Facebook and other social media outlets have become powerhouses when it comes to marketing your business, getting your name on the minds of potential customers, and setting yourself apart from your competition.
For better or worse, what you post on social media, whether it’s your personal page or your business’ page, will have ramifications on your business. Facebook, in particular, is easy to “point and click” when it comes to sharing and posting things.
For the most part, this can work wonders for your business’ presence and customer reach—but only if you’re tactful and aware of what it is you’re truly sharing. When you impulsively post images, quotes, or status updates, your Facebook activity isn’t doing you or your business any favors. So if you choose to utilize Facebook or other social media outlets, do it well.
A few things to keep in mind with your business and personal Facebook pages when you’re considering posting that picture of your latest Wine Wednesday mishap:
1. Moaning and Groaning About Your Clients or Competitors
When it’s been a long day and all you feel like doing is crawling into bed with a glass—er, bottle—of your favorite adult beverage and ranting about your latest difficult project or client, keep in mind that someone, somewhere, is probably friends of a friend of said client. And one way or another, that post about how terribly uncompromising that one client was will reach its intended subject, and you’ll suddenly wish that “delete” button was a little more definite. Or, it’ll make someone thinking about working with you – or even a current client of yours – wonder if you would ever talk about them that way and whether you’re the type of person they truly want to do business with?
And if you think keeping it contained to your personal page makes it more “private.”
2. Anything Having To Do with Politics
It’s election year, and you can’t escape them: yard signs, satirical images, pointed television advertisements, pop-ups on your favorite browser to “Join the Right Party: Vote Jon Snow!” (okay, that one hasn’t shown up, but we’d be tempted… if it ever did.) Politics is an important, fundamental—and currently fierce—topic for us in the great US of A.
Your business’ Facebook page doesn’t have to be included in the great debate, however; no matter your personal political preferences (or dislikes), think twice before posting anything that would potentially rub a client or potential customer the wrong way. Support your party, participate in events, and take pride in being part of a free nation—but don’t use your Facebook page as a sounding board for your latest frustrations when doing so.
Politics on your personal page can potentially do more harm than good, as well. Consider if and/or when you should post politically-centered updates and information on your page, and in the event you do choose to speak to your personal beliefs, be respectful and tactful—we all have friends on the other side of the aisle, politically. And, ask yourself this: Will sharing whatever it is you choose to post truly convince someone whose beliefs are as unfaltering as yours to change their mind? If the answer is no, then think twice about sharing it.
3. Deleting The Not-So-Nice Things
We like making people happy. Happy people mean you’ve done your job well, your product or service is valued, and business is generally good. However, you will not make everyone happy—you are not a taco. (And some people don’t even like tacos—inexplicably—so our chances of pleasing everyone are becoming lesser by the minute.)
The bad news is, when people are unhappy, sometimes they take to your public profiles to express their greatest vexations and grievances. Many of these critical reviews make it to your Facebook page… and sometimes, there are harsh words that you want to simply
remove. Sometimes negative reviews are a means to stain your otherwise “Five-Star” review section, and you know the author had nothing but bad intentions in mind. So, what do we wish we could do?
DO NOT DO THIS. There is good news here, friends! Sometimes poor reviews are full of constructive criticism—as in, someone took the time to rate their experience with your business in a fair manner. Don’t be unjust to their participation and remove their review because it might point out something that your business has done poorly. Take the time to respond (personally—not by automated message) in a fair and professional manner, and leave the exchange on your page as a way of showing your clients and potential clients how you manage conflict and whether or not you take responsibility and initiative when problems arise (because you know they always will).
4. Using Images from Other Pages without Credit
On Facebook, we come across images and content almost constantly that we want to share with others. A picture of a cat in a bathtub (for your sister), a video of a goat singing (for your Dad), a meme of what it feels like when your coworker blares their unforgivable taste in music (that you wish you could send to said coworker), or on a more professional note, a video or image of a recently completed project done by a partner company or client.
Sharing is caring when it comes to social media. That is, credited sharing is caring. By sharing an image posted by another business or individual, choose to (literally) “Share” their post instead of downloading and saving the image to your desktop for your own use. The more you use their name, the more they’ll be seen by others, and you’ll be doing them a great service by crediting them properly.
5. Posting Anything & Everything
Having a desolate Facebook page is one thing, but clogging your followers’ feeds is just as bad a crime. Consider how many people will truly be interested in what you have to share on your business’ page. We all have that one family member who has driven us to “unfollow” their status updates because they can’t stop posting about their online games, the Bachelorette, or how many times they’ve managed to create a new recipe for mashed potatoes.
People who follow your business’ page will have the same reaction. Maintain consistency with posts, so people know you’re invested in your page and your business, but refrain from “post overkill,” and be conscientious about the topics you’re posting about. Have reservations about a particular post? Check out this post from The Edgar Blog on when to keep your mouth shut—it may save you some pain in the future.