If you have a business, you probably have a Facebook page. You may even have a handful of people who “like” you… some of them may go so far as to actually like you. Congrats, you are just getting started.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to go from a likable local business to a scourge on the daily newsfeed. How can you avoid such a fate? For starters, do your best to steer away from the following:
Autoposts from Other Platforms: Look, I get it. There are roughly one-bajillion social media platforms out there, and it’s tempting to just blast the same, “Half-off mini burritos with your oil change – today only!” line on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tinder — whatever you’re on. It may seem like you’re getting a lot done with little effort, but you’re really not doing yourself any favors.
The reason many social media platforms are able to peacefully coexist is that they provide vastly different user experiences. Instagram is a rapid succession of gorgeously-filtered images, and Twitter offers digestible missives and one-liners. Facebook is the most comprehensive of the bunch, where personal photos, hilarious cats and heated rants all co-mingle for your enjoyment.
You should be creating unique content that’s specific to what people like about the platform. Resources like Sprout let you schedule your posts ahead of time if you prefer to set aside a day each week to devote to your social media efforts. Have fun with it. That said, please avoid…
Awkward Attempts to Engage: You’ve seen these before: “We’ve got new burgers! ‘Like’ if you’d eat Burger A, comment if you like Burger B, or share if you’ve gotten food poisoning from Burger C!”
You’ve probably also seen the tumbleweeds roll past as no one did any of those things.
This tactic might work for huge national brands with hundreds of thousands of followers, but not so with local business pages. Similarly, sharing hilarious memes, lists and quizzes that have nothing to do with your product or service and asking people what they think of them will mostly serve to make you look desperate.
Instead, try a call to action — for example: “Stop in today and mention this post for a free dessert!” The idea here is to give people who already know and like your business a reason to make their way in on a day when they may have otherwise gone elsewhere.
There’s a reason why fans and friends are separate entities. Your business may be quite likable, but it’s not anybody’s friend. Acting like it is can come off as ingratiating. Instead, take attractive photos of your business, products or even your employees. Let people see who you are and what you offer, while still avoiding…
Constant Reminders: If you’ve got an event coming up or a sale that’s about to end, the desire to make sure your followers know about it is understandable. The answer, however, is not to create a flood of posts every hour, on the hour.
Go into your Facebook Insights and take a look at what days of the week and times of the day your posts are seeing the most success. Strike while the iron is likely to be hot, but don’t keep whacking incessantly if you miss.
Consider a paid ad if there is something you really want to get a lot of eyes on, but don’t overdo it with those, either. You can probably think of a company or two from your own newsfeed whose sponsored content is getting pretty tiresome. Don’t be them. Plan ahead, be timely and spend selectively.
But the worst thing you can do on Facebook?
Nothing: Sometimes attempts to engage on social media can feel like being the kid who showed up alone to prom and can’t find a dance partner. But that’s no reason to give up. A barren page is the last thing you want users to see when they visit. They will wonder if you’re even still in business, and they’re probably not going to do a whole lot of investigating on the matter.
Even if you’re on your haunches cooking up a big social media strategy, don’t let your existing page fester. Events, promotions, photos and seasonal content can take relatively little time to craft and schedule, and should be posted at least once or twice a week to keep your page looking fresh to new visitors.
When in doubt, your best resource is right in front of you. Take a stroll through your personal newsfeed. Find local businesses who seem to have this thing down, and think about why certain businesses are starting to get on your nerves or have fallen off your radar entirely.
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