Social is as Social Does

We have been helping clients establish a FaceBook presence for quite some time now and as such, I spend a fair amount of time there. I spend my time mostly looking at how other businesses connect, engage and converse with their audience of supporters aka Fans…or these days, Likers.

Here are some of the top mistakes I see businesses making in order of importance:

1) Set up your FaceBook “community” correctly. That’s right. There is a right way and a wrong way to begin the engagement. The wrong way is to block all of your fans from engaging in any form of a communication. You have to click on your settings to allow all people who like you to be able to post to your wall. A lot of businesses decide to block their wall…For one, its the default setting…ack! Others keep it in this mode so they don’t have to “worry” about what people might post. They think they can set it and forget it.

2) Many businesses use some form of automation so they dont have to actually ever visit their FaceBook page. Autoposting from the blog or from a plethora of software certainly makes the job easier. But I dont think its very effective. After all, this is not a place to just post an advertisement every day. This is a place to develop relationships with customers and prospects. Pretty hard to develop a relationship when you aren’t really there is it?

3) Most businesses have no actual plan or goal in spending their time and effort at FaceBook. They are just doing it because they heard it would boost their business. In my book, the ultimate goal is to get people to visit your web site and take some sort of action. But there are several smaller goals along the way to be considered. At the top of that list would be developing an audience of hundreds of fans who turn into thousands of fans. This is not going to happen if you are not willing to invest time and get creative with how you engage people in a conversation.

4) I’ve seen more than my share of business pages that get treated like a personal page. While it is important to establish a character and tone of your Facebook page, it is also important to stay relevant and deliver value to your audience. The businesses who are able to get this are the ones you see with thousands of fans.

5) Finally, I see many business Facebook pages take a political or ideological stand. What if many of your existing or prospective fans has a differing view? Now, you’ve turned people off about your business. Not a really good idea.

It’s not hard to see who is leveraging the world of Facebook and who is not. Go visit some business pages. Some are very quiet. Each day the business shouts out some sort of advertising message and the number of fans is small and has stagnated. Others have many conversations going on. Fans are sharing photos and videos. The business is posting helpful links that are relevant to the conversation. The audience is growing daily and there is an air of excitement.

Remember, the only true means of growing your FaceBook audience is when friends of people who have Liked you see they have. Like a storefront or a magazine ad, you have a few moments to convince the visitor to Like your page as well. If the info found on the Facebook page looks like fun, its not much of a commitment to click Like. But if it looks like a loser, it’s just as easy to click, exit.

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