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3 Examples of What Not to Do on Your Facebook Business Page (& Solutions!)

I follow several Facebook pages just to see what they’re doing. Some are competition, others are pages I think are run really well, and all of them provide examples of things to do or not do on your business Facebook page.

Today, I have three examples from my Facebook feed of what not to do on your page.

1. The Over-Complicated Request

I’m all for engaging your fans to help you win contests. In fact, that’s a really smart thing to do. They already like your page so chances are, you can rely on their support.

Where this crumbles is when getting their participation asks them to take several steps to help you out, especially when they get nothing in return. The below screenshot is an example of an overly complicated request. The poster asks fans to take 6 steps to vote for the company so they can have a barbeque. The fans get nothing, why would they want to go to that much trouble?

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Solution: Instead of spelling out each step, provide your fans with a clickable link that takes them directly to the voting page. Don’t ask them to search for anything or do anything complicated, just make it as easy as possible for them and you will be much more likely to get their support.

 

2. The All-Caps Post

I remember when my parents first really started emailing. My mom was perfect, a benefit of her college typing classes. My dad, however wasn’t ever really a typer and didn’t use a computer for work, so he wasn’t quite as elegant. I could always tell when my dad was emailing me from their account because it looked like the Facebook post below. All caps.

In the online world, all caps is considered yelling. While I don’t bother getting offended by all caps, it gives readers the impression that the status post was written by someone who isn’t very savvy and people could take it wrong. While I absolutely love the sincerity of this post, it could be off-putting to many audiences.

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Solution: Don’t post in all caps. An all-cap word here and there for emphasis is fine, but entire sentences is overkill. Instead, write your posts in sentence case. An even better solution is to post a photo image that conveys what you want your message to say and just add one or two heartfelt sentences to support it. Images get the most interaction so if you want the furthest reach, opt for images supplemented by text.

 

3. The “We Hired a Service to Post to Facebook for Us” Post

There’s nothing wrong with enlisting a service to help manage your Facebook page, especially if you don’t have an employee to manage your page. However, a problem that can arise in doing this is cookie-cutter posts that aren’t unique to your page.

I kid you not, 8 different pages I follow posted the same exact post as shown below. Since social media has become the new customer service platform, having robo-posts show that there isn’t a live person behind your posts. Plus, robo-posts often aren’t tailored to your business.

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Solution: Have a trusted employee who knows your business manage your Facebook page. They can read a few articles to learn some best practices to follow and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. If you are set on having a company manage your page, discuss options to keep the voice of your posts unique and avoid the cookie-cutter posts shown on all of your competitor’s pages.

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My New Book: Everything I’ve Learned About Facebook

I’m very excited to announce my newest book:

Everything I’ve Learned About Facebook: A complete guide on how to create, strategize, manage and promote your Facebook page to increase customer base and brand awareness for any size business

I’ve compiled everything I’ve learned about Facebook and put it into a complete guide on learning the bare-bones basics of  what social media is to creating marketing strategies for your page. Some of the content is similar to what I’ve written in my blog posts, but I go far more in-depth and have combined my knowledge into one resource.

Here’s what I cover in my book:

  1. What is Facebook?
    1. The Basics
    2. How Does Facebook Work?
    3. Why do People Share so Much Information?
    4. How do Businesses Fit into Social Media?
  2. Why Does Facebook Matter?
    1. Statistics
  3. How to Create a Business Facebook Page
    1. Pages vs Profiles
    2. Getting Started
    3. Basic Setup Instructions
  4. Making Your Page Look Great with Profile & Cover Images
    1. Profile Images
    2. Cover Images
    3. Tab Images
    4. Image Dimensions
  5. What to Post on Your Business Facebook Page
    1. How Often Should I Post on my Facebook Page?
    2. What Should I Post on my Facebook Page?
    3. So what’s the Most Engaging Stuff to Post on my Facebook Page?
    4. Where Can I Find Content for my Facebook Page?
    5. What About Posting Business/Promotional Content?
    6. Setting up a Posting Schedule
  6. Engaging with Fans
    1. Negative Comments & Reviews
  7. Facebook Contests & Sweepstakes
    1. Things to Keep in Mind
    2. Contest/Sweepstakes Services
  8. How to Schedule Facebook Posts
    1. Manage Your Facebook Page in Minutes a Week Using the Scheduling Tool
  9. Growing Your Fan Base Organically
    1. Ideas to Organically Grow Your Fan Base
  10. Growing Your Fan Base with Facebook Ads
    1. Types of Facebook Ad Results
    2. The Planning Phase
    3. Creating Facebook Ads
    4. Managing Ad Campaigns
    5. Keeping Ads Fresh
  11. 4 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy Likes for Your Facebook Page
  12. Measuring Your Success
    1. What Should I Include In My Social Media Report?

