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Now with over 750 million members, there's no doubt that Facebook should be a part of your business' social media marketing .... At this point, it's almost insane to think that your own prospects and customers aren't on Facebook, which is why many businesses are realizing they need to create an engaging and valuable Facebook presence for their fans that also serves as a viable channel for generating traffic and leads for their business.
But for every business that understands it needs a Facebook strategy, there are just as many businesses that are executing their strategy incorrectly. To make sure you're not falling into bad Facebook marketing practices, below is our definitive list of things businesses should delete from their Facebook strategy...immediately.
1. A Business "Profile," Not a Page: First things first. Before you even think about anything else, know this: businesses have Pages, people have Profiles. If you haven't already, create a Facebook Page for your business immediately. If you've already set up a Profile, Facebook enables you to convert it into a Page. Pages are specifically built for companies, brands, and organizations, and they provide all the right functionality (e.g. generating fans) for your business' Facebook presence.
2. A Lengthy Page URL: So now you have a Page. What comes with it is this really long, unidentifiable, impossible-to-remember URL. Make it easy to communicate your Facebook presence to others by creating a vanity URL and username that's easy to remember and share. For example, HubSpot's Facebook Page URL is http://www.facebook.com/hubspot. (Note: Once your vanity URL is set, Facebook doesn't let you change it, so make it count!)
3. A Terrible Photo/Image: Is your Page's Facebook photo awful? Make sure your photo is one that also looks good in thumbnail version, as this smaller image will be what gets shown next to any of your posts. Use your company logo, and make sure you "edit thumbnail" and either scale or drag the image to position it in a way that doesn't get cut off or warped in your thumbnail.
4. A Fear of Comments: Stop being scared of fans posting on your wall. Social media is social, and being social means embracing conversation. In your settings, make sure comments are enabled so your fans can post to your wall and tag your company in their posts, too. This will make your Page more engaging and will also encourage brand evangelism that can show new visitors and potential fans of your Page that people love your brand! On the other side of the rainbow, don't be afraid of constructive criticism or negative feedback. Don't delete these types of posts. Instead, respond in a way that shows you respect their opinion and appreciate their feedback.
5. Desperate Strategies for Generating Fans: Stop employing pathetic strategies like silly contests with flashy prizes in order to generate hoards of fans. They make you look desperate, and oftentimes attract fans who don't even care about your businesses or wouldn't make good customers. Instead, focus on creating an interactive Facebook presence that includes valuable content and conversation, and the fans you actually care about attracting will come naturally.
6. Too Much Content About YOU: Stop posting content that is overly promotional and talks too much about how ridiculously awesome your products/services are. Your fans don't really care to hear it, and it won't make for a Page people want to Like.
7. Robotic Posts: While we're on content-sharing best practices, let's talk briefly about automation. Auto-posting some content from, say, your blog, can be helpful, but too much automation in social media is not a good Facebook practice. As we said, social media should be social. Make sure you have an actual human interacting on your Page, not just a robot.
8. Too Many Posts: Similarly, be careful about the frequency at which you're posting content to Facebook. Facebook's dynamic is a bit different than Twitter, which tends to support a higher volume of content. There's no definitive guideline about how much is too much on Facebook, but a general guideline is just a few, high-quality posts a day. That said, feel free to comment and react to others' posts on your wall freely.
9. Content That Isn't Valuable: Like we just said, focus on high-quality posts, and don't waste your posts on low-quality content that generates no conversation or results. To get the most lead gen juice out of your Facebook presence, try to post content that requires a form download.
10. The Same Type of Post Over and Over: Furthermore, remove repetition from your posts. Spice up your Page by offering variety in the content you're posting. If you keep posting links to blog articles, try posting a video or asking your fans a question relative to your industry. Also consider asking for feedback about how to make your Page even more valuable to fans. They'll love to be involved in shaping what the value they'll get from being a fan.
11. Bad Spelling/Grammar: One part of making sure the content you share is valuable and high-quality is attention to detail. Proof your posts before you post them, and make sure you're eliminating bad spelling and grammar.
12. Millions of Tabs: Don't clutter your Page with too many tabs. While Facebook makes it a lot more difficult to clutter your Page these days, try to keep your Page focused and only include tabs that provide valuable information and content.
13. Contests That Break Facebook's Rules: Be mindful that Facebook has pretty strict guidelines about how contests can be run on its social network. Be careful not to violate Facebook's rules. You don't want your business' Page to end up blacklisted.
14. Too Many Administrators: Ever heard the saying, "too many cooks spoil the broth"? Allowing too many cooks, or Facebook admins, to edit and post content to your Page under your business' name can be a recipe for disaster. If you do have multiple contributors, make sure you have one, centralized person managing your Page's presence overall. This will prevent instances of much of what we've advised against in the points above.
15. Spam: The one time it's definitely okay to delete others' comments on your Page is if they're spammy. While some posts will be obviously spam, you'll need to use your best judgment for others. Generally, if someone is just leveraging your following to promote their own content and it's not adding any value to your community, it's okay to remove from your Page. Spam can be very damaging to your Page, as it undermines your credibility and also shows you're not regularly monitoring what's happening on your Page.
16. A Lack of Monitoring: Yup, not making time for monitoring is something you should definitely eliminate -- or I guess in this case, add -- to your strategy. Make sure you make time every day to check in to your Page to post content, respond to commentary, and engage with your community.
17. Nothing: Similarly, you absolutely must delete inactivity from your Facebook strategy. Your Page should not be stagnant and not regularly updated with content. Otherwise, your fans will have no reason to keep coming back to your Page, and it will suffer. If you're not using your Page to its advantage, what's the point of even having a Page at all?
What else should be eliminated from businesses' Facebook marketing strategy?
Photo Credit: brittgow