Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 Things You Should Stop Doing On Facebook Small Business Trends

You’re on Facebook to communicate with your customers and increase social interaction. But are you unknowingly falling victim to some of the most common Facebook blunders business owners make and actually sending customers away?
Below are 10 Facebook mistakes to avoid while marketing your business.
1. Using a personal profile instead of a business page: We’ve all seen it. You’re eating at a new restaurant, enjoying it, and you want to go to Facebook to like the page and make it “Facebook official”. Only, when you finally get there you realize the business has set up a personal profile instead of a business page, leaving you unable to Like it or interact with it at all.
Nothing screams “I have no idea what I’m doing” like assigning your business to the wrong category.
As a business owner it’s important you create an official Business page for your brand,not a personal profile. This allows you to take advantage of much richer functionality like fan likes, checks ins, deals, full analytics, and better advertising options. It also ensures that Facebook can’t take your page away from you for assigning it to the wrong category. That can happen. If you’re currently using a personal profile instead of a business page, go migrate it.
2. Not filling out your profile completely: Facebook gives you a place on the Web to advertise your business and help your customers learn more about you. To aid in this goal, you need to completely fill out your business page so that users can find you and they see that you are invested in this community. When completing your profile take time to include your hours, phone number, your site URL, and all other relevant company information so that a user can find the information they’re looking for. Don’t make them hunt for it. Because they won’t.
3. Using Facebook as a broadcast medium: Using Facebook to blast out your latest press release or post a link to your latest blog with absolutely no conversation? Yeah, you’re using Facebook wrong. While all social platforms are intended to be social, Facebook is perhaps the most social of them all. In order to see any benefit, brands must put a focus on creating conversation and giving users a reason to want to engage with their brand. In fact, too many posts where users don’t engage and Facebook will simply stop showing your updates in their News Feed altogether. That’s how seriously Facebook takes user engagement. You want to take it equally as seriously.
4. Ignoring comments: Knowing that Facebook is all about engagement, it’s a bad idea to ignore fan comments on your wall or messages users may choose to send you privately. Of course, it’s not because of Facebook’s algorithms that you shouldn’t ignore your customers, it’s because they’re you’re customers! Your business is built on people. By fostering those relationships, you show customers that you care about their needs and, in the end, build a better business.
5. Leaving spam on your wall: Of course, not all comments are created equal. Don’t create your presence and then walk away. Monitor it! If you see Facebook users throwing garbage on your lawn, remove it. Delete spam comments. Don’t allow people to harass one another. And make sure everyone is playing by the rules. This page is associated with your brand. You have a responsibility to take care of it.
6. Using hashtags: Hashtags are for Twitter. Using them on Facebook makes you look like you’re not sure what platform you’re using.
7. Liking your own posts: We know you liked your post. You posted it. You don’t have to hit the like button. It makes your customers wonder if you have any friends.
8. Ignoring Facebook Insights: One of the perks about creating a Business page is the free analytics information. Facebook Insights provides business owners with important page data like how many users are seeing your page, whether or not they’re interacting with it, who is talking about your page, where they’re located, etc. You can even export the data to use it for your own benchmarking. As a business owner, you want to be looking at and using this information to better understand your audience, what they like, and how you can better reach them.
9. Using a bad avatar: Your avatar represents your brand on Facebook. Use something that will be clear, recognizable, and grab a user’s attention when it scrolls by in their News feed. This may mean redesigning your logo or creating a logo that is social media-friendly (meaning it works as a square). Don’t use an avatar that is text-heavy or which doesn’t scale well. Remember, most users won’t visit your brand page after they’ve Like it. Instead, they’ll rely on their News Feed to get your updates and information about your brand. Make sure your avatar is one they’ll recognize.
10. Not customizing your cover photo: Your Facebook cover photo gives you a valuable opportunity to showcase what you do in your top header. Select the photo you use wisely and have a little fun with it.
Above are ten common mistakes brands make on Facebook. But this certainly isn’t a complete list. What Facebook mistake do you see most often?