If you enjoy my blog, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel. Many of my videos correspond to my blog posts and it’s a great resource for easy video tutorials on social media, Adobe and Microsoft programs.

Thank you for all your support along my journey—if it weren’t for readers like you, I wouldn’t have a reason to write.

What to Post on Your Business Facebook Page

So you have a page for your business now, but what on earth should you be posting? How often should you be posting? Below, I’ll cover these topics to get you off to a great start with your page!

The most important thing to keep in mind with a Facebook page is that it should be used as a tool to build relationships with your customers and potential customers. While selling is your ultimate goal, take the time to build a relationship with your fans so when the time comes for them to purchase, they will think of you or refer you to a friend.  Facebook allows you to maintain a presence in their lives.

How Often Should I Post on my Facebook Page?

The old rule was to post just once or twice a week so you don’t overwhelm your fans.  However, with EdgeRank, which gauges who should see your content based on their interaction with your page, your posts are only seen by a small percentage of your fans, so the more you post, the higher the chance is of your fans seeing your content. It really depends on your company and fan base, but a general rule of thumb is to post at least once a day and up to 3 or 4 times a day.

However, don’t post just to post something. The higher the quality of your posts, the more engaging your posts will be so your posts will be shown to a higher percentage of your fans.  On the flipside, if you post garbage or boring posts, you will lose engagement, decreases and you can lose fans pretty quickly.

What Should I Post on my Facebook Page?

Posting once or twice a week is pretty easy, but at least once a day can be intimidating, especially when trying to post quality content. Something helpful to do is look at what other similar companies are posting on their pages and how their fans are responding. If it’s successful, try something similar. If it doesn’t get any engagement, then you’ll know you probably don’t want to do that.

The best part of posting on Facebook pages is that it doesn’t all have to be business-related!

It’s true. Depending on your business, you may actually be more successful posting non-business related posts than business-related.

Here are some business-related post ideas for different businesses:

  • Restaurant – post photos of daily specials or new menu items, updated hours, good reviews or newspaper reviews from a food critic
  • Nail salon – post photos every single day of cute manicures or manicure ideas; special promotions, especially around the holidays, high school formal dances and late winter/early spring in preparation for the wedding season.
  • Bar – post the schedule for the weekend including any bands that are playing, cover charges, activities; drink specials, food specials, happy hours; holiday events
  • Gym – class schedule, promotions, weight loss before & after photos, links to articles about health & fitness, motivational images
  • Animal Shelter – post photos of animals up for adoption, donation needs (keep it limited, but periodic), cute animal photos, fun facts
  • Church – events for the week, youth group info, prayer requests, donation/volunteer opportunities

Whatever your business is, there is most likely an angle you can take to engage your customers on Facebook.  The business page I’ve maintained over the last year and a half has a is one in which only 11% of the local population is in the market for our product at any given time. The local population is only in need of our service a couple times a year.  So nearly 90% of the local population does not need our product right now and many will only see us a couple times a year.  But we keep a very active Facebook page to connect with our customers and maintain those relationships so when the time comes that they do need our product or service, we’re familiar to them.

So What’s the Most Engaging Stuff to Post on my Facebook Page?

Again, it depends on your business, but below, I’ve ranked what is generally the most engaging. Two things to remember are: 1) Attention spans are ridiculously short, so keep it short & simple. Think about Twitter’s 140 character limit & stick to that as often as possible. 2) Think about what gets your attention on Facebook and look at what your friends are liking to get ideas of what’s engaging.

