If you are using Facebook to create meaningful connections, build your brand, find your customers, share your unique message to the world, or to do anything important, then you should be very careful about some common Facebook mistakes. If you are just a casual user, using Facebook just as a time-pass, then you might skip this post. With more than 1 Billion user base, Facebook has made it possible for anyone from anywhere in the world, to find the right customers /audiences for what they are offering. But while trying to market/ sale/ promote their products/ services/ ideas most people forget the fundamental fact – Facebook is a ‘social’ network. And being ‘unsocial’ is the worst mistake you can commit which leads to a complete failure in your Social Media strategy. So what are the Facebook mistakes you should avoid?
10 Facebook Mistakes
- Sending friend request to someone without a message: Though Facebook says that it’s for connecting with people you know, but it’s also a great platform to connecting with people you don’t know, making new friends, finding like-minded people. But there is a right way and a wrong way of connecting with strangers on Facebook. What most people do is they just click the ‘Add Friend’ button. But just think about it when I (or anyone rational) see 763 (or more) friend requests from unknown people, what do I do? I simply ignore. I feel annoyed too. Because I might miss requests from someone I know in the crowd. Trust me, I love connecting with people, making new friends. But I’d always prefer to accept friend request from someone, who sends me a message along with friend request. Just a simple ‘hi’, where did they found me, why’d they want to connect with me. That’s it. And I personally follow it every time too. Whenever I’m sending friend request to anyone (known or unknown), I’m always sending a personal message with it. Why send a message to people who know me? Because they might be getting hundreds of friend requests too, so without a message my request might get unnoticed. If you want to get into more details on this point, read this Facebook note by my friend Anirban Saha.
- Not understanding the difference between Facebook profile and Facebook page: If your Facebook profile looks like this, then you are not only creating an unprofessional image of yourself but also making a fun of yourself to your quality potential audiences.
Next one is obviously much better than the above one, but still the brand is losing its value by using Facebook profile, rather than using page.
Just remember this common sense advice: Facebook profile is to be used as a person, not as a business/ idea/ community/ brand/ cat … or anything else. Infact Facebook made it very clear in its first page. When you visit www.facebook.com for the first time, what do you see? You can sign up for a Facebook profile from this page. And if you want to create a Facebook Page instead, you can click the ‘Create a Page’ link ( www.facebook.com/pages/create ) Simple! Isn’t it? With many extra features like scheduling, analytic (page insight), competitors monitoring Facebook page is the perfect solution for professional use. Whereas Facebook profile is the best place to showcase who you are as a person and connecting with people through a personal approach.
- Posting irrelevant comments (Spam alert!): Imagine someone is having a conversation with his friends at a coffee shop on “What do you do when you feel lost and alone?”. Would you suddenly interrupt into the conversation saying “Check out this brand new cool stuff”? Wouldn’t that be very unsocial behavior? Don’t you think you might be thrown out of the coffee shop for disturbing people? Don’t ever make the same mistake on Facebook. If more and more people start reporting your comments as ‘spam’, you’ll be banned from Facebook very soon. So what should you do? Simple. Be social, join the conversation. I don’t mind checking out stuffs from those who interact with me on Facebook.
- Sending promotional stuff without a personal message: Some people remember their friends only when they need to promote something. So what they do is start sending a messages (with a link in most cases ) to all their friends. Without any Social Conversation. (Guilty! I admit I made this mistake once when I was trying to win a so-called Facebook contest).Even many lazy morons send the promotional message in a Facebook group message. Trust me not only most people will never check out the stuff, moreover they’ll be pissed off and start avoiding you online ( Unfriend or Block may be). On the contrary, see the example below how my friend Anshul requested me to take a look at his new blog post. This is what being Social means!
- Boring timeline with repeated links: Facebook, specially the personal profile is intended for sharing what is happening in your life and initiating conversation. Why would people connect with you here if you keep posting links (even same links) all the time? Let me give you some tips. I’ve experimented with posting all types of updates on Facebook. What I found is, most engaging to least engaging posts are as follows: Profile picture / Cover photo update > Personal status update (best are those with a question) > Personal photos > Interesting / Inspiring photos > Videos > Links. This may vary slightly depending on your Facebook audience, but one thing for sure is links are the least engaging content for your Facebook profile. Better you can share your links on Facebook pages. There also you should remember to keep sharing other valuable links for your audiences, not just you own links.
