The algorithm changes from Facebook over the past nine months have been well-documented and you have probably seen your organic reach decline. But are you making any of the 3 big Facebook mistakes with your page that is unnecessarily causing your posts to be seen by even fewer people?

#1 Hashtags on Facebook

This is one I see all the time – even from ‘social media experts’ and it makes me wince because it’s just common sense. Ask yourself this – when was the last time you followed a hashtag on Facebook for #lovinglife or #makeupsecrets or #selftan ? That’s right. The twelfth of never.

The primary purpose of a hashtag is to act, almost as a digital magnet to suck up all the conversations that are about the same thing and catalogue them in a way that’s easy to find. It’s the 21st Century version of putting all the Romance novels on one shelf in the library so that people who are looking for a good Mills & Boon know where to go and find it.

They were first seen on Twitter many years ago, and are still used on that platform, but it is really Instagram where most people use them the most. Instagram by it’s very nature, actively encourages its users to ‘follow’ hashtags, and it’s users obediently oblige. It’s a great way to see updates about the topics that matter to you by ‘opting in’ to seeing anyone’s posts relating to a certain hashtag. So if you’re someone who wants to see things from your local area, you might follow #Blackpool or if you are interested in uplifting quotes you may wish to follow #motivationalquotes.

This culture does not exist on Facebook! When you cram your Facebook posts with twenty hashtags, you are achieving absolutely nothing. Less than nothing, actually. The age demographic on Facebook is typically older than Instagram so they just don’t “get” why you are making your posts look chaotic and confusing and are more likely to unfollow or unlike because it annoys them.

#2 Using Engagementbait and/or Clickbait

This worked well a year or two ago, but unless you’ve been living in cave for the past few months – Facebook is currently undergoing a massive campaign to clean up its image (in part, due to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal) and get back to its roots of why it was created.

This time last year, your timeline was awash with those really annoying “Tag a friend who would eat this” or “What’s your pornstar name” (before asking you for your mother’s maiden name, the last two digits of your bank account and the name of your first pet. Amazingly, people actually provided such details willingly!) But now you may have noticed such posts are all but gone from your feed.

Those who aren’t keeping up to date with the Facebook algorithm changes are still making these mistakes are using “Tag a friend” type keywords in their posts, which are picked up by Facebook like a big red flashing SPAM beacon, sending your organic reach plummeting. I am even fairly convinced (although I have no actual proof of it, only my own experiences managing my own page and my clients) that question marks in your posts cause it to be downgraded by Facebook as Engagementbait.

#3 Not having a strategy

When you post something on Facebook, ask yourself: “What do you want them to do? What action are you hoping to prompt? What is the purpose of it?”

More often than not, when I’m auditing social media pages for prospective clients complaining that their incumbent social media provider isn’t generating any leads, it is clear why their efforts are not producing results.

It is clear that no thought has gone into the post, as to how it aligns with their marketing funnels and sales process to result in a sale. You want people to like it? Great – what are you going to do with that post like? How will that take you closer to your revenue goals?

If you avoid making these Facebook mistakes you will be a couple of steps closer to success, and if you want to learn more about how to garner cold hard cash sales from your Facebook audience, check out our Facebook Group and our Courses