Facebook is a fantastic way to connect with clients, but using it the wrong way and filling everyone’s feed with annoying posts can quickly turn into a marketing disaster. That’s right: you can make some pretty ugly Facebook mistakes that turn off your fans just as easily as you can with your personal account.
People use social media to not only check out new businesses but to connect with businesses they care about. What you do on social media is out there for anyone to stumble upon, and your online reputation—good or bad—can make a lasting impression, which can either help or hurt your business.
Stay far away from these 10 mistakes when using Facebook for your business:
1) Using Bad Grammar
Social media has certainly changed the way we talk and interact, both online and offline, but just because it’s a digital form of communication doesn’t mean grammar rules fly out the window. Facebook posts with bad grammar make you look unprofessional, so take the time to proofread before you post.
2) Posting Too Little or Too Often
Both extremes can cause negative ramifications. If you hardly ever post to Facebook, you probably have a small, unengaged following, but if you post too much, you run the risk of pestering your fans to the point that they unlike your page. While there is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all formula, it’s important to find your posting sweet spot. Lucky for you, that’s a topic we cover in our 2015 Social Media Field Guide for Businesses.
3) The Awkward Twitter Sync
There are an abundance of platforms out there that allow you to hook up your social media accounts, so you post to one and like magic, you hit all your audiences.
In theory, this is great, until you log onto Facebook and see all the “@” tags that don’t carry over. Your short post is totally swallowed up by all the other carefully crafted Facebook posts with engaging text and beautiful photos. And chances are, if someone catches on to the fact that all your Facebook content comes from Twitter, they’ll realize you’re not really on Facebook and will stop listening to what you have to say.
4) Posting Only Self-Promotional Content
Yes, Facebook can be an excellent marketing tool for your business, but if all you ever do is post about yourself, you’ll bore your audience to tears. Mix up your messaging to stay relevant—in addition to your business’ latest news, share interesting content like helpful articles, photos, and conversation starters.
5) Lack of Personality
No one wants to follow a corporate robot on Facebook. This annoying trait is sometimes a result of only posting self-promotional content. Boring content is, well, boring, and not worth anyone’s time when there are photos to like and interesting conversations to be had.
Injecting personality into your posts keeps people coming back for more. They want to see behind the scenes photos, articles that offer relevant and interesting information, and posts that show there is a human behind them.
6) Posting Irrelevant Content
But be wary of going too far when trying to inject some personality into your Facebook feed. When you post something that is too far out of left field, it confuses your fans.
For example, say you are an insurance company and you are excited it’s National Pie Day (January 23, in case you’re wondering), so you post a photo of a pie to get in on the social media conversation. Great, but what does pie have to do with insurance? A more relevant post might be a photo of your office enjoying pie on National Pie Day, or how the number Pi relates to something in the insurance world.
7) Bad or Poor-Quality Photos
We have become such visual consumers thanks to easy photo sharing via smartphones and social media. A photo is more likely than text to catch our attention as we browse through our feeds, so make sure the photos you post are good ones. Take the extra few minutes to crop and edit before posting or you’ll look bad next to everything else in the feed.
8) Ignoring Posts to Your Page/Responding Unprofessionally
Facebook is an interactive social media platform. When you publish a post, people have the opportunity to like, comment and share. Your audience also can post to your page and send you messages (depending on your settings).
If someone asks a question and you don’t respond, it reflects poorly on your customer service. Even worse, if someone happens to post a complaint and you lash out at them, you can tarnish your online reputation. We’ll say it again: what happens online, or sometimes doesn’t, is out there for the entire world to see. Be thoughtful and always respond courteously.
9) Not Paying Attention to the Text or Image Attached to a Link
When you paste a link into a Facebook post, if available, an image, a title, and intro text are automatically generated, which instantly jazzes up a post. But if the image doesn’t make sense or the title and text are repetitive or seem out of place, they can turn a great post sour. Each of those pieces, the photo, title, and text, are editable—you just have to click on them. Take those few extra seconds to look it over; we promise it’s worth it in the long run.
10) Bad Timing
The advent of scheduled posts has been such a lifesaver, except when you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in the world. For example, say you’re a restaurant and you have a photo of your sunny patio scheduled to get everyone excited for the weekend…and it went out 30 minutes after a local or national tragedy made the news. Insert cringe here. It’s always a good idea to pay attention to what is happening in your Facebook feed to avoid potential PR disasters.
The list of what not to do as a business on Facebook may seem long, but we promise it’s not so bad. Facebook is a super accessible tool to engage with customers and clients both old and new. We want to see your business not only succeed but flourish online! For more helpful tips, head on over to our 2015 Social Media Field Guide for Businesses.