Are you harming your business?

There's almost no question about how important it is for every business to have a Facebook presence, but many companies are commiting some really bad sins, that could be causing problems for both you, and your customers.

1. Not including a price list

It doesn't matter if you are a Hair Salon or you're selling jewellery, customers don't like to ask how much something costs. And to be blunt, having to ask takes up not only their time, but yours as well, as you need to answer them (and always ensure that you do!!).

Solution: This one is easy, just include a price list. This doesn't have to be directly on Facebook, as long as you have a website or Etsy etc page to direct customers towards. If you are selling specific products, such as handmade toys and upload images to your business page to show people what you are working on, or have to offer, you should always include how much you are charging for that product. Even if that product is a one-off, it still offers the customer a rough idea of how much they can expect to pay.

2. Promoting your business on your personal Facebook page

Think of it this way, your personal page is for family members, or old school friends. Whilst some of them might be interested in what your company has to offer, is it really fair to thrust it upon them without choice? On the other hand, your business page is for people who are genuinely interested in your company. They follow your actions as a choice, whilst your friends and family are more interested in you, as a person. It's important to remember the difference.

Solution: Seperate the two parts of your life into two completely unrelated pages: Tell friends and family, who you genuinely feel might be interested, about your business page, but other than that, ensure that you keep everything business related purely to your business page.  

3. Being "boring"

And yes, that includes you! It's something that so many of us fall into, because we have this idea that we have to remain professional at all times. But, the truth is that with the development of Facebook, we really don't and we really shouldn't either, because most people who are interacting with our Facebook pages are not necessarily professionals. In fact, many of them probably aren't interested in the nitty gritty details of your business. They want to know you, who you are, how approachable you are, and why they should be investing their time (and hopefully, their money) into you company.

If all you're going to talk to them about is the statistics for the past five years, or how well your company is doing, then you're going to lose a lot of interested people.

Solution: Instead, think about your potential audience. Do some research if you need to, and find out what makes them tick. What are they interested in? What connects them to your brand? Why would they be interested in you? What can you offer them, that isn't directly linked to your company?

However, don't just fill your Timeline with text, instead include links to websites of interest, or even share relavant images. Ask questions, and encourage interaction as much as you can.

4. Not interacting with your customers

For many people, "liking" a company page is about connecting with it as a brand, or often on a personal level. They want to get to know the person (or people) who run the company, and they want to know what makes it tick. But why should anyone follow a page that never updates. That never shares new products or offers? That doesn't share related news that their readers might be interested in? That doesn't respond of questions, queries and comments? The answer: They shouldn't, and they probably won't stick around for long either.

Solution: Make it your goal to update your page regularly. Everytime you add a new product to your shop, share an image including description (and don't forget the price!). Read relevant news pages on a daily basis (this is something that you should be doing already) and share them. Do a good thing, and recommend other websites/pages to your "likers" that they mught be interested in. You never know, that website/page might just thank you for it.

5. Being too spammy

On the other hand, be careful not to post erratically. There is virtually nothing more annoying than "liking" a web page that updates constantly throughout the day, at ten minute intervals, with incessant updates, news stories and images taking up the entire Timeline. 

It's even more annoying when a company constantly promotes the same thing over and over again. That could be a blog post, or an event that you are organising.

Solution: If you've written an article, or blog post you probably won't need to promote it more than  once on your Facebook page.  For events, do a big write-up for it, perhaps setting up an event page and invite followers along. Mention it occassionally in the build-up,  and a few little reminders in the couple of days before.

To prevent spamming timelines, consider setting aside a specific time of day when you will update Facebook, and make it a regular part of your day. During a specific period of time, post a few relevant stories, updates etc that are spread out at well-rounded intervals so that your readers don't feel like you are choking them.