6 Major Facebook Blunders To AVOID.
Recent studies, including this one by Mashable, indicate that Facebook pages are considered MORE valuable by up to 50% of consumers. Even if this study is embellished a little, the fact remains that Facebook pages are considered to be a HIGH-VALUE ADDITION to brand marketing.
Consider these stats:
- Facebook now has over 300 million registered users.
- 87% of people like brands on Facebook.
- Of those people, 82% state that Facebook is a good means of interacting with those brands.
- Of those people, 35% feel that brands listen to them more on Facebook than on a website.
- 75% of people state they feel more connected to a brand via Facebook.
- 69% of people have “Liked” a brand because their friend has.
Whether studies like this are impacting their decisions or not, it has been our experience that many small-business owners beginning to explore Facebook pages.
Facebook offers an inexpensive means to garner brand exposure, market research and customer engagement and the price point for exposure is incredibly accessible to businesses with little or no budget.
Yet it’s not as simple as it sounds, we have seen many businesses clamber aboard the Social-Marketing trend wagon, only to fall promptly off. The first thing to understand is that Social Media Marketing (IE Marketing on Facebook Pages) requires an understanding of BRANDING and MARKETING.
Simply put, it is one thing to have a Facebook page, it is another to use it properly.
A Brand / Business Facebook page is demanding. It requires time, effort and hard work. Simply “BEING ON FACEBOOK” is not enough to achieve social media and branding goals. Brand representation requires care, planning and dedication, and caution must be taken when avoid misrepresenting the brand, or damaging its reputation.
For an example consider the Chick-Fil-A fiasco from earlier this year (HERE).
If one is going to take their small business to the Social Media air waves one should make all effort to avoid these six blunders.
1. Not Updating Regularly & Consistently.
STAY ACTIVE. Establishing a presence on Facebook requires continual updates with fresh content. Achieving Social Media goals demands this. Facebook pages must be updated a minimum of once a day – although preferably two or more. Failing to keep a page updated, positions your brand or business as DISINTERESTED and will negatively impact it’s image. The rule of thumb for any and all marketing is this: Content Is King
Content Is King, means that the fresher, more consistent content being posted, the more impact (brand exposure) is being made.
When taking a brand or business to Facebook pages, be prepared to allot a specific amount of time EVERY DAY for updating and replying to comments. Social Media Marketing is all about “SOCIAL” and Social is all about “ENGAGING”. What this means, is providing content that engages your consumer audience and leads to “CONVERSATION” (thereby leading to “CONVERSION”)
To recap: Social Marketing means SOCIAL which is about ENGAGING, which leads to CONVERSATION, which ends with CONVERSION.
2. Not Reviewing Comments.
A. Comments & Conversations:
The beautiful (and challenging) thing about Facebook Pages, is that it allows anyone to comment, and to comment just about whatever they like. Why is this a beautiful thing? It allows a brand / business to engage customers in an entirely new way.
The ability to develop these dialogues directly with consumers is the “HOLY GRAIL” of Social Media Marketing.
It is crucially important to respond to comments, answer questions and take part in discussions. This requires time, dedication and a great deal of creativity. Again we reiterate that it is about SOCIALLY ENGAGING, so find ways to create conversations. Content is key to starting conversations, however ENTERING existing conversations, or keeping them moving requires diligence, creativity and passion.
Remember that Facebook Fans can be a brands single greatest champions. Their word-of-mouth referrals can do more for a brand than thousands of marketing dollars.
(69% of people have “Liked” a brand because their friend has).
B. Negative Comments:
It is important to note that a brand / business will not always receive the comments they want. Taking a brand / business to Social Media opens it up to negative feedback, comments and conversations. One must enter prepared for a certain level of criticism and remember to always respond in a positive manner.
Remember that conversations on Facebook are PUBLIC and this is NOT a place to get into heated discussions.
Instead engage the customer elsewhere, by email, phone or private message and work the situation out. Only once that customer is happy should the conversation then be revisited publicly.
Every brand / business is going to face these challenges. Take care to remember that the customer is indeed ALWAYS RIGHT. It is not worth bad brand exposure to win one little battle. Use these situations as opportunities to be the GOOD GUY or the “bigger man” and wow your audience with your response.
It is in a brand / businesses best interest to NOT delete negative comments.
Instead the brand / business can use them to their advantage. When a critic is converted to a fan via public discussion on Social Media, it drastically impacts the viewing audience. Taking time to convert critics will lead to even more fans to follow. It is difficult but one of the most effective means to position the brand.
When dealing with upset customers, always take the high road.
C. Dealing With Spam
Spam happens, but it is easy to deal with. It can appear as either a comment or a post:
- Comment Form: It will simply be a spam message attached to an existing post.
- Post Form: It will appear as an actual post to the Facebook page itself.
This is another solid reason to keep tabs on comments and posts. Here are two ways to quickly dispatch spam:
- For spam comments, (which appear below existing posts) hover the mouse over the right side of the comment until an “X” appears. Clicking the X will cause the comment to be hidden.
- For Spam posts, click “see all” on the right side of the page below recent comments. Hover the mouse over the right side of the comment and click the “X”. This will provide four options: “Highlight it”, “Allow it to be seen”, “Hide it”, “Delete it and ban that person from commenting on your page again”.
