Establishing a social media presence is very important for small businesses, and Facebook should be part of your social media strategy. (See our previous post — Social Media: Is It Important For Small Businesses?). However, we want you to do it right and do it well! There are some common mistakes we see businesses and professionals make frequently, so this post is dedicated to explaining why you don’t want to make these common mistakes:
Creating a profile for your business instead of a page: Just remember profiles are meant for people, and pages are meant for businesses. Often we see people who have a profile for personal use, and a profile for business use. Not only is this a bad idea, but if Facebook catches you, they will shut your account down. Pages have been designed with valuable features that a normal profile does not have, such as the analytics that show engagement. These analytics will help you understand your reach and marketing effectiveness. And, business/fan pages don’t require you to accept a friend request; the page can be Liked by anyone at any time.
Using your Facebook page to sell, sell, sell: Facebook is all about customer engagement. Your primary purpose should be engaging your customers in a dialogue that reinforces their “stickiness” to your brand. Think of it as a networking event or cocktail party. Do you get irritated when you’re at a networking event and all someone does is push their product/services on you to try and get you to buy something? Well, you don’t want to make this mistake on Facebook, either. It’s a social network, and the surest way to lose “likes” is to push your product instead of providing valuable content that your fans will be interested in. Sprinkling in posts about your product/services is fine; just do less frequently than your normal content posts.
Not updating your page: As we talked about before, it’s all about customer engagement. Your fans expect fresh, new content regularly. Too many times we see businesses start a Page on Facebook, but then abandon it because they get too busy running the business and don’t take the time to update their Facebook page. The only way to grow your fan base on Facebook is to continually update your Page!
Too many posts: On the other side of the coin, however, is posting too many times per day. If you’re not sure how often to post on Facebook, pose the question to your fans! Most of the time they will tell you how often they want to hear from you. Each business is different, so there really is no hard and fast rule as to how often to post. If you are posting more than a couple of times per day, make sure it is not affecting your Page in a negative fashion (check your analytics to make sure people are not Unliking your page).
Posting inappropriate information: This seems like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised at what some people post. Before you post something to your business page, think about whether you would share that information with a client in a face-to-face business meeting. If the answer is “no”, you might want to rethink posting it on Facebook. Above all, stay professional, and avoid tarnishing your reputation by posting potentially offensive content.
Do you have examples of other major mistakes businesses or professionals make on Facebook? Please share with us!