How To Avoid Making a Facebook Faux Pas
Written by Logan Lafferty on August 31, 2017
In our last blog post, we offered a few tips for writing an effective Facebook post for your business and how best to foster engagement among your audience. As mentioned, that’s not always easy to do in today’s over-saturated social media market. There will always be folks on the internet trying to elbow their way past you to demand the attention of consumers. But on the other side of that coin, making a Facebook faux pas can make you stand out for all the wrong reasons.
It’s 2017, and by now, the vast majority of people (except perhaps your grandparents) are fluent in Facebook, operating it and consuming its content intuitively. So when you put out Facebook content that is poorly crafted, riddled with grammatical and punctuation errors, or done in poor taste, it reflects on your brand in a negative way. That’s why we’re bringing you more tips on Facebook best practices. Here are a few things you should definitely avoid when filling your Facebook page’s content coffers.
Clean Posts Are Happy Posts
Treat each Facebook post you craft like your own digital child, even for just that fleeting moment between having the idea to hitting “Post.” You wouldn’t send your kid out into the world looking scruffy and untidy, would you? Of course not. Because you’re a good Facebook content parent (or, at least, you will be after reading this blog).
Like any medium that involves the written word, one of the biggest roadblocks to communicating your message are typos. It’s a simple enough concept: don’t misspell words or use incorrect punctuation. Typos can crop up for a variety of reasons: typing in a rush, copy-and-paste error, or simple lack of attention to detail. As minor and insignificant as they may seem, studies indicate that readers judge a brand on typos. Take the time to give your post a proofread, or even call over a coworker for a second set of eyes, before posting.
Another small detail to keep an eye out for are what I call “dangling URLs.” When pasting a link to an article or blog you’d like to use as a Facebook post, you’ll notice that it will auto-populate, ideally, with a user-friendly image and headline to click on. Some people are not sure whether removing the link will remove the post, so they leave it in to be safe. Trust me – delete it. Leaving URLs in your Facebook posts make it look cluttered and unprofessional.
Controlling the Perception of Your Brand on Facebook
As my esteemed colleague Jason noted in his blog post, “users pay more attention to posts with photos in them.” (Too right you are, Jason. Too right you are.) Since users are more drawn to posts with visuals, it’s important to have high-quality, relevant images. Have you ever clicked on the profile picture of a brand only to find that it’s no larger than a thumbnail? Or read one of their Facebook posts with an accompanying photo that looks blurry? I have, and it’s off-putting. How can a client trust you with their business if your Facebook visual game isn’t on point? You don’t always need professional photography (though we can help you with that) – just make sure your visuals are big and clear to account for any screen.
A picture may be worth a thousand words (give or take), but words still matter. I’ve heard numerous horror stories about copywriters slipping jokes in to their copy for fun, only for them to be missed in a proofread and subsequently published. Sometimes it can be an innocent inside joke. Other times it can be much worse (private information, vulgar, etc.). Do not – I repeat do not – draft anything that has the potential to be published that you wouldn’t want seen by everyone. The next time you decide to slip in an anecdote about your coworker’s horrendous body odor in a Facebook draft you know they’ll be proofing, picture that copy ending up on one of your client’s Facebook feeds.
Not a pleasant thought, is it?
Don’t Let “Joining the Conversation” Cause You to Step In It
The phrase “joining the conversation” is a common one used within the digital marketing community. Personally, I dislike it and think it’s a bland buzz phrase, but it is applicable. Inevitably, an event or piece of news is going to dominate the media cycle and appear all over social media. The natural instinct is to leverage (another dumb buzzword, in my humble opinion) the particular trending topic into your own relative content. The topic can be good or bad. But the faux pas in wait lies in how you react to the bad. Case in point: the death of Minnesota’s beloved Prince.
The day was a dark one indeed for Minnesota, in addition to anyone with ears. Shortly after the official confirmation was made, condolences started flooding social media. Companies soon followed. And while it’s perfectly reasonable to offer a few kind words, be very mindful of how those words might be received. As noted in this AdWeek article, many brands just couldn’t help inserting their gimmick into the “conversation” regarding the mourning of Prince.
While sloppy copywriting and poor visuals are not good looks for your brand, it’s even worse to be associated with a shameless grab for attention on the back of a tragedy. People won’t remember you as the company who failed to pay tribute to Prince, but they will remember you as the company who exploited him.
If you’ve found your presence on Facebook to be lacking and are looking for a boost, shoot us an email. We’d love to talk.