You know the importance of having an online presence to promote your business via social media. You know your business should be on Facebook, but it is too important to be left up to your college-aged nephew. Your business Facebook presence is an integral tool to communicating and interacting with your customers and potential customers. There are common mistakes many businesses make when using Facebook. To maximize the effectiveness of your social media efforts, make sure your company is avoiding these pitfalls.
Using a personal profile when you should be using a business profile.
It’s critical that your business be set up as a Facebook business page. First off, it may violate Facebook’s terms of service surrounding personal profiles being used for commercial purposes. You are only allowed one personal Facebook profile, while a company may have multiple business pages. Secondly, your business won’t be seen by internet search engines if it’s a personal page but a business page can be optimized for search engines. Additionally, the Facebook business pages allow for unlimited “likes” while a personal page limits the number of friends you can have to 5,000. Why allow your business to be limited to 5,000 customers? Luckily, if your company’s Facebook profile is set up as a personal page, Facebook will allow you to convert to a business page.
Not posting often enough (or too much!)
Have you ever visited a company’s website that clearly has not been updated in ages? Does it make you have second thoughts about the company? Maybe the college-aged nephew just was too busy to get around to it? The same thing applies to posting on Facebook. It is not enough to just set up a page and then let it sit there. The goal is to interact with your customers using social media. If you disappear, so will they. Conversely, posting several times a day will annoy your fans and you could risk being hidden. Once a day is usually sufficient unless there is an exciting piece of breaking news you can’t wait to share with your fans.
Responding to comments too slowly
This common mistake piggy backs on not posting often enough. Social media for business is most effective when there is opportunity to interact. Hopefully you wouldn’t wait a month to respond to a customer’s question or comment received by phone. The same should apply to Facebook comments. Even if you are just responding by thanking your fan for taking the time to comment, do it in a timely fashion and you will have a loyal follower who knows that a real person responded to their comment.
Posting content that does not create interest or encourage interaction
Wondering why no one is commenting on your Facebook posts? Many businesses use their Facebook page to promote sales or special events. It’s great to get that information out there to your customers, but it will not create interest or interaction in social media. There’s nothing really compelling to say in response to an ad that promotes your ice cream shop. However, a post that says, “Double Scoop Waffle Cones Are On Sale This Week! Which flavors would you choose?” will generate conversation on Facebook and people will be more likely to stop by. For more impact, add in a short video of happy customers sharing their favorite ice cream combinations. There’s no need to post professional video. You can use a smart phone and upload it right to Facebook.
The secret to social media for business is to be accessible and responsive to your customers. Join in the conversation! Give it some time and a little regular attention and you’ll soon find you have a loyal following of engaged fans contributing to the success of your business. Next week we will be talking about all the email addresses you collect and don’t do much with — we have some good ideas for you.
By the way, what’s YOUR favorite flavor of ice cream?