Social media is a fun and profitable way to interact with your followers, building their trust while you move them closer to the point of conversion. But it has definitely changed over the years.
In the beginning, Facebook was used mainly for college kids to contact their classmates. Now it’s where we all gather to connect with family, friends... and brands! It's one of the most reliable ways for marketers to engage with their potential customers and people to hear things straight from an employee’s account.
But that means your Facebook isn’t a free-for-all anymore. There are rules to follow to keep your page looking professional.
Liking Your Own Post
Let’s start off with the one that is already causing debate around the Impulse Creative office. While some people reacted in pure disgust at the very thought of someone liking their own post, others say it’s perfectly acceptable. What do you think? The consensus around here is that it’s unnecessary; obviously you “like” what you posted or else you wouldn’t have posted it in the first place. As a general rule, if a pretty big portion of your audience thinks something is a little uncouth, avoid doing it- even if one person at your office thinks its okay.
I asked around to get several genuine responses for what people hate to see on Facebook, and this response came up quite often: “Misleading headlines!” Using clickbaiting headlines or posts to get people to come to your piece of content is a very bad idea. If you employ this type of shady tactic, you’ve lost the reader’s trust, and in turn, potential business and traffic.
Sharing Hoax News
Sometimes, you don’t have to be purposefully misleading in order to lose your followers’ trust. The recent Facebook hoax a few months ago proved that, once again. If you are the one in control of a business’s social media postings, it’s crucial to fact check anything before you share it. Without doing your research, you risk breaking trust with your customers and the public. If you post this hoax, who is going to believe you when your next post is saying that your company only uses organic materials or your profits are up 100% this quarter?
Heavily Political or Religious Opinions
Your company’s social media profiles don’t have to be strictly industry-related news, but they’re not the place to say political or religious views. You may seriously offend or turn away potential customers who do not agree with you. Keep in mind that your personal page represents you and therefore your company as well, so try to keep it as drama-free as possible as well. If you really want people to know your choice for the next President or how you feel about a Supreme Court ruling, share it on your personal page and make your account private.
Sharing Medical Advice
Full disclosure: this is not one I came up with myself, but when someone else brought it up I couldn’t have agreed more. If you are not a doctor or nurse, writing posts about the dangers of conventional medicine and medical treatments, with links to articles about the miracle effects of vegetable smoothies, is not only off putting, it’s irresponsible. This could potentially be a big deal if you’re sharing these from your company’s page especially. Don’t set your company up for a lawsuit or you up for some bad exposure by stepping into a field you’re not an expert in.
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, “vaguebooking” describes when someone alludes to either something wonderful or something bad without giving any details. Examples I’ve seen are things like “Best day ever, my life will never be the same!” or “I can’t believe that just happened, I learned my lesson!” Come on… either tell us or don’t. All you're doing with updates like this is annoying your friends into asking "Why? What happened? Are you ok? What's the news?" After a few “can’t stop crying!” posts, people will lose interest and unfollow you. If you want to tell people, just say it. If you're not going to tell us anyway, then just don't share at all.
Whether you’re posting from your business account or under your own personal name, think about what you're saying and consider if you would say it to all of your followers in person. You are not shouting into an empty room; you are broadcasting whatever you are saying to all of your Facebook friends. Facebook is a social network and social means interactive. Everything you post on your Facebook account can possibly evoke a response from your friends, so make sure you’re evoking a positive response.
If you need more advice on managing your Facebook or other social media accounts, download our free eBook Mastering Social Media for Business.