Facebook for Business: 10 Bad Social Habits You Need to Break Now
Calling all small business owners – we LOVE that you’re using Facebook. It’s a great way to engage your local community, showcase your personality (and your services), and build up that all-important trust factor. However, it’s far too easy to do Facebook badly. Luckily, we’re on hand to help.
If you want your Facebook page to tower above that of your nearest competitor’s, it’s crucial that you develop good habits and banish the not so good ones. A poorly-kept Facebook can be just as off-putting as no Facebook presence whatsoever. And we don’t want that, do we?
Fortunately, once you start to develop those great habits, they’ll start to become second nature. What’s more, you’ll start to see results on your page. So, is it time for this old dog to learn some new tricks? Let’s get started.
1. NEVER use a fake Facebook profile to set up your Business Page
This is a habit we see broken time and time again, especially from larger chains of businesses. Many business owners don’t want to set up their business page using their personal profile, fearing that they’ll post on the wrong account. Their answer? Create a fake profile to avoid confusion. This is a bad idea, and we’ll tell you why.
Let’s keep it simple – Facebook profiles are for people, and Facebook pages are for businesses. Facebook will punish you for breaking this golden rule.
If you have already used a fake profile – don’t worry. We suggest you link at least one other real profile as an admin of your page (ideally your own profile), so that if your face profile does get shut down, you won’t lose access to your page.
Pro tip: If you’re a bit wary of Facebook and you’re still worrying about posting on the right page, we suggest using Facebook’s Business Manager. This tool allows you to manage all of your business pages and assets in one handy place, and will remove the risk of any mishaps.
2. Stop liking your own posts!
Another common one, which again can be avoided by using Business Manager. Some people see this as a quick and easy way to increase their engagement, but in reality it looks amateurish and a little bit egotistical. Let your followers do the liking. Bonus: The same goes for sharing posts on your page – this just creates repetition and puts your customers off.
3. It's not all me, me, me
Sure, you want your page to bring you business – that’s fine. Your social profile should be an extra marketing tool to add to your business’s arsenal. However, it’s not a channel to overwhelm people with sell, sell, sell. Promoting your business successfully on Facebook takes time, balance and practice. The majority of your posts should be content that engages, interests or advises your audience. Post content of value, and you’ll eventually create a community full of individuals who see you as a respected source.
There are two rules to bear in mind here. Firstly, the 80/20 rule. If 80% of your content is valuable, such as how-to guides, videos, and news stories, then the other 20% can be directly related to your business. Yes, it’s tempting to post promotion after promotion, but on Facebook this is a huge turn-off.
The second rule to keep in mind is the rule of seven. This old adage simply refers to the fact that a prospective customer needs to see or hear of your business at least seven times before they enlist your services. Let’s put it in Facebook terms – keep posting that valuable content, and when they need the help of a company in your industry, guess whose name will pop into their head? Bingo.
4. Don't post too much
Facebook is not Twitter. With Twitter, it’s fine to post as and when you like without annoying your followers – that’s the beauty of joining the conversation. If you post too frequently on Facebook you’re likely to put your followers off – even if the posts you’re putting out are valuable. Every page is different, but we recommend posting between one to three updates per day, at varying points in the day. It takes research and practice to find out what works best for your business.
5. Never link your Facebook to your Twitter
Many people link their social accounts so that they auto-post onto one another. It saves time, right? Why post two updates when you can post just one? No, no, no! Facebook and Twitter are two separate beasts and they should be treated very differently. Twitter has its USP (don’t take it away!) of the 140 character limit, whereas Facebook allows users to post with far more freedom. What’s more, they use different terminology (likes vs retweets), so your posts may sound out of place and irrelevant. All in all, the whole thing just looks very forced – automating posts is never a good idea. People want to speak to people, and automating has a very fake, robotic feel.
6. Always doubble check you're speling
You want to be a trusted figurehead in your industry, so make sure you look like one. Always proofread your posts – grammar and spelling errors aren’t ever acceptable! On the subject of professionalism, refrain from using text speak. (We’ll let you off with the emojis though, used when appropriate).
A cardinal sin that so many businesses break. Hashtags are for Twitter. Did you know that using hashtags on Facebook does not help boost engagement? In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. Did you know that posts without hashtags receive 34% more interaction than posts with hashtags? Over-hashtagging makes for a bad user experience, and doesn’t do you any favour. Unless you want to join a trending conversation, leave the hashtags off. If you must use a hashtag, please, just stick to the one.
Side note: Hashtagging stuff such as #the, #day and #we’rehavingagreatday doesn’t benefit you in any way – stop it!
8. Build a strong brand
Facebook is your business’s virtual shop front, so it needs to look the part. You want it to be professional, tidy and – crucially – recognisable. We strongly advise using your brand’s logo as your profile picture. You might be tempted to use a picture of your shop, but a logo works best to help build up recognition of your company. A small version of your profile picture displays next to all of your posts, comments and adverts, so using your logo helps push your brand at every possible touchpoint for your customers.
You can be a bit more creative with your cover photo, using this larger image to display your shop front, your team, or promote any special offers you may currently be running. Cover photos are also great when tweaked to suit the season or current events (think football-themed for the Euros, or snow-filled for Christmas).
When picking your profile and cover images, it’s crucial that you create the right sized images beforehand rather than throwing any old image in and letting Facebook do the resizing. Believe us, it doesn’t look good. Your profile picture needs to be 180px x 180px, and your cover 851px x 315px.
Remember: A cover photo that looks great on desktop might not convert well to mobile due to Facebook's resizing. Looking at the template below, make sure not to put any crucial details in the border sections, as they'll be cropped when switching platforms.
9. Turn negatives into positives
One key feature of Facebook business pages is that customers can leave reviews. Positive or negative, these reviews display on your page and can’t be deleted. This is the point where many business owners freak out – what if someone leaves a bad review? The benefits of your followers being able to read good reviews greatly outweighs the risk of a bad review popping up. When those bad reviews do get posted it’s all about how you handle them.
The correct way to deal with the customer is to write a well-balanced response along with an apology and – if possible – an explanation of what went wrong. Speed is of the essence here - a delay in your response can fuel unrest amongst your fans, who may team up together and make the situation worse.
A quick, positive response displays strong customer service, and potential customers will appreciate this factor. If you feel the customer was in the wrong, or the review was sent by someone you never did business with, you can report it to Facebook who may remove it from your wall.
10. Never ignore people
This flows on from number nine, but it relates to all types of interactions by your fans – if someone speaks to you, you should respond. Failing to reply to interactions shows that you’re not interested in what your followers have to say. Social media earned its name for a reason – it’s all about the conversation. What’s more, when it comes to private messages, Facebook is big on response time. You’ll notice that when you look at your page, under your profile picture there’s a bit that shows your response rate. Facebook rewards businesses with high response rates, plus it looks great to potential customers if you are responding quick.
Bonus tip: If you are worried about not replying to customers fast enough, you can change your settings so that your message status is set to ‘away’ outside of your business hours. You can change this, plus a whole load of other response settings in the messaging section of your page’s settings.
If all of the above sounds like too much, there is a simpler option… Outsourcing your social media can be a real help when you’ve got your hands full, and letting the professionals do the hard work can turn your page into a fully-fledged community, and an excellent marketing tool. If you’re ready to unlock the potential of your Facebook page, Digital Media Team are always happy to help. You can call us on 0800 808 9980, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook.