The Five Biggest Mistakes Business Owners Make on Facebook
by Elizabeth Southall, April 14, 2011
Million+ active users and more traffic than Google, savvy entrepreneurs are recognizing that Facebook is now the #1 best place to find new, untapped customers for your business.
If you know what you’re doing, you can quickly generate a large, loyal fan base to market your products and services to.
But violate the unspoken rules Facebook etiquette and not only will you find it tough to retain fans, you could also end up generating a massive amount of negative buzz for your biz on the world’s largest social network (OUCH!).
To help you get the most out of your Facebook marketing efforts, here are five cardinal “sins” to avoid when marketing your business on Facebook:
Mistake #1: Using Your Personal Profile to Market Your BusinessAs a general rule of thumb, profile pages are for people and fan pages are for businesses.
One of the main benefits of using a fan page for your business is that fan pages are indexed by the search engines, while most personal profile pages are not.
More and more fan pages are showing up in search results Google, Yahoo and Bing search results, which can expose your business to tons of new potential customers who are not on Facebook (wooHOO!).
Plus, if you include your website URL to your fan page bio, you’ll have an inbound link from Facebook (a high-ranking site in the search engines) to your website. This can boost your website’s ranking in Google and the other search engine results even further.
Also, your fan page can grow with you. With a fan page you can have unlimited fans, which is essential if your goal is to grow your Facebook fan base as much as possible. Using a profile page for your business is that you can only have a maximum of 5,000 friends.
(And if those reasons weren’t enough, Facebook specifically discourages using your personal profile for business use. Facebook’s Terms of Service actually state that businesses should use fan pages only.)
Mistake #2: Giving Your Fans the Silent TreatmentMany Facebook fan page owners put in a lot of time and effort into attracting fans… but then never engage them in conversation.
This is a big mistake!
Think of your fan page as a never-ending networking party you’re hosting for like-minded people. Would you invite guests to your party and then not speak to them after they got through the front door? Of course not.
The whole purpose of having a Facebook fan page is to engage and interact with your fans. It’s a social network after all – so go socialize!
In this case, the party is your fan page, you are the host and the mingling is happening on your fan page wall.
When people post comments on your wall, a good host will reply, ask questions and engage. Aim to create a conversation.
Do this and when it comes time to promote your products or services down the road, you’ll find your fans will be much more open and receptive to what you have to offer.
Mistake #3: Posting at All Hours of the Day and NightThe whole purpose of your fan page is to get your message in front of as many fans as possible and to get them commenting on it, hitting the Like button or sharing it with their Facebook friends.
If you post a status update on your fan page in the wee hours of the morning or super late at night, it doesn’t matter how good your update is…
Chances are the majority of your fans are not going to see it!
Atlanta-based Vitrue, a company that manages social media marketing for hundreds of high-end brands in a range of niches, recently released some excellent data on the best time of day to publish status update on your fan page.
After comparing stats from 265 Million fans from the hundreds of Facebook fan pages they manages, Vitrue noticed that status updates made anytime before noon get an average of 65% more engagement than status updates made in afternoons or evenings.
(Again, Facebook engagement means shares, likes and comments from your fans on your status updates.)
It seems that most people like to check Facebook in the morning, most likely over a cup of coffee at the office before the day gets busy.
Makes sense, right?
With this in mind, your best bet is to post your most important status updates (limited time offers or special promotions, for example) before noon so that the majority of your fans will see it and engage with it.
Mistake #4: Posting Text, Text and More TextPosting text-only status updates day after day is kind of like serving the same thing for dinner over and over again. Even if what you’re serving up is delicious, repetition gets boring!
To keep your fans interested and engaged, mix it up by posting a combination of text, pictures and video.
More data released by Vitrue reveals that status updates containing pictures usually get 54% more fan engagement than straight text posts. Video posts come in second, getting 27% more engagement than text posts, with text posts coming in last out of the three.
So to get your fans commenting on, liking and sharing your content, include pictures, graphics and other eye candy in your status updates and include them often.
Mistake #5: Promoting, Promoting, PromotingOne of the reasons that Facebook is such a fantastic place to attract new customers is because the social network is such an open, friendly place.
Most Facebook users are on the site to connect with friends and, as a result, you can market here without encountering a lot of the buyer’s skepticism that you’ll find elsewhere online.
That said, unsavvy business owners who relentlessly post promotion after promotion on their fan pages will quickly find their fan count dwindle.
Annoy your fans with too many offers and they can choose to hide your updates or simply “unlike” your fan page altogether.
To avoid this, observe the 80/20 rule in your Facebook marketing efforts.
80% of your status updates should offer no-strings-attached value to your fans in the form of tips, advice or friendly banter.
Once you’ve built up a relationship with your fans, you can talk about your products or services the other 20% of the time.
When used properly, a Facebook fan page can be a very powerful component of any successful, revenue-generating business.
And Here’s Something Else…If you’d like to learn the secrets to attracting a legion of loyal Facebook fans who will eagerly line up to buy your products or services and rave about your business to all of their friends… YOU’RE IN LUCK!
Right now, you can SAVE $100 on my “1000 Fans in 10 Days” Facebook marketing boot camp for business owners – but hurry, this special discount expires soon. Get all the details and sign up for the course here: http://1000fansin10days.com/
Award-winning Internet entrepreneur Liz Southall teaches women around the world how to start and grow profitable passion-based freedom businesses that make a positive impact. Get her FREE guide "10 Free Ways to Grow Your Facebook Fan Base FAST" at www.DotComDiva.com
Note from Anne: I have no affiliation with Liz and her company and will not benefit in any way should you decide to purchase any of her products or services. I simply liked her message and decided to share it with you here.