Following a previous post I wrote about Twitter, I am going to try and discuss a few aspects of using Facebook – for business purposes, but from a personal point of view. What comes next is not by any means an extensive post on how to best use this network, but rather a few points on dos and don’ts. If you are interested in learning more about Facebook or maybe social media in general, one site I’d recommend is Social Media Examiner.
Back to the topic: I can’t say Facebook is my favourite social network, but it has its good sides. I was not exactly what you’d call an early adopter. In fact, I only created a personal profile after moving to the UK (5 years or so after Facebook was launched), with the purpose of keeping in touch with my friends and family in Romania – you know, see who got married, pregnant, changed job/spouse etc. 🙂 Moreover, having a personal profile was compulsory in order to be able to create a Facebook page for Inbox Translation. Surprisingly, I am a lot more active on the latter than on my personal profile.
How often to post?
There are lots of guides out there and, as with any topic, opinions are as different as the people writing them. From Facebook’s advice to post once a day to advice saying you should post every other day (or 3 times per week) to posting as frequently as possible, we can only draw one conclusion: there is no formula to follow. However, do try and keep an eye on the engagement you get and see what best works for you. In our case, posting once or twice a day has worked best. At the beginning, we posted 4-5 times a day and that lead to losing a few fans. But, as I said, see what works for you and your audience.
Some dos and don’ts
One of my pet hates is linking one’s Twitter profile to all other social networks, so the same content is posted simultaneously on Twitter, Facebook. Google+, LinkedIn etc. Why should you avoid this? For several reasons:
- They serve different purposes and address different audiences
- It leads to over-posting (as one usually tweets more frequently)
- It gives the impression of laziness
- Hashtags (#) don’t work on LinkedIn
- Twitter handles (@) have no function on the other social networks (Facebook included)
- Take advantage of being able to write a more comprehensive description for your post (not too long though) – no need to limit yourself to 140 characters as on Twitter; this means you can also draw your readers’ attention to certain points in the post that will make them curious enough to click
- Post interesting stuff (you are probably rolling your eyes at the obviousness of this one 🙂 ) – relevant to your business, certainly. In our case, our posts are mainly related to translation and languages, of course, but that doesn’t mean that an interesting article on branding or marketing or, even an infographic on types of coffee wouldn’t be appropriate. You just need to find a balance.
- Be human – Don’t be afraid to show your personality; however, too much personal stuff on your business page will alienate your fans.
- Over-post (you will look like a spammer and no one likes spammers)
- Under-post (posting once in a blue moon will say that either you are lazy or you have nothing interesting to say)
- Link your Twitter account automatically (see above)
I am certainly not a social media guru or anything, all the advice given has been inspired by my own experience, so take it with a grain of salt and do what works best for you.