5 Critical Mistakes Small Businesses Make on Facebook

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When it comes to using Facebook, everyone is doing it, from small businesses to giant corporations. Unfortunately, particularly in the case of small business, not everyone is doing it right and there are some pretty common themes among the mistakes that small businesses are making. Many small business owners have trouble with the platform, and set up profile pages rather than business fan pages, and others have made the mistake of joining Facebook Groups, which divide fans.

Here are five more critical mistakes that people who own businesses are making on Facebook.

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#1. Selling not Sharing

The biggest mistake that customers make on Facebook is that they use the platform as a shouting podium to hawk their products. Of course, that makes sense on the surface, because the reason that you set up a business account in the first place was so that you could market your business better, grow your customer base and increase revenue. But simply broadcasting a message – particularly if it’s just an advertisement – is not the way to use Facebook.

When you are in your car and you want to listen to music on a local radio station, you have to listen to the ads too. People are getting enough value to justify the ads because of the music. With Facebook, if you aren’t giving them value, or enough value, they will do the same thing that they do in the car when the advertising is becoming unbearable – change the station.

#2. Not Putting Enough Time In

Facebook marketing requires a time commitment, even if you aren’t actively using the advertising programs on the platform. Many companies don’t spend enough time using social media and so they lose the benefit of it. In fact, companies often try to automate the process entirely, thereby losing the personal connection that actually gets followers and keeps them.

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Photo by Anita Gilmore cc

#3. Doing What Everyone Else is Doing

Many business owners, particularly if they are new to Facebook, will look at what their competitors are doing and follow it. That’s a mistake for two reasons.

First of all, you can’t be sure that what your competitors are doing is even working, and second, you want to stand out to people and since you and your competition are sharing the same customer pool, being predictable will not distinguish you in any way.

Instead, try to come up with some unique and creative ways to use Facebook that no one else is using so that you can rise above your competition.

#4. Not Learning the Platform

If you are a brick-and-mortar company, you know how to use the tools at your business location like the cash register and credit card machine. Treat Facebook the same way as you would any other tool that you’re using to grow your business. Learn about all of the options, mechanics and add-ons, as well as programs that support Facebook, so that you can use those tools more effectively.

Most business owners don’t take the time to learn all of the things that they need to know to use Facebook optimally to get fans and keep them. Some of the Facebook tools that they often fail to use (or sometimes don’t even know about) include Facebook Insights, which is a great analytics tool for determining what people are doing when they find your page and how they found your page, and Facebook marketing, which can be one of the best investments that a business can make.

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#5. Violating Facebook’s Terms and Conditions 

Almost no one reads the Terms and Conditions of a website before they click “Accept” but in the case of Facebook, you really should, because if you get caught violating the terms of service you might lose your page permanently. Some of the most common violations that small business owners commit include spamming their fans or friends of their followers and buying likes and fans through services like Fiverr.

Also, Facebook has some pretty strict rules about how contests are conducted on the platform. Business owners also often create personal pages for their business rather than using the business page itself, and many small business owners fall into the tagging trap, when they tag customers in photos without permission (usually in an effort to get their attention).

These are just a few of the critical mistakes that small business owners make when they set up their profiles on Facebook. Are there other mistakes we haven’t mentioned in the article? Let us know in the comments section below.

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