Social Media Mistakes – 12 Things to Avoid on Facebook

Posting too much about yourself

Don’t make the mistake of thinking everyone is as passionate about your business as you are. People are self-centered, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just a fact. They want to know “What’s in this for me?” And they have extremely short attention spans. In general, the rule of thumb is that 80% of your content should be entertaining or educational, and only 20% should be about your product, service or brand.

Not posting share-worthy content

Think of what you share with friends on Facebook. Chances are it’s something about friends, family or funny stuff. Perhaps it’s something that touches, or inspires, you, or possibly something that educates or informs. It’s most likely NOT something about a business, and that’s why it’s so important for businesses to craft their content carefully.

Not socializing

Facebook is “social media,” not “sell-me media,” so be sure to use it to build relationships. Delight, entertain and engage people with fun, rewarding content. Job number one is making friends, in more ways than one. Think about it, if you were a real estate agent, who just met someone for the first time, would you try to sell them a house on the spot? No. There is a social dance that has to take place. They have to get to know you before they can like you, and trust you, enough to engage in a business deal. And they might not even be in the market for a house, but by knowing you, and liking you, you stand a chance of getting a deal if/when their time of need arises; and you could get a referral, if your are top of mind. Relationships take work, so work at it!

Posting at the wrong time

Facebook posts age quickly and get buried under a landslide of other posts even faster, so timing is critical. If you post something at two O’clock in the afternoon, by the time someone gets off work, and visits Facebook during their free time, your post is likely to be way down on the list and is less likely to be seen. The best times for posting are in the evening hours and on the weekend. Other times that work well are in the morning, before work, and on weekends. Many companies block Facebook on work computers, so keep that in mind also.

Not posting frequently enough

Making friends on Facebook is like making friends in the real world. It takes work. Posting daily is a good practice. You want to stay in front of people, but make sure your appearance is worthwhile. Entertain and educate.

Not posting consistently

Most people get out of the starting gates fast, and put up a lot of posts at first, but life is full of distractions, so it really takes a dedicated effort to keep it up. A good idea is to amass a collection of posts so you have them at your fingertips when it comes time to post. Better yet, use an automatic content posting system that allows you to schedule the time and day of each post ahead of time. Sendibles and Hootsuite are two popular platforms for doing this.

Not responding to comments

When someone makes a comment on one of your posts, take the time to comment back, or simply say “thank you.” This simple step lets followers know you are paying attention and appreciate their thoughts. Remember, this is an exercise in relationship building, and two-way communication is important.

Not branding the post

It’s relatively easy to find some funny picture to post on your site, but what good does it do you when someone shares it on their timeline, but your logo and contact info doesn’t get to go along for the viral ride. Learn to use Photoshop, or some photo editing software, to put your branding on funny visuals.

Not asking for what you want

People are more likely to do what you want, if you just come out and tell them what to do. It’s simple, but it works! Tell people to make comments, like or share something. Another good idea is to ask people to vote on something like “Coke or Pepsi” or “iPhone or Android.” Every time someone comments, Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm places a higher value on the post, making it more likely to show up on other people’s timeline.

Posting unauthorized contests

Face has rules regarding contests, and they will penalize you for not following the rules. You cannot offer any type of incentive, or prize, in exchange for an action such as liking or sharing. If you want to offer some type of contest on Facebook, you must use one of their approved applications for doing so.

Purchasing Likes

Facebook wants to protect the integrity of likes, comments and shares, so they will penalize you for purchasing likes through third parties. Even though these companies often claim their likes are organic – produced by an army of individuals, Facebook has numerous ways of identifying these black hat operations. Their algorithm can spot unnatural spikes in activity, and they have employees that sign up to be part of these “teams,” just so they can identify this type of activity. If you want to get lots of like, be prepared to earn them by providing content that is like-worthy, and purely organic.

Mishandling negative comments

For the most part, don’t delete negative comments about your brand. Doing so undermines the trust between you and your fans. It’s tough, but people respect, and trust, entities that can take criticism. Respond to negative comments, but don’t be hateful, or mean-spirited. Appreciate the input, take it as constructive criticism, and use it to polish your brand. If people feel as though they are listened to, and their comments are valued, they’ll feel an affinity towards, and take ownership in the brand. A brand, at the end of the day, is not what you say it is – it is what your customer’s believe it is. Their perception defines your brand.