Guest Post by Adrienne Erin

Facebook is a staple for professionals to mingle and interact with their customers. Larger corporations choose to update their customers with latest sales and trends that are happening in their nearby local stores. For smaller businesses and startups, Facebook is a way of interacting with customers in a way other social networks do not allow.

Facebook can grow any business – but many startups fail to make an impact due to several fatal mistakes.

1. Facebook Without a Plan

You might feel the temptation to begin your Facebook page with no strategy intact. However, many startups make the mistake of starting a social media page without a social media strategy and end up wasting a lot of valuable time because of it.

Developing a social media strategy will lay the foundation for your new marketing plans. The strategy you intend to utilize varies according to your needs and criteria. Your strategy should include:

• Knowledge of your audience’s demographics

• Methods of communicating with your fans on Facebook

• Strategies to train staff members to utilize the Facebook fan page more adequately

• Objectives and goals for your staff to complete

• Overall functionality of the social network in regards to your business

Incorporating these into your strategy will give you a more definitive reason to thrive and will give you and your staff members a more ideal way of tracking progress.

2. Having an Incomplete Profile

Moving forward with your Facebook page, it is pertinent for you to fill out all necessary information on your page. This is one area where businesses fail to thrive and it severely influences their pages’ effectiveness.

Attracting new customers can be a cinch with an accurate and well thought-out profile. Information such as opening hours for the day, location and phone number all give your page more legitimacy and show potential customers that you are an actual business in the area.

Never skip out on having a profile picture, profile banner or sharing photos with your fans. People retain images 82 percent better than what they read – so having pictures will make the experience feel more real to them. This motivates them to want to visit your store to eat the food you have or go through the merchandise you are selling.

3. Not Following Facebook Etiquette

Facebook has a few unspoken rules that can heavily affect whether your business will thrive within the social media outlet or not.

Poor Interaction with Fans – Just because you are a business, it does not imply you cannot or do not have to reply back to your fans. Interaction, especially for a startup, shows your interest in developing a personal relationship with the customer. Consumers enjoy having a “special bond” with the businesses they invest their money in.

Failing to List Sales and Promotions – Even if you have sales publicly, it is important to remind your Facebook fans of them. Moreover, giving Facebook-only promotions is ideal as well since it gives your fans an incentive to follow you.

4. Failing to Acknowledge the Competition

While your company should not be rushing to imitate your competitors, you should still keep a keen eye on what interactions are occurring on their pages. Facebook pages are a convenient way for companies to keep an eye on the prize, so to speak.

But don’t just watch your local competitors – what are similar businesses doing internationally? For now, your startup can watch these pages from afar, but as you grow it may pay for itself to bring on someone with an international degree or fluency in multiple languages in order to study the competition in parts of non-English-speaking Europe or Asia.

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” is an ideal phrase that comes to mind when it pertains to your competition. Keep a keen eye on them at all time to see if your business can benefit from any of their shortcomings.

Facebook Is an Easy Outlet for Startups

When utilized appropriately, Facebook can be a convenient outlet for startups to gain additional business and to gain a wider scope on their business practices. It might not be an easy task, but it is a necessary one to ensure the longevity of your startup.

Keeping that in mind, have fun with Facebook. It is one outlet that gives your startup a chance to practice its creativity and sociability unlike any before.

Author Bio

Adrienne is a socially-engaged freelance writer and blogger who has written for Content Marketing Institute, Search Engine People, and MarketingProfs. To see more of her work, add her on Twitter.

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