Five common Facebook mistakes

Five common Facebook mistakes

By Rachel Segal Hamilton IdeasTap 06/12/12

A Facebook page set up as a shop front for yourself or your creative business is a very different beast to your personal page. Here’s how not to wind up your ‘fans’...

1. Treating it like an extended sales pitch

Take a long hard look at your Facebook page. Are the vast majority of your posts either announcements of your latest accolades or eager appeals for people to crowdfund your world tour, buy your new album or come to your gig? Then it’s time to change the record. When you advertise relentlessly, people get bored. And then they get annoyed. And then they un-Like you, which is fatal.

The best Facebook pages are an artful blend of – yes – updates about you and your work, but also curated content and lively conversation. Keep it relevant to your creative field, tell your fans about interesting stuff you’ve read or seen, ask them for their opinions and, if they comment, always respond. 


2. Getting too personal

Be friendly, be yourself – but remember this is a professional page, not a personal account. Easier said than done when you’re using Facebook day-in, day-out for social interaction… The following types of post are generally best kept to your own wall:  

Intimate details of your daily existence, including but not limited to: how much cake you just ate, what you’re cooking for dinner, how little sleep you got last night, the fact that you’re feeling a bit down and could do with a cuddle.  

Your views about politics and religion. Are your values an integral part of who you are as an artist or organisation? Fine, go right ahead. But if not, be aware that banging on about your beliefs will alienate some people. It’s also worth noting that jokes that seem harmless and ironic when shared with friends might be perceived as offensive on the more public context of your page.

‘Hilarious’ drunken photographs. You wouldn’t do this intentionally, would you? Course not. Always double-check which account you’re posting from. Erroneously changing your cover pic to a grainy shot of you with a stolen traffic cone in one hand and a can of Special Brew in the other wouldn’t be a great look. 


3. Running your Twitter feed through Facebook

Apols in advance for stating the bleeding obvious, but Facebook is not Twitter. Your hashtags and RTs are no good here. Simply sending all your tweets to Facebook gives the impression you can’t be bothered, and that winds people up.

You’re also wasting the opportunity Facebook offers to connect with your fans in a different way. Twitter’s top notch for witty one-liners and random links but Facebook has the upper hand when it comes to building a community by sharing images, promoting events and encouraging long threads of discussion. Make the most of it! 


4. Sending people away

People are on Facebook for a reason. They want to hang out. So don’t go and spoil the fun by directing them off to other sites. Seen a great video or image? Embed it.  Referencing a newspaper article? Link to it via their Facebook app. Promoting your book launch/performance/exhibition? Create it as a Facebook event.

Do as much as possible to stop people wandering off. If they stray too far, they might never come back. 


5. Putting all your posts out in one go

This one goes for Twitter too, by the way. No matter how deliciously gourmet, if you eat your entire weekly food intake in one sitting, you’ll feel sick. Similarly, sending a barrage of 20 status updates in quick succession – even if they’re all rivetingly interesting – is overwhelming. Stagger your posts. Your fans will Like you for it.


What are your Facebook fan page do's and don'ts? Leave a comment below.

Image by Sam Michel via Flickr, used under a CC BY-NC 2.0 licence.

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