Social sharing: The do’s and don’ts of Facebook

7 minute read

Picture the scene: something makes you click ‘Like’ on a Facebook page. Instantly, up pops an update on your news feed and you think “why am I interested in that?” and suddenly you unlike the page.

It’s that quick to lose a fan, so we’ve put together some key do’s and don’ts that we’ve picked up along the way, so that your Facebook page doesn’t experience such quick brutality!

DO keep it relevant

When writing updates it’s so easy to get sidetracked by other things going on, but it has to stay relevant to you and your page. Your updates shouldn’t really be about another business, and if on occasion they are then there needs to be a obvious or compelling link with your existing business. Otherwise, existing fans might get annoyed by it and see you as using Facebook as a business ploy. New fans may stumble on your page and think it of no relevance to you and your business. First impressions are vitally important.

DO talk to your customers – good or bad

Responding to customers should be part of the backbone of your Facebook page, otherwise what’s the point? It’s an informal platform and should be utilised as a way of interacting on a personal level. People might say bad things, people might say good things – but ultimately, they want a response and they want to hear what the people behind the business have to say. Manners are important in all walks of life so if someone sings your praises, thank them for doing so . It’ll encourage them to leave comments later on. If someone says something bad, tell them you’re sorry and try to correct it.

DO reward your loyal fans

The great thing about Facebook, and actually any social media website, is that you can reward your fans for being loyal to you. Doing this helps you keep your new fans (they’ll anticipate future offers) and attract new ones. Facebook is the largest social media site on the planet and it’s a big place, so attracting and maintaining interest is crucial – give people a reason to keep being your fan! Why not reward them with a discount on a product or service you’re selling or give them exclusive information, stressing that they’re hearing it first. It’s a great way to make people feel valued.

DON’T use it as a selling mechanism

The initial appeal of having a Facebook page is to promote your business to the nth degree and really hammer it home to your fans that you are a business and you have something that you want to sell to them. But Facebook is about so much more. Of course there is always an agenda, but Facebook is about interacting with fans and demonstrating the personality behind your business.

If you need to tell your fans that you have a new shop, that’s fine, but how about asking “have you visited it, what did you think of it?” or “how can we improve?”. Another example is that you have a new menu on offer and you want people to visit your restaurant. Why not post some pictures of the new dishes and ask if anyone’s tried them yet? Questions are a great way of interaction and you never know, you might learn something new about your customers and their needs.

DON’T remove comments – ever!

The one piece of information that has to be stressed is to never ever delete bad comments. You might think they’re irrational and that they make your business look bad but it happens. You can’t please everyone. In deleting comments you’ll only encourage the original complainant to write something else in anger, whereas if you leave it the chances are someone else will post something positive. All publicity is good publicity and you never know, you may see some loyal fans jump to your defence – we’ve seen it happen to one of our customers.

DON’T forget it about it

Are you sitting here thinking wow, I haven’t updated our Facebook page for a couple of weeks? If so, it’s time to do something about it. A silent Facebook page is sending the wrong message and may just make your loyal customers feel a little ignored. If someone has taken the time to become a fan of yours on Facebook, shown their friends and family that they want to be associated with you, then they deserve to be spoken to.  If you’re struggling for update ideas, brainstorming is a great tool and can help you make an action plan for the coming days and weeks.

We hope you’ve found these tips useful, but remember, you’ll make up your own set of guidelines and the customers behind any business will quickly determine what does and doesn’t work on your Facebook page. If you have any of your own do’s and don’ts to suggest please leave them in the comments box below – we’d love to hear from you.