Facebook is increasingly becoming the centre of the known universe. Fact. It’s getting so big it’s developing its own gravitational field, and the entire planet could soon be turned inside out and swallowed inside a black hole (multi-dimensional physics permitting). With well over half a billion users, Facebook is prime for the marketers’ picking. And yet many businesses, large and small, struggle to gain a following and end up abandoning their pages or punting information to people who simply aren’t listening. This is down to fundamental errors in the way pages are put together and managed, and often comes down to a lack of understanding of Facebook as a social channel. There are a few common mistakes that I often see on Facebook that either stop me clicking the Like button or cause me to click the Unlike button.
1. You Only Display Posts by Page
When you first set up a Facebook page you’re given the option of what to display on your Wall – only your own posts, or posts by anyone who wishes to contribute. If you leave the default of ‘Only Posts by Page’ you’re effectively saying to me “I’m not interested in what you’ve got to say so I’m going to hide it away where no-one will see it”. Well gee, thanks, and excuse me if I never visit your page again then. Unless you’re Skittles and have 14 million fans that clutter up your wall, please change it. This is such a basic error that I see time and time again, and yet it takes only a few seconds to fix. Watch the short video clip below to see how…
2. There’s No Customisation
Making a Facebook page your own is dead simple now. It doesn’t take any great knowledge of html to implement a customised landing page and most of the Facebook apps to import blogs, Twitter feeds, video, polls and competitions are so simple a monkey could use them. So why aren’t you? If you make no effort to make your profile picture exciting (a simple corporate logo really doesn’t cut it), to welcome me to your page with a customised landing tab or to add content to your page with customised tabs, why would I bother hanging around? Answer: I won’t. Take a look here for more information on how to create a custom Facebook welcome tab.
3. Your Page Has Unused Tabs
Another very, very common mistake is to leave the default tabs on the page even if they’re blank. These will typically be Events, Discussions and Boxes. I find it really frustrating when I click on Discussions (for example) and find that there aren’t any, or that someone posted something six months ago that got one response. If you’re not using it, remove it (go to Edit Page/Apps, click on Edit Settings under the relevant tab and then click Remove). You wouldn’t have a blank page on your website would you? The same applies to Facebook pages. Leaving inactive tabs displays the fact that you really can’t be bothered.
4. Your Content Isn’t Social
Imagine picking up a copy of The Times and, rather than reading news and articles that interest you, it’s full of advertisements. That’s what some Facebook pages are like; narcissistic, self-absorbed push marketing that is entirely focused on what it sells. The admins of these pages only ever post salesy content about products and promotions and company developments. They never ask the opinions of their fans. They never even respond to comments (which are normally few and far between). Social media is called ‘social’ media for a reason, and there’s nothing duller than a company brochure in Facebook form. The most engaging pages post content that is quirky, interesting and intended to generate conversation. Yes, it’s important to publicise the brand and important developments; people want that as much as you do. But mix it up, make it interesting, post videos, pictures and jokes, throw in some random stuff. Vary your content and with everything you post, think ‘would I share this with my friends?’
5. Your Haven’t Sussed Out When to Post
You can post not enough content on Facebook. Or you can post too much content. Or you can post it at the wrong time of day. If I visit a page that’s updated once a week, I’ll generally leave immediately. That weekly post is going to have to be one pretty darned outstanding post to have me noticing it! But equally, I’ve followed pages before that post three, four of five times a day or, worse still, stream in their tweets. They don’t last long before either being hidden from my newsfeed or Unliked. I, typically, like to see at least one interesting update per day and generally recommend two, each at different times of the day. That in itself is a minefield, but experimenting with different times to find when your posts are most effective is important. Customise your page, vary your content and get your post frequency right and your page just might not suck!
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