7 Ways Companies Screw Up Facebook

Facebook = Commitment.

Have you blown up your Facebook page before you've even started?

There’s really no other equation that works.  Companies that jump into social media need to have a commitment to them.  That means resources: time and money.  But it also means a commitment to integrate the social channels into all of marketing and communications.

Here are seven of the most common blunders companies make when launching a Facebook page.

1. Look another press release link

Too many companies think of Facebook as a link farm for their corporate web pages.  They throw up links – mostly to press releases or to articles in which the companies appears – and wonder why no one seems excited about the content.

2. Consistency only in their absence

I worked with a company a couple of years ago that showed up so infrequently on its own Facebook page that its largest competitor had set up shop and was engaging with fans, answering questions and redirecting people back to its own web site.  Don’t let your Facebook page be hijacked by others or become a ghost town.

3. I am not a robot, but play one on Facebook

Another client I worked with before handled each Facebook compliant the same way – they thanked the person for the comment and then posted the 800 number for customer service.  They did this over and over again.  Facebook needs to be more than a referral service and your Facebook spokespeople need to have personality – and be empowered to engage honestly and openly.

4. Content creation is the easy part

Believe it or not, but the most difficult part of Facebook is not creating the content – and that can be very hard.  The most difficult aspect is engaging.  Time should be spent every day answering questions, thanking participants, providing additional details, making inquiries and providing a voice and presence on Facebook.

5. Welcome to Facebook Island

Facebook becomes a lone communications site that doesn’t integrate with other campaigns the company is doing.  If the marketing department is running a contest there should be integration with Facebook.  If the communications division has published a press release on a new product there should be information about it on Facebook.

Facebook should be built into all marketing and communications being done by the company.

6. Kitchen sink syndrome

Some companies are simply too large to have one Facebook page.  That’s why smart companies like Microsoft (full disclosure: Microsoft is a client of Weber Shandwick) have Facebook pages for Excel, Windows 7, X-Box, etc…  Microsoft understands that one corporate bucket for news and information for ALL of its products and services would dilute content and provide too many fans with information about products that they aren’t interested in.  Think micro-targeting!

7. Rely solely only on status

Status updates are crucial on Facebook, but there are so many different ways to engage on Facebook – photographs, videos, commenting, contests, applications, widgets, badges, tabs, etc. Facebook provides a multimedia platform – so use multimedia to engage with your fans.

Any other mistakes that companies commonly make on Facebook?  Please share you insights and observations.


Photo by Global X (via Flickr)

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