Okay - I know every business is not making these mistakes but because I am on Facebook about 98% of the time I am awake, I do see these mistakes a lot. I see them enough that I was inspired to write this blog and even had to scale it back some or it would be tl;dr. If you are playing by Facebook rules I applaud you. If you aren't or are not sure, please take a few minutes to learn some of the rules and etiquette of Facebook posting for business.
If you post something on your Facebook business page and ask people to “like,” “share” or “comment” it is considered “like-bait” and gaming the Facebook feed. You have probably seen these posts around, even though they have decreased (some) since Facebook made the announcement in April that they would filter these from the news feed. Most accounts post these types of updates because they want to make a post more visible by having the followers spread the message, but are generally considered "low-quality" posts by Facebook and users. You might see something like the picture below with a message that says:
"Like" this if you like to be healthy, and "Share" this post if you want to find a cure for Ebola.
Of course everyone wants to be healthy and find a cure for Ebola. This type of post just annoys Facebook (and a lot of its users). Facebook announced that they have software in place to detect these types of posts and will show them less in your followers feeds. Stop using this technique to get engagement.
Have you seen those Facebook giveaways where they ask you to share the post in order to enter the contest? That’s a big, bad no-no in Facebook’s book (of guidelines). You can ask entrants to like or comment on your page, send your page a message or post to your page’s wall, but you cannot require anyone to share your post for entry into a contest.
Also - every contest should include a “complete release of Facebook by every applicant” as well as “acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.”
Before you decide to have a Facebook contest be sure you know the rules.
Viral Videos are great and I love a good video as much as the next person. Lately there have been some accounts (it seems like it is a lot of radio stations) that have pulled videos off YouTube, and instead of posting the original video and linking back to the original account that posted it, they are pulling the video and posting it as their own on Facebook. This can hurt the original poster (say they are a musician trying to get noticed) or can surprise a regular person (read about this mom whose stolen video of her daughter went viral). If you are going to post a video from YouTube, do it the right way and link to the original source.
Two More Things
The next two items are personal pet peeves more than ethical violations but I thought they were worth mentioning while I have you here.
Links with no text
On Facebook, when you place a link in the comment box an image and link to the site will usually appear. You can then delete the link and write any relevant text you want to go along with the link! Think of how much cleaner that would look than a random 60 character URL in your status update! Trust me, it looks much better.
Words and Punctuation
- If you don’t know what a word means, don’t use it. Want to find a definition? Type: define (and the word) into your Google search box.
- Spell check only works if you misspelled a word. Spell check will not tell you if you used a word incorrectly. Their and there are both spelled correctly but mean different things. Don’t be afraid to have someone else proofread your stuff before you send it out. We ALL make errors.
- Punctuation over-use. Sometimes we just want to know why???????? Or we are really, really excited about this new product!!!!!!!!!!!
I admit I have been carried away by excitement and therefore the excessive use of punctuation in the past. Next time you are tempted to do this though remember that readers are more likely to notice the punctuation than they are the words used and it can translate to your followers as unprofessional.
If you are guilty of any of these make some changes! This blog isn't meant to shame anyone into submission - I wrote it to help you. I want to see you succeed on Facebook. I want to see you rock the Facebook world. Don't be afraid to try something new - just make sure it is cool with Facebook before you do. Go be awesome.
You can find me on Twitter @KeelyRowe