Saturday, October 9, 2010

Facebook Mistakes Every Business Should Avoid


You have your personal account on Facebook, you have found every high school friend you ever knew (or never wanted to see again). After reading many an article on how it can help your business you are now thinking about creating a business fan page on Facebook.

Facebook has taken off so successfully because it has filled a void that was needed in our daily lives. It satisfies the need to connect to friends from the past and keep up with your friends and family in the now. Many a friendship has been reconnected, established and strengthened using these non-traditional forms of media. True story-I found my brother who I had never met via Myspace. But how do you use this form of communication to market your business?

As business owners we are passionate about our brand and what we do. Using traditional media, we know that when we have a sale or a special it is time to shout it from the rooftops. While using radio, television or print this way is effective, you will fail if you try to use the same methods with your social media campaign.

Some tips to remember when building your Facebook page:

Stop Selling
This probably doesn't make too much sense to a business owner who has done nothing but put years of blood, sweat, and tears into marketing their brand for success. However, you need to understand that this new way to market your business is called social media for a reason. The best way to be effective with your Facebook marketing is to hit them on the head a 1/4, maybe 1/8 of what you are used to with traditional marketing. This doesn't mean only post 1/8 of the time, instead fill the other eighths with relative content that doesn't have much to do with your storefront. Articles in your business category that are interesting, local happenings in your neighborhood, etc. Maybe once a week you tell people something directly related to your business in the traditional form of marketing.

Show some Respect
If you are hosting an event or you have something specific to promote, for the love of God, keep it to yourself. Do not break Cardinal Rule #1 and write on someone's Facebook wall. In social media etiquette, this is the equivalent of pushing someone out of the way during a two person conversation just so you can join in. Can you think of anything ruder? Exactly. Keep it on your wall. If you want to be Crafty Cathy, for extra exposure ask your friends to repost. And I mean physically call or email and ask them, don't ask them publicly on Facebook.

Be Regular
My favorite thing to say when I sold radio was unless you are a restaurant no one thinks about your product three times a day. The way to be effective is to be consistent. A non-evasive, top of mind brand awareness campaign is how you should do all your marketing, especially on Facebook. The key is to be consistent and interesting with two to four posts a week. Soon, people will turn to your business themselves or tell their friends about "the caterer on my Facebook, or the place I saw on Facebook that rents pressure washers, etc".

If you can't be regular, pay someone to be
If I had a dollar every time I've seen this I wouldn't need to be in business. Businesses start off with the best of intentions on Facebook but then they get busy. The daily posts quickly turn into weekly posts, then biweekly, or stop altogether. They then panic because they haven't been on Facebook in two weeks and post two to three times a day for a couple of days until they get busy again. And by the way, who is running your business while you are on Facebook? Sound familiar? Sure, you can get an employee to post but you can't be assured they will do it correctly with your vision in mind. Having a professional who knows how to run an effective campaign is a good idea if you can't give it 100% all the time. Their expertise lies in knowing the constantly changing social media trends that would be beneficial to your business. Hiring a social media marketing company gives you the piece of mind that your Facebook is done properly, giving you a chance to focus on the other operations of your business.

Just my two cents. Now how can I help your business look its very best?


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