  1. Images – these are the most engaging things you can probably post, especially if they’re cute or funny.  For some ideas, go to Google Images and search for whatever your business is and “memes.”  Keep in mind, there is some really inappropriate and offensive stuff out there, but there are a ton of really funny memes.  Use your best judgment and keep your audience in mind when posting.
  2. Videos – we’re bombarded with content and a large majority of Facebook users are accessing it through their phones so sometimes, reading is a little difficult. However, videos can be very engaging. Just make sure to give an appealing description and keep the videos short, no more than a couple minutes. They don’t need to be professionally produced, just a fun video of a shelter dog up for adoption or a fun video review of a restaurant can be pretty viral (and that’s a great thing!)
  3. Questions – social media has brought out the narcissist in all of us and we love to share our thoughts and opinions. So why not give your fans the opportunity? Ask them something related to your company like their favorite drink (bar), favorite appetizer (restaurant), favorite nail polish color (salon), favorite breed of dog (animal shelter), etc; find something fun to ask that they would like to ask. For news sites, controversial topics get a lot of comments, however I will suggest avoiding controversy in almost all cases because it can lead to a lot of headaches and may damage your reputation.

Where Can I Find Content for my Facebook Page?

There are tons of places to find content online, you just need to know what you want to post and where to look!  Here’s a list of my recommended content sources:

  • Days of the Year – this site lists events, holidays and festivals for every day of the year. The day I wrote this post was “Thank a Mailman Day.” These are fun to share with your fans and a great way to interact. Maybe on “Kite Flying Day” you can ask your fans when was the last time they flew a kite? Or find a way to link the day to your business (i.e. a bakery could offer a discount on carrot cakes on “Carrot Cake Day”)
  • History.com – this is the History Channel page, similar to the Days of the Year page, although a bit more serious. This is a fun resource to share relevant stories, just make sure to keep them fun.
  • Trivia Playing – this site has all sorts of trivia questions if you want to include trivia on your page.
  • Mental Floss – the Amazing Fact Generator has all sorts of fun facts and the site has really interesting articles
  • Twitter – it may seem strange to get content for one social media site from another, but Twitter is an amazing resource! Just follow accounts in your industry, with your same interests and news accounts and you’ll have a running supply of articles and content to share.
  • Friday Quotes – this site has images with quotes to wish your fans a happy Friday. Simple as that.
  • Paper.li – this site allows you to set up your own online newspaper with content generated by sources you choose. Sounds a little confusing, but once you set it up, it’s an amazing resource that updates itself daily. Check out this article to learn how to use it: Need Content? Create Your Own Custom Newsroom with Paper.li!

Finally, if you want to see one of the most engaging people, follow George Takei on social media. He posts some amazing, entertaining stuff and probably wouldn’t mind if you shared some of it.

What About Posting Business/Selling Content?

If a customer or potential customer likes your page, they should assume that you are going to try to sell to them at least once in a while. Just don’t do it all the time and try to do it in a way that they would appreciate.

One thing I did that did not appear to be very engaging, but got a ton of clicks was posting weekly Internet Specials for a car dealership. I uploaded a photo album of all the vehicles on special, included detailed descriptions of all the vehicles and included a direct link to each vehicle on the website. While there were few likes or comments, those posts had more clicks than any other posts I put up, even the cute Happy Friday photos. Just keep an eye on your page insights to see what your fans like the most and do more of that.

Setting Up a Posting Schedule

Maintaining a Facebook page doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The best way to tackle it is to create a posting schedule (so you have an idea of what you want to post) and to schedule posts (so you don’t have to worry about posting every day).  For starters, get a monthly calendar and sketch out how your month will look. Color code it or find what works for you. This way, you’ll be able to easily see when it makes sense to post.

Don’t forget holidays—make sure you wish your customers a happy holiday and inform them of your hours for that day.

  • Daily Posts – find something you can post on a daily basis.  Maybe it’s the daily special or a trivia question—something your fans will enjoy seeing and responding to frequently.
  • Weekly Posts – weekly posts are a great way to share content that may not be good for daily posts, but something fans would like to see periodically. One thing I like to do is wish our fans a Happy Friday and post a funny or cute photo along with it. I also post weekly specials and often a video related to my industry. Industry-related articles also fall into this category.
  • Monthly Posts – since these posts are less frequent, they can be more sales-related in nature. These may be events or sales or even national events that are related to your business (i.e. for a car dealership, an auto show). These are things your fans won’t want to see on a daily basis, but will appreciate seeing from time to time.
  • Specialty Posts (sometimes it’s okay to get a little crazy) – So our local NFL team has had one of their best seasons ever and just won the Super Bowl! You bet our fans were excited the whole season, especially toward the end. So I made sure to post about the team, ask if people were wearing the team colors, what their score predictions were and so on. These posts got a lot of engagement. Toward the end, when it was looking more and more like we were headed to the Super Bowl, I would even post a couple times during the games. People were on Facebook during the game, so this was a perfect time to interact!

