Avoiding Mistakes on a Company’s Facebook Fan Page

When Handshake 2.0 asked me, "What content should go on  a company's Facebook page?", I answered in the post, I See Your Company's Facebook Page.

Here is a list of what definitely does not go on a company's Facebook page:

1. Any personal or family-related information.
It may be cute at the beginning, but realistically, unless you’re a celebrity, no one cares.

2. Any information that is targeted to individuals within the company.
Inside company information is boring to people who have no idea what you’re talking about and it makes individuals not want to visit your site. A general rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t want to read this information on your free time, then it does not belong on your Facebook site.

3.Affiliation with anything controversial.
Most business owners are hesitant to hang a poster that would make clients angry or uncomfortable. Applying the same logic to Facebook, don't write anything or join organizations which could offend customers. Recently, the CEO of Whole Foods made this mistake when he made comments against the President of the United States's proposed health care plan.  The effect was a boycott of the Whole Food stores by many customers. Although the comment was not made on Facebook, one can just imagine the effect of a controversial comment on a site like Facebook with such a large member base. So, keep the clubs or organizations on your private Facebook. But do join organizations that show their humanitarian efforts and let people know you’re an ethical company.

4. Wall posts that don’t relate to clients or potential clients.
Wall posts are seen by everyone and the worst thing a company can do is write comments to friends that have nothing to do with the company. So a “Hey, how are you?” on a personal site would be fine, but on a Facebook site more geared towards business it looks unprofessional.

5. Comments about other companies or services.

Let's face it.  No one wants to visit a site laced with advertising. Stick to writing about what's happening in your company.  If you loved the service at Company X, tell your significant other because no one on Facebook wants to know. They want to know about your company - that’s why they visited your site in the first place.

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Catherine Fong is a management major in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech.  You can follow Catherine Fong on Twitter.

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Handshake 2.0 is on Facebook and offers Facebook set-up services to companies and organizations.  Here's a recent do-it-yourself guide from Mashable.  ( Technorati: uwack73qps )

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