Facebook. We just can’t seem to get enough of it. There are now over 1.4 BILLION monthly active users on Facebook as of March 2016 with 936 Million daily users on the gargantuan social network. Odds are even your 60+ year old mother is now on the platform enjoying daily lashings of cat videos and commenting on every photo you’ve ever put up (thanks mom). If you’re like most businesses in the world you probably have a Facebook Page and were very excited to tap into the biggest collection of personal data ever known to mankind. The only problem however, is that you’ve barely seen any returns and are scratching your head as to why no one is interacting with your Facebook Page.
While some businesses have been absolutely crushing it every single day, there are others that seem to just not “get social media” and as a result flout every known best Facebook Page practice out there. Thankfully we’re here to help!
Here are the top 7 Facebook Page mistakes you might be making and need to stop:
1. Using it to only push your product or service.
Think of the most annoying person you know. They are probably the ones who don’t stop speaking about themselves, their underachiever child or their pet. Now imagine that a Facebook Page is a real person standing in front of you. What would you prefer listening to? Pretty simple isn’t it? You have to add value for people every single day, you have to include them in conversations, give some great insights or more simply you need to give, give, give before you even think of asking your audience to buy from or use your business.
Key takeaway: Facebook is not the place for classified ads. Stop posting about what you do endlessly and look at ways to help them with their pain points and explain why they actually need your product or services. Help them, inspire them, guide them – whatever you do just make sure it isn’t all about you. If you don’t know what their problems are? Ask!
2. Using your Page to brag about your achievements.
This one kinda falls under the last category, but is much, much worse. Look we know that you’re proud of your business and that awards mean something to you, but here is a newsflash, your audience don’t actually care. I know you think that if you tell everyone enough about your award then you must be really good right? Well no. Use social media to add value to your audience through industry insights, tips or open yourself up to the world and show us who you are. Even if you are an industry leader you should add value. Gary Vaynerchuk does this brilliantly.
Key takeaway: On social media it is far better to let your customers become raving fans of yours through your exceptional service, so much so that they do the talking for you. That is called earned media and it is better for your overall image than if you brag on social media. Just don’t okay.
3. Treating your Page like your personal profile and sharing non-related content.
You have a Facebook business page for a reason right? You either want to attract new customers or you want to ensure your current ones keep using you. So why on earth are you sharing funny videos, non-related memes or other pages that have no meaning to your business or your audience? Look there is a place for this… on your profile for your friends and family to enjoy, NOT your business page. Now I’m not saying don’t have a bit of fun on your page, but I am saying that keep it relevant. If your audience are massive rugby fans then yes by all means share that funny image, but please make sure it is not all that you post!
Key takeaway: Keep the cat videos and funnies for your friends and family unless your audience will appreciate it and actually engage with your page or business. I know you may think you’re hilarious, but if your business is not hilarious as a brand like Chubbies, I would err towards sharing valuable content.
4. Posting press releases.
I don’t have to elaborate on this one. People liked your page for a reason. This means an actual person took an action to like your page because they identified with your brand or whatever else was the case. So why on earth would you bore them with press release type posts that add nothing to their lives? Unless you wanted to purposely suck away some of their happiness then carry on. Consumers in 2016 are tired of the old school kind of one way advertising. Did you know that more than half of Facebook users have unfollowed a brand for being too salesy, self-praising, or boring?
Key takeaway: No press releases ok! Put them on your website under press or send them to the relevant press people. Unless the press release affects your audience directly don’t post it! Don’t ruin social media for everyone because you’re used to the old disruptive way of advertising. Social media is different, it’s personal and customers love to engage so show your human side and get with it.
6. Pretending everything is okay.
When I see this happening on a business Facebook page I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. We all know that customer service is a prerequisite when running a business. So many of us shout it from the rafters on our websites and interruptive old school advertising that we “care about our customers”, yet on social media I see an entirely different story.
There are two parts to this section:
- Ignoring Your Audience.
- Deleting Comments and Reviews.
Ignoring your audience
This one baffles me. If your audience have taken the time to comment, review or send you a message, either positive or negative, and you do not get back to them you are in actuality saying that you do not care about them. What so many businesses do not understand is that in 2016 delivering a service on the product or service side is expected – and so is having a great response time and interaction on social media.
