What Your Facebook Page Tells the World

Your Facebook page is your social media storefront. Avoid these common pitfalls and reach more customers.
Facebook mobile
Responding to both positive and negative feedback on Facebook is important when maintaining your small business's Facebook page. (Photo: downloadsource.fr/Shutterstock)

Your Facebook page is an effective way to attract potential customers, engage your current customers and stay connected to your followers.

However, there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to creating your Facebook storefront. No matter how long you’ve had a Facebook page, it’s wise to review some of the basics of creating a page for your small business.

Learn about common Facebook pitfalls and solutions so that you can create your own compelling storefront.

Mistake 1: Forgetting to clearly state your business’s expertise and specialty

Solution: Showcase your talents on your Facebook page and state your specialty or expertise upfront. If your business is known for something special, be sure to highlight that in your posts – and update your page regularly and consistently so your followers know when to “tune in” to your page.

“Let’s say a bed and breakfast is known for its carrot cake pancakes. Guests who follow the page and have tasted them love to offer their compliments, endorsements and ‘reviews’ when an enticing image is posted; or if the recipe and baking tips are provided, these guests are likely to share them with their friends and followers too,” said Stef Schwalb, director of Content/Marketing for BnBFinder.com, one of the world’s most comprehensive B&B directories.

Mistake 2: Forgetting your local customer base

Solution: Get involved with your local community. Wherever your business is located, consider mentioning some of your favorite sights and businesses in town. This can foster cross promotion and even future marketing partnerships.

“For example, an inn in Napa Valley can recommend a favorite winery nearby, who can then recommend that inn as a great place to sip and stay after a long day of wine tasting and touring. The inn and the winery might even develop a special package together in the future based on this mutual admiration,” Schwalb said.

Mistake 3: Not using visual aids and imagery

Solution: Sell yourself by being seen! Showing your potential clients what they could be missing out on can have a greater impact than just telling them. In this day and age, visuals – photos, videos, and infographics – are more important than ever.

“Let’s say a bed and breakfast in Virginia is known for the stunning views from its Blue Ridge Mountains location. High-­resolution images from different times of the day and videos that serve as virtual inn tours can drive guests’ desires to stay there. These images can be more inviting than the affordable pricing and amenities if potential guests find these visuals inspiring,” Schwalb said.

Mistake 4: No social media policy or disclaimer

Solution: Protect yourself and your customers with a public social media policy and disclaimer.

“I recommend posting this disclaimer in the ‘long description’ section of your Facebook page, or you could host it on your website and include a link,” Jenni Izzo, VP of Public Relations at Linda Costa Communications Group, said.

“The policy is created to protect your business from vulgar comments, and by displaying it on your page, you are being transparent about the fact that you are can and will delete any inappropriate posts.”

Mistake 5: Ignoring posts and feedback from customers

Solution: Engage with as many Facebook posters as possible, especially when you receive negative feedback.

There’s nothing worse than ignoring customer feedback, regardless of whether the comments are positive or negative.

“An unanswered comment – whether praise or a complaint – gives the appearance that you simply don’t care about customer feedback,” Izzo said.

Whether it’s a comment saying “good job” or how much they love what you do, thank them for being a fan.

“If it’s constructive criticism, thank them for sharing their feedback and do what you can to make it right,” Izzo said.

Responding to a positive comment shows customers you appreciate them and shows other visitors that you care, Izzo said.

“On the flip side, responding to the negative comments demonstrates that you monitor your page and are open to all types of feedback and opportunities for improvement.”

Mistake 6: Ignoring user-­generated content (UGC)

Solution: Read the posts on your Facebook page, and post user­-generated content to engage more customers.

If you own a restaurant, and your guests are taking and sharing photos of their meals, you’ve been handed a great opportunity to leverage those photos.

“In most cases, the guests will be flattered that you shared their photos, and it might encourage other guests to share their photos, too. Just remember to always ask for permission and credit your customers when you use their photos,” Izzo said.

Mistake 7: Not sharing your company culture with customers

Solution: Use creative strategies to share your company culture in ways that make sense for your business.

Let’s say you celebrate employee birthdays and other milestones. Consider also posting a “Happy Birthday” message to your employees on your small business’s Facebook page. If you participate in community events, such as 5K races or volunteering, take photos and share those.

“Sharing this type of content is an extension of your brand and will help give customers a behind-­the-­scenes look at the company,” Izzo said.

This type of sharing shows your customers a more personal side of your business and helps your small business stand out from competitors.

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