Wednesday, September 12, 2012

7 Mistakes Businesses Make on Facebook


I often see so many websites with nice looking Facebook buttons on the page but when I click and go to the actual page on Facebook, there is complete disappointment. The pages are so badly maintained that I feel like telling them that they are better off without those icons on the website. Obviously badly maintained pages do more harm than no presence at all.

I have observed some very common mistakes which businesses make on Facebook. This article describes 7 such common mistakes and some suggestions on how to avoid those.

#1 Incomplete Page Information
Facebook offers great options to brands to position themselves properly and create a nice image. Brands often neglect the About, Contact Info and Basic Info sections and fill those out with some incomplete information. Remember to treat Facebook page as important as your website with accurate and complete information.

Secondly, there are things like Cover photo, profile picture. These offer you great way to create visual appeal on your page. Make sure you don’t ignore Facebook’s guidelines while designing the cover photo.  Create a profile picture which is visible in your posts. Creating a profile picture with brand logo which gets cropped in smaller size creates a very bad impression.

Facebook also allows you to carefully select top 3 tabs for your page. You can select those so that you can integrate other things like Twitter handle, YouTube Channel for your brand, Contests etc with  your Facebook page. Set nice images for those tabs which go well with your brand.

#2 Lack of Theme
By theme I mean the content theme. The job does not end with creation of a page with nice photos and profile picture. In fact, it starts after that. Before you join the social media bandwagon, please do think and decide your social media objective. What are you going to use Facebook for? Don’t use it for posting some random things or don’t treat it as another advertising billboard. Create a theme for your page. Let people connect with the theme. Let them look forward to your updates.

#3 Lack of Consistency/ Too much Posting
This is something which I have observed with many pages.  There is a whole bunch of activity during the initial period or during some major event. But as the time progresses, the activity reduces. There are no updates, the page information is old, the page shows incorrect phone numbers/ website URLs, questions by users are not answered etc. On the other hand, some pages get over excited and start posting even if someone sneezes. Anything extreme is not acceptable. Maintain consistency. Attain engagement. Identify the ideal time when your users can be best engaged by posting only relevant updates.

#4 Incorrect Handling of Negative Comments
Most of the brands are scared about negative comments on social media. They choose either to ignore them completely or handle them very poorly. Handling negative comments on social media is tricky but one fundamental rule you need to remember is that you MUST respond to all negative comments. Never delete those leave or leave them unattended. When someone posts something negative, use that as an opportunity to take care of the issue and turn an unhappy user into a loyal brand advocate.

#5 Ignorance to Messages
Did you know that your users can send you private messages in your Page’s inbox? Make it a habit to check those and respond. Many times, people are not comfortable vouching their concern publicly on timeline or need to bring something to your attention through a private message. Respect that and respond to all private messages.

#6 Quantity over Quality 
Your main focus on Facebook cannot be only increasing the fans. There are numerous ways to increase the fans – including purchase of fans. I would strongly recommend not going by this way. If your objective of being on Facebook is to connect with your users, get them involved in your brand and provide them an additional platform to interact with you, then the fake profiles do not add any value to your page.

#7 Lack of Engagement
Ignoring user comments, not answering the questions, not acknowledging appreciations, not paying attention to grievances – all these things tend to lack of engagement on your page. Unlike advertisement, which is essentially one way communication, Facebook offers you an opportunity for two-way communication with your product/ service users. Isn’t this a great opportunity to listen to them, know what they want, provide immediate solutions to their problems and get them involved in your brand? Why not utilize it to the fullest?

Have a critical look at your page and see if you are committing any of these mistakes – knowingly or unknowingly? 

5 comments:

  1. Although some points are commonsensical, people still fall prey to committing them. Once again, you have clearly laid out crisp guidelines, which should (let's hope!) be able to enlighten many businesses.

    Good content, Radha.

    ReplyDelete
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  3. Facebook is helpful in driving traffic to your site specially if you utilize it to the fullest. I agree with everything you said. The most common mistake is in no.7 which is very important. Responding on your visitors questions and concerns can help in retaining loyal clients. Thanks for sharing.

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