A few months ago, I had the pleasure to present to some wonderful family-owned businesses at a seminar for the Institute for Family Business. When I was first approached to give some advice to local business owners about Facebook, I just sat there for a second. “Where do I even start?”
There are a million intricacies to handling a social media page, and I couldn’t begin to fathom how I would cover all of them in the span of an hour and be able to relate them to every business in the room. Well, the truth is: I can’t. But what I can do is give a little bit of guidance on what NOT to do and help steer people toward creating interesting and meaningful content and conversations online.
And even though you missed the seminar, I’ll give you a recap on what I covered.
Here are the Six Things NOT To Do On Facebook:
DO NOT do nothing. You’ve set up your Facebook Business page. Awesome! You’re already one step ahead of a lot of businesses. But now what? I’m sorry to tell you that “if you build it, they will come” is a lie when it comes to social media. It’s the virtual equivalent to having a customer in your store browsing your products and asking you questions – and instead of answering their questions or carrying on a conversation, you sit there and stare at them in complete silence. You’d never do that, right? Here are some basic DOs to get you started:
- DO fill out all necessary profile information. Hours, services, company history, website, phone number. All of these things help visitors know who you are, how to contact you, and what you’re about. (And as an added bonus, it can help with SEO!)
- DO add a profile photo. Honestly, nothing is creepier to me than a camera shy graphic. I normally suggest using your logo as your profile photo. When your profile photo is in someone’s Newsfeed, it’s very small and it needs to be something easily recognizable. Plus, brand recognition needs to extend to all forms of media. From your storefront and your print ads to your television campaign and social media presence, you want your potential customers to recognize you everywhere.
- DO add a cover photo. I understand a logo sounds boring for a profile photo, but the cover photo is where you can have fun and show off your personnel and your personality.
DO NOT talk about yourself too much. Think of it like a first date. Would you spill your guts about every aspect of who you are without letting your date speak? Well… you might. But I HIGHLY doubt you’re getting that second date.
Use this dating scenario to think of things you should talk about like common interests between your company and the people who would follow you, the latest news headline that affects you both, and yes… you can still talk about yourself – a little. Keep it to about 30% about you and remember to listen and talk back to your followers. Sitting silently on a date when someone is asking you questions is just about the most uncomfortable thing I can imagine.
DO NOT ignore the details. This is a personal pet peeve of mine. If a picture looks blurry and pixelated – don’t use it. If you have an event flyer with very tiny copy that no one can read – don’t post it. If you’re posting a link and the title makes absolutely no sense – click on it and edit it.
Take the extra few minutes to make what you’re posting looks good and makes sense. Instead of that blurry picture, try retaking it with better light or find a replacement. Instead of the flyer, make an event on Facebook that has all of the information from the flyer within the Event Info and find a photo that corresponds with your event. You have complete control over what content is being posted – use it.
DO NOT think all things in life are free. This applies mostly to Facebook, but as the other platforms become monetized – it’s something you need to consider. If you’re a small business, you’ve seen your organic reach plummet over the last few years. The fans that you worked so hard to get aren’t seeing your content anymore and it’s getting harder to reach new ones. Don’t panic – there is good news.
Social media is a perfect place to spend your marketing dollars. It’s my job, so of course I’m going to be a fan – but here are two reasons you should be too: 1. A small budget goes a long way on social media and 2. The targeting options are endless.
Start with a small budget of $25 per week and test it out. If you need some advice or guidance, shoot me an email.
DO NOT ignore your haters. Trust me, I understand wanting to do this. Social media trolls can be mean, ruthless, and sometimes completely wrong. Other times, you have an honest, upset patron – you messed up, and it’s hard to admit. But you MUST and you must do it quickly. Snowballing is a real thing on social media – and one small complaint can easily turn into an online army against you. Here’s what to do:
1. Respond quickly. Put out the fire before it becomes an emergency.
2. Apologize. Even if they’re wrong, they’re upset and you can apologize that the situation was upsetting them.
3. Be genuine. Don’t sound like a robot when you’re responding.
4. DO NOT point fingers or try to argue. Trust me when I tell you that it will not end well for you. If you’ve built a strong following of supporters, sometimes they will come to the rescue. You, however, should never argue with an angry patron over the Internet.
5. Take the conversation offline. Ask them to private message you, call a manager, or anything else to take the ugly conversation off a public platform.
DO NOT forget to track what you are doing. How do you know it’s working if you aren’t measuring anything? Try to make some measurable goals for one month, three months and six months out. You may just be throwing darts blindly at a wall – but having set goals is the first step. Things to measure: Followers, # of users engaging with your content, traffic to your website, etc.