8 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Facebook Business Page
You’ve been trying to boost business with a Facebook Page, but you haven’t seen results. I’ve got some bad news for ya: Facebook’s grouping of related content may end up hiding some of your posts. Combine that with general anxiety about social media, a touch of cynicism because you aren’t quite convinced this Social Media thing is here to stay, and you’ve got some stale-as-a-saltine pages that are in need of a little TLC. I’m sorry to say I’ve seen way too many small business owners make the same mistakes over and over. They just need some design pizzazz and some strategy to give them a total mind and body makeover.
But how many more articles do I have to read telling me how to improve Facebook traffic? I agree. I read A LOT of articles about social media and every time I’m about to click a link, I think, “Am I actually going to learn anything new?…Please don’t let it be the same, brainless crap I’ve read over and over!” I’m usually disappointed about half the time and pleasantly surprised the other half. So, my hope is to actually teach you something new and insightful that you can use to increase your likes and traffic. Believe me, these tips really work. But, you can’t expect to just sit back and wait for the magic. You have to become active in your social media strategy and make it a part of your business routine: Not something that you are addicted to and can’t go minutes without checking your Insights (It’s all too easy to get to that level), but not something that you can “set and forget” (wasn’t that from an infomercial?).
And so, now, I present: 8 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Facebook Business Page.
- It’s all about ME. This is one of the most prevalent mistakes. And understandably so. It’s easy to rattle off things about yourself or your business. We’ve been trained that is what social media is about. It’s more than just a big billboard for your business, it’s a way to help your customers and provide them something of value. Yet, we continue to blast everything about events and specials we have coming up. Those are fine to tell your customers about, but a rule of thumb is only post about yourself once in every ten posts. So what else is there to post about?
Once you make the transition in mindset from posting about yourself to being a source of information and helping customers, it’s amazing how many ideas you can come up with! Here are some to get you started:
- Relevant quotes from relevant people. Throw in some humorous ones that reflect your personality from time-to-time.
- Photos and videos of your business. Take a tour of your facility, show your process and procedures, make a video greeting for a holiday – it doesn’t have to be professionally-made.
- Ask a question. Not just any question – something that will make people answer. We’re all self-obsessed, right? Speak to people’s egos by asking a question about themselves or their loved ones. Get them to tell you what they like or dislike about your industry and you’re not only getting conversation, but some good insight into your customer’s thoughts and feelings.
- Be a wealth of knowledge. Post links to articles you find interesting. Don’t forget to add your comments to help people connect with you. Re-purpose material you’ve already created by making edits and present in a new way. Become a resource for your clients about your product, your brand, and your industry.
- Facebook Houdini. We’ve seen these pages. The most recent post was from 2 months ago. Seeing this can’t make me click away fast enough. I know all the reasons people say they don’t update…I’ve been too busy, I don’t know what to say, Nobody reads what I post…there are hundreds of excuses, but the bottom line is: In order to do social media well, you mustpost frequently. Otherwise, you’ll lose loyalty.
The best way to post with the right amount of frequency and always have something to say is to use a calendar. For example, I have a spreadsheet where I indicate each day, what type of post (new, recycled, sharing others’, promotion) to be sure I am paying attention to that 1 in 10 ratio. I have a topic assigned to each week. Then, I put the exact text into the day it will appear, so that all I have to do is copy and paste the post. Since I know what topic I need to fill the calendar, I keep separate lists of quotes to use, and ideas for questions or articles to share. A good rule of thumb for frequency on Facebook is to post about once per day or once every other day. Now, there’s no more writer’s block when it comes time to post. I’ve gotten such a great response from telling people about my calendar, I decided to give the template away here.
- The annoying Page. You don’t want to be that page. You know, the one that posts fifteen times one day and fills your feed with content you really don’t care about. Those are also the pages that post the same content over and over. How convinced are you that the 20% off sale is really a desperate cry for sales when it’s been posted for the thirtieth time in the last three weeks? People like to learn about sales, but don’t go overboard. Remember: 1 in 10 ratio.
