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5 brands that post terrible Facebook updates

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The don'ts of Facebook updates

In February, I wrote about "7 brands that post awesome Facebook updates." Now, let's come at it from the other perspective. Content is still king when building a brand presence on social media. And as Facebook implements more ways for users to control exactly what content they want to read in their news feeds, brands need to be especially creative to make the cut. Community management is the art and science of engaging these communities, and the best way to see what's working and what isn't is to engage, moderate, and analyze all interactions. There are some brands that get it. And there are some brands that don't.

Consider these Facebook update don'ts:

  • Don't spam your audience. Posting updates back to back, multiple times per day, is the best way to get hidden in the news feed.
  • Don't neglect issues or problems on your page. Social media is a two-way conversation you can have with your customers. When you ignore concerns or questions, it appears as if you don't care.
  • Don't use formulaic responses. In the same vein as ignoring comments, it's just as bad to post a canned response to all issues or concerns.
  • Don't automate your updates. Users notice when they see the same exact content posted on all your networks or marketing channels. This includes linking your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Don't turn off the wall. While neglecting issues or problems is a bad practice, turning off the wall completely sends the message that you just want to broadcast, not engage.

With Facebook implementing new features every day, it's becoming increasingly easy for users to hide status updates from appearing in their news feed. While this might be a plus in the personal sphere, it's a little scary for brands that also appear in the same news feed. In fact, it's now possible to "unlike" a brand page directly in the news feed without needing to visit the page at all. By adhering to the following best practices (as evidenced by brands that did the exact opposite), your brand's chance of getting hidden or "unliked" is reduced significantly.

 

Comments

David Tam
David Tam August 6, 2011 at 9:27 PM

It's definitely a great point to not link fb and twitter. I never thought of this this way, but it does seem like a "lazy" way to inform your audiences with your fb and twitter audiences are different!

Joyce Estrada
Joyce Estrada August 2, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Well said! I believe some companies still don't comprehend how important it's to communicate with their customers, no matter the source. I guess they're not taking it serious because it's facebook, twitter, etc., however, they have to remember any time a message is transmitted, it's the company image what it's involved.

Nate Sanford
Nate Sanford August 1, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Great post! I thought you should know, your post was listed directly over foodnetworks "spam" of 3 articles. I found that very funny. Thanks for the information!

Bryan Person
Bryan Person August 1, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Nice post here, Lauren. You've hit upon several issues that we see frequently plaguing brand Facebook Pages. On the "neglect" front, I think there are two main issues: 1) Too many brands still view Facebook as a pure broadcast and promotional channel, rather than a place for engagement. They're missing that crucial "social" component that absolutely drives most of our interactions on Facebook. 2) Many companies and brands just don't have the staff coverage and/or operations in place to manage responding in comments, personalizing customer-service replies (related to your "formulaic responses" point), etc. Particularly for medium and large Facebook Pages, this is a very time-consuming operation. But particularly for brands who are willing to spend millions to *acquire* new fans, they really need to have a strategic plan for how they'll *keep* those news fans interested and engaged. That means developing the appropriate content mix to publish to the News Feed (not brand-centric stuff all the time, but working in social, topical, and entertaining posts), and then jumping in as appropriate with comments and brand response.

Bryan Person
Bryan Person August 1, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Nice post here, Lauren. You've hit upon several issues that we see frequently plaguing brand Facebook Pages. On the "neglect" front, I think there are two main issues: 1) Too many brands still view Facebook as a pure broadcast and promotional channel, rather than a place for engagement. They're missing that crucial "social" component that absolutely drives most of our interactions on Facebook. 2) Many companies and brands just don't have the staff coverage and/or operations in place to manage responding in comments, personalizing customer-service replies (related to your "formulaic responses" point), etc. Particularly for medium and large Facebook Pages, this is a very time-consuming operation. But particularly for brands who are willing to spend millions to *acquire* new fans, they really need to have a strategic plan for how they'll *keep* those news fans interested and engaged. That means developing the appropriate content mix to publish to the News Feed (not brand-centric stuff all the time, but working in social, topical, and entertaining posts), and then jumping in as appropriate with comments and brand response.

Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis August 1, 2011 at 10:38 AM

It's a very fine line between spamming your network and not promoting enough content. There is so much activity on social sites, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. Most Facebook users aren't going to scroll through every update since the last time they logged in, so companies over-promote their content to make sure it gets seen and heard. But by doing that, you are actually pushing your own content out of the way.

Spencer Broome
Spencer Broome August 1, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Those formulaic responses from Bally Total Fitness are pretty bad. But not surprising, either.