Avoiding Facebook Fails

The Scenario

Not too long ago, I was sitting on an event committee and the RSVP’s weren’t quite as high as hoped. One of the committee members said, “The event needs to be posted on Facebook everyday until the event.” The amateurs in the room all quickly nodded and thought that sounded like a great plan!

Unlike the rest of the room, my heart sank. Looking back, I wish I spoke up and explained why this was a bad idea. Instead I stayed quiet. For the next three weeks, the exact same post was scheduled for Facebook day after day with the exact same image and text. Rather than sharing information or an engaging video, the repetitive post was simply a one-sided call for sales.

After reading this scenario, do the words “Facebook Fail” come to mind? Think about it….When is the last time you made a purchase after clicking on an ad or social media post with the “Buy Now” call-to-action? Did you even click that ad or social media post? 

Facebook’s Algorithm Has Changed

Back in 2013, Facebook’s algorithm used to rank “high-quality” content to users based on the post’s relevance and timeliness. What worked five years ago, no longer works today. Facebooks algorithm continues to evolve. Quality is far more important than quantity now-a-days.

To be successful on Facebook, your strategy needs to evolve and continuously improve. Old spammy shot-gun strategies are not going to generate the results. Effective in 2017, Facebook started to reduce the reach of pages who ask users to share, comment, like, etc.

As of 2018, Facebook favors meaningful content that encourages interaction and conversation. Your news feed will display more posts, images, and videos from friends and family rather than news articles, ads, and public content from brands and businesses.

These are just a few examples of how the algorithm has changed and evolved over the years. If you are curious and want to learn more about how Facebook has evolved, Wall Room Media has a great summary of the changes over the years.

Focus on Quality over Quantity

Does this mean Facebook is no longer a good marketing channel for business? No, these changes align with what marketing experts have known for years. Engagement matters. Quality content that matters to your audience is essential. Don’t feel like you have to post everyday! Be selective about the content you share and prioritize quality over quantity. Instead of asking “How can I get a sale?”, ask “How can I build trust with prospects?” or “How can I build loyalty with my customers?”

There are still ways to win organically on Facebook. Consider the following suggestions:

  • Create and share video content
  • Create engaging content that your followers want to share with their friends
  • Start a conversation with your followers
  • Prioritize in-platform content rather than link to pages outside of Facebook
  • Ensure uniqueness between posts
  • Time your posts to reach your audience when they are online

These content marketing suggestions are not new or earth-shattering. As Simon Kingsnorth, author of Digital Marketing Strategy, explains, “Great content needs to be all of the following: credible, shareable, useful or fun, interesting, relevant, different, and on brand” (Read more from Simon Kingsnorth, 2016).

Looking Ahead

The next time you post on Facebook. Remind yourself to stop thinking about your wants and goals. Take a step back and adopt the perspective of your following and give them a reason to care. Instead of screaming to the mountain tops “Buy a ticket,” create teasers and incentives that engage your following. Instead of telling your following “Don’t miss this event,” give them information and visually show them what they will be missing out on. Try a more implicit rather than explicit approach.


Kingsnorth, Simon (2016). Digital Marketing Strategy: An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing. Philadelphia, PA; Kogan Page Limited. Wall Room Media (2018). Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm History. Retrieved from https://wallaroomedia.com/facebook-newsfeed-algorithm-history/