3. Breaking Facebook Rules.
Facebook Pages need to be treated seriously. a brand cannot act willy-nilly, doing whatever it likes. Every Social Media platform has specific “Terms and Conditions” that are agreed to when signing up. If a business is intent on Marketing & Branding themselves via Social Media, then these terms must be adhered to. Violating these rules, can result in Facebook either deleting or suspending the account. Common breaches can include:
- User name: Attempting to use trademarked or obscene names.
- Spamming other pages. This can include abusive messages OR sales pitches.
- Hosting contests that do not follow the specific terms outlined by Facebook.
- Cursing or threatening other users.
When a brand/ business page is shutdown, it is sends a very negative message to the customer base. Brand image drives success, ANYTIME this image is tarnished, it is impeding success.
4. Not Understanding Brand Image.
A Facebook page is a direct relay for BRAND IMAGE. Brand Image is all about how the consumer views a business.
Successful branding may position a business as a “Leader in quality” – such as BMW in the automobile world or a “Leader in Innovation” such as Apple in the techie world. When we as customers come to EXPECT a specific something from a brand, that is a direct result of a brand image that has been achieved via successful brand campaigning (branding).
Once a brand image is established, EVERY medium on which the brand is presented must now convey that same image.
That is what it means when they say that in Branding, CONSISTENCY IS EVERYTHING.
A Facebook page is no exception as it will place a brand in front of the consumer audience. Put in other terms, consider a Facebook page as a storefront of sorts. Not only is it displaying the brand image, it will portray the brand or businesses position in relation to a specific set of products and services.
The question this all leads to is this: What type of image do you want to project?
Whatever that image may be, that is what Facebook should show as well.
A brand should NEVER position themselves as arrogant and obnoxious, constantly bragging about great products or discounts. Consider it this way, if an individual spends an entire night at a party, boasting and on-upping others, they will likely not be invited back. No one wants to hear it. Instead a brand / business should focus on the consumer.
The key to Social Marketing Communications, is not simply in speaking effectively, but in listening and learning to ask the correct questions.
- Asking the right questions places the customer first.
- It positions the brand as one that cares, and is engaged with consumers needs.
- It leads the conversation to a place where the customer themselves points to the quality products and services.
The best party host is the one that makes the party about the guests. Social Media Marketing is similar. Make the brand page about listening to the consumers and then adjust the content to capitalize on that.
This ties in to brand image well. Spamming others is a very negative addition to brand image. It does not matter if the brand feels their products are amazing, or that their new big offer is exciting – others may not share that and it is not worth the risk. The brand / business should always keep their content on their page. Let the customer base share it outwards, they are a trusted source to their family and friends, the brand however is not.
Do not use Facebook to SELL, SELL, SELL. Social Media Marketing is not about making sales.
It is about generating brand exposure and sales leads. It is about engaging customers and drawing them to the brand. It is not about spamming people. Pushy Sales tactics are not suited for Social Media. Don’t use them.
- Feel free to communicate the “Personality” and “Humanness” of the brand – But Don’t Spam.
- Educate, share knowledge, insights, tips and news. But Don’t Spam.
- Post new sales or discount information on the brand page – BUT DON’T SPAM!
- Broadcast new products and services on the brand page – but seriously please, do not spam.
Never abuse, Never Spam.
People are being sold to every second of their lives. Television, magazines, online, on the road. No matter where we look there are advertisements and calls to action. People do not want to be inundated by that on Facebook as well. Take the higher road. Generate customer interest without being the obnoxious pushy salesman.
6. Page Administration Is A Privilege, Not A Right.
When developing a brand / business Facebook page do not make the mistake of underestimating its importance. Facebook may have started out with teenagers, but they should NOT be representing a brand to a global audience.
When assigning this responsibility, treat it as you would any sales or marketing position. Do not put your 15-year-old nephew in charge. He may know Facebook, but he does not know what it means to drive a business and brand image forward. Would you want him doing your sales calls?
What makes a good Facebook page admin?
- Page managers must be familiar with Facebook and its available tools.
- Be familiar with the brand / business being represented.
- Be familiar with the concept of branding and brand image.
- Be personable and possess customer service skills.
- Be able to articulate well – specifically in written communications.
- Be thick-skinned – criticism will come, flying of the handle is not allowed.
- Be creative and have a passion for content development and sharing.
When assigning this role, the brand / business in question should provide the following:
- An outline of company communication policies, including privacy policies.
- Any existing Social Media policies.
- An outline of the existing brand image.
- An outline of any current Social Media Strategies, including current goals and previous achievements.
Facebook pages do allow for more than one administrator, however keep in mind that the more voices representing a brand, the more possibility for INCONSISTENCY – the enemy of branding.
To truly succeed on this area, everyone needs to be on board with what the brand image is. If the Facebook page manager is posting one thing, but the Service Rep or the Salesman is saying another, this creates brand inconsistencies and can heavily damage the brand image.
It must be made clear to the page manager, what the brand image is, and that this must not be contradicted in any way.
Facebook pages are a formidable resource for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds, to broadcast their brand image and engage their customers. Facebook at a business brand level is not a toy, however, anytime a business is being representing to the public, proper planning and responsibility is necessary.
Transition Marketing Services. Our passion is educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how were doing or if you have any questions. TRANSITION MARKETING SERVICES – Small Business Marketing & Branding Specialists.