We have all seen lists of Facebook tips and tricks. But how about the things that you should avoid? Boosting your Facebook performance is essential, but it’s arguably even more important to make sure you aren’t doing something to hurt your page performance. Here are some common Facebook mistakes that brands create and how to avoid them.

Don’t use hashtags just because you want to.

Yes, hashtags are popular, and all the kids are using them. You add them to your Instagram and Twitter posts. But Facebook hashtags are a different beast.

Hashtags look cluttered and messy when used on Facebook. Hashtag usage may not seem like a big deal, but data has shown that they hurt performance. Exceptions to this rule exist, of course. For example, if you’re referencing a trend or a campaign (Ex.: #likeagirl or #whatsinyourbag) or using it ironically, you may be able to pull it off. As a rule of thumb, leave the hashtags for the other platforms.

Facebook may be working on a change, though, so it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled for a hashtag aggregator that automatically groups posts. Here’s an example:

Don’t always sell.

Spamming your followers is a big Facebook blunder, and it’s an easy one to make. Ad fatigue is real. Internet users are becoming desensitized to sales pitch language that they will almost always scroll right past a “Click to buy!” headline. Your job on social media is to start conversations and build a community. One of the most common mistakes on Facebook is assuming that your channel is a platform from which you get to shout at your audience. Nothing could be further than the truth.

Social media is social. The most successful build a relationship with an audience, understand their needs, and figure out how to fulfill them. Listen more than you talk.

Don’t delete that post.

Yes, there are extenuating circumstances. But unless you’ve got a copyright infringement situation, chances are you should not delete that post.

It’s tempting to remove all of the evidence when you’ve embarrassed yourself. It’s humiliating when you’ve made a factual error or posted something that didn’t go over like you thought it would. A major Facebook mistake can ruin your day. But the internet is forever. Even if you delete it, somebody has a screenshot, and you will get blasted even harder for trying to remove the evidence.

Own it. Address the comments. You can come off a lot better if you own your mistakes and move on or, if strategized, you can make it a win by introducing humor to the situation and turning things around.

Don’t ignore your audience.

Don’t fall into the routine of sending generic responses to people over and over. Ignoring your most valuable asset is a classic social media blunder, and can make you sound like an uninspired robot. Change it up!

You’re probably tired of coming up with different responses, but you’re better off making things look a little different each time for a variety of reasons.

  • People know there’s a human on the other end, and that can change the entire interaction. You have a chance to win someone over for good!
  • Your commenter feels heard.
  • You have a chance to set the record straight! If they are upset or expressing a differing opinion, you can share your thoughts and open up a dialog.

The moral of the story is that nobody wants to “be talked at.” Spend time engaging and conversing with your audience, and you’ll make a much better impression.

Don’t use clickbait.

There’s not a faster way to lose credibility and alienate your audience. A pretty standard Facebook blunder is begging people to click on your content. Clickbait is lazy and, frankly, pretty dull at this point. You’re better than that.

There is, however, a fine line between clickbait and writing a clickable headline. A clickbait headline is writing a headline that misrepresents a story to get people to click on it. The bait-and-switch tactic can leave people feeling misled and angry. A compelling headline can still deliver when the reader clicks through to the story.

The TL;DR of the whole clickbait argument is that an invitation to click is fantastic, don’t bait and switch, or you’ll anger your audience off, which is not optimal if you’re trying to win them over.

Don’t forget to post regularly.

If you want to give people a reason to come back, post regularly. It’s easy to lose momentum when you only post around promotions or events. So keep going! Build a sustainable posting strategy that involves diverse content and serves your audience.

If posting 24/7 sounds overwhelming, scheduling is an option. Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and the native Facebook scheduler can help you space out your posts. If you’d like to take it a step further, True Anthem can hook you up with AI posting that will completely change the way you think about content distribution.

Don’t sleep on Facebook’s features.

Take Facebook for all it’s worth. No, seriously. It is not just a feed – a megaphone for you to shout at people. Here are some of the features that you should be exploring:

Groups

You’ve heard of groups. But did you know that your page can administrate one? Experiment with focused groups that help your audience connect with you and each other.

Stories

Stories are an essential tool that allows you to connect with your audience. Add stickers to let them engage with you, ask questions, and get feedback. There are options to ask for donations, quizzes, polls, and all sorts of things that you can use to get feedback and build a communication channel.

Watch parties

Your groups can host parties that allow your group or page to watch videos together. They can encourage viewing, but also give your audience a chance to interact in real-time.