Facebook Calls to Action: Honey or Vinegar
It takes a matter of seconds to realize that someone is selling to you. In person, you may get that vibe from someone and you instantly know… the same applies in social media. In fact, Facebook goes to great lengths to prevent businesses from placing ads in users’ news feeds that are overtly salesy. That old saying, “You’ll attract more bees with honey than with vinegar,” applies to social media, too. Think of content or posts that social media users find naturally engaging as the honey and the use of inappropriate calls to action as the vinegar.
Selling on Social Media
For those of you who use social media often, you likely understand the nuances of engaging content and when it’s right to use calls to action and when it’s not. Often, if a dentist or team is not familiar with Facebook or social media, we find there may be requests for many or every (gasp) post to include a call to action—that’s a lot of vinegar!
Of course, there is a time and place for salesy advertisements and calls to action on social media. Think Facebook ads. The right amount of vinegar is delicious in certain foods and beverages and can also make your offers more appetizing in social media, when used at the right time and place. We here at Rita Zamora Connections are huge fans of social media advertising. In fact advertising, or boosting posts, is essential for most practices today.
Facebook is a pay-to-play tool and without payment, your posts, page, and practice may fall flat. There are many excellent advertising options to choose from on Facebook, Instagram, and more. Depending on the ad options you choose, a website link or call to action will automatically be generated for you. Of the many calls to action Facebook ads can automatically generate, you may choose from:
Like Our Page
Learn More, etc.
The Cost of Negative Feedback on Facebook
Facebook is skilled at determining what people like and dislike in their news feeds. Did you know they even track “negative feedback” that your page gets? That’s right. Negative actions against a post or page can include:
- Hide Post
- Hide All Posts
- Reports of Spam
- Unlike of Page
You can find feedback stats in your Facebook Page Insights. Just go to your Business Page and tap Insights > “Posts” (at left )> Click the dropdown arrow beside “Reactions, Comments & Shares”> Select “Post Hides, Hides of All Posts, Reports of Spam, Unlikes.” From there you can see what, if any, negative feedback you’ve received.
The inevitable result of high negative feedback is that Facebook figures out that people don’t want to see what you have to share. Ouch. This will result in challenges with organic visibility and will likely make your paid advertising more expensive as well. However, on a positive note, you can take this information and use it to develop a shift in your strategy. As my friend Ginny Hegarty likes to say, use this as a sign you need to PIVOT.
In fact, Facebook has implemented some guidelines to help steer business owners’ advertising efforts in the right direction. Some of the advertising tactics Facebook limits or prohibits are the use of too much text in images, verbiage in posts that they feel may be embarrassing to users, and close-up before and after photos. These types of tactics are restricted by Facebook with the intention of maintaining a pleasant user experience for all. If you have been running ads for dental implants, you have likely run across Facebook’s monitoring of the language for “implants”, as well as related images. Sometimes appeals to Facebook can help get ads of this nature approved, and other times you may need to go back to the drawing board and start over.
So, when it comes to calls to action and advertising on social media, what is considered honey versus vinegar? If you are only on social media to sell, it’s possible to do nothing but advertise. However, you will pay for it and you must have an excellent strategy in place. Note that non-stop ads will turn off page followers and make it difficult, if not impossible, to build a quality community. A strategy full of ads is to simply sell. Saturate the market and be done with it. Imagine drinking pure straight vinegar…
If, however, you’d like to acquire page likes, followers, and grow a quality community of people who like you (pun intended) and are interested in what you have to offer… then you’ll need a strategy that focuses on engaging people with great content and using ads as appropriate. Think delicious honey by the spoonful.
Checklist for Social Media Ads
- What is your long-term objective? Are you growing a community of strong relationships or just looking to sell as much as possible?
- What is your balance of 80/20, honey and vinegar, content for the month? This is much easier to identify if you have a strategic planned editorial calendar for each month.
- When leveraging your 20% vinegar (ads), which call to action is best to help accomplish your goals?
- Remember traditional advertising guidelines apply when it comes to social ads. Think: Timing, audience, graphics, and text/offer, which all impact the effectiveness of your ads.
- Do you have a system in place so your content and ads creation is repeatable and thus more efficient and effective?
The 80/20 Rule
The next time you think about placing ads or calls to action in your social media content, think about your objective. Is it only to sell? If you are motivated by sales, remember the risks associated with too much vinegar. Remember the 80/20 rule of thumb: 80% honey and 20% vinegar is a fine mix. Too much of any good thing may result in issues… If you’ve shared nothing but honey to date, you likely have great opportunity to leverage all the goodness you’ve grown in your community. We often see this when practices avoid using ads altogether—note, there’s valuable opportunity to leverage when ads and calls to action are done well.
How’s your social media mix of honey and vinegar? We’d love to hear from you and help!