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3 Ways You Are Crossing the Line on Facebook

Be your own Facebook police: 3 ways you’re crossing the line on Facebook.

Whether you’re a mid-Missouri business owner, a sales person from anywhere in the world or a member of an up-and-coming band from the grunge/red dirt/punk/orchestra scene, social media can be an effective marketing tool when it’s used correctly.

When you’re invested in your business, though, it’s easy to get carried away, crossing the line between good marketing and going overboard.

If you believe that “all publicity is good publicity,” you’re wrong.

Your customers are smart people who see through obvious marketing ploys. While they welcome good information from you, they may not appreciate marketing popping up where it doesn’t belong.

There are a few things you might be doing on Facebook that are actually hurting you, not helping. Take a look. Are you a Facebook offender?

Facebook Offense #1: Link Bombing

What it is: Posting your band’s appearance, business’s open house or restaurant’s lunch specials on other local Facebook pages that have nothing to do with your business.

Why it’s bad: This doesn’t do anything but annoy the page owners. And, the message isn’t broadcast any further than the page.

Alternate method: Focus on growing your follower base. Promote your Facebook page at your place of business, on your website, during your show or other places where your customers and potential followers go by CHOICE.

Ask them to “Like” your page. When they do so, they’ll see the updates when you post them from your own page. Since they’ve already invited the communication by liking the page, it’s more likely that your communications will be positively received.

Good Example: In the restaurant business, some places offer a special (ex: a free appetizer) if you show your waitress that you’ve “liked” the page or “checked in” to the location. Not only do your customers get a free appetizer, but they’ll see any specials or promotions you post in the future, encouraging them to return for another great deal. You should also consider the Facebook Offers program.

Facebook Offense #2: Making your personal page professional

What it is: When 90 of your personal postings are about your business. This occurs a lot with individuals in sales and service. It’s also a huge violation of the terms of service you agreed to when you signed up for Facebook.

Why it’s bad: People want to be friends with you, not with your business. Sprinkling in a little bit of promotion is not a bad thing but that promotion should never exceed more than 10% of your total Facebook content.

Alternate method: Link your promotional posts back to business website. For example: if you’re posting photos of your business activities, they should be posted from your business page. You can then tag yourself (personally) and friends in the photo. 

Good example: See our personal Facebook page!

Facebook Offense #3: Thanking fans, businesses or prize winners (but not really) 

What it is: You thank people without tagging them in the post. 

Why it’s bad: Unless you tag your customers in your photos or posts, chances are they will never know, unless they stumble across the page or someone tells them. 

Alternate method: Tag your contest winners or the people you’re thanking. The key reasons to have contests and thank your fans are to spread awareness of your brand or to show appreciation to your customers. By tagging them, more people see it, expanding your brand’s reach, and leading to more feel good vibes and more eyes on your posts. 

Good example: Our client,  The Missouri Trucking Association, acknowledges their new members by tagging them in a post. This alerts the new member that they’re being welcomed. Plus it gives them some extra promotion from an outside source, which is good for business. 

One final point to consider: Facebook changes constantly. Your goal shouldn’t be to follow hard-and-fast rules from a “social media expert”, but to apply — and test — best practices with your audiences. And when you think you’ve found what works, test it again! You might be surprised at how frequently Facebook make changes that impact you.

For more Facebook tips, check out this post: On Facebook, Do What Works

Need help on Facebook? Drop us a line.

Thanks for the time

-Gus Wagner

Gus Wagner

Gus Wagner is the President.Owner of The Rocket Group – an award-winning marketing and communications firm. The Rocket Group has specialized in building effective tools across traditional means and new media for clients in businesses, organizations, and nonprofits since 2001. Gus is also a five-time certified Social Media Strategist, a former Chief of Staff in the Missouri State Senate, a retired national champion amateur hockey coach, and a would like to be a singer/songwriter. His Welsh Corgi, Taffy, lets Gus and his wife, Farrah Fite, live with her in Jefferson City, Missouri.