3 years trying to get people to take an interest in you.

    Kind regards,

    Simon

    avatar Vilyanur says:

    Nice post!

    I have never thought those were just mistakes!

    Thanks again.

    It maked me think a little before starting to really use facebook.
    Specially points 1 and 2

    avatar chris says:

    These mistakes committed by “knife salesmen” make me quite reluctant to go on FB. Good article, should awaken some. Bravo!

    avatar utube says:

    Hello, thanks for sharing this one, I never thought that kind of doings were such a mistake, good things to know.

    Wow,its very nice to read this articles , really when i start i think how to target people , how to advertise my product its a concept base , to make a good and effective its very hard for me but i take a few things on experiment basis . Ant it will successes ,
    Now we perform well and go for better direction .
    One most important things this tips are not for facebook only , but most probably all the networking sites
    thanks,
    Nayan Kumar
    For more Visit : http://www.braahmam.net
    If any query feel free to cont. me :–
    Nayan kumar
    Braahmam Net Solutions Pvt Ltd.
    Noida, India,

    Facebook is really great and I love interacting with friends and fans at the same time talk about business and get great reactions that can help being better.

    avatar remonatrix says:

    I think that if you Facebook, you have two sides to the thing. First off, my personal page is my personal page … I say off the cuff things, joke and connect with my friends.

    Second, my business page is my business page, yes I recommend it to friends but it’s on another level … a more serious less personal level …

    Making this distinction is paramount and does wonders for credibility and keeping away from the shallowness of the sales pitch.

    avatar UTOBC says:

    Nice post guy! I’ve just create a Facebook account and page, will use it for further action…

    avatar michael says:

    I am on facebook and have a page which I put usefull information on.I am not realy the social chatty type.Personally I think it takes up to much time and you dont realy know the person.If they are you next door neighbour then you can talk to them over the fence

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