12 Most Common Facebook Mistakes You Are Making
Facebook. Everyone is talking about it, but most people don’t quite get it. Recent studies have shown that Small Businesses regard Facebook and social media as one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to promote their brand. However, I found that small businesses are by far the biggest culprits for the following Facebook mistakes. If you are a Small Business owner, heed this warning: do not just go on Facebook because ‘everyone is doing it’, go there because you are looking for a new & innovative way to promote your brand.
When I started doing research at TemplateZone for our Facebook Page creation tool my boss told me to find the top 10 Small Business Facebook pages. I found 0. I started to look at some of the bigger corporations on Facebook and noticed that only a handful of companies really ‘got’ Facebook Pages. I asked myself, ‘If big companies that have marketing departments with deep pockets don’t get this, how will any small business or start-up create a desirable Facebook page?’
This question gave me a fever for Facebook Fan Pages. I started looking at as many as I could stand. I found that across the board there were some very serious issues that needed to be addressed. The great thing about these 12 common mistakes is that they are very easy to overcome. Most of these changes can be done quickly, but have not been implemented by the greater Facebook population.
Do yourself a favor, read on and check your page to see if you commit some of the most notorious mistakes you can make on Facebook.
Studies have shown that the #1 reason people unfriend another person is because they post too often. If friends and family members will drop each other from over-posting, what chance do you think your company has? Post 1-2 times a day with something substantial to say, and you will engage your fans without spamming them!
2. Syncing your updates with Twitter
Posting a lot on Twitter is an acceptable practice because it is a constant flow of information. However, people do not want their Facebook feed littered with status updates from your Twitter account. Keep your audience in mind on social media; remember for Facebook to ‘Post regularly, yet frugally’.
3. Scheduling updates
A recent study by EdgeRank Checker showed that Facebook penalizes users of any 3rd party API used to update your Facebook page. The likelihood of engagement by a fan decreases by 80% when you use a 3rd party tool to update your statuses. EdgeRank Checker concluded that one major reason engagement drops is because Facebook collapses 3rd party updates and only displays one individual update for that 3rd party platform.
4. Forgetting to set a default landing tab
This is one of the most common mistakes I have seen by small and large businesses on Facebook. This step is crucial; a default landing tab with a clear call to action can increase your like rate by close to 50%. If unique visitors are just landing on your wall, they will not take part in any desirable actions (because you never asked them to!)
5. Posting the same type of content
The Facebook EdgeRank dictates the number of impressions your posts will get by measuring Affinity, Weight and Time Decay. Different types of content hold a different weight, and this weight is also contingent upon how often this type of content is posted. It’s been said before that ‘Variety is the Spice of Life'; keep that in mind when you are posting, and don’t turn your status feed into an RSS reader or Flickr account.
6. Deleting fans’ wall posts
This one is a big no-no. Fans will notice if you delete their posts and call you out for doing so. If you are receiving bad comments from disgruntled fans, talk with them to resolve their issues. Never sweep them under the carpet, because they will retaliate (I got banned from a certain fan page for asking a question)!
7. Pushing the hard sell
There has been a lot of talk lately about social e-commerce, but this is still in its infancy. Use Facebook as a way to promote and create quality content to increase your brand’s reach and authority. By updating daily about new promotions, you are only asking people to click ‘Hide this post’.
8. Removing fans’ ability to post
I am often surprised how many pages actually remove the fans’ ability to post comments on their wall. By taking away fan engagement, you are making it much more difficult for a fan to engage with your page. The fear of social media is bad PR, but fans will find a way to talk about your company regardless of whether you remove posting ability. Wouldn’t you want them to talk about your company in a place where you can defend it?
9. Only regarding vanity metrics
Now that social media has shown to have some tangible benefits, many organizations are hiring social media managers to increase Facebook likes and Twitter followers. Though increasing these numbers is important to your social reach, the more important number is your interaction rate. For posts on Facebook to be seen you need a higher EdgeRank, and you get a higher EdgeRank through increased affinity. Your affinity increases with higher interaction rates; a page of 10,000 fans and no interactions is not doing your company any good.
10. Using a profile image that is too small
Your profile image is a great way to get messages across to current fans. A current fan always lands on your wall and may not know the latest and greatest happenings on your page. Use the full 180px x 540px profile picture to your advantage; this is a lot of real estate to promote new offers or Fan Only bonuses.
11. Interrupting conversations
When people start commenting and responding to each other, let them have their conversation. Offer your view as the conversation is dying down to give your expert take on it and spark up more conversations. You need to find a delicate balance; don’t neglect your fans but don’t smother them.
12. Forgetting to post community rules
By having a set of rules, either on a separate tab or in your information, you are setting clear guide lines as to what can be said on your Facebook page. This will help you justify yourself when you remove a disgruntled fan’s post that used a lot of profanity (assuming that is stated as a deletable offense).
These 12 common mistakes are not just being made by small companies who are just getting started on Facebook; many large companies are making these mistakes too. These lessons are crucial to any SMB who cannot rely on brand recognition to bring in hundreds of thousands of followers. Once you get past these mistakes, you will create a page where people will want to engage with your brand and begin building a community of brand evangelists, turning your likes into qualified leads. How many of these mistakes were you making or have seen other people make?
Featured image courtesy of lawtonchiles licensed via Creative Commons.