The planning calendar is also helpful to prevent yourself from being annoying. That way you’re sure your posts are scheduled in a good pattern and frequency to always keep your business at the top of your customers’ minds.
Leaving your Page on a stranded island. It’s easy to forget to link to Facebook from the outside world. Run through every point of contact with your customer. Do you have a link and instruction for them to like your page? It’s amazing how well this works. Make sure it’s included:
- On your website on every page
- On your business card
- In your email signature
- On your product packaging
- In your email newsletter
- On your front door
- On your car
- On your blog posts and articles
- On receipts and invoices
People need to be led by the hand sometimes. No one wants to go search for you on Facebook and they don’t even remember to do it. Make it easy and right in front of them. Your likes will soar.
Being anti-social. One of the most important keys to mastering social media is to remember that it is social. Be sure to respond to EVERY comment that is made on your page. People like to be acknowledged, so be sure you show them recognition that you saw their post and they’ll likely post again, interact with your brand, and are more likely to buy from you. Don’t be a wallflower. Start conversations, be friendly, and make sure you acknowledge every attempt others make to be social with you.
Committing a Fashion Faux-Pas.This is my personal pet-peeve. Your image is the first opportunity you have to make a good impression about your business. But often, this is where business owners skimp and DIY. This is a big mistake. Your page needs to match your company branding and you need to keep your image consistent with the rest of your materials. Hiring a professional to design your profile says that you take your business seriously and gives you credibility. There are plenty of free tools out there that help you design your page, however, you get what you pay for. Good design is never free (read between the lines – free design is usually not good!). Think about cutting your hair. You trust and value your hair stylist has an eye for what she does and has a specialized talent. Would you ever attempt to cut your own hair? Or, have the friend of a friend who is thinking about going into cosmetology? You probably wouldn’t let yourself or anyone else near you with a pair of scissors who hasn’t had at least a few years’ experience cutting hair. So, why would you try to design your own graphics or take a shortcut in having someone inexperienced design them? Isn’t your image worth investing in?
If you need a resource for getting your page designed, Ekcetera offers a fantastic package for Facebook Page Design. It’s affordable, stylish and smart. It comes with a free E-Book of the 10 ways to increase your Facebook traffic. What better way to help out your page?
Being too professional. Most people who go into a business have a certain amount of fear in what they’re doing. We often feel like we have to act professional and that by doing so, it will hide some of the fear we have about our business. Unfortunately, this approach to social media makes you appear inaccessible. Social Media is all about tearing down barriers and stepping out of the professional cover. Let your personality shine. Don’ t worry about trying to sound so professional. People can be turned off by posts and profiles that sound dry and stuffy. They want to know the personality behind the posts. Yes, do mind what you say – if you wouldn’t want it plastered on a billboard with your photo next to it, then don’t say it – but you can laugh a little, have fun, and let people know who you really are. Make sure you include nice photos of actual people – they encourage people to interact with you. You won’t be judged by your photo or considered vein. It’s time to step out from behind your computer!
Your timing is off. Finally, the timing of your posts does make a difference. This, of course, depends on your audience. Generally speaking, if your audience is general consumers, early evenings and weekends are good times to post. They may not have access to Facebook during work. However, if your audience is entrepreneurs who are self-employed, you might get better traffic during working hours. It’s best to study your industry and use a tool like Crowdbooster, which tells you the best time to post based on past performance.
On the other hand, you might find success in posting during off-peak hours when there’s less traffic. Your posts are more likely to be seen if they are jumbled in with so many other posts. Doing a little research and testing is your best bet when determining the right times for your posting.
Work to eliminate these mistakes in your Facebook strategy and you’ll see dramatic results. Take away some of the hype about social media. Just treat it like you treat the real people behind the computer screens and you’re well on your way to becoming a social media master!
