As a social media strategist who has worked with hundreds of business owners over the years, I’ve found that there are some common mistakes that I see people making over and over again. In no particular order, here’s a list of the biggest mistakes business owners are making on Facebook.
- Too many hashtags. I see this one all of the time. An individual or business page will post on Facebook and mistake the platform with Twitter or Instagram. Hashtags work really well on Twitter and Instagram but don’t necessarily work very well on Facebook. I realize people are trying to save time by pushing their posts from other platforms (Twitter or Instagram) to Facebook – but it just doesn’t come across well. Be sure to treat each platform separately and post accordingly.
- Too long of a post. Now, I understand there’s a time and a place for the occasional longer post but in general, it’s a mistake to constantly post lengthy posts. People just simply won’t read them. People want things that are quick, easy and fast to digest. Keep in mind that 89% of Facebook users are on a mobile device. Aim to keep your posts short and sweet.
- If you’re a business owner, do not share your Facebook account with your spouse. I see this often and it just looks very unprofessional. For example, your Facebook account should not be “Joe ‘N Susie Smith” – have separate accounts. Even if you aren’t going to accept every friend request – when you are in a leadership position, having an account shared with your spouse gives the wrong perception.
- Don’t add your job title onto your personal profile name. I see this especially in the real estate industry. While I understand why people do this, please know you don’t have to add the title Realtor for people to know that you’re in real estate. So, instead of being “Betty Jones Realtor” – just be “Betty Jones” and then make sure in your About Section you add in your title and brokerage.
- You’re not making it easy for people to find you. You want to make it really easy for people to find you. What I mean by this is on your personal profile you should include where you live, where you work and your contact information. This doesn’t mean you have to have your cell phone number listed, but you should at minimum include your email or your website. This is critical if you have a common name. If I am specifically looking for a “Joe Johnson” I will probably find hundreds of results – but by adding in location, job and title – it makes it much easier for me to find you.
- You have to have a profile photo that looks like you. Don’t use a photo that is outdated. People should easily be able to recognize you from your photo. Also, it’s best to use a photo that is just of you versus your entire family. Save the family photo for your cover photo.
- Putting too many polarizing topics on Facebook. We all know it’s political season and so this mistake is even more prevalent at the moment. My advice is there’s a fine line between being your authentic self and sharing your viewpoints and opinions…and polarizing other people. It’s one thing to be passionate about your beliefs, but in this day and age with social media there are so many blurred lines between personal and professional. It’s important to remember that what you put out there sticks with you for a long time – your digital legacy.
- Not checking your notifications. This may seem like a simple no-brainer, but I see a lot of business owners that just get too busy and forget to check their notifications. With Facebook, you can’t just set it and forget it. Responding is just as important, if not more important, than what you post on Facebook.
- Outsourcing too much of your personal social media. I often hear from business owners that they just don’t have time for social media. I’m a firm believer that social media does not have to take a lot of time, especially if you have a strategy in place. Now, it’s fine to outsource certain aspects of your social media – but don’t outsource the relationships. You may choose to outsource things like blog post creation, graphic design and scheduling some content – but what you can’t outsource is the value you bring to commenting and engaging with your friends, colleagues and clients in an authentic way. Think of it as a big dinner party; if you had a dinner party with your 10 most important clients – would you have your assistant be there in your place? Of course not! So, the same is true for social media!
Remember, Facebook is truly about the long game. It’s about the marathon and not the sprint. What you do today affects your business 6 months from now…12 months from now…18 months from now. Yes, there’s a whole business strategy with pages and advertising and content. But the other side of that strategy is all of these little things that we do, day in and day out. It’s the little things that will make a big difference.
Check out my Periscope on this topic:
What mistakes are you seeing on Facebook? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment below or jump on over to our #GetSocialSmart Facebook group and join in the conversation. I’ll see you there!