December 18, 2014

10 Things You Should Stop Doing On Facebook

You’re on Facebook to communicate with your customers and increase social interaction. But are you unknowingly falling victim to some of the most common Facebook blunders business owners make and actually sending customers away?

Below are 10 Facebook mistakes to avoid while marketing your business.

1. Using a personal profile instead of a business page: We’ve all seen it. You’re eating at a new restaurant, enjoying it, and you want to go to Facebook to like the page and make it “Facebook official”. Only, when you finally get there you realize the business has set up a personal profile instead of a business page, leaving you unable to Like it or interact with it at all.

Ouch.

Nothing screams “I have no idea what I’m doing” like assigning your business to the wrong category.

As a business owner it’s important you create an official Business page for your brand, not a personal profile. This allows you to take advantage of much richer functionality like fan likes, checks ins, deals, full analytics, and better advertising options. It also ensures that Facebook can’t take your page away from you for assigning it to the wrong category. That can happen. If you’re currently using a personal profile instead of a business page, go migrate it.

2. Not filling out your profile completely: Facebook gives you a place on the Web to advertise your business and help your customers learn more about you. To aid in this goal, you need to completely fill out your business page so that users can find you and they see that you are invested in this community. When completing your profile take time to include your hours, phone number, your site URL, and all other relevant company information so that a user can find the information they’re looking for. Don’t make them hunt for it. Because they won’t.

3. Using Facebook as a broadcast medium: Using Facebook to blast out your latest press release or post a link to your latest blog with absolutely no conversation? Yeah, you’re using Facebook wrong. While all social platforms are intended to be social, Facebook is perhaps the most social of them all. In order to see any benefit, brands must put a focus on creating conversation and giving users a reason to want to engage with their brand. In fact, too many posts where users don’t engage and Facebook will simply stop showing your updates in their News Feed altogether. That’s how seriously Facebook takes user engagement. You want to take it equally as seriously.

4. Ignoring comments: Knowing that Facebook is all about engagement, it’s a bad idea to ignore fan comments on your wall or messages users may choose to send you privately. Of course, it’s not because of Facebook’s algorithms that you shouldn’t ignore your customers, it’s because they’re you’re customers! Your business is built on people. By fostering those relationships, you show customers that you care about their needs and, in the end, build a better business.

5. Leaving spam on your wall: Of course, not all comments are created equal. Don’t create your presence and then walk away. Monitor it! If you see Facebook users throwing garbage on your lawn, remove it. Delete spam comments. Don’t allow people to harass one another. And make sure everyone is playing by the rules. This page is associated with your brand. You have a responsibility to take care of it.

6. Using hashtags: Hashtags are for Twitter. Using them on Facebook makes you look like you’re not sure what platform you’re using.

7. Liking your own posts: We know you liked your post. You posted it. You don’t have to hit the like button. It makes your customers wonder if you have any friends.

8. Ignoring Facebook Insights: One of the perks about creating a Business page is the free analytics information. Facebook Insights provides business owners with important page data like how many users are seeing your page, whether or not they’re interacting with it, who is talking about your page, where they’re located, etc. You can even export the data to use it for your own benchmarking. As a business owner, you want to be looking at and using this information to better understand your audience, what they like, and how you can better reach them.

9. Using a bad avatar: Your avatar represents your brand on Facebook. Use something that will be clear, recognizable, and grab a user’s attention when it scrolls by in their News feed. This may mean redesigning your logo or creating a logo that is social media-friendly (meaning it works as a square). Don’t use an avatar that is text-heavy or which doesn’t scale well. Remember, most users won’t visit your brand page after they’ve Like it. Instead, they’ll rely on their News Feed to get your updates and information about your brand. Make sure your avatar is one they’ll recognize.

10. Not customizing your cover photo: Your Facebook cover photo gives you a valuable opportunity to showcase what you do in your top header. Select the photo you use wisely and have a little fun with it.

Above are ten common mistakes brands make on Facebook. But this certainly isn’t a complete list. What Facebook mistake do you see most often?

More in: 33 Comments ▼

Lisa Barone


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

33 Reactions

  1. #3 has to be my biggest pet peeve. If I want someone to shout at me I’ll go into the military.

  2. I have to agree with you Robert. Far too many businesses use Facebook as another channel for sales. I actually read a really interesting article a while back that basically said “no one hops on Facebook with their credit card in hand.” Our intentions are to connect with people via Facebook, not to buy stuff.

    • I agree that no one’s browsing Facebook with one hand on the trackpad and another hand on their wallet, but I think it’s an underestimation of social commerce to say that sales on Facebook can’t or shouldn’t happen. It happens all the time through Soldsie, and customers love engaging with brands that way because it feels new (and they don’t have to leave Facebook for another site!). It’s another way to connect that may actually be more genuine than another fill in the blank post.

  3. #3 is the hardest one for me to combat in my work environment. In many cases, higher ups will view sharing other page’s content and holding conversations as a loss of revenue because we are not showing them ads, sales, featured products, etc. While the Facebook page may be an extension of our site and our brand, people aren’t always buying… sometimes (read: all of the time) people want to be on Facebook for enjoyment and information.

