By Mikal E. Belicove|For Forbes Magazine website|October 3, 2012
In this highly touted Information Age, it’s just a tragedy when a business or brand goes amateur with its Facebook Page. Yet many respectable business entitles continue to consider social networking as a hobby, completely ignoring tried and true approaches that can result in open and honest communication with customers and fans alike.
In order to put your best Facebook forward, avoid these five mistakes that continue to plague businesses with a presence on the world’s most popular social utility:
1. There is no “I” in Facebook: There’s not a whole lot that’s inclusive when a business or brand uses the word “I” in a status update. Besides sounding a bit self-centered and out of touch, “I” can be a lonely letter. “We” on the other hand, denotes a team behind a business, organization or brand. “We” can be as small as two people in a room. We (see how I just did that?) see a lot of “I” statements in Facebook Page status updates, and it simply doesn’t make any sense. Worse yet, these offenders often use “I” without ever identifying who the “I” is.
2. Using a Personal Account for Your Business: Facebook launched Pages for businesses and brands in November 2007, yet some marketers continue to use personal accounts for businesses and brands. Take, for example, an Italian restaurant near my home in Laguna Beach, California. The owner is using the two words in the restaurant’s name as the personal account’s first and last names. This is nonproductive on a number of fronts, including the fact that when potential diners search for the restaurant on Facebook, they can’t find it because it’s a person. And even if they found it, they couldn’t “Like” it. What this restaurateur loses by not establishing a Facebook Page is access to advertising options, analytics, apps for business use, and many other features. Plus, maintaining a personal account for anything other than an individual is a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. If your business or brand is guilty of this and you don’t convert the personal account to a Page, your business risks permanently losing access to the account and all of its content (Facebook has begun cracking down on this — hard). If you are in violation of this rule, now’s the time to migrate the personal profile in question to a Facebook Page.
3. Leaving URLs in Status Updates: One of the laziest things marketers do on Facebook is…
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