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April 6, 2011

5 DOs and Don’ts of Facebook Pages

Facebook PagesYesterday, I noticed two thirds of the posts on my Facebook Newsfeed were from PAGES not profiles. Some pages had posted 3 to 7 times that day alone. The posts ranged from direct marketing (new promotion, special offer, we’re great) to arbitrary posts with links and videos attached.

Today I noticed a PAGE had a third party application called FeedBlitz attached to its PAGE where entire blog posts were fed into the Facebook PAGE status.  I got three today – combined word count – 1234 from those three posts.

I fear there’s some trainer out there saying, “Shove content at people any way you can – Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, LinkedIn.  In fact, hook them all together with one application to really maximize the power.”  They’re maximizing power, all right.  But it won’t reflect well on those shoving the content.

It’s so annoying. As a Facebook user and as a writer, I get that PAGES can assist an overall marketing plan and help businesses and organizations, but if you annoy potential customers / members, and force them to hide you or unlike your PAGE, what’s the point?


Don’t …

  1.  clog up my Newsfeed – Remember, when you invite a person to LIKE your PAGE, you ask that person to allow your posts to show up in his or her newsfeed.  Everytime you or admins post in the status bar on the page, you send that post to each fan’s newsfeed.   Facebook is a “social” platform that spins on the axis of the personal profile.  Remember folks are there to engage socially with Facebook friends.  Pages are an added bonus not the basis of the platform.  One post is day or five posts a week is plenty.  More than that is SPAM in my opinion.  If you want to post several times a day, do it from your profile.
  2. direct sell – Naturally, you have a Facebook Page so you can eventually market your products, services or organization.  But if you consistently do that, it annoys people.  No one wants to sign up for commercials.  The Page should serve the fans.  Mention your services or products in the context of serving the fans.
  3. think Facebook is Twitter, LinkedIn or your blog – Each of these platforms has a certain accepted protocol.  Each is very different.  Avoid using all-in-one programs that send every posts to all of your social media platforms at once.
  4. use more than three or four lines in your posts – Text intensive posts from the status bar are often passed by.  People like short.  Make use of NOTES in Facebook.  They are a fabulous tool that allows you to put more text in a separate, linked page.  NOTES also allows you to use photo images, and can easily be shared by your fans on their profile pages which attracts more fans to your page.
  5. double post between your Page and you Profile  – I learned this the hard way.  I’d post something to a page and then re-post the same thing from my profile thinking all my friends weren’t necessarily fans and I wanted the widest exposure.  One of my friends told me he saw no use in being a fan of my page.  He figured he got all the same stuff being my friend.  Duplicate posts clog up the newsfeed.  If you’ve already posted to your Page, change the post for your profile, and post it at a different time.

Do … 

  1. make your Page one that “serves” your fans – The Facebook PAGE should be one that gives the fans what they want – not what the administrator wants to shove at them.  Post something you’d like to read yourself.
  2. encourage comments and engage the fans in conversation – The statistics for Facebook Pages overwhelmingly show that the most successful, influential Pages are those with a lot of interaction with the fans.  If you’re getting lots of comments, you’re doing well.  As the administrator, you should recognize each post and as many comments as possible.  People want to know someone is listening.
  3. allow fans to post and welcome controversy- I’ve seen many pages where administrators don’t allow fans to post to the page.  Spammers are out there and I, too have been a victim of having someone spam my page.  I remedy that by checking my pages everyday, sometimes two or three times.  If I find spam, I report it to Facebook and delete the post.  When gauging spam comments over the hundreds of non-spam, it’s less than 5% spam.  The interaction with the fans is the lifeblood of the page.  Also sometimes I get people who challenge my posts or publicly disagree with me. As long as it’s respectful, this is a good thing.  It encourages interaction which is the lifeblood of your page.
  4. allow the fans to know who you are – With every good fan page there’s a curiosity of who is behind the page.  Let your fans know that though the page is called “XYZ Services” there is a face behind the page that belongs to a person.
  5. protect your fans from third party sellers on your page – I frequently have fans post about their own competitive pages or venues on the fan page.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing … it’s all in how it’s done.  If your fans think they’re going to get commercials from other people when they visit your page, they’ll leave.  They’ll Unlike your page.  And you may never know why.  A good rule of thumb is … if it sounds like “selling” delete the comment.  If it happens a second time, delete and warn the poster through a private message.  Third time – block!

One more pet peeve …. Don’t force me to a landing page.    Lots of people disagree with me on this, but I hate when I go to a Page and I land on something other than the wall.  If I see a special landing page, I’ll find it myself.  I don’t need to be escorted to what you want me to see first.  It feels like selling.

Facebook pages have made me considerable money, but only as an indirect support that gains exposure for my work.  I may not be an expert, but I’ve had great success.  I’d also love to hear how some of you have made PAGES work.  Please pass on your idea.

Next post I’ll discuss 5 of my favorite facebook pages and what makes them great.  Stay tuned.

By the way, if you’re interested in looking at my Pages …

Haunted Eastern Shore

Thin Places Mystical Tour of Ireland

Viral Networking With Social Media

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