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Facebook Etiquette for Brand Pages

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 |

Although there are brands that have mastered the art of Facebook marketing, there are still others that have yet to thrive in the social media channel.

On Facebook, both brands and individual users have different sets of protocol to follow. The tips provided in this article land somewhere in between and apply to both groups of users.

Below are pieces of etiquette advice offered by PR Daily:

1. Stop asking people to "like" your updates. A few years ago, it was common to see posts that started with "Like this post if…" Sadly, we still see these posts today. Create interesting and relevant content and you won’t have to ask people to "like" it.

"Liking" a post is the simplest form of engagement. Asking people to like your status update is cheap and adds no value to your fans’ news feeds.

2. Don’t overpost. Clogging up news feeds causes people to hide, unsubscribe, and worse, "unlike" your brand’s page.

For personal pages, restrain yourself from abusing the freedom to post as many life updates as you want. You have to know when to stop.

3. Keep those hashtags to a minimum. Make sure your hashtags are relevant and not excessive.

4. When tragedy strikes, just keep quiet. In the event of a national or global tragedy, you may mean well in sending "thoughts and prayers" to those affected, but for some, it might appear as a sign of desperation. Offering your audience a way to help in the form of donations or volunteer missions is a better technique.

5. Don't be patronizing. There is a Facebook page called "Condescending Corporate Brand Page" that is dedicated to offering examples of what not to do, calling out brand pages that seem to be running short of ideas on how to engage on the social network.

6. There's a fine line between real-time marketing and "brandjacking". Most brands like to come up with clever posts during big events like the Super Bowl or the Oscars. While we encourage real-time marketing, brands should remember to add value to the conversation - fitting the brand message to the event and the moment - instead of hopping on the bandwagon with little thought on content and strategy.

7. Keep it positive. This is for the personal and the brand side. No matter how eager you are to rant on your page, consider your audience and whether they’re really interested in reading your post - and a negative one at that.

To help you decide, always ask yourself: Are we sharing this content because it serves us or our audience?

8. No one wants to visit your brand's mobile-unfriendly Facebook tab. Seventy percent of users check Facebook on their smartphones, so make sure that offers that you launch from your fan page are mobile-optimized.

9. When there's a PR issue on your page, the worst thing to do is stay silent. We often see brands shut down all Facebook communication when they’re faced with any kind of backlash. Staying silent only worsens the problem. Respond, even if it’s just along these lines: "We hear you. We’re working on it."

10. Personalize your reply to people who take the time to contact you. Whether it’s a direct message or a comment, the response should never be automated. A simple "Thanks!" does not suffice. Keep in mind that every person who comments on your page represents an opportunity for a personal connection. Make that connection feel special, and you’ll have a fan for life.

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