Social Media: Facebook
If your business isn’t on Facebook yet, you’re missing out on a hugely valuable tool, partially because there are so many people on Facebook—more than 800 million active users at the end of 2011. Business Facebook pages have become so prominent that today you’re apt to see companies advertise their Facebook page rather than their website on a TV commercial, and company Facebook pages consistently appear in the early results of search engine inquiries for a company name.
Identify your objectives
At this point you have likely identified overall goals for your social media initiative; each social media tool may be conducive to different objectives. Think about specific goals for Facebook. Do you want to drive people to your website? Are you trying to connect with your client base? Are you trying to influence your brand’s reputation? How you develop your page and execute your strategy should relate back to specific goals.
In building your Facebook page, be cautious not to say things, or post information which may cause issues with insurance claims. Too many companies make the mistake of allowing someone else to run their Facebook page. In doing this, they are not monitoring the content being posted. Just a few examples of issues to watch out for include: statements/posts which may be offensive, false advertising, unintentionally exposing confidential information. In addition to keeping your Facebook page compliant, here are some additional etiquettes to remember:
- Don’t post too often. Yes, it’s good to have exposure to your audience, but over-posting is a top reason people will “unlike” you. Along the same lines, don’t sync your account with Twitter. Posting multiple times each day to Twitter is expected, but your Facebook fans will just get annoyed if they see all your linked tweets.
- Don’t use a third-party tool to schedule Facebook updates—Facebook penalizes you with how your updates are displayed (users will only see the most recent one of all the updates posted from the outside platform).
- Be sure to vary your content so readers don’t get bored with the same thing.
- Never delete fans’ wall posts! More likely than not, they’ll notice and call you out, drawing more negative attention. Instead, talk with unhappy fans to resolve their issues or at least make your best attempt.
- As with other social media platforms, avoid selling too much. More of your posts should be questions, relevant information and news, and other content.