Again and again, I see businesses and professionals making these mistakes on Facebook . As someone new to Facebook, these may seem like reasonable things to do, so I'm here to explain why you absolutely should NOT be making these mistakes.
1. Having 2 Profiles: Personal and Professional
Not only do you not want to have two profiles (I'll explain why), but also if Facebook catches you, they will shut your account down. Now, you really don't want to have two profiles because, honestly, do you want to have two accounts to update all the time? On top of that, how are you going to determine the line between the two accounts - which account will you show to your friends from work or your college roommate who now works in your industry? The lines between personal and professional worlds are blurring and you should be transparent and confident enough to let them blur. Sure, you may not want your boss seeing photos of you drinking in college. But Facebook has amazing privacy settings that you can customize so your professional connections are limited to what they can see on your account. There is no reason you need to have two separate accounts.
2. Creating a Profile for Your Business Instead of a Page
Profiles are meant for people, pages are meant for businesses . Because pages were meant for businesses, they have different features to them that make them incredibly more valuable for a business. For example, business pages don't need to "accept" friend requests, they can get "liked" by anyone. Also, business pages come with analytics on engagement so you can understand your reach and marketing effectiveness on Facebook . If you think that a profile has something you want for your business that a page doesn't have, you're wrong.
3. Turning Off Wall Posts for Your Business Page
The point of Facebook is to interact with your community that's already hanging out there. Turning off wall posts or comments on your page is like saying to your customers, I don't want to hear what you have to say. Maybe you are scared of what they'll say - what if it's negative? - but keep in mind, you can't stop people from saying things about your brand. What you can do is let it happen on your turf where you can respond. Plus, every time a user interacts with your page, that interaction gets in front of that user's network, spreading your reach far beyond your existing customer base.
4. Not Updating Your Business Page
As with wall posts or comments from your users, you want to be interacting on your own page as well. Your Facebook page should be a living, breathing thing where you can share content and engage with your customers. If you update your business page with interesting content, your users are more likely to engage with your page, and their interactions get shown to their networks, expanding your reach exponentially. This virality is what makes Facebook such an incredibly powerful tool for businesses. Don't miss out on Facebook's key benefit.
5. Not Being on Facebook
Finally, if you're not on Facebook, what are you waiting for ? Facebook has over 500 million active users, many of whom log in every day. Unless your target market is 70 year old grandfathers, your audience is on Facebook. Some of the fastest growing demographics are users over 55 and the majority of Facebook users are older than college age. Whether you think your audience is not on Facebook (you're likely wrong) or you think Facebook is a fad and will be gone in a few years (it doesn't matter, it's big now), you're missing a huge opportunity by not being on Facebook.
Any other major mistakes businesses or professionals are making on Facebook? Please share them in the comments below!
Flickr photo by amboo213