How to Schedule Facebook Posts

A great feature of Facebook pages that isn’t available on timeline profile pages is the ability to schedule posts. This is a must if you don’t want to be a slave to your Facebook page on a daily basis. The scheduling tool allows you to schedule as many posts as you want up to around 6 months in advance.

It’s super easy to use—when you’re writing a post or sharing an image, you’ll notice 3 icons show up under the text box: scheduling, location and image upload. Just click on the clock icon to access the scheduling tool and a calendar will pop up. Just select the date, then enter a time in the box that appears next to the calendar, click “Schedule Post” and you’re done!

Here’s a video to show you how:

Conclusion

This should have really helped you out a lot. If it didn’t, please let me know what you’re looking for in the comments.  Below are a couple related articles and if you want to browse all of my Facebook articles, click here. Happy Facebooking!

Here’s a couple really helpful articles:

Don’t forget to check out my book!

Everything I’ve Learned About Facebook: A complete guide on how to create, strategize, manage and promote your Facebook page to increase customer base and brand awareness for any size business

5 Reasons Why Businesses Must Actively Monitor Their Facebook Pages

With over a billion Facebook users online, it’s important to have a business Facebook page.  Especially since users can create a business page simply by “checking in” at a location so you may not have a choice whether or not you’re on Facebook.  It’s vital that you remain in control of your company’s online reputation.  While it may not always seem relevant for a company to have a Facebook page, it is extremely important.  Here’s why:

  1. Company Facebook pages are designed to build relationships, not to sell. When you create a company Facebook page, employees can list it as their employers, fans can check in whenever they visit the location, and the department managing the page can build relationships with current and potential customers. By staying fresh in customers’ minds, they can refer your business and will be more inclined to have repeat business.
  2. Solve problems in real time. Sure, it’s not fun hearing negative feedback about your company. But at the same time, if you are vigilant over your online reputation, you can put a stop to negative feedback quickly and turn the whole situation around.  Say you have a customer who is unhappy about a recent visit and they post about it on your Facebook page. If you can quickly respond with an action message, bring it offline and resolve the situation, you have a great chance at getting a redaction from the customer. For example, a customer could post “I’ve been a customer for XX amount of years, but this last time we came in…” If you let the relevant department know about the situation and replay with a professional message such as “We’re sorry you had a less than positive experience. Please call XXXX at XXXX to discuss the situation.” then it takes the issue offline, the employee can diffuse the situation and the customer can follow up saying “Wow, thank you for helping me through this, great customer service!” Then you can reply with “Thank you for being a loyal customer” and seal the relationship.
  3. Make your company more human.  People don’t see companies as a group of people, they see them as an established, faceless corporation that may not care about their employees. By sharing daily company experiences such as what’s for lunch or “here’s what’s going on today” or “here’s  recent satisfied customer,” you make your company more personal and less anonymous. The more you can make your company feel like a family, the more trust and compassion you will build with your customers.
  4. Increase event attendance. Don’t discount Facebook’s ability to engage customers.  People are on Facebook all the time.  And if you let them know about your company’s public events, your have a greater chance of getting increased attendance.  When your fans engage in your posts, it is often shared on their friends’ news feed so they end up spreading the word for you. The more attractive you make your posts, the greater your chances are of having your fans advertise for you.
  5. Established customers can lead to new customers.  For $5 a day or less, you can advertise to your fans’ friends that they are fans of your company.  This is just about equivalent to word-of-mouth marketing. Say your company sells something one of your fan’s friends needs and they’re on Facebook as usual and see an ad that their friend likes your company which happens to sell just what they need.  The bonus is that you can specifically target  people to see your ads.  So if they are in the market for your product/service, your ad can show up on their feed, they can like you because their friend does, and you have a future customer. That’s how simple it can be.

There are reasons for most companies to have Facebook pages.  Some may be more popular than others (I imagine debt collection Facebook pages may not be appreciated, but with the right marketing message, they can have a positive relationship—i.e. “I feel like a jerk for being late on my bills, but XYZ debt collection company made payments easy for me—see, it works!).  And with Facebook creating pages when customers check in to your location, you want to make sure you are managing the page so you have control over your company’s reputation.

The important thing is to see Facebook as a relationship-building tool, rather than a sales tool.  In the long term, your customers may not always need your products or services, but when they do, you want to make sure that you are their first choice.