facebook mistakesIt’s happened to all of us. A quick action that you think will either be harmless, or even beneficial. But oh, how wrong you were. You had no idea the consequences would be this bad, and regret your decision.

Who knew that liking a Facebook page could be so awful?

But some of the people maintaining Facebook pages just don’t get it. They either post constantly or rarely, typing whatever they want with no thought or strategy, and you can tell they’re not even that familiar with Facebook.

The last thing you want as a marketer is to be one of those people.

You want your audience to look forward to your page’s next post, not dreading it. If they’re annoyed enough, they’ll unlike you. If they just ignore you, you may stop showing up in their feed because of how the News Feed algorithm works.

So spruce up your posts. You want them to be relevant, visually appealing, and invoke enough of a reaction that your fans will click, like, comment, or share. There are a lot of mistakes that are easy to make if you don’t devote time to think about and execute a strategy

These five mistakes brands make on Facebook vary in fright factor, but all of them are as easy to fix as they are to make in the first place:

1. Making it all about you

Don’t forget about the “social” in “social media.” Your Facebook place is not just another place to broadcast your regular advertising and marketing campaigns. It’s a place to start conversations between your business and its customers. If there’s an exciting piece of company news you think your audience will be interested in, go ahead and share, but skip the sales pitch.

If you do decide to announce news, it can’t be in the same way you would communicate in a memo, press release, or advertisement. People don’t like Facebook pages so they can be sold to. You’ll succeed faster on social media if you give your fans what they want to see, instead of what you want them to see.

2. Breaking Facebook page guidelines

When Facebook changed its guidelines prohibiting pages from running contest and promotions without an app, most people assumed that it was now an “anything goes” situation. Not true. There are still rules about how to run Facebook contest and promotions, and they’re there for the user’s benefit.

While you can now have your fans enter contest by liking or commenting on something on your timeline, you’re not allowed to have them enter by sharing. This is because it takes the contest off of your timeline and onto your fan’s own pages. You also can’t ask people to enter a contest by tagging themselves or other people in comments or a picture. This can be frustrating for the people being tagged without their consent, and after awhile, downright annoying.

3. Not repositioning pictures

This one just makes your timeline look better with just a few clicks, so there’s no excuse for not doing it. Did you know that if you upload a large photo to your Facebook page, a cropped area of 404 x 404 pixels is shown by default, instead of the whole picture? Yep. It happens all the time.

But did you know that you can choose which area of the photo is shown? And it only takes a few seconds. When you move your mouse anywhere on the post, a grey ‘down’ carrot appears in the top right corner of the post. Click on that, and select ‘Reposition photo.’ Then just drag the photo until the part you want to highlight is shown, and click the save button. This may seem trivial, but it really makes your page look better!

4. Including the URL in the description of a link share

This is another one that you think might not matter, but it makes your posts look a lot cleaner. Once you paste a link into a post, if you’re writing a regular status update, the link preview will populate and show a thumbnail image, title, and description below the box where you write the status. Once it’s populated, you can delete the URL from the main text box, and the link will still be attached to the status.

Look at the two post drafts below. Both will show the video, description, and title, but only one has the URL in the description. Doesn’t the other post look better?

facebook post with URLfacebook post without url

5. Long rambling updates

Our attention spans are dying, and most people point to the internet as their killer. Even though Facebook posts can be longer than tweets, they shouldn’t be. Snack-sized bites of content are best on all social networks at this point. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point on Facebook. To add more meat to the post, you can attach an image or video instead of making the text longer.

Not only will users probably not read a two-paragraph long post, Facebook makes it harder for them to read longer posts. After a certain number of words or characters, Facebook hides the rest behind a link that says “See more.” Few readers will be motivated enough click that link to finish reading your post. Most will just move on to the next item in their news feed.

Of course, there are many more Facebook marketing mistakes made every day. What could you add to this list?