Small Business & Facebook Marketing: Mistakes to Avoid

Here at OSM we often write about business and social media marketing and recently wrote about simple social media steps for business and in another article looked at whether Facebook Questions was good for brands and business. Today we want to focus on small business and Facebook marketing and point out some mistakes you should avoid.

It’s a fact of life that while many businesses, especially small businesses, recognize the merits of using social media, it’s not always so easy to put social media marketing into practice. Leyl Master Black over on Mashable, originally posted on the American Express OPEN Forum, tells how Nicole Krug, a social media marketing consultant points out two common mistakes made. Krug said, “Many people have difficulty with just the basic Page set up. For example, I still see people setting up their business as a profile page instead of a business Page. I have other clients who jumped into Groups when they came out and have divided their fan base.”

Black also goes into much more detail about 5 more common Facebook marketing mistakes. One thing to avoid is ‘broadcasting’ messages from your company instead of using continual engagement and providing relevant information. Consumers soon get tired of being ‘broadcasted’ at and will look for something more engaging and providing more interaction. Another mistake is not investing enough time in your Facebook marketing. Many people start to use social media for their business without a clear idea of how much time they need, or are willing, to spend on it. Constant updating and monitoring is necessary to avoid losing engagement with customers so you will need a certain level of commitment.

Another mistake is being boring or predictable. An obvious advantage of Facebook marketing is that your fans can ‘share’ your content but you have to ensure that content is interesting enough for people to want to share it. Some good advice is to use different content. Rather than stick to status updates, photos or videos, try to use a mix of different content to keep things stimulating. Another thing to avoid is not learning how to use Facebook mechanics and tools properly. Some businesses have no idea of everything that’s on offer and could take far more advantage of the different tools available.

Finally take care not to violate Facebook’s terms. Businesses using Facebook marketing should make themselves fully aware of Facebook rules and some violate terms without even realizing it. For example some use a personal page instead of a Facebook business page. What a shame it would be to lose a growing community of fans, simply because not enough time was spent looking at the rules. Strict rules also apply to running competitions, which is something many businesses are not even aware of.

Small businesses that avoid these common mistakes, by taking some time to find out everything they can about using Facebook as a marketing platform, will benefit and get the most from the time they invest. If they then continue to engage with their audience this should reap dividends in the long run. Are you in a small business using Facebook marketing? Are there some other pitfalls that people should avoid that you would like to pass on? Let us know with your comments please.