Many small business owners have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. While the potential to reach and engage your prospects, leads and customers is huge, there are so many little things that can keep you from realizing that promise.
To help your business succeed on this challenging social media platform, here’s a list of things to stop doing on Facebook right now. In other words, if you want to market your business successfully there – cease making these Facebook mistakes.
Things to Stop Doing on Facebook – Now
1. Failing to Brand Your Business Page
You’ve developed your brand for a reason. From colors to typography, logo, tone of voice and even personality, your brand is what differentiates your business from its countless competitors.
Unfortunately, so many businesses seem to forget that when they create their Facebook page. Here are a couple key branding must-haves:
- Header and avatar images: The first thing people see when they come to your Facebook business page is your header image and avatar photo (where your logo should shine). If these two elements, in combination, don’t tell visitors what your business is all about, they’re not doing their job.
- Tone of voice and personality: Depending on your business, your tone of voice and personality can be serious, light-hearted or anywhere in between. Make sure you use the proper tone of voice and let your business’s personality shine forth in every text update, image and video you post on Facebook.
2. Forgetting to Complete Your Page Info Profile
Your business’s page on Facebook gives you a place on the Web to advertise your brand and help your customers learn more about you.
That’s where your page info profile comes into play. Filled with relevant information about your business, it should be the one-stop source for everything your prospects, leads and customers need to know about what you do and how they can contact you to get it done.
When completing your profile, make sure to include all the information your visitors need such as your hours, phone number, site URL, and all other relevant company information.
Don’t make your visitors hunt for this information. Because they won’t.
3. Publishing Long, Boring Updates
When posting updates to your business page’s timeline, they need to be attention grabbing, short and engaging. Your timeline is not the spot for your press releases or blog posts.
One key to grabbing attention is a strong headline. As people scroll through their Facebook timelines, your updates’ headlines need to grab their attention or they’ll just pass right by.
Short of course is a relative measure however, what you need to know is that shorter posts are more likely to be read. When your visitors and fans see a longer post, they’re more likely to tuck it away for later (i.e. never) or skip it altogether.
Once you have their attention, your updates need to engage your fans and visitors. The key to this is knowing your target customer as well as you can so the topics of your updates are relevant, useful and in some cases entertaining.
By the way, you can blog on Facebook thanks to their “Notes” app . Similar to the long-form posts on LinkedIn , these posts appear on a different page tab than your timeline and thus the usual rules above don’t apply.
4. Ignoring Video
Pictures used to be the highest-shared type of content on Facebook. Recently however, the top contender has been video  while images have dropped to the bottom of the pile behind even text and link posts.
Don’t let the hurdle of creating video for, and posting videos on, Facebook keep you from reaping higher shares. It’s easy to post videos to your business’ Facebook page  and there are many online tools available  you can use to quickly create professional videos.
5. Forgetting to Include Calls to Action
Your Facebook page can help you capture lots of leads. However, if you don’t include a call to action in every post, you’ll miss out on this opportunity.
One example of a call to action is a link to a form where you can capture information, the most important being a visitor’s email address.
Once you’ve added a prospect to your email-marketing list, you’re ready to begin nurturing that lead into a sale.
6. Posting Too Often
Think about the most annoying friend you have on Facebook. They post everything about anything and it’s not long before you groan when you see them pop-up in your Facebook timeline.
Don’t let your business be like that friend. Post regularly, but not so often that your page’s fans get tired of seeing your posts in their timelines.
7. Failing to Post Often Enough
The flip side of the above, of course, is not posting often enough. You want to stay on your fans’ radar, so you need to be active regularly.
Just how many posts in one time-period are enough or not enough can vary from business to business. This is where your page’s Insights come in handy.
The very useful Insights feature will show you how many people engage with your posts by clicking or commenting. If the numbers are too low, try increasing your post frequency to see if you get more engagement. If the numbers are okay, try increasing your post frequency to see if you get more engagement. If the numbers drop, decrease your post frequency again.
8. Posting at the Wrong Time
Here again, your page’s Insights come in handy. In addition to showing you how many people engage with your posts by clicking or commenting, they also show you when people do so.
Posting when you get the most engagement will help keep engagement high. Test different times as well — doing so may help you discover additional time periods when engagement is high.
9. Forgetting to Use Hashtags
Hashtags used to be a Twitter-only device but, in 2014, Facebook introduced them to its own platform.
Using hashtags is a handy way to get discovered as people can search Facebook using them. If they use a hashtag you included in a post, your post will appear in their search results.
Be careful of using too many hashtags however. It’s been shown  that using more than two per post can significantly lower engagement.
10. Liking Your Own Updates
We know you like your update. You posted it. You don’t have to hit the like button. It makes your customers wonder if you have any friends.
11. Preventing Your Fans from Posting on Your Page
One of the fun things about your business’ Facebook page is the fact that your fans can post to your timeline as well. Allowing them to do so can really kick engagement up a notch (e.g. a “post a photo of you using our product” contest) so you should be sure to give it a try.
You can allow your fans to post to your page’s timeline by changing the settings:
12. Ignoring Your Fans
When your fans do post to your timeline, don’t ignore them.
Facebook is all about engagement, so it’s a bad idea to ignore fan comments on your timelines or messages they may choose to send you privately.
Nothing kills goodwill more than being ignored. You need to foster your relationships with fans and responding to them is an important key to doing so.
13. Failing to Maintain an Appropriate Demeanor
When you do interact with your fans, make sure you act appropriately. Don’t snap at them if they complain. Don’t make snarky comments about your competitors. Be careful in your use of profanity.
That’s not to say your business can’t snap, snark or swear up a storm on Facebook. If that fits your brand image, then by all means do so because you’ll attract your targeted customers that way.
Be careful of the implications, however. For example, if you post something snarky about a competitor, you may well find yourself on the receiving end of a defamation suit.
14. Ignoring Spam
Of course, not all fan posts and comments are created equal. Don’t create your presence and then walk away. Monitor it!
If you see Facebook users promoting their own products and services on your page, that’s ppam. Delete them! Don’t allow people to harass one another. Make sure everyone is playing by the rules.
This page is associated with your brand. You have a responsibility to take care of it.
15. Failing to Use Facebook Apps
Adding apps to your Facebook page can enhance its usefulness greatly. Each app appears under a separate tab and there are many types to choose from including:
- Email list sign-up forms
- eCommerce storefronts
- Quizzes, polls and surveys
- Contests and raffles
- Reviews and coupons
- Appointment scheduling
- Customer service
- Other social media sites such as Pinterest and YouTube
- Job postings
Facebook can be a small business owner’s best friend but only if you can avoid the pitfalls along the way.
If you stop doing these 15 things on Facebook, then you’re well on your way to realizing the full potential of the platform for engaging and converting your targeted customers.
Image: Small Business Trends