Are You Using Facebook to Socialize, or Advertise?One of the biggest mistakes I see companies making on Facebook is using it as a platform to advertise.

It’s the restaurant that only talks about their special of the day and the food they serve.  It’s the car dealership that talks only about the vehicles they sell and sales specials. It’s the brand that only talks about their product and why you should buy it.

Social media is “social”.

Jeff Roach wrote a great blog post about this. He likened the “squawking” we often see on social channels to walking into a Christmas party and handing your business card and brochures to everyone – without actually striking up a conversation.

If you only think of Facebook as another place to advertise, you’re missing out on its much greater potential!  Worse, you could be unintentionally projecting a very obnoxious image to your customers.

Don’t be that guy

Consider the value in your customers and potential customers inviting you into their social circle (with a “Like”).  If you only use the privilege as a forum for advertising you’ll be about as popular as that guy at a party who talks about himself all night.

From now on, when approaching social media as a company or brand, “think social“.

Ask yourself…

If you were going to a party with all your customers and ideal potential customers, what would the crowd be talking about?

Aside from your product or service, what other things do your customers tend to enjoy?

For example, a store that sells toys, accessories and clothes for babies might post a recipe for homemade baby food, ask their customers’ opinion on a new product they are considering stocking, and link to helpful articles and tips for new parents.

Try this…

A great way to keep people thinking about your services without blatantly advertising is by offering advice related to your industry or linking to a unique/funny video that showcases your product. For example, a Real Estate Agent could blog about choosing paint colors or easy ways to add curb appeal to your home.