7 Ways Businesses Fail on Facebook

Posted on January 23rd 2013

7 Ways Businesses Fail on Facebook

If one of your goals for 2013 is to have a stronger presence on Facebook, don't make the mistakes that too many businesses make:

1. They break the rules. Facebook changes the rules often. And unless you are diligent about staying up-to-date by following blogs like Socially Stacked or AllFacebook, some rules might change and you won't know it. Even if you inadvertently violate Facebook's terms of service, your Page may be removed -- along with all your content and the connections to people you've made over the months or years. To save yourself a headache, bookmark Facebook's Terms of Service and read them periodically -- along with our blog, of course -- and make sure you're playing by the rules.

2. They ignore their fans. Remember the #1 tenet of social media? It's the "social" part of the equation that matters most. If you have fans who leave you messages and ask questions on Facebook, you must answer them. No two ways about it, and there is no such thing as a stupid question (or at least you shouldn't make your followers feel like their questions are stupid). Another thing to remember is that on social media your fans/followers expect a response fairly quickly. A question asked on Facebook is not the same thing as a question asked via email. At the very least, when someone directs a positive comment your way, "Like" it -- it's a pretty easy way to let them know you're paying attention.

3. They post inconsistently. If Facebook is part of your marketing effort, attend to your Page. It's that simple. You have Likes and followers because people are sincerely interested in your business and what you have to say. There are tons of studies out there suggesting the best times of day, and the numbers of times each day or week to post, but there are so many variables to consider that it's tough to say there is a hard and fast rule. Aim to post at least once a day and remember the 70-20-10 rule: 70% of your Page’s content shared should be information that is valuable and relevant to your Facebook fans. 20% of your posts should be shared content, i.e. content that comes from other people. The final 10% is Facebook posts that are promotional: sale announcements, new product alerts, events, etc.

4. They leave URLs in Status Updates. If you're linking to your website or some other content, remove the extended hyperlink -- or at least shorten it -- before you hit post. Why? Once a pasted URL appears in the body of the unpublished Status Update, the link appears in the status box so you can safely remove the link without affecting the content. Leaving in the the URL just clutters the post.

Which looks better? This:

cluttered facebook status update


or this?:


clean facebook status update


5. They forget to include a visual with every post. According to a recent Fast Company article, "44 percent of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media." Why? Pictures help us sort and understand the piles of information we're exposed to every day. Plus, they can be fun!

Which would you rather see? This:


boring status update


or this?:

fun photo status update


6. They don't add basic *free* apps. There are dozens of free apps you can add to your Page to make it more engaging -- for free. Using the default apps, such as Events and Photos is a good start, but why stop there? If you're a retailer, you should have the Pinterest app; if you're in the service industry, install SnapGuide and create step-by-step guides -- for cooking, building, fashion, etc. -- that you can share with your fans.

7. They don't create custom apps.  Obviously this one is near and dear to my heart, but create custom apps to make your Page stand out! It doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming. With a third-party provider you can create contests and promotions -- as many businesses know -- but also newsletters, calendars, reservation and appointment requests, forms that let customers request more information about your business, maps, customer support, testimonials, surveys and the list goes on.

Jim Belosic

Jim Belosic

CEO, ShortStack.com

Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack, a do-it-yourself custom app design tool used to create apps for Facebook Pages, websites and mobile web browsing. ShortStack provides the tools for small businesses, graphic designers, agencies and corporations to create apps with contests and forms, fan gates, product lines and more.  

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Kent Ong
Posted on January 23rd 2013 at 7:17PM

Hi Jim, for point 4, just curious that don't you think if there is an URL, people can easily spot it and click on the url? Rather than just text and image.

Jim Belosic
Posted on January 23rd 2013 at 11:08PM

Hi Kent,

We always recommend including a URL but our research has shown that images get more visibility so we've taken the road of putting text, then the URL and then a custom image versus letting Facebook populate an image for us with the text. If we do let Facebook populate an image then we remove the URL from the text box because it's like double posting a link and can get confusing for users.

You are right that if there is a URL it is easy to spot and click on which is why we rarely use the populate option versus uploading our own image and then including a link in our posts. You can see what I am referring to on our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/shortstacklab

Thanks for reading and for your comment!


Kent Ong
Posted on January 24th 2013 at 12:05AM

Hi Jim, thank you very much for providing the link. :)

Christina Linnell
Posted on January 23rd 2013 at 7:34PM

Great article! With regards to pictures, are they still showing less visitbility than standard updates? A month or so ago posting a pure text update showed up way more than a picture. Thoughts?

Jim Belosic
Posted on January 23rd 2013 at 11:05PM

Hi Christina,

Our data has always shown that images receive more visibility than text. It most likely differs from page to page but our personal experience and that of many of our peers, such as Amy Porterfield and Mari Smith have shown that images attract more eyes than plain text.

We always suggest to users that they test different posts with their audience to find what works for best for them.


Posted on January 23rd 2013 at 9:43PM

Great article Jim! You made some great points about keeping your FB page fresh, interesting and unique. Can you recommend any third party providers to create a custom app (free or low cost).




Jim Belosic
Posted on January 23rd 2013 at 11:04PM

Hi Kyla,

Thanks for reading! I am kind of biased but I'd recommend ShortStack for creating custom apps! ShortStack offers a free plan for pages that have 2,000 fans or less and then paid plans that start at $30/month with no contracts. You can create as many apps as you'd like on as many Facebook Pages as you'd like. You can learn more about ShortStack here: http://www.shortstack.com. You can also check out our Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/shortstacklab

If you're looking or some more information about ShortStack you can email us at http://www.shortstacksupport.com and let us know what you're looking to do with your page and we'd be happy to let you more about the platform.



Posted on January 25th 2013 at 10:08PM

Thanks Jim, I will look into Shortstack!



Posted on January 29th 2013 at 3:50PM

"If you're a retailer, you should have the Pinterest app". The Pinterest app doesn't do anything or pages. Unless you have somehow found a workaround in which-case please share. This does though: http://pinterest.com/source/woot.com/. It doesn't post to the page but it does add a tab.