Are You Annoying Your Facebook Likers?
The top 10 annoyance crimes on your Facebook Page
I wrote a few weeks back about what to post on your Facebook page. Now I want to make a point about what NOT to post on your Facebook page! Here is my personal countdown of the top ten Facebook 'crimes.'
10. At number ten is ignoring your likers. Social media is all about building relationships and taking part in a conversation. So why would you not bother to reply to your messages or respond to comments and questions? Why are you even using Facebook for your business if you're not going to talk to people? If people have gone to the effort to respond to your posts, they deserve a reward - whether it's a thanks, an answer or a simple 'like.'
9. Number nine is overusing your Facebook page. I am happy to see one - even two - posts a day from pages I have liked. Or more if it's relevant. But two or more posts that add no value to my Facebook experience, that are not relevant to me, or are simply inane - that's annoying. It feels like I'm sitting with one of those people that talks in stream-of-consciousness style, just to fill up the silence. It gets me reaching for the 'unlike' button.
8. At number eight is looooong posts or updates. Occasionally it's okay to create a long post but if you notice your post going beyond about 70 or so words, you should ask yourself: am I trying to say too much here? Am I communicating more than one idea? Stick to one thought/idea/pearl of wisdom/product or special deal per post. People are put off by large chunks of text and if they have to click the 'see more' button, you've probably lost them. People are very stingy with their clicks!
7. The next Facebook page 'crime' is being idly political. If you're a brand that thrives on controversy, such as an industry publication or a public figure, then go for it. But if you're a regular business or brand that thrives on positive reputation and awareness of your product/brand/service, then please refrain from getting political unless it's something you are so passionate about that it actually forms part of your brand values. Maybe you think all your fans and likers agree with you when you post a disparaging joke about the Prime Minister or a heartfelt shout-out to our soldiers in Afghanistan, but for every cheap 'like' your post garners you will have annoyed someone else. It's generally best to save your politics for your personal profile.
6. Absence is number six. Facebook pages are not 'set and forget.' They involve effort and work. If you cannot commit to visiting and working on your Facebook page every couple of days, or setting up a remote management tool, or paying someone to manage it for you, then there is very little point setting one up. It's the equivalent of phoning someone and then, when they answer, wandering off to do other things. If someone asks a question or provides feedback, there is no response. Eventually they will give up listening to your silence and either forget about you or complain about you somewhere else.
5. Number five is poor use of images. Using no (or hardly any) images at all is not a good idea. People are very responsive to visual interest and beauty. Whether it's a good or a bad thing, lines of text without an image or link are increasingly being ignored by users. Images are a powerful way to showcase your products and brand values. But if the image has no words to put it in context - nothing to invite a deeper level of engagement - then people may end up unsure how to respond - and may therefore simply not respond at all.
4. Using Facebook as your business page and then posting all over other pages to try to get people to come and 'like' your page is bad form. It's spamming. Even if the group or page you are posting on is relevant to your likers and therefore your posts are not technically irrelevant, and even if your target market does indeed engage with that page - even then, consistently heading back there to plug your business is spamming. Not cool, and increasingly likely to get you banned (or at least a bad reputation).
3. Disrespecting your likers comes in at number three. Yes, your likers may argue with you or be rude. That doesn't mean you should be rude back to them. Allow them to express their views, good, bad or ugly, and ensure your response is always calm, courteous and defusing. If they have negative feedback for you, show publicly that you are concerned to hear about their experience and ask them to email you to provide full details so you can investigate. Don't feel you need to delete negative feedback, and don't get in a tizz and shout back at them. That kind of interaction can go viral if someone takes a screengrab (see the Amy's Baking debacle). Keep your calm and show you're fixing things for your grumpy user.
2. Number two on my top ten annoyance crimes on Facebook is being impersonal. One of the best things about social media is how you can become a real person to your likers. People crave human interaction and good, responsive service in this increasingly global and online world. You can be a real person who 'likes' comments, has a name, responds to people and remarks, LOLs at things and cares about his/her likers and customers. Pages that just churn out product pictures, store opening hours, links to the business website and such-like, are missing a major opportunity to grow goodwill and relationships with users.
1. The hard sell comes in at number one. This is my personal bugbear and the quickest way to get me to 'unlike' a page. If all you ever post is pleas to buy your products, demands to sign up now, bribes to share and like, or invitations to come into the store, that gets old for users very quickly. There is a widely accepted rule that the correct ratio for sales-related posting vs value-adding information, entertainment, interaction and expressing values, is 20:80. Go back through your page's timeline. What's your ratio? For some good guidelines, check out this blogger's excellent write-up on how to use social media for e-commerce.
What is your top annoyance crime on Facebook?
* Image courtesy of culturalminefield.blogspot.com
I'm an experienced copywriter who helps people and businesses communicate effectively with their target markets or internally. I bring around a decade of experience in copywriting, editing/proofreading, website and social media management and social/communications theory to my business. I formalised Razzed Communications as a proprietary company in 2008 after three years of sole trader ...
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