Without your social media customer service element your business is losing customers. In 2016 customers will contact you and expect a reply on social media. Don’t expect them to phone in because you have a call centre – the customer determines how you handle customer service and social is now part of that. Remember social media is word of mouth – and people make buying decisions on what they see on social, and reviews and comments are a BIG part of that!
iBurst here in South Africa are a great example of how not to run a social media page. I cannot fathom how customer service ranks so low. A 1.1 star rating out of 5 after 39 reviews tells you everything you need to know.
Deleting Comments and Reviews.
Look I understand that you want your Facebook Page to look great to potential buyers, but please we all know that no business is perfect, we all make mistakes, we all fall short of the standards we want for our businesses from time to time. Now understand that on social media there is a right way and a definite wrong way of handling negative reviews or probing questions.
The right approach is to be open, transparent and thankful that someone took the time to explain where you are falling short as a business. The absolute wrong way to approach negative reviews or comments is to delete them and pretend they never happened. You think you had a problem when they commented or reviewed, wait until they find out you deleted it. I’ll give you some advice here: Say sorry when it’s warranted, be thankful they got hold of you and try to earn their trust back.
Key takeaways: Do not ignore your audience if they comment on posts, make reviews or ask questions. They can be turned into raving fans if you go over and above on social to help. Secondly never delete comments or reviews (unless the comments are violations of terms of service, illegal, or threatening)… unless you have something to hide, which means your business probably has more issues behind the scenes than a Facebook Page review. I’d fix that if I was you.
6. Creating none of your own content – written, image or video.
Your Facebook Page should be aimed at educating, helping or guiding your audience about their problems and as an extension your business. However if you are posting relevant content but the links, images or videos are taking your fans all over the web but not directing them to your website – you are doing a great job of building other websites views and nothing else. Now there is nothing wrong with posting a great link every now and again, in fact it is a great idea to do this to ensure your audience get various forms of information, however there is an issue if your audience do not associate your business as an expert in their field. This approach is called Inbound Marketing.
Your Page should be an extension of your business. Why should someone use you if you do not show that you actually know your stuff or your product is worthy of being purchased? If you’re a plumber and you do not post great videos or posts about plumbing pain points that so many of us have, how am I to know you are good enough to be hired?
Key takeaways: Take the time to create your own content. It does not have to be spectacular or cost a fortune to make, but you do have to put some time and effort in to make it good enough for your audience to appreciate it. A local chef, Lapo Magni from Lapo’s Kitchen, is doing his own videos and pictures that his audience are enjoying and as a result he is growing at an enormous rate. He has simply made the time to post everyday and none of it is saying “eat my food” (remember point 1!). How many restaurants can claim the same?
7. Expecting immediate results.
Since when does success happen overnight? As a business owner you are acutely aware that growing a business takes time, so why should growing your social presence be any different? Many of us are still unfortunately caught up in the old idea that interruptive advertising and some level of customer service is good enough. It is no longer the case in 2016, and nor will it be any different next year or the year after. In fact it is only going to get harder to grow a business as the internet and the mobile phone revolution speeds up.
We now have over 5 social media platforms a business is expected to be on and monitor, and that is without being on the new emerging powerhouses like Snapchat… AND without the constant changes the pre-existing ones are going through every year. New Facebook advert tools and options, Twitter and Instagram algorithm timeline changes are but 3 examples of how quickly these platforms change – and this is only in 2016 thus far!
Key takeaways: To succeed as a business in 2016 and beyond you need to move with the times and be agile, dive in head first and understand what works and what does not on each platform. Social media is no longer a “nice to have”, it has become a major player in the buyer’s journey and if you are not keeping up, you will be left behind. There is no quick fix to “win” on social so get that out of your head quickly – because now there is only one game left… the long game.
Your Facebook Page is not about you. Use it to educate and inform your audience and always appreciate your fans by commenting and apologising when necessary. Be open, transparent and authentic, this is what counts now in business. Understand that you have a much harder job now to market your business, you have to really stand out from the crowd through your original content, customer interaction and agility. You cannot buy an audience’s attention like you could in the past using TV, Radio or print, you have to earn it now. So stop complaining and get dug in! You may be interested in our other blog post 3 Steps to run an effective Facebook Business Page.
What are your thoughts on the mistakes businesses make on Facebook?
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