FacebookSocial media is blurring the lines that businesses can and should take with their customers on the internet.  It’s becoming a lot more difficult to fight through all the noise and have your company stand out over the hundreds of other companies that are trying to build a social media following.

Facebook is probably one of the best ways to start contributing to social media.  The interface isn’t that different from your personal Facebook account, and it helps provide an easy way to help potential customers learn more about you.

This article is designed to show you some of the things that you need to try to avoid when you’re building your Social Media Marketing Plan.  Why do you need another marketing plan?  Because when it’s done right, it can be a huge success and can help you to grow your business.

Let’s look at some of the things we don’t want to see when we pull up your businesses’ Facebook page.  If you need some tips on what to post, or how to set up your page, check out this article.

Have a goal for your Facebook page- and stick to it

One of the hardest things to do on social media is to try to figure out how to get the most out of it.  What do you want people to do once they visit your Facebook page?

  • Do you want people to interact with you?
  • Are you using it to reinforce your brand?
  • Do you want them to become a customer?
  • Do you want to have an avenue to express concerns or compliments?

Each one of these goals requires a little bit different strategy- and choosing to do all of them at once could be an absolute disaster.  We know the answer if we ask about the most important thing for small business owners- it’s all about new customers.

Unfortunately, the ‘hard sell’ doesn’t work too well on social media- but that doesn’t mean you can’t lead them in the right direction.  Pick two of the most important things to your customers and focus on a strategy that will guide people in the direction you want them to go.

Focus on things that would draw the attention of your ideal customer, then be useful and helpful.  That way, you’re providing a service- not just trying to sell them something.

Stay away from those three things you shouldn’t talk about at work

This is where we request that folks use some common sense.  Providing and commenting on polarizing topics can be a tremendously bad idea.  Social media is one of the best places to vent about whatever is bothering you- but stick to your personal page and lock it down so only your friends can see it.

A good rule of thumb- be passionate about what you do, always be who you are, but always think of the impressions your posts will make before you put them out in the public eye.  Word travels fast on social media, and just one post can spiral out of control faster than you might realize.

You can be edgy, funny, and comment on current events.  In fact, you’re going to get better reactions and more credibility when you do.  Just be sure that you’re not alienating the people that matter most to your business.  In our eyes, those people are anyone and everyone that might do business with you.

Always interact with any comment or criticism

Facebook is becoming one of the more popular ways to submit feedback and get information on how a business treats their clientele.  You’d be surprised how often potential customers visit some sort of social media before selecting a service-oriented business.

That’s why it’s critical to be sure to reply to any comments made on your page.  If any comment, positive or negative, goes unnoticed, there’s a chance that impression could carry over to how your company operates.  If you don’t want to respond to a negative comment on your page, send them a private message to try to resolve the issue.

Remember to be courteous and thoughtful in your response- don’t let emotion play a factor.

Keep it short- and on topic

Long-winded posts aren’t meant for Facebook.  If you have a story to tell, or a lot of information you want people to see, create the full-blown post on your company blog and link to it from Facebook.  Make sure you have a strong summary so casual readers know how important that post is.

Long posts won’t usually be read on social media- keep it short and to the point.  Try to avoid memes and other cutesy stuff that might get likes, but not a lot of traction.  It’s ok to use these items now and then, but how many shredding customers really connect your company with cute kitties?

Don’t put your tweets on your Facebook page

Twitter and Facebook are used completely different.  Be sure to make that distinction, and create a strategy for each of them separately.  Automatically posting tweets on your Facebook page send some confusing messages (especially to anyone who might not be as familiar with Twitter as they are Facebook.

Own your strategy, and make it fun!

Facebook is one place where you can really connect with the people and companies that use your business.  Use it as a platform to be useful, and be sure to stay relevant, but not technical; fun, but not polarizing; and more than anything- keep it simple.

If you’d like more ways to create a social media strategy and use social media for your business, check out the rest of our social media tips.