For small business, Facebook is an excellent social media network. The platform allows small businesses to directly interact with current and potential customers. However by accidentally misusing the platform, you may be inadvertently doing more harm than good. In some cases misuse of Facebook by small businesses can actually push customers away. Here are some key factors which small businesses should consider when using Facebook.
Failure to completely fill out profile:
Facebook offers small businesses the ability to advertise and brand themselves online for free. It can also be used as a tool to educate clients and customers about your business: its ethos, culture and history. To get the most out of this forum it is essential that any small business completely fills out its profile. Essential details to include on the profile are: business hours, a contact number and also a direct URL to your website, if you have one. Simply put if you don’t provide customers with this option, they won’t look for it themselves.
Liking personal posts:
Liking your own posts and content is a dubious activity. People are already aware that you liked the content due to the fact you posted it. It makes your company look both unprofessional and unpopular simultaneously.
Using a poor display picture:
The display picture on your page represents your brand or company on the forum. This is the initial image which meets new customers, and potentially shapes their impression and conception of your company. Make sure to use something that is both clear and instantly recognisable. It also needs to be engaging so that it grabs the attention of users when your feeds appear on their news feed. This may mean a slight re-branding to make your brand image social media friendly. When doing this try to ensure that the brand logo is compatible with social media (fits into a square picture). Things to avoid with brands for social media are brand logos which do not scale well, and pictures and logos which are too heavy with writing.
Not having a cover picture:
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A cover picture provides your small business a further opportunity to inform customers about what you do. Ensure that you make use of it. When choosing a cover picture try to use a picture which summarises your business or work to visitors.
Using your personal Facebook profile for your small business:
For small businesses, it is essential to set up a specific business page separate from your personal profile. When doing this it is imperative to ensure that you set up a page and not a personal profile. It is an easy mistake to make and businesses often unwittingly slip into making it. In doing this it provides your fan base a far greater number of options. It enables users to like your business and also check it to your premises. From a business point it allows you far wider scope for advertising and engaging with your clients.
Ignoring comments from customers:
Simply put social media is all about engaging with your followers. Failure to do this is limiting the effectiveness of your social commerce efforts. But not just this it is also extremely rude, your business page portrays your business to the public, by ignoring people it makes it seem like you do not care about customers. Doing this is an absolute PR fiasco, however many small businesses unwittingly make this mistake. By building good relationships with customers you are simultaneously building a better business.
Just using Facebook as a broadcasting platform:
A lot of small businesses use their Facebook page to post business updates or links related to their business. Unfortunately for them they are really missing the point of Facebook. Simply put, Facebook is a tool of interaction, and interaction is a two-way affair. For businesses and especially small businesses to get the most out of Facebook they need to create opportunities for conversation and engagement with the brand. Facebook takes user interaction extremely seriously, if a user doesn’t engage to certain pages post then those posts stop showing on their feed. A small business needs to take their interactions just as seriously, considering content carefully, to ensure users interact.
Note: This post is a guest post from a member of our DMR Insider Community.
Image credit: Jay Cameron via flickr