Your Facebook Page Might Be Hurting You
Facebook. It’s great, isn’t it? Useful. Widely experienced by millions around the globe. I use it, you use it, your Great Aunt even has an account. The demographic is so massive, the platform so deeply integrated into mainstream culture, it’s absolutely expected by customers that your business will have a presence there. Having a Facebook page isn’t anything spectacular or novel: it’s only a source of surprise and attention if it doesn’t exist. And why shouldn’t it exist? We’re talking about web real-estate for your business that won’t cost you a dime. Simple to use, easy to understand. And thanks to Facebook's new shop feature, you can even add an element of e-commerce to quickly and effortlessly liven up your Facebook space.
But such a widely-accessed platform also brings along obstacles. A high volume of competition for your clients’ attention, for example. When anyone and their cousin can have an account, and the cost for a Facebook ad can run as low as a Starbucks drink, you need to ask yourself if your page is doing all that it can for your business. Because if you haven’t got a grip on your online presence, at the very least you’re not taking advantage of a free and flexible tool: at the worst, your facebook page could actually be doing your small business damage.
First, let’s take a look at how painless Facebook makes the process of designing your page. Click a button: choose an image, any image, and BAM! profile picture. Same for a cover photo. And shareable images. Did you know that there are actually ideal dimensions for all three of these things? So nothing gets stretched, or pixelated, or cut-off in the wrong place? (Feel free to drop by the Downloads page at MBD for more info!)
To delve further into this issue of page design, let’s focus on the way that Facebook only allows for limited customizability. Profile picture, header image, your company info… and the content you post. At its bare bones, your page is the exact same template as the one used by the dry cleaners down the street, the food truck across the parking lot, your neighbor next door, even Coca-Cola. With only a few available options to make your page a branded extension of your business, how are you actively taking advantage? When a customer clicks on your page, are they faced with a profile that looks NOTHING the way you present your company in the physical world? Does your logo make an appearance? Do you frequently post content that has no relation to your business? (For instance, memes? Cartoons?)
Every image you post, each switch of the profile picture and header, should stay on-brand. Use your color palette. Make sure your logo is present. Include the designated fonts you’ve chosen to represent your business. Keep it on-point. Keep it relevant.
Now let’s talk posting schedule. How often do put content out there? Every day? Every other day? Every week? Keep it consistent, and not too infrequent. Let’s face it: even if Google says you’re still open if you haven’t made a new post since August, people will assume you’re out (or going out) of business. Yikes!
When it comes to the content you’re putting out there, ensure it’s keyed into your industry, your brand, your business. Cute kitten photos, though appreciated, can be posted to a personal account. When it comes to your business, keep it.. well… business-like. Or else the disparity of your content will devalue the integrity of your brand, and ultimately, clients will lose interest. Look at it another way: I think we can agree that there is a definite level of formality expected of a business entity that might not necessarily be expected of an individual. You don’t expect to go to your local brewery’s website, facebook or twitter and expect to see the owner’s relationship troubles posted for the world to see. Awkward! When in doubt, it’s usually a safe bet to keep politics, religion, and personal grievances OFF the social media streams.
When it comes to Facebook, keep it on-brand! Keep it professional! Keep it relevant! This platform is a fantastic tool and used right, it will serve you and your business well.