6 ways to become unlikable: Is your Facebook Page alienating your friends?

“If you build it, they will come” doesn’t necessarily apply to a Facebook Page. Even if it does, your fans will grow tired of your Facebook Page if being a friend doesn’t benefit them.

In this post, we explain some ways in which you could be ruining your Facebook Page, and weakening your friendships.

1. Post updates too often

Regular, engaging and useful content on Facebook is welcome, but too much can be overwhelming. Sending out too many updates can be annoying and cause fans to tune you out so that important announcements get lost in the flow.

In her response to a Quora question on Facebook pages, Erica Friedman, president and founder of Yuricon & ALC Publishing, said she tries to post an item of interest — such as an interesting link or a conversation starter — every few days. “This gives time for it to disseminate, for comments, before it moves down the feed,” she says.

Her rule about status updates is to only post them when there’s actual news to report or to thank fans for their support. This often only happens once a week, she says, and sometimes more often during an industry event.

She strives for relevance, not saturation. “I want our posts to be positively anticipated and appreciated, not avoided for their frequency or cheerleading of the brand at the cost of content.”

2. Make your posts unnecessarily long, rather than keeping them short

Facebook updates should be short and engaging. If readers want to know more, direct them to a page or blog post on your website that gives them more. Don’t give all your content away on Facebook.

3. Regurgitate content from other social networks

Recognize that many of the people who follow your Facebook page may also be following your blog and your profiles on other networks like Twitter and LinkedIn. If these people have already heard your message on one of these venues, they could get tired of reading the exact same words about it on Facebook. Write a special Facebook update rather than copying a Tweet or an entire blog entry.

4. Don’t reward fans for following you

Fans aren’t just a number that your company wants to boost. When asking people you know to become followers, it’s best to explain exactly what they get out of the deal — and deliver on it. You’re asking people to raise your profile and let you into their private lives. Whether it’s special promotions or valuable information, it’s expected that you give something to them in return.

5. Ignore comments

Facebook pages let fans participate in the conversation. By not taking the time to respond to comments, you are not creating a two-way conversation. This discourages visitors from commenting because it seems that their views will not be heard. People generally like companies that listen to their customers. Plus, your company can benefit from this feedback to create better products and services.

6. Concentrate only on your Facebook Page

Any marketing endeavor takes time, and managing a Facebook Page is no exception. Make sure you’re treating Facebook as another tool in your online marketing toolkit such as email marketing or a corporate blog. Depending on your organization, maintaining your Facebook Page could even impact non-marketing business initiatives like the development of new products or services.

Bonus tips: photos, questions, and fan gates

Remember that Facebook more-or-less grew out of the desire for a place to post pictures. Failing to share clear and well-labelled photos can be a missed opportunity to deepen your connection with followers.

Not asking questions can be another way to lose out on feedback and interaction with followers.  Green Peace, for instance, recently posted its Guide to Greener Electronics, and asked on its Facebook Page: “How does your computer or mobile phone stack up on the scale of sustainability?” This helps give people a clear idea of how they can contribute to the converstaion.

If low user engagement is what you’re looking for, avoid Facebook “fan gates”. Fan gates essentially block off a part of a Facebook Page to those who aren’t fans. This gives visitors a specific reason to like your Page. Incentives that fan gates can block could be coupons and downloadable content such as mp3s, videos, and e-books. The best incentives are ones that correspond to the overall user experience you’re trying to create.

Facebook Pages welcome visitors to interact with your company. The good ones attempt to provide meaningful content and engage visitors in meaningful conversations. These Pages more or less treat fans like real friends, giving presents, sharing information and asking for their opinions. While it’s easier to be unlikable, do yourself a favour and treat your fans as friends.

Need help creating and managing a Facebook Page, or building a fan gate? Kobayashi Online and its social media partner Spark Boutik are here to help your company make the most of its presence on Facebook and other social networks!

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