Confessions of a Stupid Facebook User

At one time, I thought I was pretty savvy when it came to using Facebook. My status updates where clever, I was also polite, and I rarely complained about things or was negative. But being cool on your personal page doesn’t always translate to the business side. When I took over updating statuses for my own company and then for some of our clients, I discovered that I was a stupid Facebook user. Here are some of things I’ve learned along the way to becoming more sophisticated when using Facebook.

My List of Stupid Mistakes:

1. Liking your own Facebook update.

Writers by nature think their stuff is wonderful. Or at least this writer thinks her stuff is wonderful, so why wouldn’t I just naturally press the Like button? Plus, I really thought I needed to help get the ball rolling. If people saw someone (uh, me) already liked the update, then others would follow. In actuality, it just looks desperate. Even if it’s the most brilliantly written status update ever, it’s better to let it ride then like it yourself.

2. Over Posting.

A finely written update is like a fine wine. Let it breath and be appreciated before you move on to the next item. If people are bombarded with updates they will do one of three things. Ignore them, hide them, or unlike the page.

3. Only Promoting Your Business.

Remember, it’s called social media. If you’re a locally owned business, then promote other locally owned businesses. It’s important to develop professional relationships with others.

4. Trying to Please Everyone.

When I started writing updates for businesses, I was incredibly concerned that no one would like them, leave negative comments, or worse, no comments. I also felt stupid about writing some updates because they were just plain silly and, depending on my mood, a little out there. It took me forever to write daily updates because I kept second guessing myself. One day, my  business partner noticed I was stressing out about writing updates. He told me to “take myself out of it”. You can call it whatever you want, but I just told myself it didn’t matter. You can’t please everyone all the time and to have fun. It’s a lot easier now and less stressful.

5. Posting an Update with a Typo.

I literally triple check status updates. I look at those things in three different formats because your brain has a way of seeing what it wants to see. I spell check and I sight check, but every once in awhile something gets by me. For example, using ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’. It’s infuriating. Spelling mistakes make you look uneducated. Here’s the kicker, you can delete that post and repost. The mistake is leaving it. I don’t care if someone has Liked it or left a comment. Get it outta there.  Which leads me to the next tip.

6. Leaving Your Page Unattended.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, my background is in education. I taught high school and I learned many lessons during that time. One is never show fear and the second is never leave a class unattended (unless you put the fear into them, of course. ha!). It’s the same with your Facebook page. Most people will be respectful, so that’s not really an issue. You should keep an eye out for people spamming your page. The whole point of having a Facebook page is engaging your customers/fans.  As a smart, professional Facebook user you need to respond to customer/fan comments.

7. Personal Updates on Your Business Page.

It’s important to keep business, business and personal, personal. There are five things you never talk about in polite business: politics, religion, race, gender, and nationality. Keep it clean, keep it light, keep it professional.

8. Inside Jokes.

Nothing makes people feel more like an outsider than an inside joke. We’ve all done it one time or another. When you’re in on the joke, it’s funny. But when you’re not,  it has to be explained. Then there’s the awkward moments of either feigning laughter or saying something trite like “I guess you just had to be there.” Facebook is a social community, so everyone should feel welcome and included on your business page.

9. Conducting Business.

I haven’t done this one, but I’ve seen it on other business Facebook pages.  I thought I would include it anyway. Your fans don’t want to read in the comments your business conversation. Direct the person to contact you and handle it over the phone.

10. Caps and Exclamation Points.

I am not a caps offender but I’ve seen it done by others. Using all caps means you’re yelling, so stop it. (Or should I type STOP IT!) As for exclamation points, I tend to use them a little too much in my updates. Not a whole row of them, but more like after every sentence. I set a limit to one per update. There’s nothing wrong with showing excitement, just be sure to use caps and exclamation points sparingly.

11. Links

I recently learned that if you paste a link into the status update field that once it pops up you can erase the original link from your status. I had no idea! Also, if you’re sharing a link with people, be sure the image in the preview field matches up with the link.

12. Facebook Insight

Insights is a great tool and will help you see how many potential fans you’re reaching. It has easy to read charts and graphs. Insights lets you track how many people visited your page and can help you find out what social campaign worked the best.

I added a couple that weren’t exactly done by me, but I thought they were important points to make. For most small business owners, Facebook is a new adventure. Take a little time to learn how to better engage your fans and what Facebook can do for you. If you are swamped and need help, then it’s best to hire an agency that can help you promote your business. Contact us and we can get started today.

Distillery Web Design and Marketing is a feature website builder, online marketer, and advertising specialty consulting group working with businesses in the Lebanon, Camdenton, Osage Beach, Springfield, and St. Robert areas of Missouri. Facebook, websites, online promotions, print media, radio promotions, online newsletters, graphic design and direct mail campaigns are our specialty. We know how to get the Internet, social networking and new media to work for you!