BY DAVE CHAREST
No one wants to look dumb.
Especially when it comes to Facebook, where there’s the potential for thousands of people to see it.
And when you’re first getting started, it’s easy to make some rookie mistakes. Many of these mistakes happen simply because newbies don’t know any better.
So in an effort to help you avoid any embarrassing moments, I asked our resident experts here at Constant Contact what they thought were some of the things that can make a business look dumb on Facebook.
Are you doing any of these things?
- Talking at your customers, not with your customers. Pushing out a bunch of blah blah blah press releases or links to stuff you do on your website is not engagement.
- Not responding to comments or questions. It’s not a good first impression for a potential new fan to see that your business or organization doesn’t address concerns and doesn’t interact with customers.
- Not monitoring the Page. When someone visits your Page, are they going to find it full of links from Facebook spammers inviting your fans to college night at the local bar or to click to win a free iPad?
- Using hashtags on Facebook. Umm, hashtags are for Twitter. If you’re just cross-posting from Twitter, that also signals that you don’t care enough about your Facebook fans to create updates just for them.
- Writing long posts that get cut off. It’s okay to write longer status updates on Facebook (you have a limit of 60,000 characters), but you still need to keep them clear and concise.
- Liking your own post. Really? That’s almost a cry for help. Maybe that’s why no one else is Liking it.
- Not having a custom URL for your Facebook Page. What’s the first rule of Facebook Pages? Get yourself a custom URL.
- Posting one thing right after another. Your fans may love you, but long post after post after post in the newsfeed can be a bit much. Be sure to space out your updates so there’s a better chance people engage with them rather than pass them by.
- Talking smack about your competition. There’s no need to bad mouth your competition. Keep it to yourself unless you really want to look dumb.
- Responding negatively to a negative comment. The outcome from a negative comment truly depends on how you react to it. Being negative in return isn’t the best idea. Say thank you for the feedback and respond professionally to resolve the issue. You may just turn that unhappy customer into a happy one.
- Not filling out necessary information, location, description, etc. Facebook gives you the opportunity to add detailed information about your business or organization. Be sure to fill it out fully.
- Not using Facebook Insights. If you’re not paying attention and evolving based on the information you learn from your Page’s Insights you may find yourself with a poorly performing Page. And you know how that looks.
- Only promoting yourself. It’s called social networking for a reason. If you’re not engaging and showing personality, why bother?
- Spelling errors. As small as they might be, spelling errors can really hurt your Page’s credibility. A typo is okay, but lots of typos are not. (Watch for some common misspellings, like There/Their/They’re/Your/You’re.)
- USING TOO MANY CAPS OR EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shhhh. Stop yelling. Use capital letters and exclamation points sparingly for maximum impact.
- Responding with the same answer from multiple admins. It’s good to respond to people’s posts, but if multiple people are running your Page, be sure they’re communicating internally so they’re not posting the same response multiple times.
- Not having any posts or comments from customers. When all the posts and comments on a Page’s wall are between friends and family of the business owner and not customers, that’s not really a good sign. Be sure to get your customers engaged.
- Not getting any feedback on questions. Posting questions to your fans is a great idea, but when you see a business doing it every day and no one is answering … that looks bad.
- Having a blurry avatar. If people can’t make out your Page’s avatar, what good is it? Or if you have an avatar that looks silly as the minimized version, that’s not much help either. Be sure to use the appropriate sizes to look your best.
- Relying on user-generated content. All content created by your fans is gravy. Don’t demand that people get involved. Or expect it to make your Facebook Page a success. You still need to create your own engaging content.
- Trying to make every post for everyone. Not every post needs to be for everyone. It’s okay to post something that only a segment of your fans may find engaging. It’s better than watering something down to make it appropriate for everyone.
- Leaving the shared link in your status. Once you paste a link in your status the link preview pops up. Once that’s there you can erase the original link from your status and write what you want.
- Not customizing the headline and abstract when you share a link. In the link preview you can actually click on the headline and abstract to customize the text for your audience.
- Leaving a random image in the link preview. If applicable, there are little arrows below the image that allow you to choose what image displays when you share a blog post or article. This is especially important if Facebook pulls something random like a Twitter badge or sign-up form image.
- Leaving up a post with a typo. If you notice a typo in your update immediately after you post it, you can delete it and re-post a corrected version before people start liking, commenting on, and sharing it.