  4. Oh number 3 is where they are just puking up noise in their stream in hopes of someone buying what they’ll posting. Looking for the instant sale instead of doing the work to engage their community and connect on a relational level with them.

  5. Since every “rule” is made to be broken, I’ll mention that my wife is killing it on Facebook by using her personal account, not her business page. She’s a sole proprietor in an industry that’s all about personal relationships (real estate) and I recognize that her approach wouldn’t be appropriate for many (most?) other small biz owners.

    • I think that’s awesome Matt. Go Mrs. McGee! :-) The biggest point with this “rule” though, is that Facebook CAN, WILL and HAS shut people’s personal pages down for using it like or as a fan or business page. Facebook makes these rules very clear, not highly visible, but when you look them up, they’re clear. She should probably create a fan page and start directing people there. Her peeps shouldn’t have any problem migrating.

      • But she doesn’t use like a business. She’s completely personable/personal with it, so unless Facebook has rules against posting food photos, family anecdotes, etc., she’s fine. :-)

    • I think she sounds like a great networker! Not just her personal Facebook page, but her specifically. She is getting to know all of her leads and clients on a personal level to build that trust! She should keep doing what she’s doing on her personal page, she could also have a business page with specific information on her business as well. List hours, her specialties, etc so she can have that page to really focus on the professional side and keep using herself as the key marketing tool with her personal page. People can leave reviews, tag her business in posts, check in and she can get insights by setting up a business page as well! Just an opinion because I do the same thing. I connect with a lot of people on my personal page, but have the business page as well so if I am posting a lot of very industry specific things I can do so over there.

    • I agree with your comments here – I have my personal page and a community page, and business pages. I get really good interaction on all pages, I also post activities and events that people can attend with Eventbrite links etc. Always a personal comment on something topical, so I believe that it can definitely work so long as it is managed well:)

  6. Great list of tips, Lisa. #4 is especially one that should not be ignored. You should always respond to every page comment you get. Leaving them unanswered is like saying you don’t care about your business. Bad look for your brand. Thanks for sharing these tips.

    Ti

  7. Disagree with your hashtag rule. A lot of businesses have their post connected to their Twitter page also. Why make double the work when one can feed into the other? If someone is that petty about a symbol then get a life.

  8. Number 3 is what I mostly do. Need to improve on it.

  9. Have to agree with author, and disagree with Brodie, on the hash tag, using a hashtag IS bad form. Reducing work load for the page owner should not be the objective. If they don’t have time for both mediums then they should choose between Twitter or Facebook. A Tweet on Facebook tells me the Page Owner couldn’t be bothered REALLY engaging, but wants to appear to care.

    On a different note, I particularly like item 5 – not leaving spam on the wall, but it is important to be objective about spam, and still allow conversation. If someone posts “I really like your XXX (jewellery in our case), but your prices are crazy expensive” we let that comment stay. We either address the objection with a “if you are on a budget, you might consider these items . . .” or something similar. More often that not though, our customers will come to our ‘defence’ and say the prices are fair and reasonable for our product quality.

    What I do HATE though is “This is Marjorie from Candle Power, and we really love your products, why don’t you come over and see ours?” . . . HATE, HATE, HATE that – especially since ‘Candle Power’ usually has 117 fans, and ZERO engagement. Candle Power is immediately spammed and blocked from our page. I’m actually hesitant about letting any pages fan our page, and we fan only charities or events that we are working with – never other businesses that we may ‘personally’ like.

    That’s my rant on spam, ;)

  10. Another thing people shouldn’t do is to spam individuals with tons of promotional messages. If you want to advertise something, Facebook ads are the way to go.

  11. I hear you about #3 but which is worse not engaging in a dialogue with fans or engaging and getting no response? which i see all the time on other pages and it makes me think this person has absolutely no buzz at all and very few readers….

  12. I speak with hundreds and hundreds of indie retailers/merchants each day about social media and email marketing and cannot stress enough how important it is to be conversational on your Facebook business page, at least 60% of your posts should be conversational in nature. What I hear most often from them in response is they simply don’t know what to say.

  13. Regarding #7, liking your own posts: If you do like them…do they not appear in news feeds/notifications again? So if you liked them on another day or later time, they would show up again.
    Since the algorithm for % of your fans that are seeing your posts seems to be low, wouldn’t this practice give your posts a little more oomph?
    Also, you didn’t mention a # of posts per day but many claim 1-2 per day is sufficient. But again, if you post a few more and a small % is actually seeing them, wouldn’t a somewhat larger # of posts be beneficial?

  14. I agree with all but especially #’s 1 and 4. When I take the time to go to a page I like to be able to see the business page as well.

    Also, when I take the time to comment, I always appreciate a response. I do this with all who comment on my posts, even if it’s just a like.

    Good post; I shared.

    Maryann Matas
    seashoretranscription.com

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