Don't Blame Facebook: 10 Reasons Low Conversion Rates Are YOUR Fault

PaulDunay
Paul Dunay Financial Services Marketing Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Posted on January 22nd 2013

Don't Blame Facebook: 10 Reasons Low Conversion Rates Are YOUR Fault

Smart Facebook Marketing

So, you're one of the seemingly millions of brands out there using Facebook to lure people over to your website. Chances are you've viewed recent reports about Facebook's surprisingly low activity rates ("Only 1% of people who like a Facebook page ever go back to that page") as vindication of what you've always suspected: marketing on Facebook just doesn't work.

You're not alone. The following are the 10 top reasons brands fail to tap into the real potential of Facebook. (Hint: zero of them are Facebook's fault.)

1.     Failure to make a great first impression

Most fans won’t ever come back to a brand’s page unless they feel they have good reason to. This is not totally different from how they interact with their friends’ pages, when you think about it. Unless the new friend has great content to go back to, there’s not much of a reason to go directly to their page very often, if at all.

2.     Poor text and visuals

A successful Facebook page must have concise, engaging text that’s relevant to both the brand and the fans’ interests. Overly long, humdrum copy will fail to capture fans’ attention. Crisp, eye-catching, high-resolution visuals (photos, videos, illustrations) that clearly speak to those things visitors like about the brand in the first place will draw them in for more.

3.     Stagnant page content

If fans stop by more than once only to find the same old Facebook page, they might assume the page is outdated — or worse, abandoned. It’s important for marketers to give fans new ways to connect and advance their relationship with the brand or product being promoted. Keep to a consistent schedule with fresh content and ever-improving offers, and be sure to test what works with your audience. 

4.     Inconsistent or lazy branding

If there’s no stylistic connection between a company’s Facebook page and its main website, visitors may not trust that the page is legit. Brands often spend a disproportionate amount of time, money and effort on website branding efforts, in comparison to the relative pittance reserved for complementary Facebook efforts. Keep branding consistent across all channels, so that visitors know exactly where they’re going and whom they’re dealing with.

5.     Confusing calls to action

Once fans arrive at a brand’s Facebook page, they should have a clear idea of what to do and what’s available to them. Offers and calls-to-action should be prominently displayed, and any associated instructions should be easy to follow. Be aware, however, that Facebook has guidelines concerning calls-to-actions, offers and anything else resembling blatant advertising on company pages, so it’s important to make sure you’re current on usage guidelines.

6.     Too many clicks

People are impatient—and want immediate gratification—especially on Facebook. If you have to use forms to give visitors access to the content they want, they’re likely to click away. Make sure the desired destination can be reached in the fewest amount of clicks possible. Also, if you have to use a form to capture data, keep it short and simple. 

7.     Mysterious visitors

All fans are not alike – so why treat them all the same? With the right tools, marketers can compile profiles using Facebook data authorized by the user (age, gender, location, name, relationship status, etc.) as well as previous site behaviors to get a better sense of the type of people they’re reaching on Facebook. Those profiles can then be used to present offers, content and/or experiences that are the most effective in attracting fans, “Likes,” website traffic or any other relevant conversion metrics.

8.     Preconceived notions

As excited as marketers may get about shiny new objects—especially social media objects—they‘re often reluctant to spend the time and money to truly develop new efforts for them. Why not step out of your comfort zone and try to develop specific content based on customer segments? An even crazier idea—consider developing Facebook-specific campaigns rather than repurposing ones created with a different platform in mind.

9.     Ineffective plugin use 

If Facebook plugins aren’t integrated into the main company website, a great deal of potential traffic—and revenue—is being lost. Plugin tools turn consumers into brand advocates, making it easy to share site information with Facebook friends. Let visitors like or share website pages back to their Facebook profile with one click. Better yet, provide personalized suggestions to your website visitors, based on what other people are sharing as well as their own click behavior.

10.   Sticking to stand-alone metrics

Getting just one side of the story isn’t enough. Marketing programs need to be set up so that Facebook stats and user profiles are fully integrated with all other online and offline ecommerce channels’ information to create rich, detailed and fully comprehensive user profiles. Profile reports should be updated on a regular basis, so the most recent user information is always available.

With the proper attention to detail and willingness to dedicate the same energy to Facebook efforts as they do to other initiatives, online marketers will no doubt find that their 1% conversion rate is something they can control—and that it’s not Facebook’s fault their customers aren’t more engaged.

PaulDunay

Paul Dunay

Financial Services Marketing Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating buzz for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations.

Paul is the author of five “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009), Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies (Wiley Custom Publishing 2010), Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley 2010), Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition (Wiley 2011) and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 3rd Edition (Wiley 2012).

His unique approach to marketing has led to recognition of Paul as a BtoB Magazine Top 25 B2B Marketer of the Year for 2010 and 2009 and winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth in 2008. He is also a finalist for the last six years in a row in the Marketing Excellence Awards competition of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), and is a 2010 and 2005 gold award winner in Driving Demand.

Marketing Darwinism, Paul’s blog, has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs.” 

Paul has shared his marketing thought leadership as a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, BtoB Magazine, CMO Club, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), and ITSMA. He has appeared on Fox News, and his articles have been featured in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, BtoB Magazine, MarketingProfs and MarketingSherpa.

Paul holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Computer Science from Ithaca College.

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Comments

Hi Paul, agree with you, some social media marketers blame the platforms rather than themselves. We need to check what we have not done to make it work.