- Hiding your name and face: Gone are the days of Orkut, when you could have a profile with a name like “ROckinG CooL DuDe” and a profile picture of anything else other than your own face. If you want to create a nice / professional impression with your Facebook profile, make sure you give your complete original name and your own photo as profile picture. Additionally you should also choose your profile url / username carefully. Keep it as close as possible with your name. For example my Facebook profile is www.facebook.com/souravghosh not www.facebook.com/iamastupidgit Got it? If you are serious about creating your brand online, or Social Media marketing, stop being scared about disclosing your identity. People always prefer to connect with real people. I never ever accept friend request from someone without a proper name and profile picture. And trust me, most Facebook power users does the same. Do you hesitate to give your own photo because you think you are not that handsome or beautiful? First of all, there isn’t any beautify contest going on in Facebook, and look isn’t the only factor to consider in life. Moreover do you know that, what you believe becomes your own personal truth? So by believing that you are not that handsome / beautiful, you are actually ugly-fying (just invented the word :p ) yourself. Start believing that you are handsome / beautiful being who you are, give your own profile pic, see what happens. You are not taking me seriously na? See this: Profile picture of 2010 (left) and current profile picture. Dhinka chika! I told you 🙂
- Being online Secret Agent: If you want to create your brand name (read ‘identity’ ) online, you need to be visible. You need to be known to people. But most people prefer to remain invisible on Facebook. They just read other people’s posts, like occasionally. They avoid posting updates and commenting, i.e. engaging in conversation. But that’s the purpose of Social Media! Common reason behind this hesitation is ‘ I’m not that good in English’. Well I studied in Bengali medium most of my life. Always got around 50% marks in English. Review my writing with any English scholar, they’ll give you hundreds of mistakes. But that’s why I started writing. I wanted to improve. And trust me, I learned more English in last few years, writing Social Media updates, than I learned in my 20 years of academics. Still learning. Post updates, comment from heart. If your English is too bad, let people know that you are working on improving and ask for help. No need to be ashamed.
- Posting sensitive information online: Now don’t get carried away while using Facebook. Don’t post anything on Facebook that may land you up in trouble, if it falls into wrong hands. Avoid posting too much personal or sensitive information online.
You might want to check out this Creep Quiz to be sure that you are safe online. No need to panic. Just use some common senses. Facebook even offers great flexibility in post privacy settings. You can restrict some updates, photos to a particular group of friends.
- Being a Tag maniac: You want more people to read your post, right? But that doesn’t mean that you will tag everyone in your irrelevant updates! Trust me it’s very very annoying.If someone explicitly express their desire that they want to get tagged in your every single posts, go ahead and tag those crazy fans of yours. But please don’t tag others . Never tag someone in any post, which is not relevant to that person. If you are posting a group photo, ofcourse you should tag each person in it.It’s also very much okay to tag people in a post, who will be interested in the info and don’t want to miss it. Like this
- Having a Dustbin Timeline: Now if you have some tag maniac friends in your friend list, they’ll be tagging you in every photos/ updates you can imagine. And the scary thing is probably they are appearing in your Timeline. So just imagine, when someone is taking first look at your profile what will they find? Complete dustbin. Where everyone has dumped whatever they wanted. Solution: Enable Tag Review from the Facebook Settings. When you enable ‘Tag Review’ random posts where you are tagged doesn’t appear on your timeline. You can see those posts by clicking ‘Activity log’ from your profile page
Click on ‘Timeline Review’ Now you can ‘add to timeline’ or ‘hide’ posts you are tagged individually. Infact I’ll recommend you to spend some time in the ‘Settings’ section to tweak things as you feel right.
That is all for today. Let me recap quick. Please tweet and help others avoid these mistakes too.
10 Facebook Mistakes at a Glance – Ready to Tweet
[Tweet “Sending friend request to someone without a message #FacebookMistakes”]
[Tweet “Not understanding the difference between Facebook profile and Facebook page #FacebookMistakes”]
[Tweet “Posting irrelevant comments (Spam alert!) #FacebookMistakes”]
[Tweet “Sending promotional stuff without a personal message #FacebookMistakes”]
[Tweet “Boring timeline with repeated links #FacebookMistakes”]
[Tweet “Hiding your name and face #FacebookMistakes”]
[Tweet “Being online Secret Agent #FacebookMistakes”]
[Tweet “Posting sensitive information online #FacebookMistakes”]
[Tweet “Being a Tag maniac #FacebookMistakes”]
[Tweet “Having a Dustbin Timeline #FacebookMistakes”]
Tweet these and see what you Twitter friends thing about worst Facebook mistakes.
Can I Help You With Your Facebook Strategies?
Do you need any personalized help regarding your Facebook presence? You can check out the 5$ consultation services I offer on Fiverr : Facebook Profile & Facebook Page. Or the Coaching, Consultation & Counselling page for all available options.
To make the points easy to understand I might have used your post as an example. Please understand that my purpose is not to ridicule you in any way. If your post appeared here as mistakes, hope you’d take it sportingly and correct it for your own benefit.
What do you think?
I’d love to know what do you think of this post. Could you identify any of your mistakes? Come on! Don’t be shy! I committed some of the mistakes too. But I corrected and improved. Do you disagree with some of my points? Do you want to add a few more points? Please leave a comment.
Don’t you think more people should be warned about these Facebook mistakes? Can you please share it?
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