How your business can avoid pitfalls on Facebook
Like every other marketing strategy, Facebook has a number of potential pitfalls for unwary or inexperienced users. With a little thought, you can avoid these.
While Facebook is free to use, it takes time to keep your page up to date. If your marketing lacks focus, you can end up wasting a lot of time and seeing very little return. You need to develop a clear goal so that you know what you are trying to achieve with your page. You also need an efficient strategy to manage your Facebook presence and still meet the other demands of running your business.
Failing to update your page
If you can't update your Facebook business page regularly, you shouldn't have one. If you establish a page and acquire friends, but then don't interact with them, you will actually reduce consumer confidence in your business. It's like inviting a group of friends to your house for a get-together, and then failing to show up yourself! Post regularly and let your customers see that you are interested, present and reliable.
If you do need to close your page for some reason, make sure to send a final message to let your friends know, and thank them for their past support.
Not responding to customers
Once you establish a conversation with other Facebook users, you can't control what they say. Some of your customers or potential customers may use Facebook to:
- comment on your business
- ask questions about your products or services
- complain about your business.
It's important to:
- respond to any comments (for example, a simple 'thank you' for a customer compliment shows that you're listening and you're polite, and makes your customer feel valued and recognised)
- answer questions quickly (this demonstrates strong before-sales or after-sales service and builds your reputation as credible and reliable)
- respond to any complaints as soon as possible (whether it's to apologise, offer a solution, or put your side of the story).
Comments and questions left unanswered will make customers think that you don't care about them. Complaints left unanswered can turn into negative publicity that can damage your brand. Make sure you respond promptly so that you are managing your Facebook conversations.
Read more about managing customer complaints.
Being absent from Facebook
While there are potential pitfalls to using Facebook, there are also dangers in failing to have a Facebook page, especially if you are a high-profile business. Your business may be discussed on Facebook, positively or negatively, whether or not you participate in the conversation. Creating a Facebook page at least gives you the chance to promote positive views of your business and tell your side of the story.