Think Facebook has become passé and is no longer relevant in your social media marketing campaign? Think again! When trying to keep with the latest and greatest in the social media world, many business managers have turned away from Facebook, claiming newer platforms are where their target market is heading.

Many don’t realize that Facebook remains just as current, relevant, and efficient for business marketing as it was in its infancy. In fact, more than any other social media platform, it has evolved and grown monthly users year after year. Analysts believe that in 2017 businesses will see new updates and features that will make it hard to discredit Facebook as a successful place for social media marketing.

So, if you are a business manager who feels that your Facebook marketing is not working, let’s evaluate some common mistakes or misconceptions and how to remedy them.

Mistake #1: Focusing on your “like” count

At some point in your life you may have considered whether or not you would want 100 friends who are not genuine versus a handful of really close-knit friends who actually know you well. The same holds true with “likes” on Facebook. While it can seem wise to have a large follower base and a lot of “likes,” more is not always merrier. If you are too focused on your “like” count, you are simply generating numbers without regard to what these people actually mean to you (or you to them). Ultimately, you can end up with a bunch of people who don’t know your business and its values, who don’t have a connection or care about your business, and could take or leave what you have to offer.

The Fix: Make sure you are attracting qualified people who actually want what you have to offer. Promote your business page to current customers, who you know will be a true fan and will be qualified people to recommend you to their friends. Build your followers or “likes” strategically, and your messages will be heard by people who actually care to hear them.

Mistake #2: Putting too much emphasis on engagement

Have you ever found yourself putting together a Facebook post that you were certain would get a lot of attention and then were disappointed with its lack of comments, likes or shares? And then you were baffled because you knew your post was engaging as hell? Your immediate reaction may have been that Facebook marketing doesn’t work, when in fact, maybe you were just focused on the wrong thing. Oftentimes we think engagement is the number one factor in a successful advertisement or post, but what we as business owners or managers find engaging isn’t always the same thing our customers find engaging.

The Fix: Engagement doesn’t always equal sales or real interest. Maybe you posted something especially intriguing that day, an offer you were sure people couldn’t refuse. However, does it matter how much engagement you have from your audience if they ultimately never buy from you? Instead, focus on talking to your audience. Find out what they want. What do they want to talk about? Ask them! Build a relationship with them and let them get to know you and your brand. Engage with them, not solely in your content, and you won’t experience that disconnect.

Mistake #3: Being too promotional and sales oriented

When door-to-door sales were at their peak in the United States, many homes began displaying “No Solicitors” signs. Just because sales have shifted online doesn’t necessarily mean people want you knocking on their proverbial internet door. Let’s be real: people hate being sold to. If all you have to offer your Facebook audience is a page full of wheeling and dealing, discounts and promotions, you are eventually going to become white noise.

Special Promotions and Discounts

The Fix: Be helpful. Create tons of content that helps people or even entertains. Stop worrying about traffic and focus on creating content that is so helpful it gets shared. Give your audience a reason to comment, like or share. Do that with conversation of the copy, not solely with sales and promotional copy.

Mistake #4: Not being true to your brand and message

All too often, businesses claim their Facebook marketing is not working, when in reality, a simple brand check may be what they really need. Are you conveying a genuine, authentic version of your brand across all your social media platforms and across all Facebook arenas? Ask yourself if your goals, mission, and purpose behind your company are clearly conveyed. Do your posts reflect your brand’s identity consistently? If you pride yourself on being a company that values customers, make sure your online footprint matches. For example, if a customer has posted a negative review of your business, have you responded quickly, publicly and professionally? If not, you may be apt to blame Facebook marketing as not working, when in reality, maybe your customers are not understanding your brand’s identity.

The Fix: Before you do anything, you should ensure that your branding, voice and message are consistent with your beliefs. Develop your branding guide filled with logos, colors, font, background, styles, etc. Develop your pillars, values and voice. Anyone who manages your business profiles, website and social should all be very familiar to keep consistency. Vary your social media posts, actively and authentically engaging with your audience, so they get a true sense of who you are and what you are about.

Mistake #5: Not using Facebook ads

As you consider changing up some of your Facebook strategies, you should also think about Facebook ads. You may have asked yourself if they really work (Spoiler Alert: YES). Facebook advertising allows businesses to target specific audiences, and it’s one of the most cost effective mediums to do so. If you think they don’t work, it’s probably due to lack of knowledge of how to make them work right.

Facebook Audience Targeting

The Fix: Install the Facebook Pixel. Learn about Facebook Audiences and Custom Audiences, and ensure you are defining and targeting the RIGHT audience. These audiences are amazing at allowing you to essentially develop your own customer list from interests, age, job, other pages they like and even create an audience from your existing customers and page fans. Use your website to track your ad engagement and retarget back to those who visited. Facebook ads can be successful when used strategically, and allow businesses to work smarter, not harder.

Mistake #6: Leaving your leads on Facebook

While Facebook can be a valuable platform for generating leads and engaging with customers, it shouldn’t be the only tool in your marketing toolkit. Oftentimes, business managers treat it as a standalone product and fail to intertwine it with other parts of their marketing campaign.

The Fix: Use Facebook to build an email list. This moves your leads to another platform that you keep control of. Make your email list helpful and fun, not totally promotional. This gives you yet another avenue to reach your current and potential customer base.