Comments or questions? I’d love to hear from you! Do you want to receive more articles like these? Subscribe to my emails at the bottom of the page.
so what do you do to get customers back? FB did a change so that if fans don’t comment or “like” a post then you fall off their feed? Any ideas?
Thanks for your comments. I think what you’re referring to is just the new way that Facebook is displaying content on a user’s feed. As far as I know, there haven’t been any changes that actually removes pages’ posts from a feed if it hasn’t been liked or commented on. However, Facebook is grouping similar content together and if the user is sorting the feed by “highlighted stories first” (the drop-down option in grey text on the upper right-hand corner of the feed), then the feeds are sorted by content that the user has shown previous preference for (with likes and comments, among other ways of determining preference). Then, your page’s posts would appear underneath those preferred posts sequentially, so it’s possible someone would miss it if they didn’t go back far enough. My general sense is that people are sorting their posts by “recent stories first” and hopefully they’re scrolling back far enough to read them. If it’s really a concern, the way to make sure you’re not getting grouped into other posts not showing up under highlighted stories is to post during non-peak times when there’s less competition for feed space. Just be careful because you’re risking that not as many people will see it because of the off time. If people are truly not interested in what you have to say, they’re probably not worth chasing. When you provide content of value, people will engage and naturally, your posts will show up on their feeds because Facebook’s algorithms will determine that they enjoy and want to see the content. Hope that helps!
I think Facebook made this change to preventing marketing people from destroying the consumer experience of Facebook. Most pages I see commit mistake #3 that Kelly mentioned. Best way to ensure this is to spend time crafting good content that add value, and evaluate adjust as you go. Facebook Insights is a good place to start. To get more, try Crowdbooster!
I like your method of tracking and organizing your facebook posts. Can you post an example of what your spreadsheet looks like?
Susanne, thanks for the comments. Yes, I’ll post a spreadsheet soon that people can download and use! Great idea!
Great post, Kelly, but you don’t really elaborate on the 1 in 10 ratio. Could you provide some more details on that, please?
Erick G. Hagstrom
609 15th Street
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Hi Erick, a general rule of thumb is that only 1 in every 10 posts should be promotional – selling something or advertising a sale about your business. The rest of the posts should be providing value or generating discussion. Glad you enjoyed the article!
Great article Kelly; It is nice to see clarity between personal and business facebook pages.
Thank you! Glad you found it helpful.
Thanks for sharing the great tips! I was feeling stuck and I think now I know why.
Yay! Now take that momentum and start rocking your social media!
Talk about covering all bases…I’ve been doing some of the things you recommended but not enough. Thanks for sharing these actionable steps. Benefiting from the talent of the Women 2.0 network!
Glad you liked! Always happy to share.
Great! I am now using crowdbooster so that should give me some insight as to when I should be sharing info! Thanks!
These are great tips. Ones I often tell my clients. I had not heard of Crowdbooster. Thanks!
I loved the one about putting your social media on your car. Never thought of that!
What great informations!
Thank you, what great information!
I agree with all your points. I think the biggest problem is FB’s algorithm. Now that they have gone public they are truly in need of revenue. It’s about compelling page owners to spend money on promoting their posts. When only 12-15% or fans are shown any one post, even if your content is engaging it’s tough to get seen. The algorithm seems to penalize your page for lack of posting as well as engagement by others so you do want to be on there as much as possible without ticking off your fans. Basically, FB is a money making enterprise. The greatest benefit is for larger businesses that can spend the money on advertising. Doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t be on there but you also have to be realistic about the gains you are going to make.
What a great post. Thanks for sharing your tips – I’ve downloaded your scheduling calendar and look forward to getting to work planning my upcoming posts. Next, I’m off to Crowdbooster to check out when the best time for me to post is!
Thank you so much, I am finally going to get a Facebook page for my blog and I’m having the same company that did my blog do my page.