Avoid These Facebook Profile Management Mistakes

Common mistakes are made that can be harmful to a company's brand, but they can be easily remedied.

I’ve been working with manufacturers for my whole career, and I’ve been working on social media marketing for most of that time. Increasingly, these two worlds are starting to meld together as more manufacturers realize that social media can help, not hinder, their marketing efforts. Mostly, the increase in Facebook usage by manufacturers is great news. However, common mistakes are made that can be harmful to a company’s brand, but these mistakes are easily remedied.

The first mistake is a failure to monitor your company’s Facebook profile page. Many companies believe that if you do not have a company Facebook page, you are not endangered by any negative comments or feedback. But, this is not true. Facebook often will create a “places” page for companies, and individuals can “check in” to those places. I have seen many instances of people posting something while noting that they are at their place of employment, and you would be amazed what some people post. “Having a terrible day” – at _______ Company. I have seen instances where someone has checked in for a job interview and people have commented that they should not work there. Finding comments like this is simple. Just type your company name into Facebook’s search bar and see what results come up. There may be nothing, there may be positive comments, or you may see your brand being tarnished, and you need to make sure you control that before the damage becomes irreparable.

The second common mistake I have seen manufacturers make on Facebook is a failure to acknowledge comments, both to the page and on the page’s posts. Remember, it’s called social media. The idea behind Facebook and other social media platforms, from a business perspective, is that you finally have a chance to talk to individual customers in real time on a regular basis. Social media is the big opportunity to put faces to names, nurture those relationships and be able to offer solutions on the fly. A lot of companies get stuck trying to figure out what they are going to post, though, and this distracts them from people who are actually trying to engage. Generating content is certainly important, but people who take the time to comment on your page or on your posts are pure gold. Show them you appreciate their time by replying back, and show other people that if they comment, they will get the same response. Far too many companies let these chances pass them by.

Finally, let’s talk about the problem that most often plagues manufacturers. I call it the start and stop problem. A company will start a Facebook page, and you’ll see posts for days and days on end. Sometimes there will be more than one post a day. Then, all of a sudden, a drought occurs. Sometimes the company will go months without posting. Sometimes the posts stop altogether. Much of this can be explained by the tendency to assign social media to a temp or an intern. There is a perception that social media is a young person thing, it isn’t time-consuming, and so it is a perfect task to assign to an intern. The problem with doing this is that once that person leaves, there is no one around to pick up the slack, so the posts die out.

Another reason for the “start and stop” may be that the company did not think about a long-term plan before getting started. Social media can be frustrating at first because you don’t immediately get the engagement and responses you are expecting. It takes some time, patience and discipline, and a lot of companies lose hope before their social media marketing has a chance. Rather than just “doing” Facebook, companies should establish a loose plan for a profile page. What should the “voice” of the page be? What kinds of comments are desired, and how can content help generate those types of comments? Go into the process understanding that unless you are lucky, your first post, or your first month of posts, are not going to be greeted with a lot of fanfare.

Social media marketing without question is increasingly important for manufacturers, both in terms of networking and search engine optimization (SEO). Like most things, though, social media is only as good as what your effort garners. Be careful to avoid these mistakes outlined in this column, and you will take a big step forward.