9 Mistakes to Avoid Making on Facebook

January 3, 2013 Becky Schroeder

You've decided to use Facebook as a way to connect and engage with your customers online. There are many great things you can do on Facebook: share a side of your agency your customers don't normally get to see, connect with your business partners in a new way by liking their pages, share your insurance knowledge and expertise.

However, there are some things to avoid doing as you might actually drive followers away.

1. Using a personal profile as a business page.

It might seem simpler to use a personal profile instead of a business page, but it's actually a huge mistake. By using a personal profile, you're not allowing your customers to Like or interact with you on Facebook. You're also missing out on some great features that are only available to business pages like analytics, fan likes and better advertising. Plus, Facebook can shut your page down for assigning it to the wrong category. It happens. If you're using a personal profile as your agency's page, you can migrate it.

2. Having an incomplete profile.

Not completing a Facebook profile might not seem like a big deal (As long as I have my website listed, people can just go there to get the information, right?) but can actually hurt you more than you think. People will come to your Facebook profile looking for specific information, like your phone number or an address, and you need to provide them with the information they seek instead of forcing them to another website. Some people will not take the extra steps and go somewhere else to get their questions answered. Others will but they won't be happy about it, which they will not view as good customer service. So take the few extra minutes and fill your profile out completely.

3. Sharing posts with no interest in engagement.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: social media is not a broadcast channel. It is about engaging with your followers and having two-way conversations. Nowhere is this more important than Facebook, because if you have too many posts that your followers are not engaging with, Facebook will stop showing your updates in people's feeds. Facebook does not want to perpetuate spammy Pages, and one of the ways they determine if a Page is spam is whether or not people are engaging with that Page's updates. Share updates with the goal to get people to like and comment on your posts. Ask questions to start conversations.

4. Ignoring comments.

Far worse than using Facebook as a broadcast channel is ignoring any comments or questions people put on your posts or on your Wall. Because by ignoring comments, you are telling your followers that you are only on Facebook because it's the cool thing to do and you're not interested in building relationships with them. If a customer walked into your office with a question, you wouldn't ignore her and take care of other tasks. The same goes for Facebook.

5. Keeping spam.

Your Facebook page is part of your online brand. You have a responsibility to monitor it like you do your own website. Delete the spam comments. Don't allow people to harass others. It is perfectly okay to remove those comments and posts that are spam or intentionally hurtful to others.

6. Overlooking Insights

One perk to using a business page instead of a personal profile for your agency is the free analytics on your followers. With Facebook Insights you can get data like how many people are seeing your page, which posts receive more interaction, where your followers are located, etc. You can export this data to a spreadsheet for your own use and benchmarking. Don't ignore the data that is available to you. Use it to better understand your followers and what they like so you can share updates and information that will receive greater engagement.

7. Having a bad avatar.

More often than not, once people like your Facebook Page, they'll only see your updates in their feeds so the only way they'll be able to associate those updates with your agency is by your avatar. If it's not recognizable, you are missing out on an opportunity to further your brand on Facebook. You will probably need to scale your logo so it is Facebook-friendly, by which I mean it will work as a square.

8. Liking your own posts.

People will know you like your post. You shared it. Do not hit the like button as your followers will begin to think you have no idea what you're doing on Facebook.

9. Using hashtags.

Speaking of making your followers think you have no idea what you're doing on Facebook, hashtags are for Twitter. They belong on Twitter, not on Facebook.

What mistakes do you see other companies making on Facebook?

About the Author

Becky Schroeder

As Chief Marketing Officer, Becky Schroeder is responsible for driving ITC’s overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include creating and documenting processes; establishing metrics for managing those processes; developing content strategy and generating leads; and developing marketing strategy. Becky was named an Elite Woman in Insurance by Insurance Business America in 2016. She has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.

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