We are far past the wild west days of Facebook, yet many users continue to treat it arbitrarily making faux pas after faux pas. Just like you wouldn’t go to a networking event with horrible b.o. and shoving your cards in peoples face, you need to stop doing the virtual equivalent on Facebook. Now that I think about it, people do go to networking events and try to push their businesses on you – and not surprisingly they fail to connect with anyone or persuade anyone. Their b.o. doesn’t help either.
1. Failure To Check Grammar
Reading your posts twice before you click “post” is a must, especially if you have a large and engaged Facebook following. In this digital age, it only takes a second to grab a screenshot of your silly typo or obvious grammar misuse. And thanks to social sharing, this screenshot will make it around the web in no time causing you shame and negative publicity. Be especially careful in calling your fans by name: spell it right the first time to avoid offending anyone.
2. Believe IQ Over EQ
People buy on emotions first; justified by logic. People are attracted to emotions first and may ignore logic. Engaging in logical discussions when the other person is very emotional or even an emotional bully may have you committing a faux pas because your emotions may cross the lines of etiquette and social norms. Learn to accept “we agree to disagree” and move on. You will be recognized as a person of high integrity and business ethics.
3. Buying Friends
Facebook fan pages were designed almost to show a certain amount of credibility. You build a solid brand, engage in conversation with your audience and people like your page. Somewhere during this process people started to get the idea that if you had more “likes” people would automatically find you credible so they started to purchase fans. All this gets you is a fan page filled with hot air and no substance but you are plagued with bogus profiles.
4. Non-Business Friendly Pictures
Time Magazine reported 73% of recruiters check out your social networking sites, including Facebook. Recruiters like me will be turned off if your profile pic was taken on a phone in front of a mirror or your cover photo is a shot of you and your buddies playing beer pong. Be sure to manage your online reputation at all times, but particularly when you’re searching for a job. Ensure your pictures represent a professional image that won’t make a recruiter second guess whether to interview you.
Too often, in an effort to make communication via facebook more “personal” and “expressive”, people and businesses rely on using emoticons (aka smiley faces, etc.).
Skip the emoticons – when addressing a broad audience – specifically through a professional or business page, emoticons can dilute the effectiveness of the message, diminish credibility, and even be perceived as inappropriate. Instead, focus on crafting a message that delivers the same effect without the need for a (blank) face.
6. Smash & Grab!
Treating Facebook like a Smash & Grab – it\’s not. Facebook is more like a networking meeting, everyone wants to sell but no one is here to buy. So you must be patient and willing to engage your customer. Engagement leads to a conversation, that leads to trust, that leads to a sale. Be willing to serve by offering Free Quality information. For best results you must be willing to learn and use the correct processes, just like in a real networking meeting.
7. Not Knowing Your Audience
The biggest faux pas is not understanding your Facebook audience because it holds the possibility of a number of negative outcomes including: posting information that is not relevant to your community, posting too often or not enough, or neglecting to engage with your audience.
8. Going Where The Customers Are Not
The biggest faux pas that business people make is to invest time on Facebook but it’s not where their customers and prospects are. To do social media right requires time and effort, and you can spend all the time in the world on Facebook, but if you aren’t engaging with the right audience you are wasting time you could be spending elsewhere to drive business growth. Identify the top three social media sites your customers go to interact with businesses like yours and that’s where you need to be.
9. Doing It Because Everyone Else Is
Don’t just set up a Facebook Page because ‘everyone is doing it’. This could be the biggest mistake your business makes. Setting up an account and
encouraging followers, then realizing you don’t have the time to consistently manage it is a huge risk. Leaving an open and unattended
platform for your fans (and non-fans) to send inquiries, post about your business or use as a reference for information (and not updated information
might I add) could lead to some very unhappy customers.
10. Making Facebook Business Personal
The biggest faux pas many businesses make on Facebook is being too personal. Many of the posts or photos that are put up on businesses fan pages are what should be on a personal Facebook page.
Personal pages are just that, for friends and family, not business contacts. If the image you put out on Facebook is too informal or even inappropriate, it will turn of clients or potential clients. People are connected to you to see a good or service, not look at photos of your kids or your vacations.
11. Its About Me, Me, Me!
The biggest faux pas is to to always be talking about Me, My and Mine. It’s a turn off. You wouldn’t do it face to face, so don’t do it on Facebook.
12. Set-up And Forget
Too many businesses set up a page and expect to start receiving thousands of “likes” without providing content or interaction. Give people a special reason to “like” your page by providing them something your competitors cannot. If your Facebook hasn’t been updated, tie it directly to your site to save time posting.
13. Thinking Facebook Is Private
The biggest thing that causes issues on Facebook is that users either don’t use the privacy controls that Facebook provides, or simply don’t bother to think about who can see what they post. Assume everything is public, and that your future employers, parents, etc. are going to see it.
14. Tagging Without Permission
Don’t tag pictures of people without permission; you could get a friend or coworker in trouble depending on when and where the photo was taken, and with whom and what. Always ask before you do.
15. Blending Personal & Business
The number 1 no-no is opening your personal facebook page to your business contacts! Keep
your personal and business life separate. If you want a business page, set
up a separate one. Do not mix the two!
16. Deleting Anything Negative
One of the biggest faux pas a company can make on Facebook is making a policy of immediately deleting negative postings, rather than trying to solve the customers’ problems. If customers catch on, it will be a major PR disaster for the company. Instead, face the music and help the complaining customer out. That is how you impress future customers.
17. Posting Pictures Of Other People’s Children
Online privacy is a growing concern among parents, particularly those with teenagers. Whether you’re a school with your own Facebook page or a proud new uncle who just snapped an pic of your newborn niece, resist the urge to post any photos online of children unless you have the express consent of their parents. Many parents are growing loath to the idea of having their kids pictures floating aimlessly around the internet and consider tagging an invasion of privacy, yes even on Facebook.
18. Sharing Only Your Content
A big mistake that is made on Facebook is that companies
never stop talking about themselves. While it’s important to share your content, sharing only your
company’s content will quickly cause followers to unlike your page or not
read your posts. Instead, share content that is related to your industry and that your followers will
enjoy reading. Then, when you post content about your company, your
readers are more likely to read and engage with your posts. Good content brings readers.
One of the biggest faux pas I see brands doing is overselling their product. Facebook is a place where people go to be a part of a community. Facebook pages should embody the lifestyle of the brand and share how people are interacting with the brand in real life. Yes, you should link to your website and encourage people to purchase your product, but you also want people to become brand advocates for your product and create their own buzz around your brand. Word-of-mouth, online and face-to-face,